The Importance of Evaluation and Testing in an Educational System
2019-03-27 Mark Crocker Alumni Experiences Teaching Ideas
Although evaluation and testing are considered to be a ‘necessary evil’ by some teachers and students, it is quite absurd to call them so. Evaluation and testing should never be seen as ‘evil’, although they are certainly ‘necessary’ within a properly functioning educational system. It can be argued that no serious study is possible without evaluation and testing as they are surely the best way of judging the capabilities and progress of a student, and a serious motivation for reaching new goals.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Hira H.
Distinctions Between Evaluation and Testing
Although these terms are often used interchangeably, it is important to clarify the distinctions between evaluation and testing as they are technically different. Testing of an individual student’s progress or achievements is an important component of evaluation: It is that part of an evaluation, which includes the measurement, and analysis of information about a student’s learning. Evaluation surpasses the student’s achievements to consider all aspects of teaching and learning and is used to look at how educational decisions are made.
Also read: 5 Great Ways to Give Your Students Feedback
The Purpose of Evaluation and Testing
After the teacher has taught something, it is natural for him/her to want to know how much the students have learned, what level they are at, and what things need to be considered for the improvement of the students. Tests tell the teacher about the effectiveness of his/her teaching. The basic purpose of an evaluation is to make a judgment about the quality or worth of an educational program, or proficiency of a student’s attainments. The second purpose of evaluation and testing is to give students the opportunity to show what they have learned rather than catching them out or to show what they have not learned. The third purpose of evaluation and testing is also to motivate the students and show them how well they have learned the subject matter. The last purpose of testing and evaluation is to give the teacher useful information about how to improve their teaching methods.
Also read: 5 Simple Ways to Motivate Your EFL Students
The Importance of Planning and Instructions
It is most important for a teacher and student, that regular forms of testing should take place. However, effective evaluation and testing requires detailed planning. Preparing for an evaluation should be an integral part of the planning of each lesson or unit as well as general planning at the beginning of the school year or course. Instructions are also considered a fundamental aspect of evaluation. In order to plan and give instructions that are appropriate for an individual situation, it is necessary to understand all the factors that influence the students in your class. It is thought that teachers need to constantly evaluate their teaching based on student reaction, interest motivation, preparation, participation, perseverance, and achievement.
Also read: How To Write The Perfect ESL Lesson Plan
Common Types of Tests
The regular forms of testing provide information to guide any modifications or improvements to your course. The most common tests are as follows: The Placement Test (also called the level test) is used to check language levels for admission into school. All four language skills are generally tested here. The Diagnostic Test is done by the class teacher to know where he/she should start to teach the students. This test tells the teacher about the current position of his/her students. The Progress Test is useful for a teacher to show areas of class improvement or weakness. Aptitude Tests are designed to predict a student’s probable future performance on a course. Finally, Achievement Tests are designed to assess the student’s current knowledge and reference this forward to some future tasks (for an external exam etc).
The Outcomes of Testing and Evaluation
In the end, we can say that an efficient goal-oriented teacher’s testing plan should contain clearly understood objectives and a sufficient amount of feedback to make students aware of the strength and weaknesses of their performance. Effective evaluation and testing requires an understanding of the role of evaluation in planning, as delivering instructions and testing call on the teacher to become agents of change in their classrooms, actively using the results of testing to modify and improve the learning environment.
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