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Modules 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11


Evaluation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education


Site Map of Module

Introduction and General Objectives
Unit 1: Clarification of Key Concepts
Unit 2: Tools and Techniques for Evaluating Learning
Unit 3: Evaluation of Teaching

Reflect on the following as you work through this Module

  1. One consequence, as the Tokyo declaration mentions, is that it is not possible to arrive at one set of quality standards applicable to all countries, and against which institutions can be assessed. Quality embraces all the main functions and activities of higher education: teaching and academic programmes, research and scholarship, staffing, students, infrastructure, community services and the academic environment. The Arab States declarations consider that ‘all higher education systems and institutions should give a high priority to ensuring the quality of programmes, teaching and outcomes. Structures, procedures and standards for quality assurance should be developed at the regional and national levels commensurate with international guidelines while providing for variety according to the specificities of each country, institution or programme’.
  2. The Dakar declaration includes the idea that quality ‘entails the operationalization of the envisaged outcomes (a clear definition of goals and objectives), of the inputs the institutions will work with (thus a review of admissions criteria) and the processes and procedures for working with the inputs (the way the management system coordinates structures, resources and the institutional culture to obtain the required products)’. The Arab States Conference states that ‘quality mechanisms are implemented through continuous assessments and comparisons between observed and intended processes and constant search for the sources of dysfunctions to correct them’.
  1. Recommendations addressed to each higher education institution were approved by the Tokyo Conference and seem also implicit in the Havana and Dakar Conferences. The Tokyo statement says:

In the same vein, the Beirut Conference states that the missions ‘should be translated into well-defined objectives, with allocation of the required resources, and the establishment of concrete mechanisms proper to ensure adequate monitoring and evaluation of progress and achievements based on observable indicator’.

  1. The Dakar Conference urges that each institution ‘create appropriate structures for evaluating and controlling the quality of its curricula (including the performance of students) in keeping with agreed guidelines’ and recommends that ‘each Member State establish a mechanism for evaluating the quality of higher education institutions, building on existing practices in the region. Such a body would be responsible for evaluating training, research and consultancy activities in the light of institutional missions, national education programmes and the needs of changing times. This should be a control rather than a punitive mechanism, and should use a combination of external and internal evaluation strategies’.
  2. The Tokyo Conference proposals are summarised through the affirmation that ‘each country of the region should establish a mechanism for evaluating the quality of its higher education institutions. Countries must introduce quality assurance methods at both institutional and systemic levels. These may include academic accreditation, academic audits and institutional evaluations, performance funding, review of disciplines and professional areas, qualification frameworks and competency-based approaches to vocational education and training’.
  1. The Dakar Conference proposes that institutions of higher education should be required to establish minimum teaching-learning guidelines for each course model. It says that they should be explicit about ‘entry and exit behaviours in terms of skills, values and attitudes, the teaching and evaluation methods, all within a specific time frame’.

Article11. Qualitative evaluation

  • a. Quality in higher education is a multidimensional concept, which should embrace all its functions, and activities: teaching and academic programmes, research and scholarship, staffing, students, building, facilities, equipment, services to the community and the academic environment Internal self-evaluation and external review, conducted openly by independent specialists, if possible with international expertise, are vital for enhancing quality. Independent national bodies should be established and comparative standards of quality, recognised at international level, should be defined, Due attention should be paid to specific institutional, national and regional contexts in order to take into account diversity and to avoid uniformity. Stakeholders should be an integral part of the institutional evaluation process.

    b. Quality also requires that higher education should be characterised by its international dimension: exchange of knowledge, interactive networking, mobility of teachers and students, and international research projects, while taking into account the national cultural values and circumstances.

  • Beginning of Module Top of Unit 1 To Top of Unit 2 To Top of Unit 3

    Introduction and General Objectives

    "The Dakar Conference proposes that institutions of higher education should be required to establish minimum teaching-learning guidelines for each course model. It says that they should be explicit about ‘entry and exit behaviours in terms of skills, values and attitudes, the teaching and evaluation methods, all within a specific time frame".

    valuation is a core part of the educational delivery process. The Dakar Conference endorses this view as can be seen in the Declaration quoted above. Many practitioners in the higher education system are reasonably skilled in the art (and science) of evaluating teaching and learning. Yet, many lack essential skills of evaluation. This module is to provide learning experiences for the "experts" and "novices" alike. Dison and De Groot (1999) have stressed the need for compatibility between content, teaching methods and assessment procedures. It is only when these are in tandem that learning can be appropriately assessed. The outcome-based evaluation (OBE) model of student assessment in higher education is now gaining wide acceptance.

