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CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

Communication and Nursing Education





Chapter 10




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Measurement and Evaluation

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Evaluation is an essential part of teaching learning process. In

educational setting it is the process of judging the effectiveness of
experience through careful and systemic appraisal. It is the most crucial
although most neglected part of nursing education as well as nursing care

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provided by nurses. It is the only way by which a teacher can know how
much successful his or her teaching was, what areas in teaching need
improvement, etc. Similarly, a student can know at which position he or

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she stands in the crowd of students, what are his or her learning
difficulties and so on. Evaluation is also necessary to determine the
extent to which curriculum objectives have been realized or if there is
need of any improvement.
Evaluation, measurement and assessment are three different terms
which are used synonymously, although the meanings of these terms are
slightly different from each other.

Measurement refers to the process by which physical specification (length,

height, weight) of an object is determined. It is the process of assigning a
number to an attribute (or phenomenon) according to some set of rules. It
involves collection of quantitative data as well as comparison of a
quantity with a standard unit. In an educational setting it may involve
the measurement of attitude, IQ, etc. Standardized tools and people who
are skilled in administering these tools are the prerequisites of the
measurement. For instance, we require a thermometer to measure
temperature, BP instrument to measure blood pressure, pulseoxymeter
to measure oxygen saturation, etc. and at the same time we also require a
physician or nurse to administer these tools to gather data. The end result
of measurement is the collection of data and nothing else. Measurement
in the context of learning objectives is the application of a standard scale
or measuring device to an object, events, or conditions according to
practices accepted by those who are skilled in the use of the particular
device or scale.
Assessment refers to a test which is conducted to check the progress of a
student against some predetermined learning objectives. It can be
defined as the process of documenting knowledge, skills, attitudes and
beliefs of the students, usually in measurable terms.
Remember that all tests are assessment but all assessments are not tests.
Sometimes a teacher may require some tools for assessment, for
instance, basic life-support (BLS) skill assessment checklist is a tool used
to assess the BLS skills of undergraduate nursing students. Therefore,
assessment is the specified conditions by which the behavior laid down in
an objective may be ascertained. Such specifications are usually in the
form of written descriptions.
Evaluation is perhaps the most frequently used but least frequently
noticed term among nursing faculties. It is not simply administering a
test to the students, checking the answer sheets and announcing the
marks to them, but it is the process of systematically assessing the design,
implementation and impact of programs, policies or projects. It is the
most powerful tool in the hands of teachers to enhance learning. What



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

remains in the heart of evaluation is the value or quality judgment;

without using these two core words, the term evaluation cannot be
American Evaluation Association states evaluation involves assessing
the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products,
and organizations to improve their effectiveness.
Clara M. Brown defines evaluation as never ending cycle of formulating
goals, measuring progress towards them and determining new goals,
which means objective quantitative evidence.
K Sudha R defines educational evaluations as a process of estimating and
appraising the degree and dimension of students achievements. Further,
it is the process of estimating and appraising the proficiency level of the
particular educational practice which is being conducted.
From the above definitions it can be inferred that evaluation is
systematic process to determine worth, merit, and significance of
something or someone (procedure, policy, curriculum, teaching methods,
etc.) using criteria against a set of standards.
In conclusion, we measure height or weight, coolness or hotness; we
assess teaching and learning, and we evaluate results in terms of some
set of criteria.

Philosophy of Evaluation
Some statements which depict the underlying philosophy of the
evaluation are as follows.
Each student should receive such education that most fully allows
them to develop their potential.
Students should contribute to the society and receive personal
satisfaction in doing so.
Fullest development of the individual requires recognition of his or
her essential individuality along with some rational appraisal by
themselves and others.
Composite assessment by a group of individuals is likely to be in

error than assessment made by a single person.

Every form of appraisal will have critics, which results in change
and improvement.

