Quality Assurance in Higher Education Dr. Maysoon Al-Haideri Director of Quality Assurance Hawler Medical University Quality.assurance @hmu.edu.iq
OUTLINE: • Definition of Quality Assurance (QA) and Accreditation: • Aim of QA • Structure and Mechanisms of the Quality Assurance Management • Board of Quality Assurance and Accreditation • The Directorate of Quality Assurance and Curriculum Development at the University • Mission and Vision • Aim of the Quality Assurance Directorate • Quality Assurance Processes and Tools • Elements of Quality Assurance process • Quality Assurance Model • Main QA topics
What is Quality Assurance (QA): Quality Assurance is the planned and systematic review process of an institution or program to determine whether or not acceptable standards of education, scholarship and infrastructure are being met, maintained and enhanced.
What is Quality Assurance cont. The means by which an institution can guarantee with confidence and certainty, that the standards and quality of its educational provision are being maintained and enhanced. Quality Assurance provide tools and processes to enable us to meet our goals.
Accreditation: • “The recognition of an institution which can demonstrate that its programmers’ meet acceptable standards and that it has in place effective systems to ensure the quality and continuing improvement of its academic activities, according to the criteria published by the Agency.”
Aim of QA The aim of quality assurance in higher education is to guarantee the improvement of standards and quality in higher education in order to make higher education meet the needs of students, employers and financiers (Lomas, 2002).
Overview • The Quality Assurance Directorate at Hawler Medical University was established in 2008- 2009, under theadministration of the Vice President of Scientific Affair and Postgraduate Studies to: • overlook issues related to quality assurance and • accreditation in the educational system, • develop an overall strategic plan for quality assurance and accreditation, and • assist in improving the quality of the academic • programs and that of their graduates.
The Structure and Mechanisms of the Quality Assurance Management The Ministry of Higher Education, is responsible for the overall education system, which took the initiative steps to develop an overall strategic plan for quality assurance and accreditation to assist Higher Education Institutions to improve the quality of their academic programs and that of their graduates.
Board of Quality Assurance and Accreditation: This board was established by the Ministry of Higher education and Scientific Research in to assess and to work with the Directors of Quality Assurance at Universities that monitor the process of quality assurance. The process of the quality assurance is supervised by the Board of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in both public and private institutes of the higher education.
Board members of Quality Assurance and Accreditation • Minister Advisor – President • General Director of the Quality Assurance and Research • at the Ministry • Director of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation at • the Ministry • Director of the Quality Assurance of thePrivate • Universities • Four University Vice President for Scientific Affairs • One Institute Vice President
The main role of this Board is to: • Introduce quality management procedures. • Review and manage the instructions which are released • by the ministry of higher education • Develop instructions and measurements of the process of • quality assurance and accreditation. • Assure the management of the quality assurance is in the • best way.
The main role of the Board is to, cont. • Assess and approve the admission plan for each • department, college, and faculty of the public and • private universities. • Decide on the accreditation and permission of opening • a new department or college at the university, • Introduce corrective action procedures, and • without reviewing of the board no related proposal • will be accepted by the ministry.
The Directorate of Quality Assurance and Curriculum Development at the University The Directorate of Quality Assurance (DQA) has been established within the University and is headed by the Vice-President of the Scientific Affairs who is responsible for: • strategic direction, • leadership of teaching and learning across theuniversity, • managing and supervising Teaching Quality Assurance • (TQA) team, • planning, maintenance of academic standards, and • enhancement of the academic profile of the university
For the purposes of this initiative, a Quality • Assurance Committee was established in each • college to monitor and ensure that the • process and achievement of quality are • within the standard and that the quality of • learning and research are appropriate . The committees have important roles in developing, approving, monitoring and reviewing academic policies and guidelines.
Objectives : 1. Annually facilitate self assessment of all academic programs. 2. Continuously monitors the quality of teaching at delivery points. 3. Annually conduct quality audit affiliate institutions as per the schedule. 4.Facilitate the review of all academic programs 5. Continuously validate/verify new academic programsas per academic quality assurance regulations.