    After completing the module, you should be able to :


    At the end of this Unit, you should be able to:

    Measurement, Test, Assessment and Evaluation

    With regard to education, distinctions can be made between measurement, test, assessment and evaluation as follows:

    Measurement is a procedure for assigning numbers or specified attributes or characteristics in a manner that conveys the real world nature of what is being measured. Tests on the other hand are systematic procedures for observing persons and describing them with either a numerical scale or a category system. Thus, tests may give either qualitative or quantitative information. To arrive at an evaluation, you use various means of assessment such as observation, interviews, and administration of tests. Thus assessment is the process of judging the worth of a person, programme or event using tests as tools. Evaluation goes beyond measuring, testing or assessment. It involves judging the value or worth of a student, of an instructional method, or of an educational programme and making decisions. Such judgements and decisions made, may or may not be based on information obtained from tests.

    Tests are used regularly in relation to a number of classes of decision:

    Tests serve other purposes, such as:

    A teacher corrects exam papers handed in by his learners. He puts a grade (figure) on each of the papers without adding any comments on the learner’s work.

    a) Has the teacher evaluated the work of each of the learners ?


    b) Has the teacher measured the performance level of each of the learners ?


    Send your answers for review by the Guide's Experts Team
    Guide's Team of Experts



    Beginning of Module Top of Unit 1 To Top of Unit 2 To Top of Unit 3

    In Yoloye’s (1998) view, a decision-making definition of evaluation is very appropriate for higher education. Whatever definition of evaluation one uses however, the following three components of the evaluation process remain valid:

    The nature of evaluation

    Evaluation varies based on its nature, which may be quantitative or qualitative . In the field of education, evaluation is usually of a quantitative nature. Grades (marks in figures) and ordered categories (A,B,C,D) used to measure the scope of results scored by learners relate to a quantitative type of evaluation. For example, the quantitative evaluation of the internal efficiency of an academic year may be quantitatively evaluated based on :

    . the ratio between the number of degree holders and the number of registered learners

    . the ratio between the number of repeaters and the total enrollment figure.

    Evaluation may also be qualitative. For instance, the internal efficiency of an academic year may be qualitatively evaluated by :

    . comparing skills acquired by the end of the school year with learners’ skills in the beginning of the year,

    . comparing targeted skills with acquired skills.

    The method of evaluation

    Depending on the goals aimed at, evaluation may be conducted based on various methods. The method of evaluation may be:

    Evaluation is diagnostic when it aims at assessing the individual features of learners in relation to the requirements of courses or curricula. Therefore, the goal of diagnostic evaluation is to identify the distinguishing features of the subject targeted by the evaluation as such features may determine the expected results.

    Diagnostic evaluation may be conducted at the beginning of any new course or curriculum. In such cases, its aim is to ascertain whether the learner has the skills required to enrol for the course. Diagnostic evaluation may also be implemented during or at the end of a particular course.

    An evaluation is normative when it compares the performances of a particular learner to the performances of the other learners of the same level or class taken as the reference group. The merit-based listing of learners relates to such a normative evaluation.

    Evaluation is criterion-based when it seeks to assess a learner’s performance level based on success criteria implicitly or explicitly defined according to the objectives. It does not involve comparing a learner’s performance level with other learners’ performance levels. It seeks to determine the extent to which goals and objectives targeted by a particular course have been reached.

    Forms of Evaluation

    The primary objective of evaluation in an educational context is to prepare the ground for decisions to be made on educational activities. Activities to be evaluated may relate to:

    Applicants for enrolment in the first year of a particular higher education institution have to take enrolment tests. Enrolment tests are designed on the basis of subject content necessary for good performance in the first-year courses. Applicants for enrolment in the first year will be listed on a merit basis after taking the tests. Only the first 20 applicants will be authorised to enrol.

    Which method or methods of evaluation are used by the higher education institutions to select candidates for enrolment in the first year ?

    A teacher has arranged the content of his annual courses in modules. He gives tests at the end of each module. The teacher has in mind a double objective: 1. To compare all learners’ performance levels and to classify them based on their achievements with each test ; 2. To provide each learner with adequate information to help him improve his performances. What is the type of tests organised by the teacher at the conclusion of each module?


