Evaluation is a process where a facilitator gets feedback from participants about how they experienced the workshop. Assessment is a process for measuring what participants have learnt and whether they have achieved their objectives (for the workshop).
Evaluation is about judging the overall value or worth of your workshop. By using various evaluation tools you can get information from participants that will tell you how they experienced the workshop, what contributed to the learning process and what hindered it. This information will help you decide whether the workshop was successful, whether it achieved what you wanted it to, and what the problems were. In this way you can build on your strengths and learn from your mistakes. So, workshop evaluations can be used for different purposes, such as:
Your evaluation will provide you with information about one or more of the following aspects:
As a rule, you should always include some form of evaluation in your workshop plan, either as an ongoing evaluation throughout the workshop, or at the end of the workshop.
The most common form of evaluation is probably the questionnaire handed out at the end of a workshop for participants to complete and hand in. However, evaluation can be included at different stages of a workshop. For example, a ‘Mood evaluation’ can be done at the same time each day to evaluate participants’ moods. This can help you pick up any negative feelings about the workshop early on, and you can try to deal with the issues that are creating the negative feelings.
While evaluation looks at the overall value and worth of the workshop, assessment has to do with measuring what participants have learnt at the workshop.
Assessment measures what participants have learnt against set standards. ‘Set standards’ in a workshop programme are the learning objectives defined at the beginning of the programme. The learning objectives should say clearly what the participants should be able to do at the end of the workshop and the assessment helps to see whether they have actually achieved this.
In a workshop on child abuse and human rights protection mechanisms, the learning objectives are for participants at the end of the workshop to be able to:
So, by the end of the workshop, participants should be able to do what is described in the objectives. They could write a test or complete an assignment to determine whether or not these learning objectives have been achieved.
In order to see whether participants have achieved the objectives, you will measure one or more of the following:
Your assessment of the learning in these workshops could be to set a test where participants have to draw up a budget for a specific case-study set or do an assignment where they draw up a budget for a specific project.
Your assessment of learning in this workshop could include a test where participants have to list the rights that apply to refugees, explain how they would apply these rights in their own case work and define positive steps that can be taken to stop discrimination against refugees in their own community
You do not always have to include assessment in your training workshop. It all depends on the nature and the purpose of the workshop.
Note: You need to be cautious if you do decide to include assessment in your workshop. Adults are not used to being assessed and may feel threatened. So, if you are planning to do an assessment you should discuss this with the participants at the beginning of the workshop – they need to understand why it is necessary and how it can help them.