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1 Definition

  • Evaluation is the systematic determination of merit, worth, and significance of something or someone. (from Wikipedia: Evaluation)
  • Most people use evaluation in a broader way than assessment: " When such a distinction is made, 'assessment' is said to primarily involve characterizations- objective descriptions, while 'evaluation' is said to involve characterizations and appraisals - determinations of merit and/or worth. Merit involves judgments about generalized value. Worth involves judgments about instrumental value. For example, a history and a mathematics teacher may have equal merit in terms of mastery of their respective disciplines, but the math teacher may have greater worth because of the higher demand and lower supply of qualified mathematics teachers. " (from Wikipedia: Evaluation)

See also:

2 Is there a field of evaluation ?

Here is a longer quote from Michael Scriven (1999):

The discipline of evaluation is devoted to the systematic determination of merit, worth, or significance. It is divided into fields according to the type of entity evaluated--for example, program evaluation, or personnel evaluation--and there are more than twenty of these recognized fields of evaluation. Some specific aspects of evaluation methodology have been developed to solve problems of evaluation in only one or a few of these fields (e.g., bias control in panel selection, systematic side-effect identification in program evaluation, road-testing techniques in product evaluation). However, the underlying logic of the process of evaluation--for example, the difference between merit and worth, or between grading and ranking--and a substantial portion of its general methodology (e.g., techniques of measurement, causality determination, applying the requirement of informed consent) are shared across all or many of these fields

3 Links

  • The Wikipedia evaluation article provides a good introduction to evaluation and points to many specific evaluation methodes, techniques and approaches of interest to us.

4 References

  • Scriven, Michael (1999). The nature of evaluation part I: relation to psychology. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 6(11). Retrieved March 7, 2006 from [1]