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Program evaluation: Moving from tick-box systems to educational quality as transformation

Date:  Saturday 28 August 
Time:  1030-1300


  • Dorene Balmer
  • Satid Thammasitboon
  • RenĂ©e Stalmeijer


Summary of Theme and Why it is important: Health professions educators across the globe consider programme evaluation as a means to achieve and improve educational quality, but conceptualizations of quality differ: is “quality” meeting minimum standards, achieving excellence, or return on investment? This workshop invites participants to conceptualize quality as transformation. That is, programme evaluation aims not only for improvement of the programme but also to facilitate impactful change within the organisation. From this perspective, quality is achieved when programme participants grow in their conceptual abilities and self-awareness, and transfer abilities and self-awareness to other programmes.

Conceptualizing educational quality as transformation is important today because using programme evaluation merely to “tick boxes” is ineffective and unsustainable amidst major disruptions in learning environments (e.g., pandemic, economic crises). We posit that conceptualizing educational quality as transformation is a key feature of programmes that not only survive but thrive amidst disruption. This workshop is designed to help participants broaden their thinking about educational quality and consider how their programmes might lead to empowerment and transformation of students, teachers, curricula and even institutions.

What participants will gain: During the workshop, participants will compare/contrast conceptualizations of educational quality; describe and construct evaluation questions that foster transformation (e.g., Are we transforming our students into agile, lifelong learners? Are our faculty continuously improving themselves and the curriculum, even in the face of uncertainty? What is the impact of transformation at the student level on the institution?); and start to develop a plan for programme evaluation aims to transform quality assurance practices in their own organisation.

After a general introduction of relevant concepts, the workshop will provide opportunities for participants to reflect on their conceptualization of quality, discuss evaluation questions and approaches to programme evaluation that foster transformation, and apply what they learned to their own work in programme evaluation. We will work with several, activating workshop techniques like case discussion, buzz groups, replying to (online) propositions, and group work.

Who should participate:

Students with governing roles
Faculty developers
Educational leaders

Level of workshop:  Intermediate/Advanced

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