What is the importance of tests and evaluation to learners and instructors?
Is there a better way of judging the capabilities and progress of learners than testing and evaluating?
Test and evaluation are considered indeed necessary within any properly-functioning education system.When instructors want to gain insight into what their learners have understoodand plan for instruction guides, they will test and evaluate their students.
Test and evaluation play a significant role in how students learn, what motivates both the students and instructors, and how instructors teach.
What is test and evaluation?
It can be argued as the process by which components are compared against requirements and specifications through testing (testing- a mechanism to assure the quality of a product, system, or capability).
Evaluation is the process of critically examining a program. Like in the case of exams, it involves collecting and analyzing exams or tests.
Evaluation is purposed to judginga program to help improve the effectiveness of the program.Therefore, test results are evaluated to assess the progress of the performance.
What is the relationship between test and evaluation?
Test and evaluation are often used interchangeably. However, when developing instructions, it’s essential to differentiate between the two.
From the definition point of view, a test means an instrument/tool used to measure data about the specific trait. Also, it can be defined as the procedure to elicit a response to get information.
On the other hand, evaluation is the process of interpreting, analyzing, and assessing the data obtained from the test. In other words, evaluationis the statistical analysis of the data as per the test's purpose.
Now, what is the relationship between the two?
From their meaning or definitions, it is obvious the term test and evaluation are interrelated. A test is the specific measurement instrument, and without a test, the measurement would seem impossible. And the measurement is a vital technique for measuring evaluation. Test measurement describes a situation, while evaluation helps judge the worth of thecase.
What type of evaluation should you consider?
Evaluation comes in two broad categories—formative and summative evaluation.
What is Formative evaluation?
Are evaluation conducted by the test creatorbefore or during program development and implementation. They are useful when you want direction to follow in achieving your goals or improve your objective. It helps generate data on the need and set a baseline for subsequent monitoring.
Under formative evaluation, there are two types of evaluation. Need assessment and processor implementation evaluation.
What is summative evaluation?
This is the evaluation conducted after the program or test has been done.It’s purposed to providing information on the effectiveness of a program. Included types of evaluation under summative are;
Outcome evaluation-which investigates the extent to which a program is achieving its outcomes. And impact evaluation-which help determine changes that occurred as a result of the program outcome.
There are different types of evaluation.However, in all forms of assessment, they must possess specific characteristics or qualities.
What makes agood evaluation?
More often, education programs will be well-intentioned and highly effective. However, different education systems could provide different ways to achieve good educational outcomes for learners.
Therefore, an effective evaluation system must;
Have clear and measurable objectives
To understand the effectiveness of a test or program, the evaluation process should have a clear understanding of what the program is to achieve. In addition to that, the objective of the test also needs to be measurable.
In other words, any evaluation process should be informed by the purpose. What is the reason for that evaluation?
Have a linkable activities and outcomes
Effective programs like tests should have very clear of sight between the need the tests are meant for, the available resources at hand to administer the test, and how the activities are undertaken. Also, there should be a relation between the resources and how the process will deliver outcomes.
The evaluation question should determine the method of evaluation
As a test creator, when you developed a clear problem statement and established intended outcomes, you can create coherent evaluation questions.
Now, any quality evaluation should dwell on whether the program delivered what was intended. But if not, then why?Was the intended outcome reached, and were the results positive or negative? And many more.
Have clear plans on how to use the test results
The educators or instructors have to be open-minded about choosing the type of evaluation to use and have in mind what the evaluation results might show. Then they must be prepared to act or react either way.
In other words, evaluation should not be a tool to justify something. You can also read what makes a good test.
For better test results and evaluation, both the instructors and the students/learners must prepare well for the tests.
What preparations should be put in place for quality test results?
Preparations by the learners/students.
For quality test results and evaluation, learners must ensure they put in place the best methods to help them grasp the content and concepts given by their instructors.
Here are some of the quick tips that would help learners to study well for tests;
a) Allocate yourself enough study time
For effective results in any test, you must ensure that you give yourself enough time to study. Make a study timetable or study plan that will fit your way of studying.Besides, a good study plan timetable will ensure you cover all your study areas,among other benefits.
With a practical timetable, you will organize yourself, know how much content you have to cover and the time left before the exam. When you are well prepared, you are geared for better results, which will lead to a successful evaluation.
b) Ensure you have a good study space
It’s tough to understand the content of what you read if your environment is noisy and unfavorable. Besides, studying in a dark room with scattered arrangements of resources will be a drawback.
