5.1 Concept, Meaning, Definition of Curriculum Evaluation
Curriculum evaluation is an essential component in the process of adopting and implementing any new curriculum in any educational setting. Its purpose is to decide whether or not the newly adopted curriculum is producing the intended results and meeting the objectives that it has set forth. Another purpose of curriculum evaluation is to gather data that will help in identifying areas in need of improvement or change.
Why is Curriculum Evaluation Necessary?
There are several parties, or stakeholders, interested in the process and results of curriculum evaluation.
Purpose of curriculum evaluation
Educational prepares future generation to take their due place in the society. It becomes essential that substandard educational goals, materials and methods of instruction are not retained but up-dated in consonance with the advances in social cultural & scientific field. It is also important to ascertain how different educational institutions and situations interpret a given or prescribed curriculum. Hence, arises the need for curriculum evaluation.
Curriculum evaluation monitors and reports on the quality of education. Cronbach (1963) distinguishes three types of decisions for which evaluation is used.
1. Course Improvement : deciding what instructional material and methods are satisfactory and where changes are needed.
2. Decisions about individuals : Identifying the needs of the pupil for the sale of planning of instruction and grouping, acquainting the pupil with his own deficiencies.
3. Administrative regulations : Judging how good the school system is, how good individual teachers are. The goal of evaluation must be to answer questions of selection, adoption, support and worth of educational materials and activities. It helps in identifying the necessary improvements to be made in content, teaching methods, learning experiences, educational facilities, staff-selection and development of educational objectives. It also serves the need of the policy makers, administrators and other members of the society for the information about the educational system.
Objectives of Curriculum Evaluation
1. To determine the outcomes of a programme.
2. To help in deciding whether to accept or reject a programme.
3. To ascertain the need for the revision of the course content.
4. To help in future development of the curriculum material for continuous improvement.
5. To improve methods of teaching and instructional techniques.
5.2 Types and Approaches of Evaluation
Types of Curriculum Evaluation
According to Scriven, following are the 3 main types
1. Formative Evaluation. It occurs during the course of curriculum development. Its purpose is to contribute to the improvement of the educational programme. The merits of a programme are evaluated during the process of its development. The evaluation results provide information to the programme developers and enable them to correct flaws detected in the programme.
2. Summative Evaluation. In summative evaluation, the final effects of a curriculum are evaluated on the basis of its stated objectives. It takes place after the curriculum has been fully developed and put into operations.
3. Diagnostic Evaluation. Diagnostic evaluation is directed towards two purposes either for placement of students properly at the outset of an instructional level (such as secondary school),or to discover the underlying cause of deviancies in student learning in any field of study.
Techniques Of Evaluation :
A variety of techniques are employed. Questionnaire, checklist, interview, group discussions evaluation workshops and Delphi techniques are the major one.
a) Observation : It is related to curriculum transaction. Observation schedule helps the evaluator to focus his attention on the aspects of the process that are most relevant to his investigation. This method gains credibility when it contains both subjectives and objective methods. Interviews and feed-back and other documentary evidences may supplement observations.
b) Questionnaire : It is used to obtain reaction of curriculum users namely pupils, teachers, administrators, parents and other educational workers concerning various aspects of prescribed curriculum are to be ascertained
c) Check-list : It can be used as a part of questionnaire and interview. It provides numbers of responses out of which most appropriate responses are to be checked by the respondent.
d) Interview : It is a basic technique of evaluation and for gathering information. It may be formal or informal in nature. The information required should be suitably defined and the presentation of questions should in no case betray and sort of bias the part of the interviewer. e) Workshops & Group discussion : In this technique, experts are invited at one place to deliberate upon syllabi, materials etc; and to arrive at a consensus regarding the quality of the same. The materials may be evaluated against a set of criteria that might have been prepared by the evaluator
Approaches of Curriculum Evaluation
Various models of curriculum evaluation have been developed by different experts. We shall discuss four important models of curriculum evaluation in this section.
Probably the best known model of curriculum evaluation is proposed by Tyler (1950) who described education as a process in which three different foci should be distinguished. They are educational objectives, learning experiences, and examination of achievements. Tyler’s model is shown schematically in the following figure
In above, evaluation of this type is represented by the arrow marked with letter (c). This model is primarily used to evaluate the achievement level of either individual learners or of a group of learners. The evaluators working with this model are interested in the extent to which learners are developed in the desired way. Both cognitive and affective domains are given importance in this model.
In the Tyler’s model, the relationship between educational objectives and learner achievement constitutes only a portion of the model. The systematic study of the other relationship is also described in the model. The arrow (b) refers to the correspondence between the objectives and the learning experiences suggested in the curriculum and realized in the actual school situation. Arrow (L) refers to the examination of the relationship between the actual learning experiences and educational outcomes.
Stake (1969) explained curriculum evaluation in terms of ‘antecedents’, ‘transactions’ and ‘outcomes’. Let us first understand these terms. The term ‘antecedents’ refers to those aspects in which curriculum is taught, such as: time available and the other sources provided. The term ‘transactions’ refers to what actually happens in lessons, including what is done by both the teachers and learners. The term ‘outcomes’ connotes learner’s achievements, the effects of the curriculum on the attitudes of the students, as well as teacher's feelings about teaching the curriculum.
This model is known as countenance model because different people look at the curriculum and appraise it accordingly.
Stake’s evaluation model is explained as below:
Kind on Information
* Organisational background
* Time table
* Activity Records
* Pupil’s achievements
* Test and written work
Stufflebeam (1971) proposed CIPP model stressing the need for attention to context (c), Input (i), Process (p), and Product (pr). The first three terms refer to formative evaluation, while the product refers to summative evaluation. Let us discuss each of the terms, used by Stufflebeam, below.
Content evaluation : Here the curriculum evaluator is engaged in studying the environment (context) in which the curriculum is transacted. It provides the rationale for selection of objectives. Content evaluation is not a one-time activity. It is a continuous process for furnishing baseline information for the operations of the total system.
Input evaluation : The purpose of input evaluation is to get information for how to utilize resources optimally to meet the objectives of the curriculum. It includes evaluation of some sort of physical and non-physical inputs such as availability of physical and human resources, time and budget. It also includes previous achievement, education and aspirations of pupils.
Process evaluation : This is the most critical component of the overall model. Quality of the product largely depends on this component. It addresses the curriculum implementation decisions. Stufflebeam presents the following three strategies for process evaluation:
1. To detect or predict defects in the procedural design or its implementation during the diffusion stages: In dealing with plan or curriculum defects, we should identify and monitor continually the potential sources for the failure of the curriculum. The source may be logistical, financial, etc.
2. To provide information for curriculum decisions: Here, we should make decisions regarding test development prior to the actual implementation of the curriculum. Some decisions may require that certain in-service activities be planned and carried out before the actual implementation of the curriculum.
3. To maintain a record of procedures as they occur: It addresses the main features of the project design; for example: the particular content selected, the instructional strategies planned, or the time allotted to the planing for such activities.
4. Hilda Taba Model
Hilda Taba’s Social Studies Model emphasizes on the cause and effect relationship in the curriculum process. The evaluation process is based on experimental control over the study materials and its effect on the achievement of the students. The researcher prepares different sets of study materials, each set having certain variations from the other. The materials are exposed to different groups of students. After exposition, the curriculum is evaluated. The outcomes of curriculum evaluation will determine the principles of developing the new programmes
Curriculum evaluation monitors and reports on the quality of education. Cronbach (1963) distinguishes three types of decisions for which evaluation is used.
1. Course Improvement: deciding what instructional material and methods are satisfactory and where changes are needed.
2. Decisions about individuals: Identifying the needs of the pupil for the sale of planning of instruction and grouping, acquainting the pupil with his own deficiencies.