Mission and Vision • Ensure and enhance academic quality assurance in all • programs within the university; • Provides academic leadership for the university and • assures that the mission of the university is clarified, • pursued, and achieved through the programs of the • colleges. • Leads the faculty in developing the vision and inspiring • others to accept and extend the vision for the university.
Mission and Vision, cont. • Secures and maintains professional accreditation • for the university as well as assists in maintaining • regional accreditation for the institution; oversees • a strong assessment team, which collects and • interprets data to guide the decision-making • process in the university.
Mission and Vision, cont. • Sets priorities and sustains an environment of • academic excellence through review and • development of curricular, research and partnership • initiatives. • To enable the institute achieve its goals through • quality research for the enhancement of academic • standards and become a leader in the provision of • higher education systems nationally, regionally • and internationally
Mission and Vision, cont. • Advances a research environment aligned with the • mission of the university; enhances the effectiveness • and prominence of the college’s educational • programs, research activities, and outreach programs. • An ability to oversee appropriate student development • and placement programming as well as having • demonstrated commitment to students and diversity in • all its forms.
Aim of the Quality Assurance Directorate • To enhance the effectiveness of the university’s • core activities and • To help in improving the teaching and research • standards and quality of services at the university. • The Directorate of Quality Assurance is charged with the general duties of supervising and assessing quality of all services delivered at the university.
Quality Assurance Processes and Tools The process of quality assurance is created to assess teachers and to protect student rights and this include different program such as: • Teaching QualityAssurance (TQA), and • the Continues Academic Development (CAD). • Both of the mentionedprograms have instructions issued by the General Directorate of the Quality Assurance andAccreditation at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR).
Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) The TQA program was announced by the MHESR to pursue the goals set by the Ministry whichare: • Introduce confidence in the value of the certificates awarded to students by the universities andInstitutes of the Kurdistan Region; • Assure the public that the quality of education and lectures offered by our universities andInstitutes are up to the level of those offered by international universities;
Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA), cont. • Support students during their courses of study; • Writing reports, reviewing, following up, • observing, filing, decision-making, and • Sometimes examining the lecture contents and • methodology.
Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA), cont. In summary, one may say that quality assurance should answer the following questions: • Is the higher education institutiondoing the right • things? • Is it doing the right things in the rightway? • Does it achieve what it wants toachieve?
Continuous Academic Development (CAD) • In order to establish and implement CAD in the universities and colleges, the Scientific Committees of these institutes will lay down a program periodically for the academic seminars. A list of seminars schedule must be submitted to the College Council at the beginning of each semester for approval. A copy of the list should be sent to the Directorate of Quality Assurance at the university presidency for review.
Elements of Quality Assurance process Quality Assurance Elements Course Book Student’s Feedback External Evaluation Teacher Portfolio Continuing Education
Course book The course book is a sort of summary of the subject that the student will be taking during the semester, or during the whole academic year. It should be provided to the student at the beginning of the semester or academic year. The course book should includes the main course topics, the number of hours for each topic, samples of question, list of text books and references, and the personal contact information of the teacher and the coordinator to help eases the connection between the teacher and the students.
Student’s feedback Collecting feedback during the course provides information that can be useful right away, while teachers are still working with students that semester. Asking for student feedback during the course can: • Identify features of the course that students find • helpful,aswell as students’ perception of obstacles • to learning. • Give you a more informed basis for making decisions • while you are still teaching the course. • Open lines of communication with students who • might nototherwise volunteer their comments.
Responding to Student Feedback: It is important to acknowledge and respond to students’ feedback, but responding does not mean simply fulfilling student requests. Rather, being responsive means considering student input and finding ways to help align student expectations with your teaching and course goals. For exampleyou might choose to make a change recommended by students, but you might also address student perceptions by helping them see the value or purpose of something that they identified as unhelpful.
Your response to the feedback can also create opportunities to clarify your expectations for the class, and open doors for further dialogue with students about their learning. After collecting and analyzing the feedbacks, a copy of the report should be submitted to the Quality Assurance Committee at the college which will therefore be submitted to the Directorate of Quality Assurance at the University. • Responding to Student Feedback:, cont.
External Assessor An external examiner is normally a senior academic person from another institution or organization who is specialists in the fields reviewed and knowledgeable about higher education in general. He/ she review and monitor the assessment process of an institution for fairness and academic standards.
Every course has to have an external examiner who is appointed for a period of time. The external examiner reads and approves the course contents and the examination papers, may read some or all of the examination scripts, and generally monitors standards and reports formally on his/her findings. • External Assessor, cont.
Main purposes of having External Examiner are: • to verify that academic standards are appropriate • for the award or part thereof which the external • examiner has been appointed to examine; • to help institutions to assure and maintain • academic standards across higher education • awards; • to help institutions to ensure that their assessment • processes are sound, fairly operated and in line • with the institution's policies and regulations.
Teacher Portfolio Teacher Portfolio is a description of an instructor’s major strengths and teaching achievements. It describes documents and materials which collectively suggest the scope and quality of an instructor’s teaching proficiency.
The goal of teacher portfolio • Is to present your teaching skills, experiences and credentials in a meaningful positive package. • Teaching portfolios vary considerably depending on numerous factors, including personal preference. In fact, the items that an educator elects to place in a teaching portfolio often communicate much about that individual’s values with respect to teaching and learning.
Teacher Portfolio contain two basic elements: • evidence of teaching, and • reflections on that evidence. • The evidence begins with what is normally listed on curriculum vitae, lists of courses, lists of responsibilities, etc.; however, it extends beyond to include a variety of activities which have had an impact on your teaching. • The addition of these other documents adds depth to your teaching curriculum vitae.
Under QA programme each and every academic, regardless of his/her degree, is required to collect points by seeking knowledge and participate in various academic activities such as: • publications in scientific/ academic journals whether local or international, • participation in conferences, workshops,symposiums, and training courses, • supervision on different proposals, thesis and dissertations, with • additional activities to enhance the teachers’ skills.
Quality Assurance Model: A model of assuring quality is by: • Sets of regulations and guidelines formulated; • A self evaluation prepared by the institution; • The appointment of a peer group whose review of the institution or programme would start with a review of the self evaluation • Site visits by the peer group.
The Four main QA topics are : 1. Development of common terms, definitions and language. 2. Processes and tools to involve faculty, departments, institutions and the higher education system. 3. Methods for working with faculty to develop learning outcomes, measures, findings, actions. 4. Ideas to sustain improvement based on information.
1- Development of common terms, definitions and language
Development of common terms, definitions and language Academic Program Review Goals Assessment Critical Thinking Program Outcomes Student Learning Outcomes Direct Measures Findings/Action Plans
Introduction to an Academic Program Review Model Why Academic Program Review? Internal improvement Program improvement Student learning Faculty development Regional Accreditation Requirements
2- Processes and tools to involve faculty, departments, institutions and the higher education system
3. Methods for working with faculty to develop learning outcomes, measures, findings, actions • Workshops • Models, guides and examples • Communication and resources
Setting Common Goals among faculty and administrators 1. Student learning 2. Program improvement 3. Faculty development 4. New ideas for teaching & learning 5. Inter-disciplinary communication 6. Fulfilling requirements
4. Ideas to sustain improvement based on information Develop cycles of continuous improvement
Selective ideas • You have to have a willing to change • If students are not so successful you must have an action plan • Website is the main communicator • Need clear definitions of terms • Importance of collecting data, compiling interpreting, and processing • Grades do not tell us good information • Pull the data and build your own files • The importance of do ability • Visions need to be realistic • Thinking in a broader sense
Assessment of a Program Assessment is a systematic process of gathering, reviewing and using important quantitative and qualitative data and information from multiple and diverse sources about educational programs, for the purpose of improving student learning, and evaluating whether academic and learning standards are being met.
Self-assessment of programs Self-assessment is an assessment conducted by the institution / department to assess whether programs meet their educational objectives and outcomes with the purpose to improve program’s quality and enhancing students learning
Desired outcomes of self assessment • To be proactive than reactive • Systematize the process of assessment • To be current and take a leadership role in the country • Assist in preparing good professionals of tomorrow • Initiate improvements to achieve academic excellence