Measuring Educational Quality in TVET

  • Robert D. Renaud

How do we know when an educational institution is doing well compared either with other institutions or against external standards? In technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes, performance indicators have been used in the process of accreditation, evaluation and rankings. With institutions facing increased competition for diminishing resources and with stakeholders demanding greater accountability, the study and use of performance indicators has never been as crucial as it is now. This chapter begins with an outline of the more notable benefits and limitations of using performance indicators to evaluate the quality of TVET programmes, which is followed by a brief summary of the findings of empirical studies that assessed the relation between institutional characteristics and learner outcomes (i.e. criterion validity). Finally, specific recommendations are presented with respect to how future research can obtain a clearer understanding of how institutional characteristics contribute to the learning and development of learners.


High Education Performance Indicator Educational Quality Institutional Characteristic Critical Thinking Skill 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alwin, D.F. 1974. College effects on educational and occupational attainments. American sociological review, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 210–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anaya, G. 1999. College impact on student learning: comparing the use of self-reported gains, standardized test scores, and college grades. Research in higher education, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 449–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Astin, A.W. 1970. The methodology of research on college input: part one. Sociology of education, vol. 43, pp. 223–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Astin, A.W. 1971. Open admissions and programmes for the disadvantaged. Journal of higher education, vol. 42, pp. 629–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Astin, A.W. 1978. Four critical years: effects on college beliefs, attitudes, and values. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  6. Astin, A.W. 1982. Minorities in American higher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  7. Astin, A.W. 1999. How the liberal arts colleges affect students. Daedalus, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 77–100.Google Scholar
  8. Astin, A.W.; Astin, H.S. 1993. Undergraduate science education: the impact of different college environments on the educational pipeline in the sciences. Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Graduate School of Education, Higher Education Research Institute.Google Scholar
  9. Astin, A.W.; Panos, R.J. 1969. The educational and vocational development of college students. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  10. Astin, A.W.; Panos, R.J. 1970. Evaluation of educational programmes. In: Thorndike, R.L., ed. Educational measurement, ch. 20. Washington, DC: American Council on Education.Google Scholar
  11. Ayres, Q.W.; Bennett, R.W. 1983. University characteristics and student achievement. Journal of higher education, vol. 54, no. 5, pp. 516–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ball, R.; Halwachi, J. 1987. Performance indicators in higher education. Higher education, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 393–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Beywl, W.; Speer, S. 2004. Developing standards to evaluate vocational education and training programmes. In: Descy, P.; Tessaring, M., eds. The foundations of evaluation and impact research. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. (Cedefop Reference Series, 3040.)Google Scholar
  14. Bloom, B.S., ed. 1956. Taxonomy of educational objectives: cognitive domain. New York, NY: McKay.Google Scholar
  15. Bogue, E.G.; Sanders, R.L. 1992. The evidence for quality: strengthening the tests of academic and administrative effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  16. Braxton, J.M. 1990. Course-level academic processes as indicators of the quality of undergraduate education. Instructional developments, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 8–10.Google Scholar
  17. Braxton, J.M. 1993. Selectivity and rigor in research universities. Journal of higher education, vol. 64, pp. 657–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Bruneau, W.; Savage, D.C. 2002. Counting out the scholars: how performance indicators undermine universities and colleges. Toronto, Canada: Lorimar.Google Scholar
  19. Cabrera, A.F.; Colbeck, C.L.; Terenzini, P.T. 2001. Developing performance indicators for assessing classroom teaching practices and student learning: the case of engineering. Research in higher education, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 327–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chinien, C.; Boutin, F. 2005. Framework for strengthening research in ICT-mediated learning. (Paper presented at the annual meeting on Information Technology-Based Higher Education and Training, Juan Dolio, Dominican Republic, 7–9 July 2005.)Google Scholar
  21. Conrad, C.F.; Blackburn, R.T. 1985. Programme quality in higher education: a review and critique of literature and research. In: Smart, J.C., ed. Higher education: handbook of theory and research, vol. 1, pp. 283–308. New York, NY: Agathon.Google Scholar
  22. Ethington, C.A.; Smart, J.C. 1986. Persistence to graduate education. Research in higher education, vol. 24, pp. 287–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ewell, P.T. 1989. Institutional characteristics and faculty/administrator perceptions of outcomes: an exploratory analysis. Research in higher education, vol. 30, pp. 113–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Foster, E.; Rogers, J. 1980. Quality of education and student earnings. Higher education, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 21–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hossler, D. 2000. The problem with college rankings. About campus, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 20–24.Google Scholar
  26. Hu, S.; Kuh, G.D. 2000. A multilevel analysis on student learning in colleges and universities. (Paper presented to the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Sacramento, CA, USA, 16–19 November 2000.)Google Scholar
  27. Hu, S.; Kuh, G.D. 2003. Maximizing what students get out of college: testing a learning productivity model. Journal of college student development, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 183–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. International Organization for Standardization. 2005. ISO 9000 and ISO 14000: in brief. <>
  29. Johnes, J.; Taylor, J. 1990. Performance indicators in higher education: UK universities. Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Kaufman, M.; Creamer, D.G. 1991. Influences of student goals for college on freshman-year quality of effort and growth. Journal of college student development, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 197–206.Google Scholar