3. Administrative regulations: Judging how good the school system is, how good individual teachers are. The goal of evaluation must be to answer questions of selection, adoption, support and worth of educational materials and activities. It helps in identifying the necessary improvements to be made in content, teaching methods, learning experiences, educational facilities, staff-selection and development of educational objectives. It also serves the need of the policy makers, administrators and other members of the society for the information about the educational system.
5.3 Emerging trends in evaluation –CCE, Teacher Made Tests, Grading System
What is CCE?
CCE refers Continuous & Comprehensive Evaluation, a system of school based assessment that covers all the aspects of a student’s development. It was designed to reduce the student stress related to board exams, and to introduce a uniform and comprehensive pattern for student evaluation across the country. It emphasizes on two broad objectives: (a) Continuity in Evaluation and (b) Assessment of broad based learning. Clearly, it attempts to shift emphasis from ‘testing’ to ‘holistic learning’ with an aim of creating young adults, possessing appropriate skills and desirable qualities in addition to academic excellence.
Objectives of CCE -
· Encourage development of congnitive skills and de-emphasize rote learningØ
· Make the entire education process a student-centeric activityØ
· Help develop cognitive, psychomotor and interpersonal skillsØ
· Make holistic evaluation an integral part of entire education processØ
· Improve student's accomplishments through regular diagnostics and remedial instructionsØ
· Use evaluation to control quality and maintain desired performanceØ
· Take decisions about the learner, learning process and learning environment by determining social utility, desirability & effectiveness of the programme
1. Scholastic Evaluation
2. Co- Scholastic Evaluation
The ‘comprehensive’ component of CCE takes care of assessment of all round development of the child’s personality. It includes assessment in Scholastic as well as Co-Scholastic aspects of the pupil’s growth.
Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) refers to a system of school-based evaluation of students that covers all aspects of students development.
It is a developmental process of assessment which emphasizes on two fold objectives. These objectives are continuity in evaluation and assessment of broad based learning and behaviourial outcomes on the other.
In this scheme the term `continuous' is meant to emphasise that evaluation of identified aspects of students `growth and development' is a continuous process rather than an event, built into the total teaching-learning process and spread over the entire span of academic session. It means regularity of assessment, frequency of unit testing, diagnosis of learning gaps, use of corrective measures, retesting and for their self evaluation.
The second term `comprehensive' means that the scheme attempts to cover both the scholastic and the coscholastic aspects of students' growth and development. Since abilities, attitudes and aptitudes can manifest themselves in forms other then the written word, the term refers to application of variety of tools and techniques (both testing and non-testing) and aims at assessing a learner's development in areas of learning like :
The scheme is thus a curricular initiative, attempting to shift emphasis from testing to holistic learning. It aims at creating good citizens possessing sound health, appropriate skills and desirable qualities besides academic excellence. It is hoped that this will equip the learners to meet the challenges of life with confidence and success.
Teacher-made tests are normally prepared and administered for testing classroom achievement of students, evaluating the method of teaching adopted by the teacher and other curricular programmes of the school.
Teacher-made test is one of the most valuable instrument in the hands of the teacher to solve his purpose. It is designed to solve the problem or requirements of the class for which it is prepared.
It is prepared to measure the outcomes and content of local curriculum. It is very much flexible so that, it can be adopted to any procedure and material. It does not require any sophisticated technique for preparation.
· The items of the tests are arranged in order of difficulty.
· These are prepared by the teachers which can be used for prognosis and diagnosis purposes.
· The test covers the whole content area and includes a large number of items.
· The preparation of the items conforms to the blueprint.
· Test construction is not a single man’s business, rather it is a co-operative endeavour.
· A teacher-made test does not cover all the steps of a standardised test.
· Teacher-made tests may also be employed as a tool for formative evaluation.
A teacher-made test does not require a well-planned preparation. Even then, to make it more efficient and effective tool of evaluation, careful considerations arc needed to be given while constructing such tests.
