Educational evaluation is the process by which teachers, schools, and students are evaluated to indicate the effectiveness of education and the degree to which students integrate and understand information. As a single catch all term, it can refer to just about any type of evaluation, which can be performed at any level of the education process. In reality, it often refers to either the process of evaluating education as provided by teachers and schools or evaluating the ongoing education of students through testing and similar methods. Educational evaluation is typically defined based on the context in which it is being used and can refer to different things within those contexts.
For teachers, educational evaluation is usually about monitoring the methods used by teachers and the rate of success with which they are able to assist students in learning. This type of evaluation is typically performed both at a large level for an entire school and at a specific level for individual teachers. Though it seeks to measure the effectiveness and performance of teachers, educational evaluation of this type is often based on student achievement and performance.
In order to measure student performance, however, educational evaluation of students is often required through a number of different methods, typically including some form of testing. This testing can take a number of different forms, and though standardized testing has greatly increased in popularity lately in certain regions, such as the United States (US), there are many other types of testing as well. Some forms of testing, such as multiple choice and true/false testing, are often quite simple to grade but can be less effective than other types for determining actual knowledge.
Multiple choice tests are often derisively referred to as “multiple guess,” as they provide a number of possible answers to a problem or question and the student must choose the correct one. While this can gauge understanding, it also provides students an opportunity to blindly guess at the right answer without any real learning. This type of educational evaluation is often used with standardized testing to make the answers easier to evaluate, but can be a poor form of testing.
More meaningful educational evaluation is often preferable, and typically requires more lengthy grading time, but also provides more accurate measurements of knowledge. Essay tests, short answer problems, and similar types of testing usually require more effort from a student and can more effectively allow a student to demonstrate understanding and mastery of a subject. By properly evaluating the knowledge of the students, it then often becomes easier to better evaluate how teachers are performing in their role as educators and facilitators.