  31. Kim, M.M. 2002. Cultivating intellectual development: comparing women-only colleges and coeducational colleges for educational effectiveness. Research in higher education, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 447–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kim, M.M.; Rhoades, G.; Woodward, D.B. 2003. Sponsored research versus graduating students: intervening variables and unanticipated findings in public research universities. Research in higher education, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 51–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kingston, L.S.; Smart, J.C. 1990. The economic pay-off of prestigious colleges. In: Kingston, P.W.; Lewis, L.S., eds. The high status track: studies of elite schools and stratification, pp. 147–74. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  34. Knox, W.E.; Lindsay, P.; Kolb, M.N. 1992. Higher education, college characteristics, and student experiences: long-term effects on educational satisfactions and perceptions. Journal of higher education, vol. 63, no. 3, pp. 303–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lee, J.L. 2002. Religion and college attendance: change among students. Review of higher education, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 369–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Marcus, R.D. 1989. Freshmen retention rates at U.S. private colleges: results from aggregated data. Journal of economic and social measurement, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 37–55.Google Scholar
  37. Martin, L.M. 2000. The relationship of college experiences to psychosocial outcomes in students. Journal of college student development, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 292–301.Google Scholar
  38. McGuire, M.D. 1995. Validity issues for reputational studies. In: Walleri, R.D.; Moss, M.K., eds. Evaluating and responding to college guidebooks and rankings, pp. 45–59. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  39. Nedwick, B.P.; Neal, J.E. 1994. Performance indicators and rational management tools: a comparative assessment of projects in North America and Europe. Research in higher education, vol. 35, pp. 75–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Nichols, R.C. 1964. The effects of various college characteristics on student aptitude test scores. Journal of educational psychology, vol. 55, no. 1, pp. 45–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Nordvall, R.C.; Braxton, J.M. 1996. An alternative definition of quality of undergraduate education: toward usable knowledge for improvement. Journal of higher education, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 483–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Nunnally, J.C.; Bernstein, I.H. 1994. Psychometric theory, 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  43. Pace, C.R. 1990. The undergraduates: a report of their activities and progress in college in the 1980s. Los Angeles, CA: University of California, Center for the Study of Evaluation.Google Scholar
  44. Page, S. 1995. Rankings of Canadian universities: pitfalls in interpretation. The Canadian journal of higher education, vol. 25, pp. 17–28.Google Scholar
  45. Pascarella, E.T.; Terenzini, P.T. 2005. How college affects students: a third decade of research, vol. 2. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  46. Pike, G.R. 1995. The relationship between self reports of college experiences and achievement test scores. Research in higher education, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pike, G.R. 2004. Measuring quality: a comparison of ‘U.S. news’ rankings and NSSE benchmarks. Research in higher education, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 193–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Renaud, R.D.; Murray, H.G. 2007. The validity of higher-order questions as a process indicator of educational quality. Research in higher education, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 315–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ross, C.E.; Mirowsky, J. 1999. Refining the association between education and health: the effects of quantity, credential, and selectivity. Demography, vol. 36, no. 4, pp. 445–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Ryan, J.F. 2004. The relationship between institutional expenditures and degree attainment at baccalaureate colleges. Research in higher education, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 97–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sax, L. 1994. Mathematical self-concept: how college reinforces the gender gap. Research in higher education, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 141–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Scheirer, M. 1994. Designing and using process evaluation. In: Wholey, J.S.; Hatry, H.P.; Newcomer, K.E., eds. Handbook of practical programme evaluation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  53. Schmitz, C.C. 1993. Assessing the validity of higher education indicators. Journal of higher education, vol. 64, no. 5, pp. 503–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Smart, J.C. et al. 2002. Influences of institutional expenditure patterns on the development of students’ leadership competencies. Research in higher education, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 115–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Strauss, L.C.; Volkwein, F. 2002. Comparing student performance and growth in 2- and 4-year institutions. Research in higher education, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 133–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tan, D.L. 1986. The assessment of quality in higher education: a critical review of the literature and research. Research in higher education, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 223–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Terenzini, P.T. et al. 1995. Influences affecting the development of students’ critical thinking skills. Research in higher education, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 23–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Torres, R.M. 2004. Lifelong learning in the South: critical issues and opportunities for adult education. Stockholm: Sida. (Sida Studies no. 11.)Google Scholar
  59. Toutkoushian, R.K.; Smart, J.C. 2001. Do institutional characteristics affect student gains from college? The review of higher education, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 39–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tsui, L. 2002. Fostering critical thinking through effective pedagogy. Journal of higher education, vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 740–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vacha-Hasse, T.; Thompson, B. 2004. How to estimate and interpret various effect sizes. Journal of counseling psychology, vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 473–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wachtel,p. 1976. The effect on earnings of school and college investment expenditures. Review of economics and statistics, vol. 58, no. 3, pp. 326–31.Google Scholar
  63. Webster, D. 1992. Are they any good? Rankings of undergraduate education in U.S. News & World Report and Money. Change, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 18–31.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert D. Renaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational Administration, Foundations and,PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations