Measurement is derived from the verb 'to measure' which means to assess something; in Arabic 'yaqees' 'measure' has the meaning of comparing something to something else. In this sense, measurement is a daily practice that manifests itself in all our assessment activities, whether we assess concrete things in terms of size and color, or abstract things such as human relations. The ultimate goal of 'measuring' something is to regulate the relationship between ourselves and everything else in the world.
Some of the measurement areas include measuring the level or standard of knowledge nation-wide or measuring the standard of a particular group of the whole population or measuring for licensing or admission purposes in university education, vocational or technical education, for example. Measurement can never be done without well-recognized and approved criteria. We use the 'meter', for example, as the measuring unit for distance and use 'gram' unit for weight and 'hour' unit for time and so on.
Scientifically speaking, there have been numerous definitions of 'measurement' that vary depending on the measured object and the set criteria, goals and controls of measurement.
Measurement varies based on:
- evaluating things in quantitative terms and in a graded manner based on the well-known rule that everything exists in quantities and every quantity is measurable.
- representing properties in numerical terms based on certain rules.
- measuring some mental processes and psychological traits via a group of stimuli especially set to do quantitative and qualitative evaluation.
Assessment simply means to evaluate something, and in scientific terms it refers to the process of passing judgment to evaluate capacity, knowledge, actions, solutions, methods, materials, etc. This is often done by applying certain criteria and standards to check adequacy, accuracy and effectiveness. In other words, evaluation means to give something a value based on approved standards. In the educational field, assessment refers to testing students' achievement and how far is obtained relative to some known educational objectives or goals. Measurement and assessment are so related and integrated.