Meaning | Concept and Essential Elements of Measurement

Meaning | Concept and Essential Elements of Measurement

Meaning of Measurement

Measurement refers to the process by which the attributes or dimensions of some physical object are determined. One exception seems to be in the use of the word measure in determining the IQ of a person. The phrase, “this test measures IQ” is commonly used. Measuring such things as attitudes or preferences also applies. However, when we measure, we generally use some standard instrument to determine how big, tall, heavy, voluminous, hot, cold, fast, or straight something actually is. Standard instruments refer to physical devices such as rulers, scales, thermometers, pressure gauges, etc. We measure to obtain information about what is. Such information may or may not be useful, depending on the accuracy of the instruments we use, and our skill at using them. There are few such instruments in the social sciences that approach the validity and reliability.

The Concept of Measurement in Education

Test is used to gather information. That information is presented in the form of measurement. That measurement is then used to make evaluation It is the process of obtaining a numerical description of the degree to which an individual possesses a particular characteristic. Measurement answers the question, “How much?”    

The English word measurement originates from the Latin mensûra which means “The action of measuring something” or “accurate measurement is essential”.

The size, length, or amount of something, as established by measuring verb metiri through the Middle French mesure. This is a broad term that refers to the systematic determination of outcomes or characteristics by means of some sort of assessment device. It is a systematic process of obtaining the quantified degree to which a trait or an attribute is present in an individual or object. In other words it is a systematic assignment of numerical values or figures to a trait or an attribute in a person or object.

Types of Measurement

Generally, there are three types of measurement-Direct, Indirect; and Relative.

  • Direct– To find the length and breadth of a table involves direct measurement and this is always accurate if the tool is valid.
  • Indirect– To know the quantity of heat contained by a substance involves indirect measurement for we have to first find out the temperature of the substance with the help of a thermometer and then we can calculate the heat contained by the substance.
  • Relative– To measure the intelligence of a boy involves relative measurement, for the score obtained by the boy in an intelligence test is compared with norms. It is obvious that psychological and educational measurements are relative.

Essential Elements / Characteristics of Measurement

Measurements act as labels which make those values more useful in terms of details Values made meaningful by quantifying into specific units.

Measurement is an act or a process that involves the assignment of a numerical index to whatever is being assessed.

Measurement is collection of quantitative data. A measurement is made by comparing a quantity with a standard unit.

In education, the numerical value of scholastics ability, aptitude achievement etc. can be measured and obtained using instruments such as paper and pencil test. It means that the values of the attribute are translated into numbers by measurement.

Measurement, beyond its general definition, refers to the set of procedures and the principles for how to use the procedures in educational tests and assessments. Some of the basic principles of measurement in educational evaluations would be raw scores, percentile ranks, derived scores, standard scores, etc.

The process of obtaining a numerical description of the degree to which an individual possesses following particular characteristic-

  1. Test is used to gather information.
  2. That information is presented in the form of measurement.
  3. That measurement is then used to make evaluation.

As a result of a test, a measure is obtained. An observation, a rating scale or any other device that allows us to obtain information in a quantitative form is a measurement.

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