Key Evaluation Questions

Key evaluation questions (KEQs) and Tertiary Evaluation Indicators are the main tools of external evaluation and review. Along with performance criteria, these tools are used to reach judgements about educational performance and capability in self-assessment.

The table showing how the indicators relate to the KEQs can be found here (PDF, 109KB).

Outcome questions

Outcome questions focus on the value of the outcomes achieved in tertiary education.

1. How well do students achieve?

Possible sources of evidence

  • Student achievement data (retentions, completions etc)
  • Destination data
  • Feedback from students, staff and other interested communities or individuals
  • Outcome information

2. What is the value of the outcomes for key stakeholders [1], including students?

Possible sources of evidence

  • Analysis of stakeholders feedback and graduate data
  • Graduate satisfaction feedback
  • Outcome information
  • Employment data
  • Destination data
  • Analysis of sector benchmarking information

Process questions

Process questions focus on the quality and value of the key contributing processes in tertiary education.

3. How well do programme design and delivery, including learning and assessment activities, match the needs of students and other relevant stakeholders?

Possible sources of evidence

  • Results of analysis of stakeholder feedback
  • Entry requirements for course and programmes
  • Employer feedback on graduates
  • Feedback from graduates in employment
  • Student achievement information (trends over time)

4. How effectively are students supported and involved in their learning?

Possible sources of evidence

  • Student feedback on teaching
  • Results of peer observation of teaching
  • Feedback from stakeholders
  • Interviews with staff and students
  • Teaching and learning plans

5. How effective are governance and management in supporting educational achievement?

Possible sources of evidence

  • Student feedback on learning environment
  • Feedback on student support services
  • Analysis of information on non-completion rates (attritions)
  • Student destination data
  • Student and staff opinion

6. How effectively are important compliance accountabilities managed?

Possible sources of evidence

  • Reports, minutes and records of the activities of the governance body
  • Records and reports of consultation e.g. with whānau, communities, employers, business
  • Strategic and business plans with evidence of the approach to meeting identified needs and aspirations

Common platform

The KEQs are designed to explore what are widely regarded as the most important dimensions of educational quality: programme content and design, and delivery and outcomes. They provide a common platform for the external evaluation and review of TEOs regardless of their size or the type of programmes they offer.

These high-level, open-ended questions focus on either the outcomes achieved or the key processes contributing to the outcomes.

You may find the KEQs and the Tertiary Evaluation Indicators useful for self-assessment. They can create a strong link between your self-assessment and the external evaluation and review. By using the same tools, TEOs and evaluators can engage in conversations using common definitions and understandings.

However, you will also need to use your own questions or indicators for self-assessment activities, to reflect features unique to your organisation.

'It makes you look at yourself and be honest and see what you can do to improve… I like that it focuses on the learner and the delivery of programmes and what the learner is getting out of the programme.'

TEO staff member

[1] ‘Stakeholders’ can be different groups of people in different TEOs, but are likely to include some or all of: students, communities, employers, professional bodies and other relevant regional and national groups.

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