What is the difference between feedback and evaluation?
According to Dr. Jack Ende (1983), feedback is about the intent of affecting the receiver’s behavior. It is the idea of giving a clear message to someone in order to help shape behaviors that will assist that person in developing skills, etc. In contrast, evaluation is ultimately a cumulative summary based on evidence, data and observations. It is a judgment that is made; and we are supposed to do that. Evaluation is a final decision which is in contrast to the process of feedback.
Feedback is integral to the learning process. Evaluation presents a judgment. It identifies whether someone has met a goal or not. It comes after the fact. It is a closing point. When you think about it, when we give an evaluation, it is not given at a point when the person is able to make changes. Evaluation is a final or a summative judgment, whereas feedback is supposed to be nonjudgmental and as neutral as possible. It provides information that the person can work off of, and it helps them to shape or form themselves professionally.
Nancy Alarcon, MS, CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS is a Principal Lecturer and Director of Clinical Education in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington, and is Director of the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic. Her areas of clinical expertise include clinical supervision education, adult neurologic communication disorders, and supported communication.