    Beginning of Module Top of Unit 1 To Top of Unit 2 To Top of Unit 3


    At the end of this Unit, you should be to:

    . identify various evaluation tools;

    . analyse data collected for evaluation; and

    . interpret results of evaluation

    Evaluation Tools in Higher Education

    The major tools used to evaluate learning are :

    1. Tests
    2. Questionnaires
    3. Observation Schedules
    4. Interview Guides

    Tests as Tools for Evaluation

    The major tool of evaluation in higher institutions are tests. Tests can be of various types. They can be classified on the following basis :

    By Kind of item

    By how observations are scored

    By degree of standardization

    By administrative conditions

    By language emphasis of response

    By emphasis on time

    By score-referencing scheme

    By what attribute is measured

    Description of Tests

    Tests can be described in a variety of ways:

    General Principles of Test Construction

    Planning the test

    To plan a test, you prepare a two-way table, called a test blueprint. The names of the major categories of a taxonomy head the table columns while the row heading indicates the major topics of the subject matter to be tested. In the body of the table, the "cells", formed by a combination of a particular taxonomy category and a particular subject-matter topic, contain specific instructional objectives. Thus, the blueprint serves as a double-entry classifying scheme for specific objectives. After objectives are classified, the number of test items that will be used to test each objective is recorded in the table. Thus, the test blueprint serves as a plan which assures that all important objectives are included and that they receive the proper emphasis on the test.

    Hints for Constructing Essay-type Tests

    Phrasing Essay-type Questions

    The following are some hints in phrasing essay-type questions

    2. Describe the similarities and differences between…….

      Compare the following two methods for………

    4. What are major causes of ….?

      What would be the most likely effects of …?

    6. Which of the following alternative would you favour and why?

      Explain why you agree or disagree with the following statement:

    8. State the main points included in ….

      Briefly summarise the contents of ….

    10. Formulate several valid generalisations from the following data.

      State a set of principles that can explain the following events.

    11. INFERRING:
    12. In light of the facts presented, what is most likely to happen, when…?

      What deductions can you make from the statement of….?

    14. Group the following items according to….

      What do the following items have in common?

    15. CREATING:
    16. List as many ways as you can think of for….

      Write a list of questions that should be answered before….

    17. APPLYING:
    18. Using the principle of…. As a guide, describe how you would solve the following problem situation.

      Describe a situation that illustrates the principle of…

    19. ANALYSING:
    20. Describe the reasoning errors in the following paragraph.

      List and describe the main characteristics of…

      Describe the relationship between the following parts of…

    22. Describe a plan for proving that…

      Write a well-organised report that shows…

      Write a set of specifications for building a…

  • Criticise or defend each of the following statements.

    Describe the strengths and weaknesses of the following…

    Using the criteria developed in class, write a critical evaluation of…

  • Hints for Scoring Essay-type Answers

    1. Prepare some type of scoring guide (e.g., an outline, an "ideal" answer, or "specimen" responses)
    2. Grade all responses to one question before moving on to the next question.
    3. Periodically re-score previously scored papers.
    4. Score papers without reference to the identity (e.g. registration or matriculation number or name) of the student.
    5. Provide students with feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their responses.
    6. When the grading decision is crucial, have two or more readers score the essays independently.

    Hints for writing short-answer (completion) items

    1. Use the question form of the short-answer variety if possible.
    2. Word each item in specific terms with clear meanings so that the intended answer is the only one possible, and so that the answer is a single word, brief phrase, or number.
    3. Word each item so that the blank or answer space is toward the end of the sentence.
    4. Avoid copying statements verbatim from texts or classroom materials.
    5. Omit important rather than trivial words.
    6. Avoid "butchered" or "mutilated" sentences; use only one or two blanks in a completion sentence.
    7. Keep the blanks of equal length and arrange the items so the answers are placed in a column at the right or left of the sentences.
    8. State the precision, numerical units, or degree of specificity expected of the answer.
    9. Word the items to avoid irrelevant clues or specific determiners.

    Hints for writing true-false items

    1. Make sure the item is either definitely true or definitely false.
    2. Avoid verbal clues (specific determiners) that give away the answer.
    3. Test important ideas, knowledge, or understanding (rather than trivia, general knowledge, or common sense).
    4. Keep the word-length of true statements about the same as that of false statements.
    5. Avoid copying sentences directly from textbook and other written materials.
    6. Avoid presenting items in a repetitive or easily learned pattern.

    Hints for constructing matching exercising

    1. Within a single matching exercise, make the premises and responses homogeneous.
    2. Write directions that explain completely the intended basis for matching.
    3. Check to see that all the responses function as plausible options to each premise.
    4. Keep the list of premises and responses within a single matching exercise relatively short.
    5. Avoid creating "perfect matching" in which each response matches only one premise.
    6. Place the longer phrases (sentences) in the premise list and the shorter phrases, words, or symbols in the response list.
    7. If at all possible, arrange the responses in a logical, meaningful order.
    8. Use numbers to identify the premises and letters to identify the responses.
    9. Avoid using incomplete sentences for premises.
    10. Keep all the premises and responses belonging to a single matching exercise on the same page.

