Unidad 3

3 Evaluation

Evaluation is a methodological area that is closely related to, but distinguishable from more traditional social research. Evaluation utilizes many of the same methodologies used in traditional social research, but because evaluation takes place within a political and organizational context, it requires group skills, management ability, political dexterity, sensitivity to multiple stakeholders and other skills that social research in general does not rely on as much. Here we introduce the idea of evaluation and some of the major terms and issues in the field.

Definitions of Evaluation

Probably the most frequently given definition is:

Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the worth or merit of some object

This definition is hardly perfect. There are many types of evaluations that do not necessarily result in an assessment of worth or merit — descriptive studies, implementation analyses, and formative evaluations, to name a few. Better perhaps is a definition that emphasizes the information-processing and feedback functions of evaluation. For instance, one might say:

Evaluation is the systematic acquisition and assessment of information to provide useful feedback about some object

Both definitions agree that evaluation is a systematic endeavour and both use the deliberately ambiguous term ‘object’ which could refer to a program, policy, technology, person, need, activity, and so on. The latter definition emphasizes acquiring and assessing information rather than assessing worth or merit because all evaluation work involves collecting and sifting through data, making judgements about the validity of the information and of inferences we derive from it, whether or not an assessment of worth or merit results.

The Goals of Evaluation

The generic goal of most evaluations is to provide «useful feedback» to a variety of audiences including sponsors, donors, client-groups, administrators, staff, and other relevant constituencies. Most often, feedback is perceived as «useful» if it aids in decision-making. But the relationship between an evaluation and its impact is not a simple one — studies that seem critical sometimes fail to influence short-term decisions, and studies that initially seem to have no influence can have a delayed impact when more congenial conditions arise. Despite this, there is broad consensus that the major goal of evaluation should be to influence decision-making or policy formulation through the provision of empirically-driven feedback.

Types of Evaluation

There are three main types of evaluation: formative, summative, and diagnostic. Formative evaluation is an ongoing classroom process that keeps the students and educators informed of students’ progress. The main purpose of formative evaluation is to improve instruction. This type of evaluation helps the teachers understand the degree to which students are learning the course material and the extent to which their knowledge, understanding, skills, and attitudes are developing. Students are provided direction for future learning and are encouraged to take responsibility for their own progress.

Summative evaluation occurs most often at the end of a module. Its primary purpose is to determine what has been learned over a period of time, to summarize student progress, and to report on progress to students, parents, and educators.

Seldom are evaluations strictly formative or summative. However, it is important that teachers make clear to students the purpose of assessments and whether they will later be used summatively.

Diagnostic evaluation usually occurs at the beginning of the school year or before a unit of instruction. Its main purpose are to identify students who lack prerequisite knowledge, understanding, or skills, so that remedial help can be arranged; to identify gifted learners to ensure they are being sufficiently challenged; and to identify student interests. Teachers conduct all three types of evaluation during the course of the school year.


1. Tipos de Evaluación








Lecture Note Taking

Before class: taking_notes guidelines

NOTE TAKING. Why take notes in class?


  1. Organized notes will help you identify the core of important ideas in the lecture.
  2. A permanent record will help you to learn and remember later.
  3. The lecture may contain information not available anywhere else. This will be your only chance to learn it.
  4. Lecture is where you learn what your instructor thinks is important, and he makes up the exams.
  5. Class assignments are usually given in the lecture.
  6. The underlying organization and purpose of the lecture will become clear through note taking.




