Benchmarking Technical Education Delivery Systems

Vocational Education Journal, October 1994 | Go to article overview

Benchmarking Technical Education Delivery Systems


One of the major challenges facing technical education is a perception, deserved or otherwise, that programs are not providing "world class" employees. Another challenge is the recommendation that education--especially vocational-technical education--benchmark against international competition.

Benchmarking is the identification of metrics (common measures and measurement techniques) and the application of those metrics to processes and products. It is a systematic way of identifying the practices of successful enterprises and implementing them in less effective organizations. Ultimately this is an inquiry process designed to identify what works and why. Once a successful practice is identified, it becomes a benchmark and serves as a reference point for establishing internal goals and objectives for increased performance.

This technique has been tremendously successful in business and industry. The same system shows promise for improving technical education. It makes no difference whether the processes that increase performance are designed to produce a world-class automobile or technician.

In benchmarking, partners use specific metrics to compare themselves against each other. A metric is the element to be measured and how the measurement is to be conducted. Selecting the wrong metric set will provide data that will not improve quality. Another potential problem is using data from metrics that have been calculated differently--the "apples and oranges" measurement flaw.

To identify product metrics, the partners need a common understanding of what is important in determining product quality. Another way of thinking about this is to ask, "What are valued characteristics of the product?" For education, one is a program completer's ability to quickly become a productive employee.

Technical educators also must identify factors that affect the quality of the product. The process metrics might include data such as cost per student, number of hours of lab/theory instruction and other program variables familiar to experienced technical educators.

The most critical point is that the benchmarking partners use the same metrics; no more, no less. No comparative analysis can be made on unlike data.

Quality is a subjective term that is difficult to conceptualize and is nearly always in the eye of the beholder. Recently, however, international standards have defined quality or business and industry as "... the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy stated or implied needs."

Partners will need discipline to agree on metrics that can be applied to technical education programs that share an occupational objective. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Benchmarking Technical Education Delivery Systems
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.