    Hints for constructing multiple-choice items (with emphasis on how to formulate the stem of the item)

    If possible, write as a direction question. Avoid extraneous, superfluous, and non-functioning words and phrases that are mere "window dressing."
    If an incomplete sentence is used, be sure it implies a direct question.

    The alternatives come at the end (rather than in the middle) of the sentence.

    Avoid (or use sparingly) negatively worded items.
    Control the wording so that vocabulary and sentence structure are at a relatively low and of non-technical level. Avoid phrasing the item so that the personal opinion of the examinee is an option.
    In items testing definitions, place the word or item in the stem and use definitions or descriptions as alternatives Avoid textbook wording and "textbookish" or stereotyped phraseology.
      Avoid "clueing" and "linking" items (i.e., having the correct answer to one item be clued or linked to the correctness of the answer to a previous item

    Hints for improving the quality of the alternatives in multiple-choice items


    1. In general strive to create three to five functional 1. Avoid overlapping alternatives.


    2. All alternatives should be homogeneous and appro- 2. Avoid making the alternatives a

    priate to the stem collection of true-false items.

    3. Put repeated words and phrases the stem. 3. Avoid using "not given", "none of

    the above", etc, as an alternative

    in best-answer type of items (use

    only with correct-answer variety).

    4. Use consistent and correct punctuation in relation 4. Avoid using "all of the above"; limit

    to the stem. Its use to the correct-answer variety.

    5. Arrange alternatives in a list format rather than in 5. Avoid using verbal clues in the

    tandem. Alternatives.

    6. Arrange alternatives in a logical or meaningful order. 6. Avoid using technical terms, unknown

    words or names, and "silly" terms or names

    as distractors.

    7. All distractors should be grammatically correct with 7. Avoid making it harder to eliminate a

    respect to the stem. Distractor than to choose the keyed alternative.

    The requirements or criteria of evaluating tests

    The ultimate goal of any evaluation should be to collect relevant valid, reliable and economical information for decisions to be appropriately made. Relevance, validity, reliability and the economical aspect are currently the most expected requirements or criteria for any evaluation test.

    The relevance of data collected implies that the subject under evaluation precisely and specially corresponds to the objectives targeted by the evaluation. For example, the relevance of examination tests at the end of a given curriculum makes it necessary to differentiate between examinations meant to evaluate learners’ qualification for promotion to an upper class or to move into the job market and active life.

    The validity of data collected implies that the evaluation has actually been focused on the subject initially targeted for evaluation. For instance, for the sake of validity, learners’ written and oral skills cannot be evaluated with the same tests.

    The reliability of data collected implies that they are not determined by the free will and choice of the individual who collected them. For example, the double grading of examination papers is meant to consolidate and further ascertain reliability.

    Data analysis and interpretation

    Data analysis follows the administration or taking of tests. Data collected at the end of a quantitative evaluation or a qualitative evaluation may nearly always be amenable to statistical processing.

    Distribution of scores: Scores of groups can be summarised and interpreted by tabulating a frequency distribution and/or plotting a histogram or polygon. Special terms describe the shapes of distributions including their symmetry, modality, peakedness, and skewness. These graphs can also be used to compare two or more distributions of scores.

    Measures of central tendency: Among the summary numbers or statistics used with test scores are those that reflect the average or typical score of the group. Among these are the mode, median, and mean. These indices may be used jointly as well as singly to describe a distribution of scores.

    Score variability: Statistics describing the variability or spread of scores are important in understanding a group’s score distribution. Of these, the standard deviation has been the most frequently used with educational and psychological tests. This index, a type of average of the deviations from the mean, measures the extent to which persons’ scores differ from each other.

    Relative location in a distribution of scores: Individuals’ scores can be interpreted in terms of their relative location in a distribution. Scores which express this relative standing directly are called norm-referenced scores. Among those described are simple rank in the group; percentile rank, or percent of the group that person’s score exceeded; and a linear standard score called the z-score.

    The correlation coefficient: The degree of relationship between two sets of scores is quantitatively described by the correlation coefficient. The correlation quantifies the relationship between the z-score on two test. This relationship can be displayed in a scatter diagram, also.


    Beginning of Module Top of Unit 1 To Top of Unit 2 To Top of Unit 3

    A group of 19 students scored the following grades :

    15 ; 13 ;7 ;8 ;9 ;12 ;11 ;10 ;8 ;17 ;18 ;19 ;10 ;12 ;13 ;16 ;5 ;12 ;13

    1. Give the frequency table of the 19 grades

    2. What is or what are the modes of the 19 grades

    3. What is the median of the 19 grades

    4. What is the mean or average of the 19 grades

    5. Calculate the typical gap of the 19 grades

    6. Calculate the standardised grade of each of the 19 grades.


    Send your answers for review by the Guide's Experts Team
    Guide's Team of Experts



    Evaluation of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

    E. A. Yoloye

    A decision-making definition of evaluation is very appropriate for higher education. Whatever definition of evaluation one uses however, the following three components of the evaluation process remain valid:


    Putting a value on a measure can be based on scores which are:


    Broadly speaking there are two purposes:


    Broadly there are two levels as follows:

    Micro level – which evaluates individual elements within a system eg.

