Evaluation is the measurement of achievements in relation to objectives and targets set in the beginning. Evaluation studies are of two types, formative and summative. Formative evaluation refers to those studies carried out to assess the effectiveness of the programme in progress, and summative evaluation is carried out after completion of the programme. Formative evaluation is based mainly upon quantitative indicators and provides feedback for corrective actions during implementation, while summative evaluation addresses both quantitative and qualitative dimensions. In brief, formative evaluation helps to correct the weaknesses of a programme as it is operating, whereas findings of summative evaluation are used for planning of future programmes.
A number of techniques and instruments may be used to collect and analyse data related to the quantitative and qualitative impact-of basic literacy and follow-up materials on learners and neo-literates.
(A) Quantitative Evaluation
Quantitative evaluation of a basic literacy or follow-up programme may be carried out on the basis of the following information:
1) Number of primers, booklets, audio-visual aids, posters, games, newspapers etc planned for development and production, compared to the number actually produced up to the end of a certain phase
(B) Qualitative Evaluation
The following tools/techniques can be employed in qualitative evaluation of basic literacy materials:
1) Pre-and post-testings of learners
All these are aimed at evaluating learner's achievements and skills and assessing the acquisition of desirable skills and understanding according to the programme's objectives.
Qualitative evaluation of a follow-up literacy programme may also aim to investigate the following dimensions:
1) Extent of utilization and acceptability of the material by the target neo-literate group
Tools/techniques, sample size and methodology of data collection and analysis will vary in each case, depending upon the type of material, its contents, target population for which the material was produced/used, and resources available to carry out the evaluation. Possible patterns for the evaluation of various types of follow-up materials have been indicated in Appendix. This represents a guideline, whereas actual application will require adaptation and modifications according to the situations prevailing in the respective countries, regions and localities.
Evaluation is an important and fundamental feature of any educational activity. Its significance is vital for follow-up literacy programmes, as considerable resources and labour invested in the "literacy phase" and on production of materials can be wasted if follow-up activity fails to achieve its objectives.
The following questionnaire developed for evaluating follow-up materials presents a sample of questions one may ask to collect necessary information.
Evaluation of Follow-up Literacy Materials
(1) Contents _________________________________________
18. Would you please give suggestions how to improve this book?
19. Would you please suggest measures for promotion of reading habits/advancement of knowledge of neo-literates in your area?
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