Evaluation makes the curriculum development a cyclic chain of activities. Essentially, there had been what can be described as a “checklist”.
These include the goals, aims, and objectives formulated, the learning experiences and, content selected, organized, and integrated.
Apart from these, other factors have been taken for granted as being available: students’ entry behavior, teacher’s training, maturity and experience, and, physical environmental conditions.
It is through evaluation that we ascertain whether or not the stated objectives are achieved.
Put in another form, it is a process of finding out how far learning experiences and content of instructing as selected and organized are producing the desired effect.
Through evaluation procedures, the weaknesses of the curriculum program are detected. Besides, evaluation serves other purposes:
It is a source of motivation on the part of both the learner as well as the teacher. For example, in Oyo State, there is a statewide examination that is meant to enable the educational authorities to assess the performance of every pupil and determine his/her suitability for higher education.
If it is a guidance-oriented evaluation and it is comprehensively conducted, it should provide useful information about the student in terms of his ability and aptitude. The curriculum guides the schools and learning institutions regarding the activities of the schools and learners.
Through it, the curriculum developer would be able to change and alter his method of implementation to ensure an improvement of the teaching/learning situation.
In short, evaluation is supposed to expose the desirability and appropriateness of needs diagnosed and the efficacy of other activities performed to get to the desired end.
Mainly, evaluation could be formal through the use of paper and pencil or formal, unsystematic through observation and such activities. It could be an evaluation of student achievement or that of a curriculum program.
Evaluation could be diagnostic, that is trying to locate the learning problems of the learners and therefore find solutions to them.
It could be formative, which is the curriculum programs are improved and revised by a process of continuous assessment. Formative evaluation is to make the result of summative evaluation positive.
In other words, diagnostic testing should lead to the improvement of the program for school use or students achievement as the case may be.
As asserted by Yoloye (1978), this is consumer-administrator-teacher oriented evaluation while the formative evaluation is regarded as developer-author-publisher-oriented education.
Particularly, because our discussion on evaluation here is concerned with curriculum programs, a developer of any curriculum should be conversant with the place of such conditions, such as the antecedents, transactions, and outcomes.
By antecedents, we mean the condition prevailing before the introduction of the program. Such conditions include the quality and qualifications of teachers, intellectual ability, socio-economic status and cognitive styles of students, and the conditions of the learning environment.
The curriculum should be effective.
For the program, it means that its effectiveness of it should be measured from the time of implementation till a particular point in time if such measurement would be needed to make a decision.
On students’ achievement, the performance of students is measured from the time they start schooling till a particular point in time when the outcome of the measurement will be needed for a decision on the child.
Any continuous assessment therefore should be cumulative, systematic, comprehensive, and guidance-oriented.
It affords the opportunity of identifying the weakness of either the program or the student as the case may be before it becomes complicated.
The curriculum should be reliable.
Evaluation results should be consistent. The score of any group no matter the time the test is administered should not be too different.
Apart from this the discriminatory line also should be drawn. That is pupils who scored high marks when the test was first administered should not be seen scoring low marks, vice, versa.
The curriculum should be valid.
Validity refers to the extent to which the results of an evaluation procedure serve the purpose for which they are concerned.
From various experiences, some question papers have been found to lack face validity not to talk of the whole materials therein.
If, for example, an instrument is designed to test proficiency in Yoruba and not English Language as it sometimes appears.
The curriculum should be comprehensive.
This means it should be on all areas of educational objectives, i.e. the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.
To make a useful evaluation, the evaluator should test, measure, and assess. Testing is seen as the recording of students’ performance or behaviors generally in a controlled manner.
Measurement is a process of assigning numerical values to qualities. That is it implies a kind of scale on which individuals can be measured.
For example, how old is Bola? How much money does Toyin have? How long is the field? Are questions for measurement?
Assessment could therefore be taken as a process of investigating the status of the individual, a material concerning other members.
Evaluation, therefore, does not only concerned with making judgments about educational outcomes, it also caters to the material used as well as the other processes involved before concluding. It seeks to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum. It is an important aspect of curriculum planning and development.
The evaluation of the units is based on stated objectives. However, a continuous assessment built into the instruction procedures could be better.