Quality Control in Education
Quality Measures Implemented in Countries with Top-rated Education Systems
The quality of education is the major determinant of the long-term economic development and position of nations among its peers. As there are various aspects of educational quality, it is reasonable to examine the most popular quality measures used in countries with the highest-rated education. It will be supported by the broader discussion of the importance of education control as well as the further evaluation and assessments of their importance. Although some forms of control reflect the specific cultural or social environments in different countries, some universal principles can be successfully applied at the global scale. It may allow achieving the rapid development of the educational standards with the positive implications for all parties involved.
Different countries utilize different standards for assessing the quality of their students education. As Asian countries traditionally demonstrate the highest effectiveness of school education, it is reasonable to focus on quality measures used in Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and other countries from the same region. In most cases, these countries rely on specific tests that evaluate students knowledge and skills according to a number of criteria. All tests are verified by the corresponding government agencies to ensure their objectivity and correctness. It also allows teachers and students to be aware of the major criteria used for assessing their knowledge in advance. It encourages them to devote the considerable time and efforts to preparations. The significance of such tests is critical as they determine the changes of their students obtaining a higher education in the desired institutions as well as the social assessment of their learning and intellectual performance.
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Other countries with top-rated educational systems such as Canada and Finland also utilize standardized tests for evaluating students knowledge although their significance is lower compared to those in Asian countries. The reason is that the future prospects of Canadian and Finnish students depend on a number of factors beyond high-test results. It also explains the lower psychological pressure on students in these countries in comparison to those in Asia.
In general, North American and European countries mostly adopt more decentralized quality measures when specific educational institutions are free to select those methods and techniques that are applicable to their sphere of operation. Moreover, there are various rankings and quality indicators developed by various independent agencies and organizations. They utilize different methodologies for determining the quality of student knowledge and other characteristics that may have an indirect impact on the quality of education. Although all such indicators and rankings have their strengths and weaknesses, their effective combination allows the public to differentiate between institutions that provide high- and low-quality education. As a result, universities and other institutions (such practices are especially applicable to higher education) receive additional motivation for making the required adjustments and improving the delivery of their services.
Therefore, quality measures exist at different levels. On the one hand, national governments may develop tests for assessing student knowledge at a specific stage. For example, they may be interested in specifying their knowledge during the transition from high school to college or at other periods. Correspondingly, all schools or other institutions have to adhere to government regulations and organize the corresponding tests as a form of student knowledge evaluation. Such quality measures are important at the national level for making the statistically significant implications as well as comparing the educational efficiency of different countries in the world.
On the other hand, additional quality measures are typically introduced at the lower levels for educational institutions control over student performance. The grade system mostly depends on the historical evolution in every country although some institutions can make some minor deviations if they believe it to be reasonable for achieving better educational outcomes. Moreover, the independent quality measures developed by various independent organizations are also significant for determining the level of knowledge and skills possessed by students at the moment of evaluation. Such quality measures are often available to the general public, enabling them making more reasonable choices about optimal educational institutions in the future.
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Importance of Quality Control
Quality control in education is important for several reasons. First, various education degrees demonstrate the qualification possessed by a concrete individual. It is highly important for other people and organization for determining the optimal place in the social division of labor. Moreover, the future professional performance of every person may impact third parties, and it is critical to ensure that everyone has the required qualification for performing his/her functions properly. Therefore, education control creates the foundation for the maximum professional efficiency at various social levels.
Secondly, quality control allows education institutions to design timely interventions in relation to those students who require them. For example, if a student does not demonstrate the expected level of knowledge and skills, additional options should be provided to him/her for addressing the emerged gap and meeting the existing standards. In the vast majority of cases, an individual approach allows normalizing the situation and ensuring the proper intellectual progress for each student (Yonglin & Zhanjun, 2016). Learning institutions also provide the internal examination of their policies to achieve the constant improvements according to the education industrys expectations.
Thirdly, quality control serves as an additional motivational factor for students. In fact, being aware of the future quality assessments, they will necessarily pay closer attention to various forms of examinations and institutions regulations. As a result, they will be able to increase their knowledge and avoid any serious problems in the future. It also demonstrates to students that the quality of their knowledge is a major priority compared to any other quantitative measures. Even the adequate recognition of major priorities is important for maximizing their learning outcomes in the long run.
