Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.
- It involves making expectations explicit and public;
- setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality;
- systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches those expectations and standards,
- and using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.
Evaluation is a broader term that refers to all of the methods used to find out what happens as a result of using a specific intervention or practice. Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the worth or merit of some object. It is the systematic acquisition and assessment of information to provide useful feedback about some object.
Formative evaluation is such evaluation which is conducted before giving final Shape to an educational policy or programme, curriculum, teaching method, teaching aid or evaluation method. For it, the evaluator first of all prepares the preliminary draft of the proposed educational policy, planning or programme, curriculum, teaching method or evaluation method; then he analyses each of its steps and receives approval of the specialists. This approval is received with the help of interview, questionnaire or rating scale.
Summative evaluation is such evaluation which is conducted in order to test the utility of an already existing educational policy, planning or programme, curriculum, teaching method, teaching aid or evaluation method. For it, the evaluator constructs the most suitable measurement tool or method based on interview, questionnaire or rating scale, for evaluation of the educational policy, planning or programme, curriculum, teaching method, teaching aid or evaluation method. After this, he tests its utility on the basis of related standards (Norms) and statistical calculations. Finally, he decides whether such educational policy, planning or programme, curriculum, teaching method, teaching aid or evaluation method should continue or not, and if it is to continue, what should be its form.
Diagnostic evaluation is conducted along with formative evaluation during the instructional process. It is carried out based on the data obtained from formative evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation is specially conducted to identify and remove the learning difficulties of learner if it is observed and found during the formative evaluation. For example, if a learner couldn’t understand certain concepts in a particular subject and continuously performing poorly in that subject, we conduct diagnostic test to know the causes of the difficulties and accordingly provide them remedial treatment to overcome the difficulties. The key word in diagnostic evaluation is identifying of ‘learning difficulties’
Assessment and Evaluation in Constructivist Perspective:
Constructivist approach to assessment is a formative rather than a summative. Its purpose is to improve the quality of student learning, not to provide evidence for evaluating or grading students. Assessment have to respond to the particular needs and characteristics of the teachers, students and science content.
How Constructivism impacts learning:
- Curriculum – Constructivism calls for the elimination of a standardized curriculum. Instead, it promotes using curricula customized to the students’ prior knowledge. Also, it emphasizes hands-on problem solving.
- Instruction – Under the theory of constructivism, educators focus on making connections between facts and fostering new understanding in students. Instructors tailor their teaching strategies to student responses and encourage students to analyze, interpret and predict information. Teachers also rely heavily on open-ended questions and promote extensive dialogue among students.
- Assessment – Constructivism calls for the elimination of grades and standardized testing. Instead, assessment becomes part of the learning process so that students play a larger role in judging their own progress.