Analytic Quality Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-21, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 18 June, 2021 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2021.


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Programme evaluation

core definition

Programme evaluation is a process of reviewing the quality or standards of a coherent set of study modules.

explanatory context

Programme evaluation may be part of an accreditation or re-accreditation procedure, (re)validation, or a subject assessment undertaken for internal or external processes.

analytical review

Kristoffersen (2003) states:

A programme evaluation covers a specific programme as a whole, or selected aspects thereof.  Most often, the aim is to provide an overall assessment of the programme, and programme evaluations typically encompass all components that influence programme quality. This includes components like the study environment and the organisational framework in which the programme operates.


For HEQC (2004, p. 28):

Programme evaluation: The external quality assurance processes undertaken to make an independent assessment of a programme’s development, management and outcomes and to validate the findings of an internal programme review.


Wojtczak (2002) defines programme evaluation in the context of medical education as either formative or summative:

Formative program evaluation provides information in order to improve a program's performance. It usually takes the form of surveys of learners to obtain feedback about and suggestions for improving a curriculum. Quantitative information such as ratings of various aspects of the curriculum can help identify areas that need revision. Qualitative information, such as responses to open-ended questions about program strengths and weaknesses, as well as suggestions for change, provide feedback in areas that may not have been anticipated and provide ideas for improvement. Information can also be obtained from faculty or other observers, such as nurses and patients.
Summative program evaluation
measures the success of a curriculum in achieving learner objectives for all targeted learners, its success in achieving its process objectives, and/or its success in engaging, motivating, and pleasing its learners and faculty. In addition to quantitative data, summative program evaluation may include qualitative information about unintended barriers or unanticipated effects encountered in program implementation.

associated issues


related areas

See also

programme accreditation

subject assessment



Council on Higher Education, Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC), 2004, Criteria for Institutional Audits, April (Pretoria, Council on Higher Education).

Kristoffersen, D., 2003, ‘Denmark' in Educational Evaluation  around the WorldAn International Anthology (Copenhagen, The Danish  Evaluation Institute) ISBN 87-7958-132–3.

Wojtczak, A., 2002, Glossary of Medical Education Terms,, December, 2000, Revised February 2002, accessed 2 September 2012, page not available 30 December 2016.

copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2021

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