What is educational level evaluator?

What is the Educational Level Evaluator

The Educational Level Evaluator (ELE) is a framework that provides a procedure and instrumentation to validly and reliably evaluate the level of degree programmes in higher education. The concept of ‘evaluating’ refers to the complete process of creating, developing, determining, measuring, analysing, assessing and evaluating the degree programme level. Within the context of quality assurance and accreditation it is important that the degree programme level is evaluated based on valid and reliable grounds. Evaluating the degree programme level based on non-valid and unreliable data leads ultimately leads to improper or incorrect conclusions, which is harmful for the degree programmes, students, lecturers, and other stakeholders.

Design of the ELE

The instrumentation of the ELE has been designed in accordance with the Design Research Methodology (DRM) (Blessing & Chakrabarti 2009). The design activities resourcefully employ multidisciplinary principles, terminology and methods given in DRM. The conceptualisation of the level of a degree programme as well as the critical factors governing the instrumentation become clear during the designing process. The  concept of level is determined through the mental activities students use in their higher educational studies: cognitive, affective and regulative activities. Critical factors are those factors that have the strongest influence on the aimed outcomes of the instrumentation. Four critical factors have been identified: the concept of the level has to be content-driven; and the instrumentation should be reasoned transparently, empirically proven, and feasible.

Characteristics of the ELE

Aim of the ELE is to evaluate validly and reliably the level of a degree programme. It is a generic model that is elaborated for each of the domains of degree programmes, such as economics, health, and technology. It provides the steps for conceptualising, operationalising and measuring the level of a degree programme. It further contains instruments that enable the evaluator to clearly describe the expected outcomes of a level. For this purpose taxonomies are used such as the SOLO-taxonomy and the Attitude Development (AD) taxonomy.

Examples of projects

Examples of ELE projects are: evaluating the level of an MBA degree programme; evaluating the level of a professional bachelor honours programme; evaluating the level of two professional bachelor degree programmes within the context of their merging process; measuring the level of a professional bachelor degree programme and the level of professional excellence as part of that bachelor degree programme.

Various methods and instruments are developed while searching for the concept of the degree programme level and its valid evaluation. Instruments supporting the process of making explicit aspects or ideas of the degree programme level. It is also possible to execute large scale projects through the complete ELE procedure. For instance evaluating the level of more degree programmes from one domain, evaluating the level of  more bachelor degree programmes from one domain in more countries.