Evaluation examines the entire teaching learning situation and important factors that contribute to the learning. The concept of evaluation has been developed by Dr.Benjamin S. Bloom who said that evaluation is a social and psychological activity. Hence, in evaluation, an all round assessment is made throughout the year. It helps the teacher in diagnosing the pupils difficulties. Evaluation is essential for any project under taken, but it should be a correct yard stick and should measure as far as possible what was aimed at and expected. Evaluation is a continuous process of teaching-learning activity, anticipating objectives of education seeking to realise them in the behaviour of the pupils. It enables us to measure the content as well as their interests, aptitudes, likes and dislikes, their individual and social behaviour, their way of thinking and doing things in life and their ability to adjust in social environment. Tests and examinations are still the most widely used tools of evaluation.
Test: It is a word derived from the latin word 'Testum' which means a small pot. It is an attempt to see whether the things taught been learnt. It is a tool of measurement designed to elicit a specific sample of an individual behaviour.
It provides the means for more carefully focussed abilities. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is one example of language test.
Examination: It is broader than test. Test cannot ask what has been not taught. But in examination, any sort of question can be asked, provided that is not beyond their standard. A test is directly concerned with teaching, while an examination is linked with an externally fixed standard of achievement. However, both these tools have the same common function i.e. evaluation.
Measurement: Measurement is the process of qualifying the characteristics of persons according to explicit procedures and rules. A student reads 300 words per minute, we are measuring the reading speed of the student and assigning a numeral (300) to the skill of reading. Physical attributes such as height and weight may be observed directly. But certain traits can only be observed indirectly. These include aptitude, intelligence, motivation, attitude, fluency in speaking or achievement in reading comprehension. Rules and procedures for measurement have to be made clear. Ronald Doll (1992) defined evaluation as a broad and continuous effort to inquire into the effects of utilizing content and process to meet clearly defined goals. Bloom (1971) explains a relationship among educational objectives, learning experiences and evaluation.
It is both quantitative and qualitative process that concerns with teaching and learning in a given situation.
1. Formative evaluation: This type of evaluation is aimed at improving the programme at every stage. It can be applied to any of the teaching and learning processes - may be designing syllabus, curriculam, methodology, materials, teaching and learning. The tools used are questionnaires, observation schedules, check lists, self assessment forms, interviews, diaries, tests etc.
2. Summative evaluation: It is made at the completion of a programme to see the success. It is the final judgement of the performance of the students. The results are statistically interpreted. The term - end exams are the examples of this type. Its perspective is limited. The tools are examinations and tests.
Qualities of a good test: A test is valid when it actually tests the objective it aims to test. Validity is concerned with relevance. There are five types of validity (i) face validity ii) content validity
iii) predictive validity iv) concurrent validity v) construct validity.
* Reliability of a test is determined by its consistency in results. Test may not be reliable if the objective being tasked is not of permanent nature.
* The test given should be within the resources available to the students.
A good test is one which is more practical and economical.
* Every question should be relevant in terms of the content covered.
* All three types of questions should be covered, ie, Essay, short answer and objective type questions.
* Situations can be textual, but situations other than textual would help pupils develop higher intellectual abilities.
* Question items should be clearly and precisely worded without any ambiguity.
* Question items should indicate the length of the answer expected.
* Time required by an average student for each question item should be kept in mind.
* Marks allotted should be decided and indicated.
* If 80% of the students are able to answer a question it is said to have more facility value. In teaching - learning situations tests are used for various purposes. There are four important types of test.
1) Placement Test: These type of tests are used to sort out the students that they can fit in with the other students of the class. The placement test assesses the pupils general ability rather than their particular points of learning, the results are declared quickly so that their placement can be decided.
2) Diagnostic Test: It is used to diagnose the students progress of learning. It encourages the learners by pointing out to them where they have succeeded. Generally it is used at the end of a particular unit. The results might guide the teachers for remedial work.
3) Achievement Test: It is the main means available to the teacher and the students for assessing progress. These tests can be administered by the teacher in the form of class test, unit tests quarterly or half yearly tests etc. It also shows how effectively the teacher has taught and diagnose those areas which have not been well learnt. It also discriminates between learners, placing them at different levels of achievement (class I, II, III or grade A, B, C etc.,).
4) Proficiency Test: The aim of this test is to assess the ability of the students to apply in actual situations what they have learnt. An important element in this type of test is to repair break downs in communication by asking for repetition for explanation for rephrasing an expression not understood correctly. These tests are further divided into standardised tests and teacher made tests. The standardised tests are administered to thousands of students like SSC, Intermediate examinations.
Teacher made Tests: The teacher can administer a test after completing each unit to diagnose the learner's abilities or weaknesses.
These tests are prepared, administered and scored by the teacher. They are also called as paper and pencil tests. They help the teacher to find out the standard of the learners and to discriminate between the learners. The teacher made test include subjective type and objective type. The subjective type or open ended questions test learner's productive skills. The objective type test items have only one fixed response, so who ever corrects it at any time, the answer will be the same. There can be no controversy over scoring. e.g.: EAMCET, Ed.CET etc.
Preparation of Scholastic Achievement Test: The teacher administers a test after completing each unit which is called a unit test to find out how well the objectives are achieved and to diagnose the learning deficiencies. Unit test is essentially a teacher made test and tests the achievement of both the learner and the teacher. feedback is essential to improve teaching techniques and learning experiences. Since it tests the teacher's and students achievement in realising the objectives of teaching, it is also called scholastic achievement test. Tests can be oral or written. In language learning oral tests can be conducted to test the pupils aural - oral skills. A unit test is usually a written test where the teacher can test three main objectives - knowledge, comprehension and written expression and sometimes appreciation.
Weightages: The first step in constructing a test is to determine the relative weightages to be given to objectives, items of content, types of questions and level of difficulty. The marks are distributed to all the above said objectives. The scoring key and marking scheme should also be ready with teacher for the purpose of correction. Finally a question- wise analysis is to be made to check the test for any drawbacks. The teacher should have an idea of the areas like prose, poetry and elements of language.
Keeping in mind the characteristics of a good test, due weightage should be given to all types of questions i.e., objective type, very short answer type, short answer type, essay type. A test should neither be too easy nor be too difficult. The needs of all the three types of students viz, bright, average and dull students are to be taken care of.
Blue Print: The blue print means the plan that the teacher has in evaluating the performance of the pupils. The formulation of instructional objectives and their respective behavioural changes can be identified.