Evaluations are used to understand the efficacy of students’ learning processes and strategies used by teachers to teach students. It is a great yardstick to analyze whether students have achieved the learning objectives after the completion of a course or topic. Teachers use different kinds of evaluation methodologies to understand where students stand in terms of their performance in academics. It is considered an effective method to ensure the progress of students. Moreover, with the help of evaluation techniques, students and teachers can understand where the learners fall behind in the learning process. Hence, you must have understood how learning and evaluation go hand in hand. In order to improve the quality of education, the evaluation process should simultaneously happen. Let us look at what evaluation is to understand it in a broader sense.
What is Evaluation?
Ralph W. Tyler, an American educator has believed to coined the term evaluation in the context of learning and teaching. He has defined evaluation as follows,
Evaluation is "a systematic process of determining the extent to which educational objectives are achieved by pupils"
As mentioned above, evaluation ensures that the students achieve the learning objectives that are set by the educational institution or the relevant authorities. These evaluations are a great way to improve the learning outcomes of the students. When students are evaluated, you as teachers will be able to get an idea about how you can make changes in your teaching methodologies and in their learning styles. These evaluations can help you curate the best learning experiences for your students.
For the purpose of understanding how evaluation can enhance learning and teaching in an educational set-up, let us learn what different levels of evaluation are.
Levels of Evaluation
There are different levels of evaluation to assess the achievement of students. It is not possible to determine the success of a student by solely using a single procedure. These levels use different yardsticks to fathom the achievement of students and assist teachers in evaluating the progress and shortcomings of a student’s performance.
The three levels of evaluation are:
You can refer to the performance of students in the previous tests and how they have improved in the present. In this way, you will be able to assess the progress of the students in their academic endeavours. This is an effective technique to motivate students to perform better.
Any course would have learning objectives and you would expect their students to achieve the objective by the time the course comes to completion. In this type, you will analyze how students are progressing by considering the learning outcomes. You assess whether the students are able to achieve the objectives of the course and if they are progressing in terms of the educational objectives of the course.
Through this type, you will analyze how the students perform in comparison to the other students in the class. You can compare and contrast how students’ performances differ and take necessary steps to bring in changes that can alter the way they learn. This helps them to find out the strategies that work best for them.
Now that you are familiar with the levels of evaluation. Let us learn the different types of evaluation that are generally used to assess students in schools.
Types of Evaluation
There are three types of evaluation that are relevant to students and teachers in an educational institution. The three types of evaluation are:
- Formative Evaluation
- Summative Evaluation
- Diagnostic Evaluation
Let us discuss each of them in a detailed manner so that you can understand them better.
Formative assessment is a common evaluation method used in schools. Teachers or educators conduct formative assessments multiple times in an academic year to motivate students to learn better. Since the evaluation is conducted many a time, you can use this type to help students understand their weaknesses. You can conduct formative assessment tests to understand how students have grasped a particular portion of the curriculum. This would be a great methodology if you are trying to check for understanding of the students.
It will help you to understand the flaws in your teaching strategies and can make alterations accordingly. Moreover, these tests would help you understand your students in a better way. As in, you will be able to understand their learning styles. In this way, you will be able to tailor your pedagogical approach that best suits your students.
Suggested Read: Formative & Summative Assessment Strategies
Summative evaluation tests occur at the end of an academic year or a course. This evaluation plays a key role in a student’s academic career as it determines the promotion of students into the next stage of their learning journey. Students often receive certificates after the completion of summative exams and it would entail information about their scores in the summative exam.
Students' summative assessments play a vital role in getting into good colleges for higher education as they determine their futures. So, you can help students to get better at their studies with the help of formative assessments and help them to score in summative exams for a better future.
Diagnostic evaluations are very similar to formative assessments. This evaluation is helpful in finding the flaws in the learning process of the students. You can use this methodology to aid students in understanding their weaknesses. Once, they are able to understand the shortcomings in their learning, they will be able to make changes in the learning process and excel in their academic endeavours.
Evaluation is an integral part of learning and teaching. It is what makes the learning process more efficient and effective for the students. Moreover, it improves the quality of education for the students. In this way, they will be able to achieve greater things in life with the help of this continuous process.