The difference between assessment and evaluation is one of the most searched-for topics on the internet today. This is because the terms assessment and evaluation are used very often in everyday language and hence, before using them synonymously, it is important to know the difference between assessment and evaluation.
An assessment can be defined as a methodical approach to acquiring, reviewing, and using information about a student or a group of students in accordance with the standards of the time as a means of helping them improve where required. The term assessment is interpreted in a number of different ways outside the educational realm as well like in the case of human resources, psychology, finance, taxation, and so on.
So, in general, an assessment can be considered an ongoing interactive process, in which both the teacher and the student are involved. This process is used to determine the effectiveness of the overall performance of the student and the areas in which they can bring about some kind of improvement. The process involves:
- Setting up goals
- Collecting qualitative and quantitative information
- Using the information to improve quality.
The term evaluation derives its etymological origins from the word ‘value’ which refers to the usefulness of an object or entity. Hence, evaluation is an examination of the academic ability of a student for the purpose of measuring their learning abilities.
Simply put, evaluation is the systematic objective process of making observations with respect to a student with the aim of drawing conclusions, by the use of criteria, generally governed by set standards or by making use of a comparison. It helps gauge the performance of a student in terms of their completed project or their learning progress, as a means of determining its significance or worth.
An evaluation includes quantitative as well as qualitative analyses and is undertaken only once in a while. It makes sure that all the standards or goals that are established by an organization are being met by them. If they are being met successfully, it identifies the difference between actual and intended outcomes.
Points of Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation
Now that the meaning of assessment and evaluation are laid out, let us take a deep dive into the differences between them. Given below is a detailed account of the differences between assessments and evaluations.
An assessment is done as a means of collecting, reviewing, and making use of data in terms of a student’s education, for the purpose of improving the current performance of the student, class, select group of students, etc. On the other hand, an evaluation is done for the purpose of passing judgment on the student on the basis of definitive criteria and evidence.
The nature of an assessment is such that it is diagnostic. It tends to identify and recognize areas of improvement for the student. An evaluation, however, is judgmental in nature, because the aim of an evaluation is such that it offers a grade to the student at the end. To sum it up in simple terms, assessment is a formative process, where the aim is to improve the student holistically while an evaluation is a summative process, which revolves around the act of judging the academic prowess of the student.
Object Under Observation
In the case of an assessment, the object of observation is the holistic development of the student. However, an evaluation is generally done on the student on the basis of their academics, although it is also done on other aspects of their education as well.
The feedback in the case of an assessment is on the basis of observations and their consecutive positive and negative points. On the other hand, the feedback in the case of evaluation depends on the level of quality that has been set according to the standard.
Relationship of the People Involved
In the case of an assessment, the teacher and the student have more of a reflective relationship, i.e. the criteria of assessment are internally defined. In contrast, the relationship between the evaluator and the evaluated is more prescriptive, which means that the standards are externally defined.
Selection of Criteria
The criteria for conducting an assessment are set by both the teacher and student jointly. On the other hand, in the case of an evaluation, the criteria of evaluation are set by the teacher alone.
Standards of Measurement
The measurement standards in the case of an assessment are absolute. It seeks to achieve the most essential outcome. However, the standards of measurement in the case of an evaluation are comparative, which makes a distinction between what is better and worse.
After going through the points given above, the difference between assessment and evaluation is quite apparent. Anyone can see that they are completely different. However, both assessment and evaluation play a critical role in the analysis and refinement of the performance of a student, in every aspect of their life, like education, extracurricular activities, etc.
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