    Macro level – which evaluates the entire system to assess its performance e.g.




    Mainly descriptive statistics as follows:


    For the purpose of making scores from different tests and other measuring tools comparable, the raw scores need to be converted to standard scores using the mean and standard deviation, e.g. stanines, t-scores, z-scores. WAEC uses reversed stanines for reporting scores in SSCE while JAMB uses modified Z-scores for reporting UME scores.


    Evaluation of teaching of individual teachers may be based on

    i. Positively skewed ii. Normal iii. Negatively skewed

    The most commonly obtained curve with traditional teaching especially with large classes is the normal curve.

    Bloom (1971) in his exposition of Mastery learning says:

    "There is nothing sacred about the normal curve. It is the distribution most appropriate to chance and random activity. Education is a purposeful activity, and we seek to have the students learn what we have to teach. If we are effective in our instruction, the distribution of achievement should be very different from the normal curve. In fact, we may even insist that our educational efforts have been unsuccessful to the extent that the distribution of achievement approximates the normal distribution."

    If we accept this assertion, we may regard the three curve shapes in a hierarchical order indicating effectiveness of instruction. Thus, a positive skew would indicate the lowest level, the normal curve an average level and a negative skew the highest level.

    Excerpted from

    Yoloye, E.A. (1998, September). Evaluation in higher Education. Presented at the UNESCO Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. University of Ibadan, Nigeria



    Ezra Maritim



    The aim of this presentation is to introduce the basic guidelines and pertinent issues in evaluation practices in higher education, with special reference to Kenya. In the area of teaching and learning, the UNESCO regional workshop held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 1999 provided useful basic evaluation concepts, the various forms of evaluation and the qualities of good evaluation tools. The forms of evaluation identified by the Dakar workshop included: coursework, written examinations (essays, multiple choice, etc) oral and aural examinations, project work, laboratory reports, class tests, direct observations (clinical education, teaching practice, practicum), term papers and theses. The features and the qualities of a good evaluation tool are as follows: validity, reliability, fairness, practicability, relevance and economical.

    Highlights of the Presentation

    This paper approaches evaluation in four ways. First, what is evaluation? Although in the institutions of higher education, evaluation is a household work, it might be helpful to consider just what it is. I define an evaluation as a measure of getting to know the quality of learning and teaching in higher education. Second, what is the institutional mission and philosophy? In what philosophical context does evaluation take place? The mission of the institution guide the process of evaluation. In some ways, the mission statements specify the measurable and qualitative attributes the graduates should achieve in their course of their learning which make the institution unique. These attributes are reflected at the teaching/subject matter level in the form of course major and minor objectives. In this context, the mission statement should be known by all the teaching members of staff for operational translation and interpretation. Third of what internal use is evaluation? That is, what use is evaluation to the institution and the student? The rationale for evaluation is for the internal management of teaching and learning in the institution. In a teaching and learning situation, evaluation has accrued benefits to both the teacher and the learner in that it enables:

    In addition to the above benefits, evaluation enables the institutions to make summative judgement about the adequacy of the learner’s performance in the form of:

    Fourth, what are the hurdles in evaluation in the institutions of higher learning? A major problem for approximately 95% of the Kenya universities and middle level college staff, other than those in the faculties of education, is that they have no pedagogical training and therefore lack skills in the development of evaluation items. These deficiencies lead to the following negative effects:

    In addition, given the current large class sizes, lecturers have not been effective in:

    Excerpted from:

    Maritim, E. (1999). Evaluation in higher education. Presentation at the Regional Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of Witwatersrand, Johannseburg, South Africa, September.

    Beginning of Module Top of Unit 1 To Top of Unit 2 To Top of Unit 3


    After completing this Unit, you should be able to


    Evaluation in Higher Education in Francophone Africa

    Ousseynou DIA



    As regards the evaluation of teaching, it can at least be done at two levels: that of content (development and evaluation of curricula and syllabi), and methods. Given the specific goals which the institutions should henceforth pursue, we have to ask ourselves certain questions before preparing curricula. What links should they (institutions) maintain with those of developed countries? In other words, is any development work done if one is contented with teaching in the former the same course contents as in the latter? The question of standards seems to us to be all the more relevant as the neutrality and universality of scientific and technical knowledge appear to be more and more pseudo-evident. Scientific and technical knowledge has, as a matter of fact, a cultural impact in the sense that they more or less explicitly internalize a global vision, a mode of analysis and perception of reality. This interrogation therefore leads to a reflection on the universal and specific aspects and on their complex relationships. If learning can more or less be considered universal, its linkages are enhanced by culture.

