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Investigating educational issues across Europe (ACROSS Base)
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Method Case study (EVALUE)
Description "The 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."

Every 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)

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