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Purposes of Evaluation

The overall purpose of evaluation is to provide information to enable

each student so that, he can develop according to his potential within the
framework of educational objectives.
To provide feedback to the student about his or her strength and
weakness requiring special attention by him or her.
To assess the progress of the student throughout the year.
To determine whether a particular student is competent enough to
be advanced to the next class.
To ascertain whether teaching strategies are effective or not;
whether there is a need to change the teaching strategies.
To improve the curriculum in the light of recent advances.
To satisfy the requirements of university for a curriculum.
To recommend the names of students, who are eligible for a
degree, to the university.
To report the progress of the student to the parents.
To prevent the society from the quacks and those who are not
competent professionals by blocking them from getting
To assess the non-scholastic domains of a student's personality
(interests, attitudes, values).
For the purpose of research.
Bloom stated the following main purposes of evaluation.
To predict the educational practices which a particular
student/teacher can best participate in or organize.
To discover the extent of competence which the students have
developed in initiating, organizing and improving their day to day
work and to diagnose their strengths and weaknesses with a view
to further guidance.
At the end of the course to certify students degree of proficiency in
a particular educational practice.
Purposes of evaluation in nursing education are as follows.
To determine the level of knowledge and understanding of the
students in their classes at various times during the year or



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

To determine the level of the students clinical performance at

various stages.
To determine each student's strengths and weaknesses and to
suggest remedial measures that may be needed.
To encourage students learning by measuring their achievements
and inform them of their successes/failures.
To help the students to become increasingly self-directing in their
To provide the additional motivation of examinations that provide
opportunities to practice critical thinking, the application of
principles, etc.
To estimate the effectiveness of teaching and learning techniques
of subject content and instructional media in reaching the goal of
their course.

View Point

Can you imagine what will happen if someone is provided with

UG/PG degrees in nursing without proper and objective
evaluation? In my view it will ultimately lead to compromised and
poor quality of nursing care because those students who are not
competent enough to provide quality nursing care will also get
qualified to obtain degrees/licenses for nursing practice if the
evaluation system is poor. It will also ruin the nursing education
because nursing teachers who are the product of poor evaluation
system will not have enough knowledge and teaching skills that
are required to be a competent teacher. It will further lead to
production of nurses with poor knowledge and skills as they are
trained by these incompetent teachers. This vicious cycle of
teacher and students will ultimately cost the status and reputation
of the nursing profession in the society. Therefore, valid, reliable
and objective evaluation is a critical component of the educational


Following are the steps that the process of evaluation follows.

Determine the learning objectives which are supposed to be
Determine the type of learning objectives (cognitive, skill, and
Develop valid and reliable tools to gather data related to the
learning objectives.
Tools for evaluation can be questionnaires containing essay
type questions and SAQs or MCQs, or it may be an
observation checklist for the evaluation of the skills.
Choosing a right tool for a particular type of learning
objectives is essential for the success of the evaluation.
The tools must fulfill the requirements of validity and
Determine the approach for test administration (oral or written
test, skill performance, role play, etc.).
Finalize the settings where it will be appropriate to administer the
test (classroom, clinical area, laboratory etc.).
Administer the test/tools.
Collect data.
Analyze the data.
Make judgment regarding quality and worthiness of the program
on the basis of the students scores on the test.
Provide feedback to students.
Revaluate whenever necessary.

4.1. Lack of Time

Nursing faculty often makes complaints/excuses of lack of time for not
evaluating the students regularly. Lack of time may be a result of poor
time management skills hence faculty must try to overcome this barrier;
still, if it is not manageable then they can hire external evaluators from
outside to manage the affairs so that, this core activity of the education
will not be jeopardized. They must consider that evaluation is as
important as delivering lectures or demonstrating skills to the nursing

4.2. Lack of the Skills to Carry Out Evaluation



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

Some teachers may not be competent enough to plan and execute the
evaluation schedule. These teachers must be identified by the principal of
the college and remedial actions, e.g., in-service education, refresher
courses, etc., can be planned for those who are in need.

4.3. Continuous Evaluation is not Cost Effective

Sometimes continuous comprehensive evaluation may not be cost
effective. But it should not be a reason to hamper the process of
evaluation; remedies to manage the budgets should be explored and

4.4. We Already Know Everything Which an Evaluation Will Tell Us

This is a common misconception among the nursing faculty that they
already know about the students as they are routinely encountering the
students, and hence there is no need to administer any kind of test to
assess the level of students, and it is merely wastage of time, money and
material. This psychology is totally wrong because nobody can know
about how good a student is in his or her studies until an objective,
reliable test is conducted.