Therefore. You must ensure you pay attention to any exact thing that might distract you and remove them from your study place. Ensure it is well lighted with enough space to place your study resources.
You must ensure that you feel comfortable in your study place for you to concentrate fully. A friendly environment will lead to full focus and mastery of content and concept. Thus good test results and better evaluation.
c) Use flow chats and diagrams
Visual aids will enable you to make associations between pieces of information. Besides, it will ensure you soak up chunks of content quickly and serves as a memory aid.
As a learner, you need to transform your revision notes into diagrams. The visual remembrancewill aid your readiness when doing tests. And the possibility that you are going to score marks leading to a better test resultis high.
d) Avoid distractions
Distractions can be in the form of your fellow learners. For instance, you are socializing, texting, and talking, among others.
For you to concentrate on your studies, you must ensure that you avoid any form of distraction. Do away with chats, phones, or people unless you are doing a group discussion.
In other words, do not multi-task during your studies
e) Practice more
One of the most effective ways to prepare for any test or exam is to practice more often. You can practice by using old tests, which can help give the format or direction of settings and formulate questions.
Practicing gives you ideasof what to expect. Besides, practicing with old questions will provide a worthy time measurement you will need for the actual test.
f) You need to take regular breaks
It would be better if you have some regulars study breaks in the midlist of your study program.
Apart from allowing you to refresh your mind, breaks are needed to help the brain regain its focus.In other others to help you maintain your attention and regain your motivation.
Some other tips students or learners could use to prepare for tests includes;
Take advantage of the available resources like the library, consulting other students and instructors. Snack on healthy food and above all have a positive attitude towards your study. Also, do not cram.
When these factors are considered, your chances of getting good results from your tests are very high. That means you are most likely to be evaluated high.
How should instructors and teachers be prepared before test evaluation?
As much as it is the students' responsibility to take tests, teachers are indirectly taking the tests. Therefore, instructors have to ensure they prepare themselves in the following ways.
Prepare on what to assess.
Instructors must have plans or layout of the concept to test. Suppose you want to assess the students’performance, knowledge, and how it is used. In that case, you'll have to design your test questions to evaluate your learners’ ability to apply what was taught in class.
Watch how you communicate your ideas
Your communication style can affect the test results of your students.
The way you express your questions and the terms you used will determine what your student write in the exam papers or tests.Let’s say you decide to use complex or unambiguous wordings in your test; not all the learners may know all the words.
Therefore, ensure you choose the most understandable wordings for your testto avoid confusion or misinterpretations of tests.Keep it short and simple.
Prepare what to test
As an instructor, you have to ensure that whatever you give a test to your students are aligns with the topics you have taught or provided in the course outline.
Also, ensure your test is consistent with the course objectives/goals or outcomes of the course.
There are several reasons why instructors and teachers administer a test to their students.
Reasons and importance of tests and evaluation to learners and instructors
Test seeks to identify what students have learned or mastered
Most instructors would give tests to help measure their learners’ understanding of specific content taught or how they can apply the critical skills.
How does this benefit students?
Depending on the students’ performance, the instructors would identify the learners' weaknesses and strengths and correct them. They would use the result to evaluate the learners’ level of growthand achievements at the end of a project or a unit.
When learners poorly, they will have to rethink what could have gone wrong then seek help from their instructors for their improvement.
Importance to instructors
When you give a test to individuals and they happen to perform desperately, then as an instructor, you would want to go back and recheck what could have happened.Was it your setting style? Were the test set instructions clear or too wordy? Among other considerations.
Of course, people will mostly associate the poor performance of the whole class with poor teaching skills. No teacher or instructor would want to be termed a failure.
Therefore, poor test results would ensure the instructor identifies loopholes and amend them for best mastery and performance.
In other words, the test helps both the instructors to identify which areas of the material/coursethe students not understood and give more attention to those areas to enable student progress and improvement.
Testing to provide statistics
Both the institution, instructors, and students would want to know how they are progressing. For the institution knowing how many students and passing or failing and their average performance would be essential for inter-institutional improvements.
Therefore, testing enhances statistics, which provides a structure for collecting data and transforming it into useful information.
How does test- evaluation statistics help instructors?
It helps instructors and teachers provide the exact type of description.
When instructors want to know the students who administered the test, they will evaluate the learners' results. From the results, they would be able to describe the students' performance.
Enables instructors to summarize the results in a convenient form.
