External evaluation: types, characteristics and advantages

Evaluating the dynamics of an organization, whether it is an educational center, a company or any other type of establishment, is necessary in order to be able to detect errors and improve its internal processes.

Internal evaluation, carried out by the members of the organization themselves, is very useful, but it does not have full objectivity. For this reason, complemented by this, there is the external evaluation, in which a person outside the institution itself evaluates different aspects such as performance, internal dynamics and economic flows.

Then we will see what the external evaluation isWhy it is so important in business and education, its main benefits and also the means that 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 one of these human groups. That is to say, it is the evaluation that realizes a person of another one to a group of people, thus, to have a possible biased and subjective measurement at least of the same. Such assessments are quite common in business and educational settings.

    business world

    In the field of organizations, external evaluation is carried out by verify impartially and objectively whether the company is achieving its objectives or whether it treats its employees appropriately. Applied in the business field, it is possible to detect possible failures, aspects to improve within the organization and, also, to compare it with other companies in the same sector.

    education field

    As far as the education sector is concerned, such an assessment is used to determine whether the different schools and institutes meet the standard and minimum levels imposed by the Ministry of Education or the regional government in the field of education. It allows to see if the center complies with the regulations in force, if its students are learning correctly or if there is an aspect to improve. It is also used to see how far it is from the national education average, and can sometimes even be compared between countries..

    Since assessment and classroom quality are closely related, both external and internal assessment are essential to be able to carry out a proper process analysis in the educational institution. The internal is for teachers to know what to improve, in addition to whether they have to personalize or adapt the content and their education to the type of students that have affected them, while the external is used to improve educational policies. of the region or the state, government-type competences.

    Regardless of the specific context in which the external evaluation is carried out, it is clear that its main intention is to achieve as objective a measurement as possible on the performance of any institution or group of people. It is a tool essential to prevent the emotions, feelings, beliefs and expectations of members of the organization from influencing the performance of the sameAs a self-assessment or evaluation of peers, clients or students, it is difficult to do it in a neutral way.

      Characteristics of external evaluation

      There are several aspects to mention in the external evaluation which, besides being the defining characteristics, can also be understood as its main advantages.

      1. External assessor

      The main feature of external evaluation and, in turn, the one that offers the most benefit is the fact that the evaluator is outside the group or institution that is evaluating. This person seeks to verify the functioning of the company or entity by observing it as objectively as possible.

      Like this evaluator, in addition to being a professional specialized in carrying out this type of evaluation, he is not linked to the organization or maintains friendly ties with its membersHis way of measuring performance and other aspects is as assertive as it gets.

      2. High impartiality

      Directly linked to the fact that the evaluator is outside the evaluation group, external evaluation has the advantage of offering greater impartiality. Organizations of any kind may request an external evaluation in order to achieve the most objective point of view possible. on their own performance or behavior 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 this is not necessarily the case, in most cases, the external assessment is carried out using standardized tests. These tests have the advantage of being able to compare their results 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 very poor.

      methods used

      There are many ways to get the most objective and unbiased information from a group of people, School, business or any other organization that we can think of. Below we will see the most common, all ideal to be handled by the external evaluator or to organize the information collected in such a way as to allow that evaluator to interpret it in the most neutral way possible.

      1. Interviews

      One of the easiest ways to do an external assessment is to use standardized interviews. These types of instruments are made up of sets of questions related to the sector and the subjects to be assessed. You can ask questions about everything, like beliefs about the job, dynamics within it, performance, professional expectations …

      2. Investigations

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

      This type of resource this gives the respondent a freer and more assertive appearance in expressing their true expression, Denouncing the problems which have been observed and the aspects which, according to him, should be improved.

        3. Focus groups

        A technique also widely used in external evaluations is that of focus groups, which they 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 organization, what they think about work or schooling and what needs they have met and what they do not have.

        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 in the context of external evaluation, provided that it is done in such a way that the observed person does not discover that he is being observed, because in this case he would change his form of behavior.

        It can be particularly useful in education and business. In education, because we observe how students behave naturally, what their “natural” performance is and also whether they behave correctly or not.

        In the business allows you to take into account aspects such as customer interactions, delivery times, some organizational flaws and common issues that employees do not perceive as so important that they are oblivious to them and complain about them, although they can influence the overall performance of the organization.

        5. Audit

        The audit is a form of external evaluation very widespread in companies which serves to verify the functioning of the processes and the performance of the people involved. This type of tool involves engaging an expert from outside the company who assesses all aspects of the institution, reports errors, offers advice and offers solutions to improve its performance or put an end to problems that may arise.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Christie, California; Ross, RM and Klein, BM (2004): “Towards collaboration by creating a participatory internal-external evaluation team: a case study”. Studies in Education Evaluation 30: 125-13.
        • Nevo, D. (1994): “Combining Internal and External Assessment: A Case for School Assessment. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 20: 87-98.
        • Vanhoof, J. and van Petegem, P. (2007): “Coinciding internal and external evaluation in the era of responsibility and school development: lessons from the Flemish perspective”. Educational Evaluation Studies, 33: 101–119.
        • Rodríguez-Porta, A. (sf). External evaluation: characteristics, types (tests), examples. Lifeder.com. Retrieved from: https://www.lifeder.com/evaluacion-externa/
        • Lobato, Esteban. (2007). External evaluation in education. Progress in educational supervision: Journal of the Spanish Association of Educational Inspectors, ISSN 1885-0286, Nº. 5, 2007.

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