4.5. Problem of Workloads of the Teachers

Nursing faculty may be excessively burdened with teaching and nonteaching works; for instance, they have to go to the clinical area for four
hours daily thereafter they have to take 1012 hour classes per week,
which means 2 classes per day; beside that they have to perform a lot of
clerical works (maintain class and clinical attendance registers, getting
the students leave signed by the principal, planning time table, clinical
rotations, etc.) so it becomes very difficult to plan and implement this
rigorous evaluation strategy which includes setting of question papers,
checking answer sheets and maintaining records of internal assessment.
That is a reason why the faculty avoids taking responsibility of internal
assessments. Education experts are required to give a thought on this
issue to solve the problem.

4.6. Problem of Lack of Curriculum Guidelines for Internal

Most of the teachers are ignorant about the items that should be covered
in internal evaluation. Sometimes curriculum may not have appropriate
guidelines for the planning and implementation of internal assessment,
or there may be lack of guidelines regarding weightage of various
internal assessment activities. Some experts in the field of education
suggest that following items should be covered in internal assessment to
make it comprehensive.
Monthly tests.
Unit tests.
Case presentations, planned health teachings.
Participation in declamation, debate and related contests.

4.7. Lack of Uniform Standards of Evaluation

Lack of uniform standards will cause inconsistency in the evaluation
process that may lead to frustration among students. Given below are
some examples of inconsistency in evaluation.
Some teachers will allow retakes of tests and quizzes, others do not.
Different policies exist for work turned in late.
The validity and reliability of student assessments vary.
There are major philosophical differences regarding evaluation.
Some teachers view learning as primarily a student responsibility,
while some place the responsibility for teaching mainly on
There is little agreement on how many assessments and what
kinds are needed for evaluation.
Even within the same school different teachers teach differently
and test differently for the same course.

Following are the principles of evaluation which must be observed to

make it an effective educational exercise.
Principle of learning objectives: this principle reflects the
importance of learning experiences in the process of evaluation.
Ideally, the evaluation should be based on learning objectives of
the curriculum.
Principle of continuity: principle of continuity emphasizes that
evaluation should be a continuous activity throughout the academic
session. Data collected over the extended period of time are more
reliable and valid indicator of a student's performance rather than
a one-day test. Therefore, students should be subjected to
evaluation every day.



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

Principle of comprehensiveness: evaluation should be as

comprehensive as possible and involve scholastic as well as nonscholastic achievements of the students (e.g., punctuality, honesty,
personality). One of the reasons for the slow progress of the
nursing profession in India is attributed to less focus on the nonscholastic part of achievement during evaluation, which shapes the
overall personality of the nursing professional.
Reliable and valid tools: tools used in evaluation play a key role in
the effectiveness of evaluation. If the evaluation tools are lacking
in reliability and validity, it will not produce authentic data of
students performance. Essay type questions in particular are poor
in reliability and validity, and hence a lot of effort is required while
framing essay types questions so that errors can be reduced in
Variety: principle of variety emphasizes the use of multiple
techniques in evaluation. For instance evaluation should involve
variety of tests as per the different types of learning objectives.

Evaluation is a judgmental process and as such it reflects the belief, value

and attitude of the participant or student. Evaluation is divided into two
categories, which are as follows.
Formative assessment or evaluation.
Summative assessment or evaluation.
The term assessment is generally used to refer to all activities teachers
use to help students to learn and to gauge student progress.
Michael Scriven (1967) coined the terms formative and summative
evaluation and emphasized their differences both in terms of the goals of
the information they seek and how the information is used. It is
assessment of learning versus assessment for learning.
The concept of formative and summative assessment can be explained by
using the example of day-to-day life when the wife tastes the soup in
kitchen while preparing, it is called formative; when the husband tastes
the soup and says wow! What a great soup! That's summative evaluation.
Formative and summative assessments are two different types of
evaluation approaches. Let us discuss one by one.

