Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 107

Evaluation is a necessary part of learning. Unless it doesn't involve those who are being evaluated.

Evaluation is a tremendously powerful process.

And a necessary one.

Without evaluation, it would be tough for us to grow, learn, or reflect.  We need to know how we are doing, and we need to be provided with nuggets of thought to help us reach the benchmarks and goals that we set for ourselves.

Regardless of what the talk is around learner and leader evaluation today, no one can deny the importance of evaluative practice.  Where we appear to be split (and likely not evenly) is on what this process should look like, and how much influence the person being evaluated should have.

While I'm just one person, and while my thoughts on the matter are not necessarily that much more informed than the next person's, I firmly believe that for evaluative practices to be truly beneficial, those who are being evaluated need to share the driver's seat with those doing the evaluating.

It isn't enough for those being evaluated to know or understand how the process will work.  Instead, evaluation must be a two-way street.  Both the evaluator and the "evaluatee" must work to design the instrument used together, and must realize that interpretation can never be removed from even the most well-defined instruments.

For that reason, any and every evaluation should be about improving practice, rather than "asssigning scores."  As research has shown us, all written feedback is negated the minute grades come into play.  Whether the learner is an adult or a child, this still holds true.

If we want our evaluative practice to be meaningful for everyone, we have to make sure that everyone holds a stake in the process, and the process is transparent, with the sole goal of improving practice as the rationale.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! Relationships and conversations have to be a part of evaluation. We cannot settle for mere accountability. Only growth and learning will do as a goal. Well said, Fred.