    • Make some preparation for the lecture so that you will be more likely to predict the organization of the lecture.
      • CHECK THE COURSE OUTLINE to see if the lecturer has listed the topic or key ideas in the upcoming lecture. If so, convert this information into questions to be answered in the lecture.
      • BEFORE THE LECTURE, complete outside reading or reference assignments.
      • REVIEW THE TEXT ASSIGNMENT and any reading notes taken.
      • REVIEW NOTES from the previous lecture.
    • Sit as near to the front of the room as possible to eliminate distractions.
    • Copy everything on the blackboard and transparencies, especially the outline.
    • Have a proper attitude. Listening well is a matter of paying close attention. Be prepared to be open-minded to what the lecturer may say even though you may disagree with it.
    • Have your lecture paper and pencil or pen ready.
    • Write down the title of the lecture, the name of the course and the date.
    • Watch the speaker carefully.
    • Listen carefully to the introduction (if there is one). Hear the lecture. By knowing his outline, you will be better prepared to anticipate what notes you will need to take.
    • Be brief in your note taking. Summarize your notes in your own words, not the instructor’s. Remember: your goal is tounderstand what she is saying, not to try to record exactly everything she says.
    • Try to recognize main ideas by signal words that indicate something important is to follow. Examples: «First, Second, Next, Then, Thus, Another important…,» etc.
    • Jot down details or examples that support the mainideas. Give special attention to details not covered in the textbook.
    • If there is a summary at the end of the lecture, pay close attention to it. You can use it to check the organization of your notes. If your notes seem disorganized, copy down the main points covered in the summary. It will help in revising your notes later.
    • At the end of the lecture, ask questions about points you did not understand.
    • Don’t be in a rush. Be attentive, listen and take notes right up to the point at which the instructor dismisses you. If you are gathering together your personal belongings when you should be listening, you’re bound to miss an important point–perhaps an announcement about the next exam!
    • Revise your notes as quickly as possible, preferably immediately after the lecture since at that time you will still remember a good deal of the lecture.
    • During the first review period after the lecture, coordinate reading and lecture notes.
    • Review your lecture notes AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK. Also, review the lecture notes before the next lecture.




  1. Collect notes for each course in one place, in a separate notebook or section of a notebook.
  2. Write notes on one side of the page only.
  3. Use a loose-leaf notebook rather than a notebook with a permanent binding. See the pattern of a lecture by spreading out the pages.
  4. Write name and date of the class on the first sheet for each lecture.
  5. Use 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper for your notes. This size will allow you to indent and see the structure of your notes.
  6. Do not perform manual activities which will detract from taking notes. Do not doodle or play with your pen. These activities break eye contact and concentration.
  7. Enter your notes legibly because it saves time. Make them clear.
  8. Use abbreviations.
  9. Box assignments and suggested books so you can identify them quickly.
  10. Mark ideas which the lecture emphasizes with an arrow or some special symbol.
  11. Pay close attention to transitional words, phrases, and sentence which signal the end of one idea and the beginning of another. Listen for words such as «therefore», «finally», and «furthermore.» They usually signal an important idea.
  12. Take down examples and sketches which the lecturer presents. Indicate examples with «EX.»
  13. Review your notes as soon as possible. Read through the notes and improve the organization if necessary.
  14. Listening and note taking are SKILLS. The more you practice these techniques, the more skilled you will become. REALLY TRY TO USE AND IMPROVE THESE SKILLS. Soon you will be able to record the fastest lecturer to your satisfaction.



Your instructor is not going to send up a rocket when she states an important new idea or gives an example, but she will use signals to telegraph what she is doing. Every good speaker does it, and you should expect to receive these signals. For example, she may introduce an example with «for example» as done here.

Other common signals are:


  • «There are three reasons why….» (HERE THEY COME!)
  • «First…Second… Third….» (THERE THEY ARE!)
  • «And most important,….» (A MAIN IDEA!)
  • «A major development….» (A MAIN IDEA AGAIN!)

She may signal support material with:


  • «On the other hand….»
  • «On the contrary….»
  • «For example….»
  • «Similarly….»
  • «In contrast….»
  • «Also….»
  • «Further….»
  • «Furthermore….»
  • «As an example….»
  • «For instance….»

He may signal conclusion or summary with:


  • «Therefore….»
  • «In conclusion….»
  • «As a result….»
  • «Finally….»
  • «In summary….»
  • «From this we see….»

She may signal very loud with:


  • «Now this is important….»
  • «Remember that….»
  • «The important idea is that….»
  • «The basic concept here is….»

Signals are usually ignored by those of us who do not know how to listen effectively. Expect signals and be alert when you receive them.

Reproduced with the permission of Gregory Wells, Coordinator, William James Center, Davis and Elkins College, Elkins WV., NACADA Conf. 1987

Taken from:





Table 1

Table 2  Learning Guide note-taking Abbreviations

Table 3 Note Taking Abbrevs

Video used in class.

You can watch the video we have used in class in this website:


Notetaking Video (8:24 Minutes)



Notetaking Video with Captions (8:24 Minutes)



My Notetaking Strategy: «The Box»


Note Taking Software and Strategies


Note Taking Skills


Additional Resources

The Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs provides a list of note-taking skills.http://www.ucc.vt.edu/stdysk/notetake.html

The Academic Resource Center at Sweet Briar College also provides note-taking suggestions. http://www.arc.sbc.edu/notes.html

Services for StudentsAcademic Skills