6.1. Formative Assessment

Formative assessment has a long history. It has evolved as a means to
adapt to student needs. It is more or less a reflective process that intends
to promote students attainment.
Cowie and Bell defined it as the bidirectional process between teacher
and student to enhance, recognize and respond to the learning.
Black and Wiliam consider an assessment formative when the feedback
from learning activities is actually used to adapt the teaching to meet the
learner's needs. Evaluation done to improve or change a program while
it is in progress is termed as formative evaluation.
According to Ministry of Education, New Zealand (1994) summative
assessment refers to a range of formal and informal assessment
procedures (for example, the monitoring of children's writing
development, anecdotal records, and observations) undertaken by
teachers in the classroom as an integral part of the normal teaching and
learning process in order to modify and enhance learning and
Bronwen, Cowie and BeverleyBell (1999) defined it as the process used
by teachers and students to recognize and respond to student learning in
order to enhance that learning, during the teaching.
Black and Wiliam (1998)Assessment refers to all those activities
undertaken by teachers, and by the students in assessing themselves,
which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching
and learning activities in which they are engaged. Such assessment
becomes formative assessment when the evidence is actually used to
adapt the teaching to meet the needs.
Formative assessment is the continuous comprehensive assessment of
the student throughout the year. It includes assignments, class tests, unit
tests, midterm examinations, clinical case presentations and drug
presentations, which may be conducted weekly or fortnightly. Similarly,
after teaching a unit of curriculum, the teacher should plan a test to
evaluate whether the objectives of that unit are realized or not. By doing
so, the teacher can identify the students learning problems;
effectiveness of his or her teaching as well as provide immediate
feedback to the students about their progress. It also acts as a means of
reinforcement to the students because when the students know that they
are doing a very good job it motivates them to learn better.



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

Benjamin Bloom, Thomas Hasting and George Madaus (1971) authored a

book Handbook of Formative and Summative Evaluation. In this book
they argued that to reduce variation in students achievement and to have
all students learn well, variation in instructional approaches and
learning time should be increased. The key element in this effort was
well constructed, formative classroom assessments.
Bloom outlined a specific strategy for using formative classroom
assessments to guide teachers in differentiating their instruction and
labeled it mastery learning. He viewed formative assessment as the
keystone of Learning for Mastery (explained in detail in the next
section). Every individual student has their own learning style which
may not be compatible with less varied teaching strategies. Therefore,
teachers should use their classroom assessments as learning tools, and
follow those assessments with a feedback and corrective procedure. In
other words, instead of using assessments only as evaluation devices that
mark the end of each unit, use them as part of the instructional process to
diagnose individual learning difficulties (feedback) and to prescribe
remediation procedures (correctives).
This is precisely what takes place when an excellent tutor works with an
individual student. If the student makes an error, the tutor first points out
the error (feedback), and then follows up with further explanation and
clarification (correctives) to ensure the student's understanding.
Similarly, academically successful students typically follow up the
mistakes they make on quizzes and assessments. They ask the teacher
about the items they missed, look up the answer in the textbook or other
resources, or rework the problem or task so that errors are not repeated.

Research Highlights on Formative Assessment

Royce Sadler (1989) identified three elements that are crucial to

the effectiveness of formative assessment, which are as follows.
Helping students to recognize clearly the desired goal
(understand what is required).
Providing students with evidence about how well their work
matches that goal.
Explaining ways to close the gap between the goal and their
current performance.
Self-assessment is a vital component in learning. Feedback on
assessment cannot be effective unless students accept that their
work can be improved and identify important aspects of their
work that they wish to improve. Self-monitoring is a key
component of the work of all professionals, so if we want our
students to become professional learners and professionals in
their fields we should actively promote self-assessment. If
students are asked and encouraged to critically examine and
comment on their own work, assessment can become more
dialogue than monologue, and can contribute powerfully to the
educational development of students. As Wynne Harlen and
Mary James (1996) put it, marks or grades alone produce no
learning gains. Indeed, there is some evidence that students gain
the most learning value from assessment when feedback is
provided without marks or grades. Where marks are provided,
they often seem to predominate in students thinking, and to be
seen as the real purpose of the assessment.
Five points summarize the key lessons from research about
formative assessment. Assessment that promotes learning
involves learning goals understood and shared by both
teachers and students;
helps students to understand and recognize the desired
involves students in self-assessment;
provides feedback which helps students to recognize next
steps and how to take them;
builds confidence that students can improve their work.