The following steps may be followed for the preparation of teacher-made test:
Planning of a teacher-made test includes:
a. Determining the purpose and objectives of the test, ‘as what to measure and why to measure’.
b. Deciding the length of the test and portion of the syllabus to be covered.
c. Specifying the objectives in behavioural terms. If needed, a table can even be prepared for specifications and weightage given to the objectives to be measured.
d. Deciding the number and forms of items (questions) according to blueprint.
e. Having a clear knowledge and understanding of the principles of constructing essay type, short answer type and objective type questions.
f. Deciding date of testing much in advance in order to give time to teachers for test preparation and administration.
g. Seeking the co-operation and suggestion of co-teachers, experienced teachers of other schools and test experts.
2. Preparation of the Test:
Planning is the philosophical aspect and preparation is the practical aspect of test construction. All the practical aspects to be taken into consideration while one constructs the tests. It is an art, a technique. One is to have it or to acquire it. It requires much thinking, rethinking and reading before constructing test items.
Different types of objective test items viz., multiple choice, short-answer type and matching type can be constructed. After construction, test items should be given lo others for review and for seeking their opinions on it.
The suggestions may be sought even from others on languages, modalities of the items, statements given, correct answers supplied and on other possible errors anticipated. The suggestions and views thus sought will help a test constructor in modifying and verifying his items afresh to make it more acceptable and usable.
After construction of the test, items should be arranged in a simple to complex order. For arranging the items, a teacher can adopt so many methods viz., group-wise, unit-wise, topic wise etc. Scoring key should also be prepared forthwith to avoid further delay in scoring.
Direction is an important part of a test construction. Without giving a proper direction or instruction, there will be a probability of loosing the authenticity of the test reliability. It may create a misunderstanding in the students also.
· To help a teacher to know whether the class in normal, average, above average or below average.
· To help him in formulating new strategies for teaching and learning.
· A teacher-made test may be used as a full-fledged achievement test which covers the entire course of a subject.
· To measure students’ academic achievement in a given course.
· To assess how far specified instructional objectives have been achieved.
· To know the efficacy of learning experiences.
· To diagnose students learning difficulties and to suggest necessary remedial measures.
· To certify, classify or grade the students on the basis of resulting scores.
· Skillfully prepared teacher-made tests can serve the purpose of standardised test.
· Teacher-made tests can help a teacher to render guidance and counseling.
· Good teacher-made tests can be exchanged among neighbouring schools.
· These tests can be used as a tool for formative, diagnostic and summative evaluation.
· To assess pupils’ growth in different areas.
A grading system in education is a system that is used to assess the educational performance of a child which is entirely based upon points alone.
Grading system does not provide an opportunity to make the child think out of the box or freely develop the thinking about any inkling of an idea or get involved with any of the intellectual speculation.
But still, this method is widely regarded in many of the schools across the world and is kept as a strong and a viable medium to adjudge a child’s grasping and reciprocating ability by grading them.
School is a sacrosanct place and is touted to be the second home of children.
Today in the rapid life that we are living in, most of the parents are office goers and school becomes a safe haven to leave their children behind and go. Thus, schools play an essential part in the wholesome and the holistic development of each and every student they have got enrolled with.
It does not merely perform as an intermediate in which the children study and imbibe new things and habits but, they also are depicted to the actual world where they get to interrelate with their landed gentry and learn many things through understanding which nothing else can provide.
They feel that as technology is advancing, new forms of teaching, guiding and other features should also be improved. One such feature is using a grading system in education to judge a student’s capability and knowledge.
The main reason for the schools to exist in the world is to impart knowledge to the students who are studying in it and assessing the students thereby forms a vital part of the performance of the school which is usually carried as a two-way method.
Here, in this article, we are going to look in detail at the various dimensions of the grading systems in the field of education and the various advantages and disadvantages of grading system in education.
Let us now look in detail the advantages of grading system in education which is used as an inevitable tool for assessing a student’s performance at least in the school life.