Finally, quality control is intrinsically related to other educational elements. It is the natural continuation of the previous efforts of providing knowledge to students. It is critical to verify that students have transformed this information into precise skills and proper understanding. Only when quality control confirms that the initial goals have been met, is it possible to shift towards a new portion of information. If quality control has identified any deviations from the initial schedule of knowledge acquisition, students can formulate their questions to find the more detailed explanations from teachers or tutors. However, the subsequent reexamination may also be required. Quality control also verifies the students ability to independently retrieve and evaluate the key information on a specific subject or topic.
Evaluation, Assessment, and Their Importance
Education professionals typically differentiate between evaluation and assessment as they have different goals and implications. Moreover, a test does not belong to evaluations or assessments but constitutes an independent measure that uses the formal criteria for assessing students knowledge and skills. Evaluation is a complex process that presupposes making objective judgments on the basis of the available evidence and criteria. Such criteria may be different in various countries and institutions. However, the current tendencies indicate the growing similarities among countries, and their orientation to the generally accepted international standards. It allows providing evaluations in various countries as well as integrating such activities between the institutions from different regions of the world. It also contributes to more intense international cooperation in the educational sphere.
Assessment presupposes not only making judgments but also providing the precise documentation of the observed dynamics of students knowledge, skills, and experiences in a quantitative way. It allows identifying the positive or negative tendencies as well as developing their corresponding interventions. The reliance on quantitative analysis allows even predicting the expected positive outcomes of different interventions. Thus, educational assessments are different from evaluation as their goal is to achieve substantial improvements within the minimal time frame rather than merely specifying the current level of students knowledge. All relevant learning information is correspondingly integrated and interpreted according to the needs and objectives formulated by the institution.
All top countries utilize both evaluations and assessments for maximizing their potential and achieving the highest possible outcomes for their education systems. Evaluations are organized at different levels and time frames to maximize the availability of information about student achievement and the major obstacles they currently experience or may face in the future. Countries with leading educational systems in Asian, European, and North American try to collect the maximum amount of information that may be later used by administrators, authorities, and independent auditors. Thus, such evaluations are important because they allow avoiding the major sources of biases and formulating objective conclusions.
At the same time, the comparative effectiveness of educational systems in Canada, Finland, and other leading countries mostly depends on their ability to transform assessments into effective interventions. They provide the quantitative examination of the key educational indicators regarding students knowledge, achievements, and the changes over time. Then, education experts (both at the local and national levels) determine the main spheres that require urgent improvement. On this basis, several potential scenarios are evaluated with the specification of their major benefits and risks. It is reasonable to identify the interests of students and other stakeholders involved. Assessments typically presuppose establishing the precise targets that should be met within the agreed time period. If the preliminary evaluation and the subsequent assessments are properly performed, there are typically no problems with increasing the effectiveness of national educational systems. The stable and high positions of Singapore in terms of school education and the effectiveness of higher education in Canada confirm the ability of these countries to perform adequate assessments and use them for constant quality improvements. It has the broader implications for the global educational system as developing countries should become more active in developing effective assessment practices. In this way, the long-term desired outcomes for the global community can be achieved without any adverse effects.
To summarize, the provided analysis indicates that quality control is central for achieving the sustainability of any educational system. It is typically conducted at different stages of learning, ensuring the smooth transition between the major educational stages. Both the national governments and independent organizations utilize a number of measurements for examining students knowledge and skills dynamics. Although there are some differences between the top countries from different regions of the world, there are still substantial similarities regarding their respective criteria. Moreover, the current globalization trend also facilitates the mutual integration of various education systems in a mutually beneficial manner. Quality control in education performs a number of important functions including maximizing future professional qualifications, creating stimuli for students, and facilitating the institutions process of improving their practices. Although both evaluations and assessments are used by all leading countries, they are different in the context of their goals and implications. Evaluations accumulate the maximum amount of information for making well-supported judgments on the quality of students education. In contrast, assessments enable formulating specific interventions oriented towards maximizing the likelihood of positive changes. All top education countries utilize assessments for the improvement of their education systems. Such approaches may also be used by their countries when reforming their education approaches.
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