6.1.1. Bloom's Mastery Learning

Benjamin Bloom outlined a specific instructional strategy known as
mastery learning. This strategy emphasizes that teachers should first
organize the concepts and skills they want students to learn into
instructional units that typically involve about a week or two of
instructional time. Following initial instruction on the unit, teachers
administer a brief formative assessment based on the unit's learning
goals. Instead of signifying the end of the unit, this formative
assessment's purpose is to give students information, or feedback, on
their learning. It helps students identify what they have learned well to



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

that point and what they need to learn better (Bloom, Hastings, and
Madaus, 1971).
Paired with each formative assessment are specific corrective activities
for students to use in correcting their learning difficulties. With the
feedback and corrective information gained from a formative
assessment, each student has a detailed prescription of what more needs
to be done to master the concepts or skills from the unit. When students
complete their corrective activities after a class period or two, Bloom
recommended a second formative assessment which covers the same
concepts and skills as the first, but is composed of slightly different
problems or questions.
Formative assessments are part of instruction designed to provide crucial
feedback for teachers and students. Assessment results inform the
teacher of what has been taught well and not so well. They inform
students of what they have learned well and not learned so well. As
opposed to a summative assessment designed to make judgments about
student performance and produce grades, the role of a formative
assessment is to improve learning. As opposed to benchmark tests that
are used to predict student performance on other tests (most often state
assessments), formative assessments are intimately connected to

Formative Assessments are

To enhance learningthe purpose of formative assessment is to
enhance learning not to allocate grades, whereas summative
assessments are designed to allocate grades.
Part of instructionformative assessments are considered as a
part of instruction and the instructional sequence. What students
are taught is reflected in their assessment.

Formative Assessments Produce

Non-threatening resultsthe purpose of formative assessment
is to identify students learning difficulties and to take remedial
actions to rectify them. Its results are non-threatening as the
students are not labeled as pass or fail.
Immediate feedbackresults of formative assessments are
produced on the spot; teachers and students get them
immediately. Teachers get a view of both individual and class
performances while students learn how well they have done.
Structured informationteachers can judge success and plan
improvements based on the formative results. Students can see
progress and experience success. Both teachers and students learn
from the assessment results.
Ways to improvesummarized formative results provide a basis
for the teacher to re-visit topics in the unit if necessary. Individual
student responses provide a basis for giving students additional
experiences in areas where they performed less well.
Classroom formative assessments occur while content is being taught and
learned, and should continue throughout the period of learning and are
not meant to assign grades; thus, its primary objective is to inform the
teacher of what his or her students know or do not know. More
importantly, classroom formative assessments allow teachers to make
decisions and monitor their instruction based on student performance.
Black and Wiliam's (1998) reviewed more than 250 studies on formative
and summative assessment and concluded that formative assessments, as
opposed to summative ones, produce a more powerful effect on student
learning. Terrance Crooks (1988) also reviewed research reports and
reported that effect sizes for summative assessments are consistently
lower than effect sizes for formative assessments. In short, it is formative
assessment that has a strong research base supporting its impact on
learning (Marzano, 2006).

6.2. Characteristics of Formative Assessment

Small units are selected for assessment as soon as the teacher
finishes his teaching and students are asked for a unit test.
It includes items at each of behavioral level specified.
It helps the students to master each unit in particular and
curriculum in general.
It provides the teachers a platform to evaluate the students
comprehensively throughout the year which is a more reliable
indicator of a student's performance as compared to summative
Results of the formative assessment can be effective in reinforcing
to the students if they achieve mastery or near mastery level in
each unit of learning.
Works as effective motivators as the marks are immediately shown
to students after the result.
It helps the teachers in identifying the difficulties of the students,



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

and modify their teaching strategies to overcome learning

difficulties faced by students.

6.3. Merits of Formative Assessments (Boston, 2002)

For Teachers
Teachers are able to determine what standards the students have
achieved and up to what degree.
Teachers can decide the requirements of minor modifications or
major changes in instruction so that all students can succeed in
upcoming instruction and on subsequent assessments.
Teachers can create appropriate lessons and activities for groups of
learners or individual students.
Teachers can inform students about their current progress in order
to help them in goal setting for improvement.

For Students
Students are more motivated to learn.
Students take responsibility for their own learning.
Students can become users of assessment alongside the teacher.
Students learn valuable lifelong skills such as self-evaluation, selfassessment, and goal setting.
Student achievement can improve from 2141 percentile points.

Summative assessment refers to the evaluation of the students at the end

of the session or term for the purpose of certification, grading or
placement of the students. When evaluation focuses on the results or
outcomes of a program it is called summative evaluation. It involves the
whole syllabus of the study rather than a particular unit and includes a
mark or grade against an expected standard.
The purpose of summative evaluation is to assess the overall
achievements of the students and to judge whether a particular student
has learned enough to be promoted in the next class or is eligible for the
degree/diploma as per the predetermined criteria of evaluation. It should
not be oppressive as well as reactive as far as possible.
Bloom further classified the summative assessment in to two types, which
are as follows.
Intermediate summative evaluation: concerned with less
generalized, less transferable and more direct outcomes.
Long-term summative evaluation: refers to the evaluation of the
entire range of the outcomes that a student is supposed to learn.

