What Is The Definition of Evaluation

The term evaluation conveys several meanings in education and psychology. Evaluation is a broader term than the Measurement. It is more comprehensive than mere in­clusive than the term Measurement. It goes ahead of measurement which simply indicates the numerical value. It gives the value judgement to the numerical value. It includes both tangible and intangible qualities. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

Different authors have different notions of evaluation are as follows:

1. Encyclopedia of Education Research:

To measure means to observe or determine the magnitude of variate; evaluation means assessment or appraisal.

2. James M. Bradfield:

Evaluation is the assignment of symbols to phenomenon, in order to characterise the worth or value of a phenomenon, usually with reference to some social, cultural or scientific standards.

3. Gronlund and Linn:

Evaluation is a systematic process of collecting, analysing and interpreting information to determine the extent to which pupils are achieving instructional objectives.

Perhaps the most extended definition of evaluation has been supplied by C.E. Beeby (1977), who described evaluation as “the systematic collection and interpretation of evidence leading as a part of process to a judgement of value with a view to action.”

In this definition, there are the following four key elements:

(i) Systematic collection of evidence.

(ii) Its interpretation.

(iii) Judgement of value.

(iv) With a view to action.

Let us discuss the importance of each element in defining evaluation. The first element ‘systematic collection’ implies that whatever information is gathered, should be acquired in a systematic and planned way with some degree of precision.

The second element in Beeby’s definition, ‘interpretation of evidence’, is a critical aspect of the evaluation process. The mere collection of evidence does not by itself constitute evaluation work. The information gathered for the evaluation of an educational programme must be carefully interpreted. Sometimes, un-interpreted evidence is presented to indicate the presence (or absence) of quality in an educational venture. Educational Evaluations in US visit here

For example, in a two year programme in computers, it was observed that almost two-third of each entering class failed to complete the two years programme. On closer examination it was found that most of the dropouts after one year were offered good jobs by companies.

The supervisors of companies felt that the one year of training was not only more than adequate for entry and second level positions but provided the foundation for further advancement. Under such circumstances, the dropout rate before programme completion was no indication of programme failure or deficiency.

The third element of Beeby’s definition, ‘judgement of value’, takes evaluation far beyond the level of mere description of what is happening in an educational enterprise, but requires judgements about the worth of an educational endeavour.

Thus, evaluation not only involves gathering and interpreting information about how well an educational programme is succeeding in reaching its goals but judgements about the goals themselves. It involves questions about how well a programme is helping to meet larger educational goals.

The last element of Beeby’s definition, ‘with a view to action’, introduces the distinction between an undertaking that results in a judgement of value with no specific reference to action (conclusion-oriented) and one that is deliberately undertaken for the sake of future action (decision-oriented).

Educational evaluation is clearly decision-oriented and is undertaken with the intention that some action will take place as a result. It is intended to lead to better policies and practices in education.

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