|Type of paper:||Literature review|
|Categories:||Teaching Learning Students Software|
Program evaluation refers to the judgment that a professional makes on the program concerning the current standards. In the education sector, professionals always undertake academic program evaluations to ascertain the relevance of the program and make a comparison if it fits the quality standards required by both the education and the employment sectors (Dauphinee, 2015). Several approaches can be used to evaluate an application. However, this paper will review pieces of literature that applied Stake's congruence-contingency approach to program evaluation. In Stake's proposal, an evaluation is primarily based on a comparison between the dream results and the exact outcomes of the program. If the precise results fail to match the dream results, then the program can be considered ineffective, and the application of adjustment mechanisms becomes necessary. Whenever an academic program evaluation is undertaken, it is better to understand its impacts on various parties, including the students and the teaching staff in the department dealing with communication and culture.
The Importance of Educational Evaluation
Educational Evaluation programs are vital in life and the progresses of both students, scholars, and learning institutions. His article, Disha (2016), highlights that a student can only learn his educational progress through an evaluation. Teachers, therefore, evaluate the performance of students by giving tests based on topics once they are completed. Nonetheless, examinations are also provided at the end of the semester to monitor the level of understanding that students have achieved in the whole course unit. Disha (2016) presents several benefits that educational evaluation brings to both students and teachers. The first importance is the role it plays in the learning process. Both lecturers and students need evaluation at equal rates. Teachers, for example, need to understand the amount of work they have done while teaching the students. Sometimes, they may have passed some topics with only a few students following the c. Under such situations, lecturers will tend to transform their communication methods while delivering points in class. Therefore, when they give tests, they will understand the specific areas where students still get challenges. Students, on the other hand, find it easy to spot the areas where they have problems entirely so they can create time for further studies and consultations.
Evaluation helps in formulating objectives and learning experiences. Learning objectives are essential for every student as they help transform their culture towards achieving such goals. If a student has not been working smart educationally, the evaluation will help unveil the clear picture through ratings by marks. Both students who fall short of the requirements and those who go beyond the pass marks tend to set some goals which they feel would be desirable if they achieve when the next tests come. In his article Disha (2016) developed an opinion that educational evaluation is beneficial to lecturers and students by boosting the quality of students. He, however, doesn't provide a specific subject and the adjustments that can be made to keep a check on the quality improvement further.
The views of Mullis & Martin (2017), are, however, different from those of Disha in terms of the importance of educational evaluation. Mullis & Martin (2017) mostly concentrate on how assessments mold students to fit into their respective sectors in the real field of employment. They argue that when an evaluation is held, students get time to revise some of the areas they least understood. In that case, they get more knowledge, which may help them to fit in their future job responsibilities perfectly. For example, in the communication sector, some students lack the relevant skills to attract the attention of their audience. Therefore, when evaluated for such skills, they will make constant improvements until they can deliver the best speeches with relevant communication skills. The culture of the students will, thus, change when they opt to work on improving their skills, unlike the leisure that people get when they have no impending tests. Apart from the outcome orientation, Mullis & Martin (2017) also provide a criterion to be used in the educational evaluation. The importance of the requirements is to ensure the success rate of the assessment remains high.
Dauphinee (2015) combines both educational and program evaluation to provide a deeper understanding of their benefits. According to him, academic programs expose learners to employment opportunities. The education acquired at the university and college levels corresponds to the standards required in the fields of employment, while the quality of that education is realized through evaluation. The tertiary learning platforms give the students the relevant knowledge that can help them fit in their various fields should they get assumed into the jobs.
Evaluation and Assessment
In most cases, evaluation and assessment have been taken to mean the same thing. However, when the goals and the methods are taken into consideration, several differences can be identified between the two terms. The two are compared based on several criteria, including their definition, purpose, nature, feedback, and even the measurements of standards, among others, as outlined by Mullis & Martin (2017). Various book authors and researchers have taken their time to dig deep into the possible differences between evaluation and assessment. The entire article, written by Surbhi (2017), talks about the differences that exist between assessment and evaluation. He outlines that the two terms are differentiated depending on many factors, which include but not limited to their definition, measurement standards, aims, and their orientations. The table below thus summarizes the ideas that Surbhi (2017) tends to bring to our understanding.