Test statistical data ensures the instructors make learners’ information more meaningful and express. Besides, they will draw a general conclusion and extract conclusions from the evaluated test results.
Moreover, test-evaluation statistics can enable instructors to predict the future performance of their students.Teachers or instructors would be able to predict how much score a student will make in their next test from their entrance tests.
Of course, the prediction may be erroneous as a result of different factors. However, statistics tell you about the margin of error allowed in making predictions.
Test and evaluate to accredit qualification
There are programs and professions that demand individuals to demonstrate evidence that they did acquire certain skills or knowledge on specific areas of needs. For instance, proof of the final year examination certificate or a certificate of participation in an area, among others.
Test-evaluation to accrediting instructors’ qualification
One significant role of evaluation is to gather details on the students' performance and determine how to help them through. Therefore, when an instructor can be accredited qualification as the individual behind a specific group of students' success, they get motivated to continue with good work.
Sometimes instructors' course or unit is mentioned as the most improved unit. Of course, it was a united effort of the students and the instructor. However, it feels good to have a certificate to show some suitable activities.
How does student benefit from evaluated qualifications?
As a requirement to land or qualify for professional practice or program, most learners and students are aware that they must have appropriately evaluated test results. Besides, they must have a certificate or proof of the results/approval to get absorbed in the profession's specific fields.
For example, for any learner who studied medicine to handle any professional clinical activities, they must produce credentials (license) that prove they are allowed to operate.
This will ensure the learners work towards achieving the best result to be absorbed in their different lines professions.
Test and evaluation as a motivation factor
The test is a competitive factor. Testing is asking students to demonstrate their understanding of the subject matter. Meaning the students will competeto let the instructors know how best they have understood the concepts.
How can test motivate teachers and instructors?
One of the best good things that can happen to any instructor is the feeling that their students are doing well in their lectures. Therefore, testing and evaluation ensure instructors have feedback on their teaching.
They will be able to evaluate their teaching. For instance, supposed the students perform well, the teachers will be motivated to keep on. However, a desperate performance can demoralize the teacher, especially when they feel they have kept more effort into their teaching.Better still, it will help them pinpoint areas they should put in additional effort.
Then comes the evaluation of their understanding.
How can test motivatelearners?
Tests can intrinsically or extrinsically motivate students.Besides, when the students test their knowledge, they want to know how they are progressing or developing.
Therefore, if they sit for a test and fail, they would work hard to make good results next time. In this case, they will make changes in regards to the prior evaluated failed results.
Also, they will be more geared to make it right in their post and follow-up test. This implies students will open their books and practice the skills learned more often when an evaluation is coming.
Test to determine recipients of awards and recognition
How does test and evaluation determines instructors’ award and recognition?
We live in a highly competitive world. In our daily lives or interactions, we knowingly or unknowingly compete for things and with others.
Besides, even instructors would want to be awarded. One primary attribute of giving awardsin learning institutions is good results from tests and evaluations done.
Therefore, this implies that when learners get good results, it is because of the students' efforts, which the instructors facilitated, meaning the instructor played a significant role in getting the results. And they'll have to be awarded or motivated.
The motivation may come in terms of them being accredited certificates as the "best" instructor. Several opportunities may come as the result of your students' test evaluation.
How does test and evaluation determines learners’ award and recognition?
As a motivation, most learning institutions will have some presents installed for the best-performed students or learners. For the learners to be awarded these presents, they shall have passed some tests and evaluations completed.
Therefore, in such cases, tests are used to determine who gets or receives the allocated awards or recognition in learning institutions. This means the students will have to compete and work extra hard to get recognized or awarded.
Some of the additional importance of evaluation are;
Besides judging, evaluation acts as a diagnostic; being a comprehensive and continuous process means the instructors would be able to find out problems with the failing students.
Through evaluation, instructors will be able to change their learners' behavior in the course of clarifying the objectives of education.
Assist in classification- it enables teachers to identify the levels of their students' performance, abilities, intelligence, and interests. This offers a basis on which instructors can classify the students providing guidance.
Any institution or instructor's primary goal to issue tests and evaluations for their students is to gain insight into what the students have understood.
To instructors, giving tests and evaluating students help the judge or assess the students’ performance. They can identify if the progress levels of their students. Besides, test and evaluation helps accredit qualifications, acts as a motivation factor,
Moreover, tests and evaluation are vital in getting statistics and determining recipients’ awards and recognition, among other benefits.