The terms assessment and evaluation are used in a variety of contexts within higher education, and often are used interchangeably. However they are quite different in how and when the review is implemented, the focus of the review, and what is done with the findings of the review. The table below compares assessment and evaluation.
|Content: timing, primary purpose||Formative: ongoing, to improve learning||Summative: final, to gauge quality|
|Orientation: focus of measurement||Process-oriented: how learning is going||Product-oriented: what’s been learned|
|Findings: uses thereof||Diagnostic: identify areas for improvement||Judgmental: arrive at an overall grade/score|
Content adapted from: Angelo, T and Cross, K.P. 1993. Classroom assessment techniques a handbook for college teachers. Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA. Pp 427.
Assessment encompasses everything from institutional level assessments, to assessment of student learning outcomes for an individual course. With regard to teaching and learning, assessment can be considered as the systematic collection and analysis of information to improve both endeavors.
Carnegie Melon University has created a great online resource about assessment of teaching and learning. The website includes assessment basics, detailed descriptions of how to assess students’ prior knowledge, learning, and performance, as well as your teaching, and department and program level assessment strategies.
This section of the website will focus assessment and evaluation in two areas:
- Of Your Teaching including: formative mid-semester evaluations (PLUS/DELTA); peer observation of teaching; student evaluation of teaching (SET); and Class Climate the online course evaluation tool
- Of Student Learning including: classroom assessment techniques, and guidelines for student outcomes assessment at ISU
Guidelines for Student Outcomes Assessment at Iowa State University
Classroom Assessment Techniques: Quick Strategies to Check Student Learning in Class
Using a PLUS/DELTA Assessment Technique
Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET): Guidelines and Recommendations for Effective Practice
Strategies for Better Course Evaluations and Analyzing Student Feedback
Class Climate: Online Course Evaluations