Quality care and Evaluation

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In order to assure high quality training courses systematic measurement of quality requirements, comparison with a standard, monitoring of processes and an associated feedback loop that enables development and learning are needed.There are no formal requirements for evaluation within the Erasmus+ framework. In practice, course providers throughout Europe discuss under the term Evaluation both an assessment of the quality of the course and an assessment of participants' competences. GINCO differentiates these aspects and elaborates the second within the separated competence area Validation and Learning Outcomes.

Providers of a European IST course within the Erasmus+ framework should carefully devise their evaluation strategy in accordance with the special requirements of transnational adult education courses. In the frame of quality assurance and evaluation course organisers should look systematically at all related activities concerning the preparation, development and delivery of a European IST course.

Evaluation as a concept is often loaded with connotations such as inspection, control, repercussions...

Not many European IST course organisers see the potential of evaluation processes in terms of individual and organizational learning and the improvement of the international course organization. An evaluation should be carried out in an open, participative and democratic atmosphere by setting up a climate of dialogue among course organizers and the different stakeholders, such as participants and their institutions, trainers and national agencies.

A culture combining self-evaluation and quality care with ownership of processes and outcomes is vital for an evaluation process which has a real chance to make an impact and lead to change. Therefore it is advisable to adopt a bottom-up approach and guidance of the ‘initiators’ in the process of conducting their own evaluation for making quality visible. Self-evaluation is seen as a valid form of quality assurance and quality development of the course. As Self-evaluation (SE) is self-initiated, focuses on learning by systematically collecting data on an individual, collective and organisational basis it allows for evidence based decisions to be made. So we can say that SE empowers, professionalises, creates new knowledge, supports democracy and makes things transparent. It is meant to support processes and progress of the course and is an inevitable part of quality care.

These competences are suggested by GINCO to deal appropriately with the task.

In the following we have summarized some helpful material for organizing and implementing self-evaluation and quality care.

To acquire a basic understanding of quality care and (self-) evaluation the SEALLL manual can be highly recommended. Apart from a theoretical introduction on the philosophy of SE and definitions it provides a planning format for SE, information on how to manage the different stages of an evaluation process and offers a comprehensive collection of SE tools. The manual is also available in Dutch, German, Lithuanian, Polish, Swedish and Turkish. If you are interested in information on the implementation, the monitoring and improvement of quality systems the Quality Management Handbook by the project QVETIS (QVETIS (2009): Quality Lab. Users Handbook) is serving as a user’s guide of the Quality Laboratory (Q-LAB, a platform for the implementation and monitoring of the quality management), which was modified according to the specifications of the QMS to implement under ISO 9001:2008 standard.  

For designing and managing the evaluation process properly goals have to be defined, a schedule has to be created, the involved actors have to be appointed and an appropriate climate for change has to be created. The GINCO Course Evaluation Plan is a template that helps you through these first steps. In order to plan the whole process the GINCO Template for an Evaluation Process is another tool that is available. 

Within the GINCO network a special quality grid for IST courses has been developed that offers a comprehensive overview of quality features for the pre-course phase, the development phase, the implementation and the follow up phase that could help to define adequate indicators. It serves as a reference framework for quality care of IST courses and is also available in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Comprehensive collections of evaluation instruments are available from different European projects.

If you would like to get an Overview and a Categorisation of various Self Evaluation Instruments first, whether they are individual, collective, responsive or productive this paper can be helpful to give a first orientation. The GINCO network for example has organized evaluation aspects and tools in a table according to the different phases of an IST course focusing either on evaluation among learners, trainers, developers or managers. This material is available in French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Another toolbox is available from REVEAL the Research and Evaluation Group for Validation, Evidencing and Assessing of Informal and Non-formal Learning. It offers a compilation of assessment methods specifically feasible for informal and non-formal learning settings.

For more information on analyzing the data and interpreting the results you can have a look at the SEALLL manual (p. 49 ff) and the Survival kit manual.



Recommended activities

GINCO documents

European documents and links

SEALLL manual (p. 60 ff.)

Quality in Grundtvig IST Courses

SEALLL Manual (p. 1 – 59)

Plan and manage the evaluation process

GINCO Course Evaluation Grid


National Agency Education for Europe at the Federal Institute for Vocational Training and Education (2008): Grundtvig Mobility – How to organise training courses for an international audience. A handbook on project management, page 29 f.: Course Evaluation


Define Indicators

REVEAL Evaluation Toolbox


QVETIS (2009): Quality Lab. Users Handbook.


Select an appropriate evaluation instrument

Overview and Categorisation of Self Evaluation Instruments


Analyse and interpret the data

GINCO Course Evaluation Plan


Report the results to the relevant stakeholders and derive consequences

GINCO Template for an Evaluation Process



SURVIVAL KIT – Event Evaluation Form 





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