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The Science and Art of Evaluating Learners and Learning

In both formal schooling and training, there's a tendency to focus on the learning process, without paying great attention to the process of evaluating learners, and learning. As a result, a lot of educators and trainers are poorly equipped to understand both the science and art of evaluation.

The Critical Importance of Evaluation

Evaluation of learning and learners is the key to improving learning efficiency, improving the learning process, and tailoring instruction to learner "states". Let's look at the role of evaluation in several contexts.

Pre-Instruction Learner Evaluation

Evaluating the needs and levels of expertise of learners is important from square one. Here are some of the questions pre-instructional learning addresses, from square one (the instructional design process right through to delivery).

  • Matching instructional content and processes to learner experience, ability and existing skill levels is the key to making learning work. The only way to get that information is to pre-evaluate potential learners.
  • Pre-evaluation gives us a baseline to use when evaluating the success of training, since without knowing where we started from, we can't know whether our learning interventions worked.

Evaluation DURING Instruction (Formative Evaluation)

Trainers and educators who cannot evaluate progress during learning cannot modify what they are doing to respond to individual differences during instruction. While evaluation during instruction need not be formal, it's a necessary component to allow optimal flexibiity.

Post-Instruction Evaluation (Both Formative and Summative)

Post learning evaluation is best done during the instructional design phase, so that course objectives and outcomes can be linked to some kinds of measurable outcomes. Not only is the process to evaluate learners, but also to feed back so the instructional approaches can be put into "continuous improvement" mode.

Top : Evaluating Learners : Essentials For Evaluating Learning In Training Seminars


Evaluating Classroom Training Results By Anthony Griffin & Adam Lang
How a trainer and general manager used evaluation meetings to assess the overall value of training in a small manufacturing plant. Hits: 453 )

Item Bias Review By Ronald Hambleton and Jane H. Rodgers
When important decisions are made based on test scores, it is critical to avoid bias, which may unfairly influence examinees' scores. This article introduces three issues to consider when evaluating items for bias -- fairness, bias, and sterotyping. Hits: 318 )

Learning For Life By Sherry Royce and Richard Gacka
A study produced by the 'Success Stories' Project of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Bureau of Adult Basic & Literacy Education. Hits: 412 )

An Introduction to Classroom Assessment Techniques (pdf) By na
Provides an overview of classroom assessment techniques and general recommendations for their use. Briefly describes and provides examples of the Background Knowledge Probe, Misconception/Preconception Check, Minute Paper, Documented Problems, and Categorizing Grid assessment methods. Hits: 312 )

Evaluation of Learning Outcomes By na
Evaluation permits the critical question to be asked and answered: have the goals and objectives of new curriculum have been met?  It assesses individual achievement to satisfy external requirements, and provides information that can be used to improve curriculum, and to document accomplishments or failures. Evaluation can provide feedback and motivation for continued improvement for learners, faculty, and innovative curriculum developers. To ensure that important questions are answered and relevant needs met, it is necessary to be methodical in designing a process of evaluation. Nice overview that includes a diagram of amodel to assess medical competence. Hits: 328 )

Evaluation: Making It Work By MAHEC Office of Regional Primary Care Education
Basic, but good overview of evaluation and teaching. Practical, and not overly theoretical, because it's designed for teachers who also have lots of other job responsibilities. Includes evaluation biases issues, and the G-R-A-D-E system. Hits: 349 )

Evaluating Training Effectiveness By n a
Find out why it is essential to measure your organization's training effectiveness. Learn about the Kirkpatrick model for evaluating training effectiveness. Hits: 694 )

Evaluating Learners, the Learning Process, and Yourself By na
This appears to be a book chapter made available on the net, and it's really a basic webpage, but you might find it a good starting point for thinking about evaluating the learning process, learner progress, and not least of all, your ability to teach and how to improve it. Hits: 399 )

Other Topics Related To This One

  • Improving Training Effectiveness
  • Measuring and Evaluating Training Effectiveness
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