Meaning of Curriculum Evaluation
Evaluation essentially is the provision of information for the sake of facilitating decision making at various stages of curriculum development. This information may pertain to the program as a complete entity or only to some of its components. Evaluation also implies the selection of criteria, collection and analysis of data. It includes obtaining information for use in judging the worth of a programme and procedure. It is a comprehensive term and transcends standardized tests covering all means of ascertaining the results of construction.
Evaluation of curriculum is an integral and essential part of the whole process of curriculum development. It is a continuous activity and not a "tail-end-process". Evaluation and planning are complementary processes which occur almost simultaneously and continuously. Planning is made on the basis of evaluation and vice versa. However, as a separate state evaluation has its own entity.
The importance of curriculum evaluation is to determine the value of the curriculum itself is the curriculum appropriate for the particular group of students with whom it is being used? Are the instructional methods selected, the best choices in the light of the objectives sought? Is the content the best that could be selected? Are the materials recommended for instructional purpose appropriate and the best available for the purpose envisaged?
Objectives of Curriculum Evaluation
- To determine the outcomes of a programme.
- To help in deciding whether to accept or reject a programme.
- To ascertain the need for the revision of the course content.
- To help in future development of the curriculum material for continuous improvement.
- To improve methods of teaching and instructional techniques.
Types of Curriculum Evaluation
According to Scriven, following are the 3 main types
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.