The purpose of evaluation in an educational context is to make a judgment about the level of skills or knowledge, to measure improvement over time, to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, to rank students for selection or exclusion, or to motivate. The process follows defined criteria and usually includes an attempt at measurement
Evaluation should be as objective and reproducible as possible. A reliable test
should produce the same or similar scores on two or more occasions or if given by two or more assessors. The validity of a test
is determined by the extent to which it measures whatever it sets out to measure.
There are three types of evaluation:
- Formative evaluation refers to testing that is part of the developmental or ongoing teaching/learning process. It should include delivery of feedback to the student.
- Summative evaluation is testing which often occurs at the end of a term or course, used primarily to provide information about how much the student has learned and how well the course was taught.
- Criterion-referenced evaluation refers to testing against an absolute standard such as an individual’s performance against a benchmark.
Adapted from Andrzej Wojtczak. Glossary of Medical Education Terms. AMEE Occasional Paper No 3. Internet. Accessed on August 29, 2017.