(Unit -1)


Concept of Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation

Despite their significant role in education the terms measurement, assessment, and evaluation are usually confused with each other. Mostly people use these terms interchangeably and feel it very difficult to explain the differences among them.  Each of these terms has a specific meaning sharply distinguished from the others.


In general, the term measurement is used to determine the attributes or dimensions of object.  For example, we measure an object to know how big, tall or heavy it is.

Measurement is normally shown by using numbers.

 For example, measuring a box, or weighing it. Measurement is always with reference to some scale.  In educational perspective measurement refers to the process of obtaining a numerical description of a student’s progress towards a pre-determined goal.  This process provides the information regarding how much a student has learnt. Measurement provides quantitative description of the students’ performance.


It refers to the process of judging some ability or deciding about some ability.

 For example, testing your ability for driving or in classroom; testing IQ. A test is an instrument or a systematic procedure to measure a particular characteristic.  For example, a test of mathematics will measure the level of the learners’ knowledge of this particular subject or field. A test is a set of items.


Assessment: is a broader term and including measurement and testing also; it is usually with reference to some goals.

For example, your assessments; like you have to learn hundred words by this weekend. So, your assessment will be related to those 100 words that how much and how firmly you have learnt them.

 Assessment is also related to organizations/ institutions. All organizations assess their employees such as inspection teams visits the organization/ institutions.  Kizlik (2011) defines assessment as a process by which information is obtained relative to some known objective or goal. Assessment is a broad term that includes testing.

 For example, a teacher may assess the knowledge of English language through a test and assesses the language proficiency of the students through any other instrument for example oral quiz or presentation.  Based upon this view, we can say that every test is assessment but every assessment is not the test.  In short, we can say that assessment entails much more than testing. It is an ongoing process that includes many formal and informal activities designed to monitor and improve teaching and learning.


Evaluation: is a complex process and broader term including measurement, testing and assessment.  All these things give you the value of the product/process that you are going to access.  Evaluation also provides us with the ground for improvement. The central idea in evaluation is "value." When we evaluate a variable, we are basically judging its worthiness, appropriateness and goodness. Evaluation is always done against a standard, objectives or criterion.  In teaching learning process teachers made students’ evaluations that are usually done in the context of comparisons between what was intended (learning, progress, behaviour) and what was obtained. Evaluation is much more comprehensive term than measurement and assessment. It includes both quantitative and qualitative descriptions of students’ performance.  It always provides a value judgment regarding the desirability of the performance. For example, Very good, good etc.

Classroom Assessment

Assessment is the systematic collection, review, and use of information about educational programs undertaken for the purpose of improving student learning and development.  Hamidi (2010) developed a framework to answer the Why; What, How and When to assess. This is helpful in understanding the true nature of this concept

Why to Assess:

Teachers have clear goals for instruction and they assess to ensure that these goals have been or are being met.  If objectives are the destination, instruction is the path to it then assessment is a tool to keep the efforts on track and to ensure that the path is right. After the completion of journey assessment is the indication that destination is ahead.

What to Assess:

Teachers cannot assess whatever they themselves like. In classroom assessment, teachers are supposed to assess students' current abilities in a given skill or task. The teacher can assess students’ knowledge, skills or behaviour related to a particular field.

How to Assess:

Teachers employ different instruments, formal or informal, to assess their students.  Brown and Hudson (1998) reported that teachers use three sorts of assessment methods – selected response assessments, constructed-response assessments, and personal-response assessments. They can adjust the assessment types to what they are going to assess.

 When to Assess:

 There is a strong agreement of educationists that assessment is interwoven into instruction. Teachers continue to assess the students learning throughout the process of teaching.

Types of Assessment

Assessment for Learning (Formative Assessment)

It is a type of testing in which a range of formal and informal assessment procedures employed by teachers during the learning process in order to modify teaching and learning activities to improve student attainment.  This assessment provides students with the timely, specific feedback that they need to enhance their learning. The essence of formative assessment is that the information yielded by this type of assessment is used on one hand to make immediate decisions and on the other hand based upon this information; timely feedback is provided to the students to enable them to learn better.

 If the primary purpose of assessment is to support high-quality learning then formative assessment ought to be understood as the most important assessment practice.  Garrison, & Ehringhaus, (2007) identified some of the instructional strategies that can be used for formative assessment:

·        Observations:

Observing students’ behaviour and tasks can help teacher to identify if students are on task or need clarification. Observations assist teachers in gathering evidence of student learning to inform instructional planning.

·        Questioning strategies:

 Asking better questions allows an opportunity for deeper thinking and provides teachers with significant insight into the degree and depth of understanding. Questions of this nature engage students in classroom dialogue that both uncovers and expands learning.

·        Self and peer assessment:

 When students have been involved in criteria and goal setting, self-evaluation is a logical step in the learning process. With peer evaluation, students see each other as resources for understanding and checking for quality work against previously established criteria.

·        Student record keeping:

 It also helps the teachers to assess beyond a "grade," to see where the learner started and the progress they are making towards the learning goals.

Assessment of Learning (Summative Assessment)

Summative assessment refers to the assessment of participants, and summarizes their development at the particular time.  In contrast to formative assessment, the focus is on the outcome of the program.

 Key points use for summative assessment: -

·        Assessment of participants

·        Development at a particular time

·        The outcome of a program

The purpose of this assessment is to help the teacher, students and parents know how well student has completed the learning task.  In other words summative evaluation is used to assign a grade to a student which indicates his/her level of achievement in the course or program.  

Assessment as Learning

Assessment as learning means to use assessment to develop and support students' meta-cognitive skills.

 This form of assessment is crucial in helping students become lifelong learners.  As students engage in peer and self-assessment, they learn to make sense of information, relate it to prior knowledge and use it for new learning.  Students develop a sense of efficacy and critical thinking when they use teacher, peer and self-assessment feedback to make adjustments, improvements and changes to what they understand.  

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