    It is advisable to examine our students’ basic scientific knowledge and consider the appropriate course content they need to make up for the inadequacies. If this preliminary survey is not carried out, the education we are providing could end up as a duplication of the knowledge already acquired by our student (formal knowledge, empirical personal and social knowledge); besides, one might wonder if the scientific and technical knowledge that we impart to them still address the issues that actually arise from their relationship with their environment.


    The problem connected with evaluating teaching methods is less attributed to the lack or inadequacy of appropriate pedagogic techniques than to the negative attitudes of certain teachers in this respect. Such evaluation can inevitably be done by observing the performance of teachers because an objective assessment can be made only on the basis of their conduct. With regard to the objectives of training, qualification and assessment of lessons taught and their feed-back, the evaluation can induce the academic staff to improve their performance and thus enhance the quality of teaching; it also helps to ascertain whether the objectives of a coure or a study programme have been attained or to discover the discrepancies between the students’ expectations, the teacher’s intentions and the demands of the discipline.

    All the same, with what tools can one make an objective assessment of a teacher’s performance? There is in the first place the video technique which not only allows for the observation of the teacher’s performance by a third person, but also encourages self-observation. There is also the practice of course inspection by a high-ranking professor or expert, analysis of syllabi by an administrative body and course evaluation by students.

    The assessment of teachers’ performance has often been resisted by some teachers and this deserves attention. The refusal can be explained as a resistance to pedagogic innovation, a mean of averting the risks of upsetting the "master" image which the teacher enjoys and the established monopoly of learning power which the master arrogates to himself in the classroom. However, this lack of conformity to the pedagogic practice of evaluation seems to be linked to the cultural context, educational system, the manner in which institutions and their teachers have been made to consider the notions of learning, knowledge and teaching in terms of aptitude, competence and training, the last element being a measurable product of planning. It is also linked to the level of students’ participation in managing their studies and in running their school, the quality of instructional information given to teachers which underscores the significance of evaluating their services and skills.

    The inherited educational system actually allows for the assessment of teachers in tertiary institutions only on the basis of their research works. Such evaluation has the merit of trying to define certain objective criteria for assessment such as publications and theses, and forcing young graduate assistants or assistant lecturers to distinguish themselves in a discipline before occupying positions of responsibility. On the other hand, it accounts for the preference given to scientific research to the detriment of teaching. Most of the teacher who took part in the debate on scientific research and teaching reached a consensus on the need for training through and for research even though some of them wondered about the place of educational research in the training institutions.

    This explains the fact that, in the countries where teachers’ performance is assessed, the practice is attributed to the search for the institutions’ internal efficiency on account of the economic crisis and/or the phenomenon of student unrest. The revival of educational practices as well as the evaluation of teachers and teaching derives from this situation. That is why students now indulge in making a quasi-systematic evaluation of their teachers. If it more or less provides information on the quality of the pedagogic relationship (criteria for teaching and research: characteristics of a course), it scarcely helps to evaluate the contents and their level of assimilation – at least because the assessments are based on human relations, the sole guarantee, in the eyes of the learners, for efficient teaching. This experience now reveals that students’ assessments can measure the level of conviviality and human warmth!

    However, the assessment that students make of the instruction received is a source of vital information for every lecturer who cares about improving his course. This practice is fruitful because it is rare to find instances where no deductions are made from the remarks given or from the analysis of their comments for improvement. A policy on this type of evaluation can only be incorporated into a comprehensive effort by an institution determined to provide quality education. This practice indeed goes beyond the questionnaires filled by students to take into account all the other pedagogic parameters. With all precautions taken (agreement on the validity of questionnaires, objectiveness in data gathering), it is possible to ask the teachers deserving promotion to submit an evaluation report on their performance in order to reinforce the pedagogic judgement or opinion of his peers, which cannot be ignored.

    Excerpted from:

    Dia, O (1998). Quality of Higher Education in Francophone Africa. In J. Shabani (Ed.). Higher Education in Africa: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects. Dakar: UNESCO BREDA.


