Why is evaluation necessary?

Training evaluation can help to define the training objectives more sharply, get rid of unnecessary training content, ensure that training methods meet the requirements of trainees, relate them to their training needs and reduce training costs. Evaluation is part of the whole process of transformation that is education and training. It can ask whether the aims of the curriculum and the learning objectives have been achieved, what learning has taken place, and how. It can also ask what difference this has made to the learners and to their lives, their work and to their relationships to others.


Evaluation may be either summative or formative. Summative evaluation concentrates partly on whether aims and objectives have been achieved and is usually done soon after the end of the programme, since the information required needs to be obtained while it is still fresh in the minds of those involved. Impact evaluation is carried out later, in order to allow enough time to pass so that the longer-term rather than the immediate effects can emerge. In particular, it will often need some time for the views of those involved to become clear and be put into perspective. 


Formative evaluation is the on-going process of assessing and re-assessing the progress being made throughout the course, the direction in which the course is heading, and the speed at which the aims and objectives are being achieved. It can also be called ‘monitoring’. Although formative evaluation will be undertaken throughout the course by the teacher-trainers, often in association with the learners, provision should be made in the schedule of work for more systematic opportunities for review and assessment. Regular orientation is needed throughout the course to gauge how far the course has reached and how much further there is to go. By highlighting the areas that are successful and identifying those which need revision, alterations to the course can be made. The aim of formative evaluation is to provide the basis for course improvement, to determine the need for modification and ultimately to lay the foundations for future planning. It is a continuing process of critical reflection on experience leading to action.