Research Writing

What is external evaluation/Characteristics

Evaluating the dynamics of an organization, whether it is an educational center, company or any other type of institution, is necessary to be able to detect faults and improve its internal processes. The internal evaluation, carried out by the members of the organization themselves, is very useful, but it lacks full objectivity. For this reason, complemented with this, is the external evaluation, in which a person outside the institution itself evaluates different aspects such as  performance, internal dynamics and economic flows. What is external evaluation?

Next, we are going to see what external evaluation is , why it is so important in business and education, its main advantages and also what forms it can be used to apply it.

What is external evaluation?

External evaluation is any process in which an organization, institution or group is examined by evaluating a person who is not part of those human groups. That is, it is the evaluation carried out by a person outside a group of people in order to have the least biased and subjective measurement of it possible. These types of assessments are quite common in business and educational contexts.

Business world

In the field of organizations, the external evaluation is carried out to verify in an impartial and objective way if the company is fulfilling the objectives that it had proposed or if it treats its workers appropriately . Applied in the business field, it is possible to detect possible failures, aspects to improve within the organization and, also, compare it with other companies in the same sector.

Educational field

Regarding the education sector, evaluation of this type is useful to know if different schools and institutes comply with the standard and minimum levels imposed by the Ministry of Education or the regional government in terms of teaching. It is used to see if the center is respecting current regulations, if its students are learning properly or if there is any aspect to improve. It also helps to see how far it is from the national average in education, and can sometimes even be compared between countries . What is external evaluation?

Since evaluation and quality in the classroom are closely related, both external and internal evaluation are essential to be able to carry out an adequate analysis of the processes in the educational institution. The internal one is used for teachers to know what to improve, as well as whether they have to personalize or adapt the content and their teaching to the type of student body that has touched them, while the external one serves to improve the educational policies of the region or state, competences governmental type.

Regardless of the specific context for which the external evaluation is carried out, it is clear that its main intention is to make the most objective measurement possible of the performance of any institution or group of people. It is an essential tool to prevent the emotions, feelings, beliefs and expectations of the members of the organization influencing its performance , since it is difficult to evaluate oneself or evaluate colleagues, clients or students in a neutral way.

Characteristics of the external evaluation

There are several aspects to be mentioned of the external evaluation that, in addition to being the characteristics that define it, can also be understood as its main advantages.

1. External evaluator

The main characteristic of external evaluation and, in turn, the one that offers the most advantages is the fact that the evaluator is outside the group or institution that evaluates. This person seeks to verify how the company or entity works by observing it as objectively as possible.

As this evaluator, in addition to being a professional specialized in conducting this type of evaluations, is not related to the organization or has friendship ties with its members , his way of measuring performance and other aspects is as assertive as possible. What is external evaluation?

2. High impartiality

Directly related to the fact that the evaluator is outside the group that evaluates, the external evaluation has the advantage of providing greater impartiality. Organizations of any type can request an external evaluation in order to get as objective as possible a point of view about their own performance or behaviors within the institution. The impartiality of the external observer makes it possible to better detect possible failures and errors in the organization.

3. High standardization

Although it does not always have to be this way, in most cases the external evaluation is carried out using standardized tests . These tests have the advantage that their results can be compared with those of other institutions or centers in the same sector, to see to what extent the group of people evaluated meets the standards or if their performance is too low than expected.

Methods used

There are many ways that you can use to obtain the most objective and impartial information from a group of people , an educational center, a company or any other organization that you can think of. Next we will see the most common ones, all of them ideal to be handled by the external evaluator or to make the information collected organized in such a way that it allows this evaluator to interpret it in the most neutral way possible. What is external evaluation?

1. Interviews

One of the easiest ways to do an external evaluation is by using standardized interviews. This type of instrument consists of batteries of questions related to the sector and thematic to be evaluated. You can ask about everything, such as beliefs about the job, dynamics within it, performance, job expectations …

2. Surveys

Surveys, especially anonymous ones, are ideal for collecting all kinds of data. They are questionnaires that can sometimes be filled out by the respondents themselves and, if they are anonymous, they invite the respondent to be as sincere and honest as possible, whether they are students, teachers, employees or bosses.

This type of resource makes the respondent look freer and more assertive expressing his true expression , denouncing the problems that have been found and what aspects he thinks should be improved.

3. Focus groups

A technique that is also widely used in external evaluations is that of focus groups, which consist of selecting a group of people at random and taking them to a controlled environment , where they will be asked questions about their experience within the entity, what They give their opinion about work or studies and what needs have been satisfied and which ones have not.

4. Direct observation

Sometimes it is not necessary to resort to questionnaires, interviews and controlled environments to find out how people in an institution behave or think. Direct observation can be a very useful tool within external evaluation, as long as it is done in a way in which the observed himself does not know that he is being so, since in that case his way of behaving would change. What is external evaluation?

It can be especially useful in the field of education and business. In education ,because it is observed how students behave naturally, what is their “natural” performance and, also, if they behave appropriately or not.

In business, it allows to contemplate aspects such as interactions with customers, delivery times, some vices of the organization and common problems that employees do not perceive as so important that they are not aware of them or do not complain, although it can that influence the overall performance of the organization.

5. Audit

The audit is a very common form of external evaluation in companies that serves to verify the operation of the processes and the performance of those involved . This type of tool consists of hiring an expert from outside the company who evaluates all aspects of the institution, indicates what the failures are, offers advice and proposes solutions to improve its performance or put an end to the problems that have arisen. detected. What is external evaluation?

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