central methodology of EVALUE is obviously based on the 31 case studies.
Why qualitative case studies rather than a quantitative survey on a representative
sample of a greater number of universities? In fact, only the case studies
(and the interviews on which they are based) are able to gather precise
and rich data, to locate and to increase the value of innovative evaluation
experiences, to understand the conditions of their emergence, to analyse
the dynamics between internal and external evaluation, to measure the evaluation
effects (how some universities have succeeded to appropriate the evaluation
and to use it as an essential tool for changes?), and at last to give the
possibility to the university actors to speak, to give an actual importance
to their representations of the phenomena they observe."
national team made four case studies. They were chosen according to several
characteristics: interesting experiences of evaluation, size, seniority,
disciplines, geographical location. In each university, pertinent documents
were gathered, and interviews conducted (30 to 70 for each case). Five
fields of evaluation were analysed: teaching and learning, research, academic
staff, organisation, education-employment relationship. For each of them,
the analysis of the evaluation process was central: context, decision,
actors, methods, results, effects. Every national team 'revisited' one
case study (at least more than one year after the first wave of interviews),
in order to study the evaluation effects, the changes influenced by evaluations.
(Dubois, 1998, p. 35, 36)