The basis for Comparison Assessment Evaluation
- Definition The process where data is collected and reviewed in order to improve the performance of the current situation. Evaluation involves judgment based on the existing standards.
- Aim Provision of feedback on the performance of the projects and the areas that need possible adjustments. Calculation of the extent in which a criterion thrives to achieve its goals.
- Orientation Focuses on the process Focuses on the product
- Criteria The criterion under an assessment is set by both the assessor and the assessed. The criterion under evaluation is based on the perspective of the evaluator alone.
- Measurement standards Absolute Comparative
- Feedback Under assessment, the feedback is based on observation which gives both the negative and positive findings. Conversely, evaluation focuses on and reports the quality level based on each standard.
- Relationship between parties Reflective Prescriptive
- Concerning the outlined differences, a limitation that can be spotted is that the two terms cannot be used in other platforms differently. For example, grammar looks at them as substitute words for each other, and changing that fact may be a hard thing.
Previous Studies on Evaluation
Most people undertake an evaluation of academic programs to understand the level of performance that specific programs or curricula activities in learning have. The importance of the evaluation processes is based on the reasons for particular evaluations. However, among all the benefits accrued from the evaluation processes, the quality of students' learning conditions should be highly prioritized and then may be followed by the effectiveness of the teaching staff. Keramati and Ahmadi (2011) conducted a quality evaluation in post-graduate studies of education management. In their project, they outline the processes that should be followed to create dependable results from the assessment. The four steps are planning, development, execution, and actions in case of need for improvements. In every step of the evaluation, the evaluator/supervisor is required to have sufficient knowledge about the requirements of every level. The evaluator should also be ready to assemble all the resources needed to extract information and to monitor the progress.
The relevance of the techniques and evaluation tools is one of the most important things to keep in mind during an evaluation process. If the devices are not conforming to the aims of the process, then the most probable effect would be insufficient or misleading information. In his evaluation process, Jayaratne (2016) used many tools, including both formative and summative techniques. A formative technique is any evaluation method used during the process of evaluation, for example, observation of the progress. On the other hand, summative techniques are used to evaluate a process based on the final results obtained, for example, summative interviews. The different forms of evaluation put into consideration include the impact and outcome evaluation tools. Both the impact and the outcome evaluation are usually undertaken at the end of the whole project to gauge how the learning process has been affected.
The evaluation concentrated mostly on the MA students of Tehran University. Keramati and Ahmadi (2011) used several ways to analyze their data. The first method was the establishment of related questions. The second method, which boosted both their evaluation and analysis, was the setting of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) (Dauphinee, 2015). The performance indicators are regarded as the checkpoints of a program once it is implemented. In their evaluation, Keramati and Ahmadi (2011) show the indicators to include the reactions of the students based on the program and how it is taught. The performance of the students was also a key indicator in their evaluation. The third indicator was the adjustment of the lecturers to the program, which needed to be positive.
The Results and Effects of the Evaluation on the Educational Process.
Sometimes, the results of a program may be completely different from the expectations of the evaluator and the thoughts of the institution. At other moments, the exact outcomes may be almost similar to the expected results. The former situations mean the program is needy and needs several adjustments to produce the quality of education required. In the latter case, the program is viewed to be fit enough to deliver quality education. However, there has never been a 100% successful program. Therefore, even if the results of the incumbent program look similar to the intended results, some adjustments must be made to ensure that the quality is improved to better standards.
From the evaluation undertaken by Keramati and Ahmadi (2011), the final results produced a bit of negative deviation from the expectations. That means the management habits of MA students at Tehran University were a little bit poor and needed some transformation. The methods of communicating the management styles and giving lectures could not provide the students with some time to master whatever they are taught. Most lecturers gave full details of the course topic and provided the students with notes through their emails so they could go and do a revisit of the coursework. The first problem with this style of teaching is that the students feel they are acquitted with every resource and have no reason for further studies.
Academic program evaluation always has various impacts on educational processes. The consequences are divided into three major categories; that is, has implications on students, lecturers, and the entire institution (Keramati and Ahmadi (2011).
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