Evaluation: What is it?

Evaluation involves scheduled, formal sessions between the learner and preceptor. The content should be based on objective data and personal observation. One end product is a summary of performance that contributes to a grading process established by the course directors.

Effective student evaluation includes an ongoing process of data collection and interactions. -- from setting expectations on the first day, to ongoing observation and behavior-specific feedback. An awareness of evaluation should be maintained throughout the rotation.

Feedback is the act of providing the information from your ongoing observations and assessment of the learner. It is best if it is specific to the behavior observed and given as close in time to the event as possible.

There are a number of characteristics of constructive feedback:

  • It is descriptive rather than evaluative.
  • It is specific rather than general.
  • It is focused on behavior rather than on the person.
  • It should be given to help the receiver, not hurt.
  • It is directed to behavior that can be changed .
  • It is solicited rather than imposed.
  • It is timely .
  • It involves sharing information rather than giving advice.
  • The amount of information provided does not overload the recipient .
  • It concerns what is said and done, or how , not why.
  • It is checked to insure clear communication .
  • It is checked to determine degree of agreement from others .

Taken from: A Handbook for Faculty Development by William H. Berquist and Steven R. Phillips, The Council for the Advancement of Small Colleges, Washington, DC, 1975.