Typologies of Evaluation and methods
Having a look to different typologies of evaluation and its methods for better planning the approach and the needed skills to manage the entire evaluation process.
In this section, we will introduce other types of evaluation, this time categorized according to their actors (personal, interpersonal, group), to their functionality (formative, summative) and their nature (quantitative, qualitative). In this way, would be possible for the trainer planning in advance with kind of evaluation would like to implement and also which outcomes would be foreseen.
Sometimes evaluation is something though, at the very last minute of a training, we saw already in the article about “Knowledge of evaluation process and assessment mechanism” that it is a long term process and that needs to been very well reflected before being applied.
It is very important to understand all these levels of the evaluation process for being able to understand how to apply, which skills are needed too.
Here we can have a look at different typologies of Evaluation. Each of them has a different value and also a specific function in concluding the learning or the quality of the activity.
Trying to summarize the most important dimension of an evaluation:
Personal evaluation is the kind of evaluation in which each individual or actor involved in the educational process makes their judgments and draws their conclusions about the experience they have had.
Interpersonal evaluation happens when more than one individual actor involved in the educational process shares and discusses their judgments and conclusions. Often this kind of evaluation takes place in a small group setting. While individual judgments may change as a result of the interpersonal evaluation, arriving at a consensus is not the aim. The purpose is simply to share and discuss those individual evaluations.
Group evaluation has an added dimension. Since the group as such is part of the context and very often an important source of learning in non-formal education, group evaluation specifically at aspects and dimensions of the learning process can be observed and judged from a group point of view.
Formative evaluation accompanies the learning process and can contribute to it. It consists of continuous appreciation, ongoing analysis, and concluding.
The summative evaluation looks at the overall and outcomes (e.g. the fulfillment of the objectives, learning achievements, organizational implications and impact in a wider social context). In other words, it consists of the verification of the expected results and concluding at the end of the process
The quantitative evaluation focuses on the “quantity” of the experience. It aims to count or measure different phenomena (literally). The major questions that quantitative evaluation raises include “How many?”, “How much?” and “How often?”. For instance: How many young people participated in the youth exchange? How many countries were represented? How often did they stay in touch with each other after the exchange?
Qualitative evaluation, on the other hand, relates to the quality of the program and the experience. So, qualitative evaluation looks at the meaning of the experience for different actors. This can be on an individual level or a group level. The questions that qualitative evaluation usually raises are “How” and “Why”. For instance: Why did the participants of the contact-making seminar not create any follow-up projects? How were the methods of work presented in the training course used by the participants once they went home?
How to apply it in everyday work?
For preparing an evaluation, you can use different methods linked to different outcomes and, as seen above, to the specific dimension that you would like to foster in your evaluation. It is not possible to run the same evaluation on different processes and even more difficult to approach the “reading of the findings” in a similar way.
Try to identify for each of the dimensions above mentioned the most suitable methodology for running an appropriate evaluation. Among the methodology that you will identify, please note the ones that you feel comfortable to run in a training course and the ones that you wouldn’t feel comfortable to propose in a group and try to understand why.
Evaluation is an essential part of training and as such, each trainer should understand which is the best way for running and provide the group opportunity the learn during it.
If you would like to have some inspiration about methods, you can refer to Part 2 of the TKit of Council of Europe about Evaluation: https://pjp-eu.coe.int/documents/1017981/1667909/Part2_T-Kit10.pdf/2c695894-3014-47fa-a090-570ff9f4f2c8
- Is it an important evaluation for you?
- How to evaluate?
- Which evaluation methods will you use?
- In which sequence and combination will the methods be organized/used?
- Which are the different kinds of information? Quantitative or qualitative? Written, verbal, non-verbal?
- From which sources will you collect the information?