Assessment vs Evaluation: what's the difference?

Assessments and evaluations—like apples and oranges—have many differences. Assessments diagnose learning gaps and progress, while evaluations are judgmental, emphasizing the quality of outcomes. Discover how to use these tools effectively with us. Join our quick exploration as we shed light on the smart use of assessments and evaluations in the ever-changing world of online training.

Content Manager & HR Officer
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Table of contents

  1. Assessment definition
  2. Evaluation definition
  3. Differences between assessments and evaluations
  4. How to build e-learning assessments and evaluations with Easy LMS

Assessment definition

The term assessment has various definitions depending on its context. In training settings, an assessment is insightful detective work, a diagnostic journey that uncovers the unique landscape of knowledge, skills, and progress. It is the art of understanding where learners stand, illuminating their growth areas, and paving the way for tailored training journeys [1].

Essentially, assessments are indispensable tools for trainers to comprehend, adapt, and optimize the learning journey. Whether used at the beginning, end, or throughout, they serve to:

  • Check understanding.
  • Measure progress.
  • Personalize learning paths.
  • Provide feedback.
  • Validate the effectiveness of training programs.
  • Enhance engagement.
  • Promote self-reflection.

The choice of assessment type depends on your goal, ranging from exams with multiple-choice questions to written reports. Explore an array of assessment types for a comprehensive overview.

Evaluation definition

The term 'evaluation' originates from 'value'

Evaluations go beyond mere measurement; they involve a thorough exploration to understand the true value of training materials. The term 'evaluation' originates from 'value', so it's not a quick look; it's a step-by-step process of measuring and observing, akin to giving really good advice. This organized method, governed by specific rules and criteria, acts like a report card for individuals, finished projects, processes, or products [2].

In essence, evaluations in training are versatile tools used to monitor, measure, and enhance various aspects of the training and learning process. Evaluations in training are used at various stages and for different purposes:

  • Assessing learning outcomes (with formative or summative assessments)
  • Program evaluation
  • Trainers evaluation
  • Personalized training programs
  • Feedback for continuous improvement

Differences between assessments and evaluations

In straightforward terms, what are the differences between assessments and evaluations? Are there any commonalities? The clearest way to illustrate this is through this table [3]:





Diagnostic; identifies learning gaps and progress.

Judgmental; emphasizes overall quality and success.


Guides individual learning paths, measures understanding.

Determines overall success, informs decision-making.


Can be ongoing (formative) or specific points (summative).

Can be formative or summative, often at the end of an academic period.


Provides continuous feedback for improvement during learning.

Offers feedback for overall improvement and decision-making.


Focuses on specific skills or broader understanding.

Encompasses a holistic view of performance and outcomes.


Involves both the assessor and assessee in a dynamic process.

Involves an assessor making judgments about the assessee's performance.


Aims at enhancing learning, individual development.

Aims at determining worth, success, and informing broader training decisions.

How to build e-learning assessments and evaluations with Easy LMS

Use the fully-fledged Exam builder for multiple-choice, true-false, or fill-in-the-blank tests

Embark on the journey of effortless assessment creation with Easy LMS's Exam builder! Weave assessments seamlessly, whether at the beginning, middle, or end of your training expedition. Use the fully-fledged Exam builder for multiple-choice, true-false, or fill-in-the-blank tests—customizable to your heart's content. Blend these assessments into your learning path, with the option to combine assessments with courses for maximum impact. The Academy add-on ensures a personalized learning environment, keeping everything in one easy-to-access place.

And here's the magic: not only can you create assessments effortlessly, but you're also in for powerful evaluation capabilities! Detailed reporting and analytics help trainers evaluate how effective the training is and make informed decisions for improvement in the future. Easy LMS—where creating assessments and evaluating training success becomes an adventure!

Useful resources

  2. Teachmint
  3. Key Differences

Frequently Asked Questions

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