There are many tools or instruments used in evaluation process. Some of the tools have been briefly discussed here:

Most commonly used method of evaluation is questionnaire in which an individual attempts answers in writing on a paper. It is generally self-administered in  which person goes through the questionnaire and responds as per the instruction. It is considered to be the most cost-effective tool of evaluation in terms of administration. While developing teacher should ensure that it is simple, concise, and clearly stated. Evaluation done with the help of questionnaire is quantitative.

Interview is the second most important technique used for evaluation in which students participating in evaluation are interviewed. Interview can help in getting information both quantitatively and qualitatively. Interview can be conducted in group or individually. It is a time-consuming process; therefore it should be arranged as per the convenience of interviewer and interviewee. It can also be used to evaluate a programme at the time of exist of student called exit interview. Interview should be held in a quiet room and the information obtained should be kept confidential. An interview guide can be created, which is an objective guideline to be followed by the interviewer.


Observation is the direct visualization of the activity performed by the student. It is very useful in assessing the performance of the students, to know how many skills they have attained. Observation is needed to be recorded simultaneously, if delayed some important points of the observation could be missed. There is scope for subjectivity in observation and the same can be overcome by developing an objective criterion. Students should also be aware of the criteria, so that they can prepare themselves accordingly and their anxiety levels will be controlled. Teacher should also prepare himself to enable fair assessment.

Rating Scale 
Rating scale is another tool of assessment in which the performance of the student is measured on a continuum. Rating scale provides objectivity to the assessment. Later on, grades can be given to the students based on their performance on rating scale.

Checklist is a two-dimensional tool used to assess the behavior of the student, for its presence or absence. Teacher can evaluate the performance of the student with a detailed checklist of items and well-defined and developed criteria. Checklist is an important tool that can evaluate students' performance in the clinical area. Order in which steps to be used to complete the procedure can be put in sequential order, which help the teacher to check whether the required action is carried out or not. It is an important tool used in both summative and formative assessment

Attitude Scale

An attitude scale measures the feeling of the students at the time of answering the question. Likert scale is the most popular. Attitude scale contains a group of statements (usually 10-15) that reflect the opinion on a particular issue. Participant (student) is asked the degree to which he agrees or disagrees with the statements. Usually, five point Likert scale is used to assess the attitude of the student. To avoid any kind of bias, equal number of positively and negatively framed statements is included.

Semantic Differential 
Another scale used to measure the attitude of the student is semantic differential. This tool contains bipolar scale (adjectives) like good-bad, rich-poor, positive-negative, active-passive, etc. Number of intervals between two adjectives is usually old like five or seven, so that the middle figure represents neutral attitude.

Self-Report or Diary
A self-report or diary is a narrative record maintained by the student, which reflects his critical thoughts after careful observation. It can be a one-time assignment or regular assignment. Regular assignment is maintained in a spiral book which can be evaluated on daily, weekly, monthly or semester basis. Self-report or diary helps in improving any existing programme or constructing a new one based on self-report submitted by the student.

Anecdotal Notes
Anecdotal record is the note maintained by teacher on the performance or behavior of student during clinical experience. It proves to be a very valuable tool for both formative and summative evaluation of the student's performance. It is maintained soon after the occurrence of event. It is an assessment done on continuous basis that allows student to be judged fairly. It is the duty of the teacher to give feedback to the student.


Process of evaluation requires careful selection of evaluation tool. There are some guidelines to be followed while selecting the evaluation tool. Points to be observed while selecting evaluation tool are given as under:

  • Appropriate: The tool should be able to measure what it intends to measure.
  • Appropriate: The tool should be appropriate for the domain to be measured.
  • Comprehensive: The tool should be able to evaluate all variable to be studied.
  • Valid and reliable: The tool should be pretested, reliable and valid.
  • Cost-effective: The tool should not be very costly to use.
  • Time-saving: The tool should not be very lengthy.

Lack of Time
Nursing faculty often makes complaints/excuses of lack of time for not evaluating the students regularly. Lack of time may be a result of poor time management skills, hence faculty must try to overcome this barrier; still, if it is not manageable then they can hire external evaluators from outside to manage the affairs so that, this core activity of the education will not be jeopardized. They must consider that evaluation is as important as delivering lectures or demonstrating skills to the nursing students.

Lack of the skills to Carry Out Evaluation
Some teachers may not be competent enough to plan and execute the evaluation schedule. These teachers must be identified by the principal of the college and remedial actions, e.g. in-service education, refresher courses, etc., can be planned for those who are in need.

Error in Measurement and Evaluation
There are various sources of errors in measurement. One of the important errors in measurement is the respondent himself. He himself may not be able to express his true feelings. Measurer's behavior, style and looks of the person measuring the phenomenon, is another sources of error that may distort the process of measurement. Other factors that can contribute to error in measurement are situational factors. Poor quality of test or defective measuring instrument is another factor responsible for error in measurement.


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