7.1. Characteristics of Summative Assessment

It is the procedure to grade students level of learning in
predefined period of time.
It provides descriptive analysis of the students performance.
It is not oppressive and non-reactive as far as possible.
It is positive, tending to emphasize what students can do rather
than what they cannot.
It is concerned with broad range of educational issues.

TABLE 10.1 Difference Between Formative and Summative



Content Focus





To monitor progress of

To check final

student by getting

status of





Narrow scope

Broad scope

Daily assignment





Quarterly, etc.



Internal and external examinations are two important evaluation

strategies for the overall assessment of the student in an academic year.



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

8.1. External Examination

The process of external examination involves the external components
in terms of question paper, viva voce, examiner and checking of answer
sheets. The question papers of examination are prepared by external
panel of university experts; viva voice and practical are conducted by
external examiners appointed by the university. External examinations
are usually planned for summative assessment for a final decision. There
are some advantages and disadvantages of this approach of examination.

8.1.1. Advantages
It ensures uniformity of evaluation for all students under a
particular university or board of examination.
It strives to ensure objectivity in the examination system.
It reduces chances of biasness that may occur if examinations are
planned and executed by internal teachers only.

8.1.2. Disadvantages
It takes a lot of time to plan and implement external examination.
It requires the need of appointing external examiners.
External examiners cannot evaluate students comprehensively in
a three-hour practical test.
It is time consuming for the external examiners as they require
traveling to and fro to conduct exam.

Internal assessment is the assessment of the student by the teachers who

teach them a particular subject. The teachers themselves set the question
papers or any other activities for evaluation, administer the test and
check the answer sheets. Sometimes, it may serve as a full dress
rehearsal of external examination for the students. The marks obtained
by the students may or may not be used for final grading of the students.
Internal assessment takes into consideration not only the scholastic but
also non-scholastic achievements (punctuality, attendance, sincerity,
etc.) of the students. It fulfills the requirements of continuous
comprehensive assessment of the students by including a variety of
evaluative activities, as follows.
Viva voce.
Class work.
Project activities.
Problem-solving activities.
Clinical diary.
Cumulative records.
Written tests.
Case presentation.
Participation in declamation, debate, community health service
activities (pulse polio program).

9.1. Purposes of Internal Assessment

To help students know their strength and weakness so that they can
be motivated to work hard.
To inform teachers about the strength and weakness of their
To provide feedback for the improvement of the course contents,
teaching methods and teachinglearning process.
To reduce fear of external examinations.
To assess social, moral and personality development of the
To inculcate regular study habits among students.
To assess learning difficulties of the students so that remedial
actions can be taken by the teachers.
To supplement external examinations.
To manage the teachinglearning environment of the institution.

9.2. Advantages
Validity: internal examinations are more valid as compared to
external examination as it extensively covers the whole curriculum
through the tests conducted weekly or fortnightly.
Reliability: it is a more reliable indicator of the student's
performance as it collects data over extended periods of time.
It motivates students to study regularly throughout the academic
session, which in turn is helpful to maintain discipline of the
It enables teachers to identify difficulty in teachinglearning



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

It helps to explore potentialities among students and to overcome
learning difficulties through remedial actions taken by the teachers
for individual student.
Reduces fear of external examination among students as it makes
students habitual to regular tests.

9.3. Disadvantages
It is a time-consuming activity that requires a lot of time on the part
of the teacher to plan and implement internal tests throughout the
It may be not be cost effective.
It may include subjectivity on the part of the teacher; favoritism
may be another problem. Teachers may become liberal and lenient
because of their personal rapport with the students or some
pressure from outside.

10.1. Criterion-Referenced Evaluation

It is an assessment technique where an individual's performance is
compared to a specific learning objective or performance standard and
not to the performance of other students.
Criterion-referenced assessment tells us how well students are
performing on specific goals or standards rather than just telling how
their performance compares to a norm group of students nationally or
In criterion-referenced assessments, it is possible that none or all of the
examinees will reach a particular goal or performance standard as it is
based on prescribed learning outcomes.

10.1.1. Purposes
Determnoine individual performance in comparison to some
standard or criterion.
Items based on standards given to students (i.e., objectives); most
students should answer correctly.
Discrimination is irrelevant and should not take place;
discrimination may point to errors in instruction.

10.2. Norm-Referenced Evaluation

Combined aptitude test (CAT) which is conducted for admission in Indian
Institute of Management (IIM) is an example of norm-referenced
evaluation in which a particular examinee's performance is compared
with other examinees, and finally scores are given in percentile and not
in percentage.
Standardized tests compare students performance to that of a norm or
sample group. Norm group is the group of students who are in the same
grade. Students performances are communicated in percentile ranks,
grade-equivalent scores, or scaled scores.
The term normative assessment refers to the process of comparing one
test taker to his or her peers.
A norm-referenced test (NRT) is a type of test, assessment, or evaluation
which yields an estimate of the position of the tested individual in a
predefined population, with respect to the trait being measured.

10.2.1. Purposes
To classify students across a continuum of achievement from high
achievers to low achievers.
Ascertains the rank of students.
Determine individual performance in comparison to others.
Items produce great variance in scores, perhaps with less than 50%
scoring correctly.
Item analysis is used to select those items that were answered
correctly by those scoring high on a test but incorrectly by those
scoring low on a test (a positively discriminating item).
It is inappropriate to use NRMs to determine the effectiveness of
educational programs and to provide diagnostic information for
individual students; items cover a broad range of content and often
represent a mismatch between what is taught locally and what is
taught in other states.

10.2.2. Disadvantages
It cannot measure progress of the population as a whole, only
where individuals fall within the whole.

10.2.3. Advantages



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

One among the many advantages of this type of assessment is that

students and teachers alike know what to expect from the test and
just how the test will be conducted and graded.

TABLE 10.2 Difference Between Criterion-Referenced Tests

and Norm-Referenced Tests
Criterion-referenced tests

Norm-referenced tests



test(CRT) is aimed to

test(NRT) is aimed to rank

determine whether each

each student with respect to the

student has achieved the

achievement of others so that,

learning objectives specified

high and low achievers can be

in the curriculum.


At least four items are used to

NRT uses less than four items

test every skill so that an

to test every skill and each test

adequate sample of student

item is not equal in difficulty

performance can be obtained

level so that discrimination

for that particular skill. All

between high and low

these four test items are

achievers can be made.

equal in difficulty level.

CRT is based on the learning

NRT is based on broad

objectives which are clearly

knowledge and skill areas that

specified in the curriculum.

are chosen from a variety of

CRT identifies how much an

textbooks, syllabi, and the

individual student has

opinion of curriculum experts.

learned in relation to these

Each student's score is not

Each student's score is

compared with the score of

compared with other students

others students because it is

to assign percentile or a grade-

irrelevant in CRT to compare

equivalent score for each

the scores of students with


A student's score is usually

Scores are expressed in

expressed as a percentage.


Student achievement is

Student's performance is

reported for individual skills.

usually reported for broad skill



11.1. Time Consuming

Continuous comprehensive evaluation is a time-consuming activity.
Sometimes it may be difficult for the teachers to plan and implement
continuous comprehensive evaluation successfully.

11.2. Heavy Work Load for Teachers

The short-term evaluation increases the work load of teachers.
Moreover, it demands training, efficiency and resourcefulness on the
part of teachers.

11.3. Incomplete Without External Examination

In the absence of external examination, a public examination at the end
of the year is very essential in every scheme of evaluation.

11.4. Unethical Practices

Bad things like bribery may increase in number and intensity.


Measurement refers to the process by which physical specification

(length, height, weight) of an object is determined. Measurement is
the process of assigning a number to an attribute (or phenomenon)
according to a set of rules.
Assessment refers to a test which is conducted to test the progress of
the student against some predetermined learning objectives.
Evaluation is a systematic process to determine worth, merit, and
significance of something or someone (procedure, policy,
curriculum, teaching methods, etc.) using criteria against a set of
Evaluation process involves certain steps which start from
determination of learning objectives to collection and analysis of



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

Lack of time, lack of skills to carry out evaluation, cost

effectiveness, workload of the teachers, lack of uniform standards
of evaluation and lack of curriculum guidelines are some important
problems in evaluation.
Principles of evaluation include principles of learning objectives,
principle of continuity, principle of comprehensiveness, reliable
and valid tools and use of multiple techniques.
Black and Wiliam consider an assessment formative when the
feedback from learning activities is actually used to adapt the
teaching to meet the learner's needs.
Formative assessment is the continuous comprehensive
assessment of the student throughout the year. It includes
assignments, class tests, unit tests, midterm examinations, clinical
case presentations, and drug presentations which are conducted
weekly or fortnightly.
Benjamin Bloom outlined a specific instructional strategy to make
use of feedback and corrective procedure, labeling it learning for
mastery (Bloom, 1968), and later shortening the name to simply
mastery learning (Bloom, 1971).
Black and Wiliam (1998) reviewed more than 250 studies on
formative and summative assessment and concluded that formative
assessments, as opposed to summative ones, produce a more
powerful effect on student learning.
Summative assessment refers to the evaluation of the students at
the end of the session or term or program for the purpose of
certification, grading or placement of the students. When
evaluation focuses on the results or outcomes of a program, it is
called summative evaluation.
External examination involves the external components in terms
of question paper, viva voce, examiner and checking of answer
Internal assessment is the assessment of the student by the
teachers who teach them a particular subject. The teachers set the
question paper or any other activities for evaluation, administer
the test and check the answer sheets.
Criterion-referenced evaluation is an assessment technique where
an individual's performance is compared to a specific learning
objective or performance standard and not to the performance of
other students.
Norm-referenced evaluation is a type of evaluation in which a
particular examinee's performance is compared with other
examinees and finally scores are given in percentile and not in
Criterion-referenced evaluation is aimed to determine whether
each student has achieved the learning objectives specified in the
Norm-referenced evaluation is aimed to rank each student with
respect to the achievement of others. So that high and low achievers
can be discriminated.
Disadvantages of continuous comprehensive evaluation are that it
is a time-consuming activity, puts a heavy workload on teachers, is
incomplete without external examination, and can encourage
unethical practices.


Q 1: Define evaluation? What are the principles of evaluation?

(RGUHS 2010)
Q 2: Explain the difference between formative and summative
Q 3: Write short note on internal assessment?
Q 4: What are the purposes of educational evaluation? (MGU 2007)
Q 5: Differentiate between criterion-referenced and norm-referenced
Q 6: Explain the methods of internal assessment. (MGU 2008)
Q 7: What are the problems of evaluation?
Q 8: Explain differences in measurement and evaluation. (MGRUHS
Q 9: Explain the process of evaluation in detail.
Q 10: Criteria for selecting appropriate evaluation device. (NTRUHS



CHAPTER 10 - MEASUREMENT AND EVALUATION - Communication and Nursing Education

Q 11: How does evaluation differ from assessment and measurement?

(AIIMS, 2006)


1. Crooks, T. (2001). The Validity of Formative Assessments, Paper

presented to the British Educational Research Association Annual
Conference, University of Leeds, 1315 September
2. Cowie, B, and Bell, B (1999). A model of formative assessment in
science education. Assessment in Education, 6:101116
3. Nicol, DJ and Macfarlane-Dick, D (2006). Formative assessment
and self-regulated learning: A model and seven principles of good
feedback practice. Studies in higher education, Vol 31(2), pp.199218
4. Bloom, BS, Hastings, T and Madaus, G (1971). Handbook of
formative and summative evaluation of student learning. New York
5. Marzano, RJ (2006). Classroom assessments and grading that work.
Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum
6. Ainsworth, L, and Viegut, D (2006). Common formative
assessments. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
7. Wang, TH (2007). What strategies are effective for formative
assessment in an e-learning environment? Journal of Computer
Assisted Learning. 23(3):171186.
8. Assessment for Learning: 10 research-based principles to guide
classroom practice, Assessment Reform Group (2002), p.2
9. Boston, Carol (2002). The concept of formative assessment.
Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 8(9).
10. Block, JH (Ed.). (1971). Mastery learning: Theory and practice.
New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
11. Black, P., and Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom
learning. Assessment in Education, 5, 774.
12. Crooks, TJ (1988). The impact of classroom evaluation practices on
students. Review of Educational Research, 58, 43881.
13. Harlen, W, and James, M (1996). Creating a positive impact of
assessment on learning. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the
American Educational Research Association, New York, April 1996.





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