    Quality of Higher Education in South Africa: Conceptions, Contestations and Comments

    Nico Cloete

    In South Africa, quality assurance mechanisms have varied across the three higher education sectors. In the college sectors, the dominant form has been nationally, provincially or departmentally set examinations for the certificate and diploma programmes. In the technikon sector, the Certification Council for Technikon Education (SERTEC) has performed an important programme accreditation function that incorporates many of the international common features outlined earlier. (An important contextual factor is that technikon programmes are all offered in terms of broad curriculum guidelines agreed upon nationally by the technikon sector in conjuction with the relevant industry/professional/employer grouping).

    In the university sector, quality has been assured via professional accreditation (where applicable) and through a peer-based system of external examination, although in the latter case not uniformly so. A recent development is the establishment by the Committee of University Principals (CUP) of a Quality Promotion Unit. Overall , in the previous system quality assurance was erratic, the use of external examiners inspired little confidence and quality was largely determined by reputation.

    Drawing from international experience, the Commission on the Higher Education (NCHE Report, 1996) concluded that there are certain commonalities among more established systems. Firstly, most include an initial self-evaluation process followed by an external (typically peer) assessment of the results and process of self-evaluation. Secondly, through self-evaluation and the role of peers in the external evaluation, higher education largely "owns" the quality system. Thirdly, an independent body usually coordinates the external evaluation which is conducted in terms of more or less standardized criteria ranging from detailed norms to more flexible checklists. Fourthly, the results of evaluation are in most cases made public. Finally, in nearly all countries, negative sanctions can be a consequence of the assessment procedure.

    The commission proposed that a developmentally based quality assurance system should include three functions: institutional auditing, programme accreditation and quality promotion. Firstly, a Higher Education Quality Committee should be established, as a committee of the Higher Education Council. The Higher Education Council should be recognized by the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) as the umbrella coordinating body for quality assurance in higher education programmes. The Higher Education Council should exercise this authority via the quality committee. The Higher Education Quality Committee should be responsible for institutional auditing and programme accreditation, and should be managed by a board made up of individuals drawn from inside and outside the higher education system. The Higher Education Quality Committee should encourage and monitor quality promotion activities within higher education, but not undertake such activities itself. The Commission has recommended that the Quality Promotion Unit of the Committee of University Principals, with an expanded mandate, be considered as a possible body to undertake this function on an agency basis.

    It is integral to this quality assurance system that a single qualifications framework should be developed for all higher education qualifications, as part of the National Qualifications Framework. The framework should include intermediate exit qualification within multiple-year qualifications and should consist of a laddered set of qualifications at higher education certificate, diploma and degree levels. All higher education programmes should be registered on the NQF, at minimum at the exit level of whole qualifications, with National Standard Setting Bodies determining the appropriate form of registration in terms of the use of unit standards within qualifications. National Standard Setting Bodies should also be charged with ensuring that a coherent laddered set of qualifications is developed and registered in each field, and is responsible for developing effective articulation mechanisms between the different qualifications. It is vital that this be done in all professional fields where problems of articulation have often been most acute. The Higher Education Council should ensure that the decisions taken by SAQA and its National Standard Setting Bodies on how the registration of qualifications is to occur provide an effective basis for incorporating higher education programmes into the National Quality Framework. The fields and levels should be compatible with the subject categories and levels used in the higher education information and planning systems. Higher Education Programmes should be registered as either "national" programmes offered by a number of providers or "institutional" programmes that are relatively unique to the provide institution or partner institutions. (NCHE Report, 1996)

    Programme accreditation will be pursued through a combination of self-evaluation and independent assessment. The purpose of the evaluation is to grant or maintain accreditation to programmes that have met the minimum acceptable standards as determined by the relevant National Standard Setting Bodies and ensure the enhancement of the quality of programmes.

    The evaluation procedures for institutions and programmes will include: an institutional/programme self-evaluation process, and an evaluation by independent assessors including, where appropriate, professional bodies and visits by teams of experts. In addition, the Commission also proposed that a new national information system be established that will include a set of performance indicators that are sensitive to redress, quality and developmental indicators.

    The Green Paper on higher education released by the government in December, 1996 broadly endorses the Commission’s position by stating that "the Ministry agrees that quality assurance of programmes has been a priority within higher education internationally in recent years as a way of ensuring accountability and value for money (p.32). The Ministry also agreed that the primary responsibility for quality assurance rests within higher education and proposes that a Higher Education Quality Committee be established as an independent umbrella body.

    Excerpted from:

    Cloete, N. (1998). Quality of Higher Education in South Africa: Conceptions, Contestations and Comments. In J. Shabani (Ed.). Higher Education in Africa: Achievements, Challenges and Prospects. Dakar: UNESCO BREDA.


    Evaluation of teaching as we can glean from Readings 5.2. and 5.3, can be carried out at the internal level and at the external level.

    The internal or external evaluation of studies may be implemented by :

    independent scholars and researchers.