In a general grading system as considered above, a student’s real scores and it’s associated marks are not accounted on the official transcript, which denotes that their GPA will not have an effect on either a pass or a fail mark category.
This spares the students from getting preoccupied and become fussy about getting an elevated letter grade like that of an O, and permitting them to unwind. It still provides the necessary educational prerequisites for them to land themselves comfortably on a good job and also mold themselves to become more responsible citizens in the future.
An even better aspect is that they will also receive some credit for the course that they have studied for all these years in the past.
One of the main advantages of this method is that the studious children are clearly discriminated from the average and below average type of students but this led to the development and mounting up of an intense pressure amidst the students.
The learning was not thought of a process that is revered to be a fun task, but rather as a hard task which they had to properly deal with in an obedient manner.
The advantages of the grading system are that the development of pressure upon the students in terms of studying has appreciably reduced.
Here, the students are bundled and grouped according to the different types of grading scales they get which are entirely based on the marks that they get in each subject that is taught in school.
A common grading scale in the United States is
· A– 90 to 100
· B– 80 to 89
· C– 70 to 79
· D– 60 to 69
· E– 0 to 59
In case of India the general pattern is as follows
· A1: 91 to 100
· A2 : 81 to 90
· B1: 71 to 80
· B2: 61 to 70
· C1 : 51 to 60
· C2 : 41 to 50
· D for 33 to 40 and lesser for E’s.
(Grading pattern courtesy: The Department of Education, Government of India and Government of United States of America)
Another advantage that this method has conveyed in the field of education is that it has introduced the notion of measuring the students’ knowledge based on their internal assignments, projects, their answering ability in class and their overall performance in all the major examinations. It is not just a solitary examination forced method.
Earlier the marks that were obtained in the exams are the only indicator of whether a child is studying or not. But, this system analyzes whether a child understands the concept or not.
In a grading system where the alphabets are the scales, a grade of C or grade of D is known to speak a lot.
So, when the total grades arrive these students can easily get to know their forte.
Of course, getting a higher grade than a D lies with the student’s prerogative only. The point is that the student does not need to toil them to achieve the necessary minimum.
5. Leads to a better rendezvous of ideas: Classes or the courses that are often taught in a classroom medium within the confined premises of a school are highly difficult and are taken in the ultimate sense as getting a pass or a fail on a subject and this builds a sense of responsibility in their minds to work and train hard in their weak spots.
Also, the following points can be considered as worthy of our importance while considering the disadvantages of grading system in education. They are,
The A grade speaks a lot about our calibre than a D or an F. With a D or an F, we can be only satisfied that we are okay enough in studies, which will make us go lazy.
An alphabet cannot explain the inner knowledge gained by a student and there is no easy way of gauging a student’s level of performance and knowledge in the examinations.
Still, the inner knowledge you have gained via these grades can be nil, as you may have attempted for learning without understanding the concept, with the sole perspective of getting an A or a C.
Getting a B could kindle the students to put an extra effort to get an A and is a step closer to getting the highest mark in a class. But, the highest rank in class tag is going to do no good for the students.
To get the tag, the students will only go for rote learning rather than be exploring and explaining the concepts on their own.
The issues of grading and reporting on student learning continue to challenge educators. However, more is known at the beginning of the twenty-first century than ever before about the complexities involved and how certain practices can influence teaching and learning. To develop grading and reporting practices that provide quality information about student learning requires clear thinking, careful planning, excellent communication skills, and an overriding concern for the well-being of students. Combining these skills with current knowledge on effective practice will surely result in more efficient and more effective grading and reporting practices.
5.4 Differential evaluation of PwID in inclusive setup
Comprehensive assessment of individual students requires the use of multiple data sources. These sources may include standardized tests, informal measures, observations, student self-reports, parent reports, and progress monitoring data from response-to-intervention (RTI) approaches (NJCLD, 2005). Reliance on any single criterion for assessment or evaluation is not comprehensive, nor is a group assessment, such as universal screening or statewide academic assessment tests, sufficient for comprehensive assessment or evaluation.
