Evaluation and Rewards
From the time we are born, we are weighed, measured, and evaluated in various ways until we die. In fact, even before birth, our heartbeat, fetal position, and other characteristics may be evaluated. Those who are highly weight conscious may stand on the scales several times per day -- or fear the day they must be weighed. Being evaluated may not involve much thinking for the moment, but most of the evaluations we face will involve thinking, feeling, and acting to varying degrees. And when we die, many religions hold that we face the eternal judgment, a judgment based on the life we have led.
In the world of work, we also face evaluations of various kinds, some of which lead to advancement in position, usually with higher earnings and/or higher status and privileges. Some rewards may be special recognition or increased opportunity for self-expression and creative pursuits. Although this chapter will focus on evaluation issues common in school settings, many of these also apply in work settings. Conversely, rewards and recognitions apply in school settings, albeit they are usually not monetary. Key ideas regarding evaluation and rewards are shown in Fig. 9.1.
Too often evaluation is equated with testing; that is, the kind of paper-and-pencil tests we take in school or to qualify for a driver's license. The latter may require performance evaluation also as we try to parallel park and do the other tasks required, at least to some criterion level of skills with perhaps 70% or better success. Performance evaluation occurs in schools also, especially in schools of dance, music, art, and design, but also in science laboratories, language classes, and increasingly in all kinds of classes.
Using the Vee heuristic as a framework to understand the role of evaluation, we see that the fundamental problem in measurement is to obtain valid and reliable