ERIC Number: ED205082
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Qualitative Evaluation and the Assessment of Program Quality. AIR Forum 1981 Paper.
The concept of quality is analyzed with special attention to its different senses in two contexts: qualitative evaluation and assessment of educational program quality. The view that evaluation of program quality cannot be validly expressed in quantitative terms and that qualitative evaluation methodologies have special relevance for the assessment of quality is criticized. An important step is to determine the central purpose or essential function of a program by expert judgment supported by good arguments. Statements of central purpose must be refined into statements of specific manifestations of quality. When the manifestations have been specified, it is possible to develop, through empirical research methods, indicators that predict the occurrence of the manifestations. In order to make a quality ranking, values of the indicated variables (which represent the manifestataions of quality) must be aggregated into a composite index of quality. If aggregation is not possible, profiling (i.e., talking of the various dimensions of value that fall within the scope of quality) is indicated. It is argued that valid quantitative and qualitative indicators can be developed if one has a model linking indicator with indicated variables. The distinctions that are made are designed to provide the conceptual framework that would underlie research designs for assessments of program quality. (SW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: AIR Forum
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Forum of the Association for Institutional Research (21st, Minneapolis, MN, May 17-20, 1981).