Assessment Versus Evaluation In Nursing Education

Afza.Malik GDA

Evaluation and Assessment In Nursing Education

Assessment Versus Evaluation In Nursing Education

Assessment Versus Evaluation,Determining the Focus and Components of Evaluation In Nursing Education,Audience of Evaluation In Health Education.

Assessment Versus Evaluation

    Although assessment and evaluation are highly interrelated and the terms are often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. The process of assessment focuses on initially gathering, summarizing, interpreting, and using data to decide a direction for action. In contrast, the process of evaluation involves gathering, summarizing, interpreting, and using data after an activity has been completed to determine the extent to which an action was successful. 

    Thus, the primary differences between these two terms are in the timing and purpose of each process. For example, an education program begins with an assessment of learners' needs. From the perspective of systems theory, assessment data might be called the “input.” 

    While the program is being conducted, periodic evaluation lets the educator know whether the program and learners' progress are proceeding as planned. After program completion, evaluation = identifies whether and to what extent identified 2 needs were met and learning outcomes were achieved. Again, from a systems theory perspective, these evaluative data might be called “intermiate output” and “output,” respectively. 

    An important note of caution: Although an evaluation is conducted at the end of a program. that is not the time to plan it. Evaluation as an afterthought is, at best, a poor idea and, at worst, a dangerous one. At this point in the educational program, data may be impossible to collect, be incomplete, or even be misleading. Ideally, assessment and evaluation planning should be concurrent activities. 

    When feasible, the same data collection methods and instruments should be used. This approach is especially appropriate for outcome and impact evaluations, as is discussed later in this chapter. “If an all too frequently heard lament, which can be avoided or minimized by planning ahead. 

Determining the Focus and Components of Evaluation In Nursing Education

    In planning any evaluation, the first and most crucial step is to determine the focus of the evaluation. This focus then guides evaluation design, conduct, data analysis, and reporting of results. The importance of a clear, specific, and realistic evaluation focus cannot be overemphasized. Usefulness and accuracy of the results of an evaluation depend heavily on how well the evaluation is initially focused. 

    Evaluation focus includes five basic components: 




(4) scope

(5) resources (Ruzicki, 1987). 

    To identify these components, ask the following questions:

1. For which audience is the evaluation being conducted? 

2. For what purpose is the evaluation being conducted? 

3.Which questions will be asked in the  assessment? 

4. What is the scope of the evaluation?

 5. Which resources are available to conduct the evaluation? 

Audience of Evaluation In Health Education

    The audience includes the persons or groups for whom the evaluation is being conducted (Dillon, Barga, & Goodin, 2012; Ruzicki, 1987). The primary audience is the individuals or groups who requested the evaluation or who will use the evaluation results and the general audience is those who might benefit from the findings of the evaluation. 

    Thus, the audience for an evaluation might include patients and their families, peers, other professional colleagues, the manager of a unit or ambulatory care area, a supervisor. the chief nursing officer, the staff development director, the chief executive officer of the institution or agency, or a group of community leaders. 

    When an evaluator reports results of the evaluation, all members of the audience must receive feedback. In focusing the evaluation, however, the nurse educator carrying out the evaluation must first consider the primary audience. Giving priority to the individual or group that requested the evaluation makes it easier to focus the evaluation, especially if several groups representing diverse interests will use the results of an evaluation.

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