Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment vs Evaluation
 

Assessment and Evaluation are two different concepts with a number of differences between them starting from the objectives and focus. Before we go into details about these differences that set assessment and evaluation apart, let us first pay attention to the two words themselves. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, assessment means appraisal. Then, according to the same dictionary, evaluation is estimation or determining the value of something. So, these processes are used in the field of education very often to test the quality of teaching and learning processes. That is done to let the educational institutes find out what more can be done to improve the education offered by those educational institutes.

What is Assessment?

Assessment of a process means we are understanding the state or the condition of that process through objective measurements and observations. When it comes to education, assessment means the same as the general meaning of the word, but we have to remember another fact. That fact is that assessment in education is done in order to improve the process. The assessment pays attention to learning, teaching, as well as the outcomes.

When it comes to the timing of an assessment, it is an ongoing process that is determined to improve learning. Think about this. An assessment can be a small paper given to the students by their lecturer. The intention of such a paper is to understand how well the students know the components of the subject. This shows how much they have learnt. Also, some lecturers like to give assessment tests at the beginning of the course to find out what the students know already about the subject. This is done so that the lecturer can have a general idea and can arrange the course content to suit the needs of the students.

Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation

What is Evaluation?

Evaluation is determining the value of something. So, more specifically, in the field of education, evaluation means measuring or observing the process to judge it or to determine it for its value by comparing it to others or some kind of a standard. The focus of the evaluation is on grades.

When it comes to the timing of an evaluation, it is rather a final process that is determined to understand the quality of the process. The quality of the process is mostly determined by grades. That is such an evaluation can come as a paper that is given grades. This type of paper will test the knowledge of each student. So, here with the grades, the officials come try to measure the quality of the programme.

Assessment vs Evaluation

What is the difference between Assessment and Evaluation?

• Definition of Assessment and Evaluation:

• Assessment of a process means we are understanding the state or the condition of a process through objective measurements and observations.

• Evaluation is determining the value of something.

• Timing:

• Assessment is more of an ongoing process. It is formative.

• Evaluation is more of a final process. It is summative.

• Focus of Measurement:

• Assessment is known as process-oriented. That means it focuses on improving the process.

• Evaluation is known as product-oriented. That means it focuses on the quality of the process.

• Administrator and Recipient:

• The relationship administrator and recipient share in assessment is reflective. There are internally defined goals.

• The relationship administrator and recipient share in evaluation is prescriptive as there are standards that are externally imposed.

• Findings:

• Findings are diagnostic in assessment as they are for identifying areas that need improvement.

• Findings are judgmental in evaluation as they come to an overall score.

• Modifiability of Criteria:

• Criteria are flexible in assessment as they can be changed.

• Criteria are fixed in evaluation to punish the failures and reward the success.

• Standards of Measurements:

• These standards of measurements in the assessment are set to reach ideal outcomes.

• These standards of measurements in the evaluation are set to separate better and worse.

• Relationship between the students:

• In the assessment, the students are trying to learn from each other.

• In the evaluation, the students are trying to defeat one another.

• Outcome:

• Assessment shows you what needs improving.

• Evaluation shows you what has already been achieved.

As you can see, both assessment and evaluation are important processes in the field of education. In other fields also, assessment and evaluation play important parts. For example, think that there is a software. The creators can give this software to a group and ask them to use it and tell what they think. Here, that is an assessment as they get to see what needs improving and what has been done correct. Then, once the software is completed, the same group can evaluate this. That evaluation will rate how good the software is.

Images Courtesy:

  1. Assessment by Michael Surran (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Evaluation by Msfitzgibbonsaz (CC BY-SA 3.0)