The purpose of a comprehensive assessment and evaluation is to accurately identify a student's patterns of strengths and needs. The term assessment is used in many different contexts for a variety of purposes in educational settings including individual and group, standardized and informal, and formative and summative. Some professionals use assessment broadly to include both assessment and evaluation. We are differentiating assessment and evaluation to underscore the sequence, procedures, and decisions involved in a comprehensive process.
Assessment is used in this paper to refer to the collection of data through the use of multiple measures, including standardized and informal instruments and procedures. These measures yield comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data about an individual student. The results of continuous progress monitoring also may be used as part of individual and classroom assessments. Information from many of these sources of assessment data can and should be used to help ensure that the comprehensive assessment and evaluation accurately reflects how an individual student is performing.
Evaluation follows assessment and incorporates information from all data sources. In this paper, evaluation refers to the process of integrating, interpreting, and summarizing the comprehensive assessment data, including indirect and preexisting sources. The major goal of assessment and evaluation is to enable team members to use data to create a profile of a student's strengths and needs. The student profile informs decisions about identification, eligibility, services, and instruction. Comprehensive assessment and evaluation procedures are both critical for making an accurate diagnosis of students with learning disabilities. Procedures that are not comprehensive can result in identification of some individuals as having intellectual disabilities when they do not, and conversely, exclude some individuals who do have intellectual disability.
Teacher evaluation systems often deal with all teachers and students in the same manner — regardless of individual interests, priorities, or needs for support. These systems can be complicated, time-consuming, and inefficient. In addition, standardized or third-party assessments to measure student learning are often unable to capture evidence of teaching practices that promote 21st century skills, student engagement or constructivist teaching and learning.
· The term differentiated evaluation is used to describe the impact of pedagogical differentiation on evaluation practices.
· Differentiated evaluation is rooted in the value of equity and is connected to the third orientation of the Policy on the Evaluation of Learning.
· Differentiated evaluation allows teachers to better plan their interventions in light of the various needs of their students.
· Differentiation does not stem from an individualized approach to learning. It must not lead to the abandonment of the fundamental values of evaluation, including justice and equality.
Under section 19 of the Education Act, the teacher is entitled, in particular, to “select methods of instruction corresponding to the requirements and objectives fixed for each group or for each student entrusted to his or her care.” The teacher may decide on the nature of the methods of instruction to be implemented in the classroom, in order to take into account the particular needs and requirements of a student who has an individualized education plan.
The teacher may decide, therefore, to make changes to the learning and evaluation situations in order to take into account the student’s needs. For example, this may mean changing the level of difficulty of complex tasks, the performance requirements and even the evaluation criteria to take into account the student’s individualized education plan established by the school principal.
5.5 Implications of evaluation for inclusion
Successful inclusive education requires school transformation and systems change. However, much of this reform is design-focused, and not resource-intensive. It is important to emphasise that inclusive education means that all children are together in mainstream classrooms for the majority of their day. This has demonstrated positive effects on student achievement and social wellbeing – for all children – and is far more efficient and effective than special schools and special classrooms. Often, the term ‘inclusive education’ becomes synonymous with education for children with disabilities. Whilst this may still be the primary motivation for inclusive education, successful inclusive practice will be successful for all children with many different attributes such as ethnicity, language, gender, and socio-economic status.
The key elements of successful inclusive education implementation are: A clear concept and definition of inclusive education;
· Concrete inclusive education targets, indicators, measures, and outcomes;
· An understanding of existing structural, educational, and cultural challenges to successful
· A well-designed implementation strategy that includes a clear plan, evaluation, an school review process;
· Providing inclusive education training, sustained support, and resources for all teachers and school leaders; and
· National leadership on inclusive education policy, education management information systems, curricular-reform, and coordinating social systems such as inclusive education and inclusive employment.