Curriculum Development: What is the difference between evaluation and measurement?



8b ii). Assess the difference between evaluation and measurement?

Measurement and Evaluation

Confusion usually arises in the use of the terms measurement, testing and evaluation. Let us define each one of the these terms.

Measurement and Testing

    1. Measurement is the means of determining the degree of achievement of a particular objective or competency.
    2. Testing on the other hand, is the use of instruments for measuring achievement.

Measurement and testing are ways and tools of collecting information for evaluation and assessment. These are not only ways of gathering evaluation data. There are others that we shall deal with in the following lectures.

  • Evaluation is the process of giving value judgement based on the information gathered through measurement and testing for decision making.
  • Measurement and evaluation are not the same thing in curriculum development process.

Whatever judgement we make regarding the degree to which learners have achieved curriculum objectives will be valid if they are based on empirical data. We can obtain empirical evidence through measurement.

We use measurement to quantity representations of the degree to which a learner reflects certain traits or behaviour. Data obtained through measurement is basically descriptive in nature. It is expressed numerical terms. Elements of value connotations are avoided as much as possible by measurement.

Purpose for Evaluation

Evaluation has a lot of purposes for both schools and public. Some of these purposes are identified as follows:

Evaluation as a Basis for Student Records by Teachers

Many educational authorities require that teachers submit marks or grade for their students, at the end of the term or year. The grades or makes are kept as records of students performance. Marks or grades are arrived at through formal examinations, test, regular assignments, oral or written reports or observations.

Promotion to Higher Grades

Schools are examination and test results to determine whether students has made enough progress to be promoted to the next class or form in the school. In many cases a student whose progress is low, is adviced to repeat the same class for a year before he can move on to the next one. The class teacher in consultation with the head-teacher will talk to the parent of the affected student and convince him to see the advantages of the child to repeat. Fear of failing in the final selection examination is cited as a big reason in many schools.

Selection and Certification Purpose

Not all students who pass through the primary school systems move automatically to secondary schools or form one. National examinations are used in Kenya to select those who have passed with enough points to go to form one. The National examinations are similarly used to select students to join form five and University. Examinations results are also as a criterion for certification. Thus students who pass national examinations at various levels are entitled to being issued with certificates. For instance the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (K.C.P.E) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E).

Employment Purposes

Students who complete primary and post-primary school education are provided with certificates which enable employers to make a choice. Some students may want to join a company or training for a profession in pubic or private sectors. All employers usually require information on perspective trainees or employees. Such information may include academic attainment in specific subjects, attitude towards work, moral behaviour, personality another related data. In many cases, a student’s certificate or school leaving testimonial will be important for training and employment purposes.

Student Motivation

Good performance by students on tests and examinations has been proved by educators to be a motivation to them. Failure to do well in examinations may also crease a sense of competition with students. They will work had to improve performance in future examinations.

It has been suggested that teachers feedback will assist students to work harder.

Guidance and Counselling Purposes

Students in all schools need to know their progress in academic performances. The only way they can judge themselves and be able to solve their personal problems is by seeing their performance on class tests or examinations. Successful students tend to enjoy school much more than those who do not perform well. Those who seem to be failures need greater attention by the teachers. The teacher must direct attention to such demanding cases in a class.

Assessment of the Effectiveness of Teaching Strategies

Many students fail examinations due to poor teaching methods. Teachers who do not assess students acquisition of knowledge, skills and understanding in a course may not be able to judge the effectiveness of the approaches in teaching. Assessment of student performance will therefore assist the teacher to modify the teaching strategy where necessary.

Purposes of Informing Parents or Guardians

Parents want to know how their children are performing in class. It is their right to know the progress of their children. Terminal records of students’ performance are the most important method of informing parents about the performance of their children in school. Some parents may use such records to advice their children or recommend to their teachers what steps should be taken to improve the child’s performance.

Activity 33

What is curriculum Evaluation?

Why should parents/guardians be informed?


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