    Internal evaluation does not target the same objectives as external evaluation. Ordinarily, internal evaluation seeks to measure and assess the pedagogical quality and the costs of studies. Conversely, external evaluation focusses on the impact of studies outside educational systems in connection with social, cultural, religious and economic factors etc. Generally speaking, the internal evaluation of studies seeks to measure and assess :

    The external evaluation of studies deals with issues relating to :

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    Some indicators for the evaluation of teaching

    Studies may be evaluated based on their internal or external efficiency. Some relatively simple indicators for the evaluation of internal efficiency include:

    These percentages may be calculated by taking into account the students who started classes in the same year. In this case, they are gross rates of internal efficiency. The percentages may be established by taking into account all the students attending the same classes but who did not start their studies at the same time. In this case, we have net rates of internal efficiency.


    In 1998-99, there were 20 students in the first year of medical school. Among these 152 had enrolled for the first time in 1998-99 in the first year of medical studies. At the end of the same year, 167 students had passed their exams, including 134 of the 152 students enrolled for the first time in 1998-99 and 33 among the 53 repeaters.

    The gross rate of internal efficiency for promotion to the second year of studies in 1999-2000 is, in this case, equal to = (134/152)* 1OO = 88.15 %

    The net rate of internal efficiency for promotion to the second year in 1999-2000 is here equal to = (167/2O5)* 1OO = 81.46 %

    Some relatively simple indicators of the internal efficiency:

    Examples :

    At the end of the 1996-97 academic year, 37 students had completed their medical doctorate dissertations. Of these, 29 found jobs but only 15 of the 29 got jobs in the field of medicine in 1997-98.

    The overall percentage of medical degree holders who secured jobs in 1997-98 is : (29/37)* 100 = 78.37 %

    The percentage of medical degree holders who found jobs in the health sector in 1997-98 is : (15/37)* 100 = 40.05 %


    In 1991-1992, there were 585 students in the second year of economics. Among these, 399 had enrolled for the first time in the second year of studies in 1991-92. By the end of the year, 377 students among the 585 had qualified to enroll in the third-year of studies in 1992-93. They included 77 of the 339 students enrolled for the first time in 1991-92.

    1. Calculate the gross rate of internal efficiency for the second year of studies in economics

    2. Calculate the net rate of internal efficiency for the same second year of studies in economics.


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    Evaluation of teachers

    The evaluation of teachers is becoming more and more popular as a practice. It is conducted in many anglophone universities with the participation of students. In francophone countries, the evaluation of teachers by their peers or by trainee teachers is not a common practice. However, some francophone universities are members of international cooperation agencies such as CAMES (Africa and Madagascar Council for Higher Education) whose rating is a determining factor in the professional promotion of academics and researchers in member universities.

    There are several tools for the evaluation of teachers by learners. The tools involve several areas including :

    Many research studies have focussed on the evaluation of teachers by learners. People have always challenged the validity and reliability of the evaluation of teachers by their own students. It is believed that students are not able to make valid and relevant comments on course contents. In the same way, comments vary depending on students’ ages or their contacts and connections which the teachers to be evaluated.

    The most promising results of research in education may probably come from the different contents of the evaluation of teachers by their students based on the ultimate purpose of the results of such evaluation. An evaluation conducted for administrative purposes should not have the same content as a pedagogical evaluation. It is generally admitted that students’ opinions are very useful to make teachers aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their teaching as well as of the methods and strategies used by the teachers etc.

    Presented below is the summary of discussions of a group at the Regional Workshop on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education held in Eldoret, Kenya. Critically review the conclusions of the group and discuss your views with a colleague in your department.

    In discussing the place and the role of evaluation in teaching and learning in higher education, the discussion groups identified several issues and observations. These can be summarised as follows:


    Expand external examiners’ role to include evaluation of teaching/learning facilities, course textbooks, course syllabuses.

    2. The Commission for Higher Education carries out visitation and academic audit of the academic departments for quality assurance.

    3. Departments recommend external examiners.

    4. Use a variety of assessment tools to evaluate students.

    5. Train lecturers on evaluation skills.

    6. In-service lecturers on educational theories and practices.

    7. Minimise examination cheating.


    Summary and Conclusion

    Evaluation in schools and universities is geared towards decision making. The evaluation of students is useful to measure the level of understanding and mastery of pedagogical objectives. Evaluation of students is also important in making administrative decisions such as the promotion, and the awarding or denying of a degree. The evaluation of teachers involves an administrative aspect when it is used for appointments or promotion. The evaluation of teachers by their own students may serve as a warning and a signal on the pedagogical quality of the teacher’s teaching strategies and his interactions with students.


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