Assessment, Measurement, and Evaluation

Citation: Huitt, W. (2004, July). Assessment, measurement, and evaluation. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved [date], from

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Previously we discussed some concepts related to Science: A way of knowing that provided an overview of the processes of assessment, measurement, evaluation, and research as they are applied in educational and developmental psychology. We also discussed some relevant issues such as the difference between aptitude and achievement. You may want to review these before going any further.

Other issues we have discussed include the concept of "What You Measure Is What You Get" (WYMIWYG) which highlights the importance of focusing during instruction on those outcomes you intend to measure and the changing requirements of the information age demand that educators focus on important outcomes such as critical thinking and social skills in addition to achievement in basic skills such as reading and mathematics. However, basic skills achievement is important and this discussion of measurement and evaluation issues will primarily deal with that topic.

Classroom Assessment

Three issues are important for classroom assessment, or data collection with regards to student learning, that is under the control of the teacher. The first relates to what data we will use for making judgments (assessment and measurement). Relevant data for basic skills achievement includes mainly paper and pencil data, but data from performance in real or contrived situations are becoming increasingly important. A second issue revolves around the reference to be used for making evaluations (criterion vs. norms), and the third relates to how we will communicate our judgments to others (grades, report cards, portfolios, etc.)

Standardized Testing

One of the most important issues related to standardized testing, or evaluation where someone other than the classroom teacher is responsible for developing the test, is the difference between criterion- and norm-referenced testing. In general, criterion-referenced testing is done when we want to know how much a student knows vis-a-vis a standard and norm-referenced testing is done when we want to know how one student or group of students compares to other students in terms of the content being tested. It is important to know about the important issues of standardized testing so that you can explain test results to students and parents.

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