Dublin City University: International Engagement, Implementing Bologna and contribution to MTE-EUA programme development Dr. Noel Murphy
Overview: • DCU’s commitment to International Engagement • Overview of the Bologna Process • Implementing Bologna in Ireland • the National Framework for Qualifications • DCU’s Academic Framework for Innovation • MTE-EUA project • DCU’s involvement and contribution
DCU’s International Commitment: Through its mission to transform lives and societies through education, research and innovation, DCU will ... act as an agent for social, cultural and economic progress at the individual, national and international levels. – Almost 2,000 international students from 114 countries attend DCU. – 30% of our undergraduate student body are non-traditional (Mature, Access, Disability, Distance Learners). Over the next five years we will ... – Enrich the educational offerings for our postgraduate students by expanding the provision of Structured, Enterprise-Academic and International Joint programmes – Enhance our translational research impact by developing significant partnerships with national and international institutions – Establish a small, dynamic, global network of partner universities in regions prioritised in DCU’s Internationalisation Strategy ... Including the Middle East
University of Crete Cranfield University European University Association Linnaeus University Yarmouk University
Bologna Process − EHEA by 2010 • System of comparable degrees in three cycles (ug/gr/dr) • System of Credit Transfer (ECTS) + Diploma Supplement • International Transparency and Recognition • International Mobility of Learners, Graduates & Staff • European co-operation and standards in QA: • Evaluation of programmes + institutions, including internal assessment, external review, participation of students and publication of results • Develop national frameworks of qualifications • Increase competitiveness, • but balance with strengthened social cohesion and reducing social and gender inequalities both at national and at European level
Why have a Qualifications Framework? ■ For learners, it clarifies the status of a qualification and how to progress from one qualification to another; ■ For education and training providers it defines the standards, in terms of knowledge, skills and competencies, to be achieved by persons qualifying for an award; ■ For employers and other stakeholders it describes the knowledge, skills and competences which can be expected from holders of a qualification. ■ Promotes coherence, comparability and transparency across the education system, ■ Encourages access, transfer and progression through the system, ■ Develops lifelong learning opportunities and develops individual and collective human potential.
National Framework of Qualifications • The mechanism for implementing above goals • Defines and describes the Learning Outcomes at each level in strands: • Knowledge – Breadth; Kind • Know-how and skill - Range; Selectivity • Competence - Context; Learning to Learn; Insight • Defines relationship between levels by Learning Outcomes • Positions certain key qualifications at the appropriate level on basis of their learning outcomes • Legislative Dimension • Widespread consultation, research and development • Had to be acceptable to and usable by stakeholders with diverse philosophies of learning
Irish Framework Architecture • ■ A single framework encompassing all post first-level awards made in the State; • ■ 10 levels in the Framework: • second level: 1 to 6; • higher education, further education and training: 6-10 • ■ The Framework is “outcomes based”: • Each level is defined by a Level Indicator • - a series of statements defining the knowledge, skills and competences to be acquired by the learner for an award at that level.
Irish Framework Architecture An Award Type is a class of named awards (e.g. Masters Degrees) at the same level sharing common features. An award-type may be Major, Minor, Special-purpose or Supplemental. Major award-types are the principal class(es) of awards made at each level and are characterised by a broad range of learning outcomes Minor award-types do not have the full range of learning outcomes associated with the major award-type(s) at that level. Special purpose award-types are made for specific, narrow purposes, Supplemental award-types recognise the acquisition of additional or updated knowledge, skills and competencies.
NFQ and the Irish Universities • Later, slower adoption than HETAC/FETAC where it was mandated by legislation • Significant difficult issues, especially wrtpostgraduate qualifications level 8/9, − Higher/Graduate Diplomas in particular • 2007 – Framework Implementation Network – IUA; NQAI, Universities, Linked Colleges, etc: 3 Working Groups: • Disciplinary Learning Outcomes • Assessment of Learning Outcomes • Award Naming and Titling • 2012 – NFQ now universally used by institutions/ educators/ learners • New overarching body: Qualifications & Quality Ireland (QQI)
Learning Outcomes • Clearly identify what a learner can demonstrate as a result of successfully completing a part of a learning programme • Shift of focus from Teaching to Learning • Challenges to teaching and especially assessment approaches
Irish Framework Architecture The Level Indicators are defined under eight strands: 1. knowledge - breadth 2. knowledge - kind 3. know-how and skill - range 4. know-how and skill - selectivity 5. competence - context 6. competence - role 7. competence – learning to learn 8. competence - insight.
The Pivotal Role of Assessment • For students, assessment defines the curriculum • Certain things may be seen as more important than other simply because they are easier to assess • For academics they sometimes feel forced to ‘teach to the test’ • Formative and Summative assessment have a role: • Assessment as/for learning Vs assessment of learning “Students can, with difficulty, escape from the effects of poor teaching, they cannot (by definition if they want to graduate) escape the effects of poor assessment”. (Boud, 1995)
The Pivotal Role of Assessment If assessment drives the curriculum then we must make sure that it drives the right things! (Biggs, 1999)
DCU: Academic Framework for Innovation • Strategic Plan mandated wide-ranging Curriculum Reform • Review of the entire degree portfolio • Flexible student-centred learning • Implement Bologna/NFQ • Alignment with appropriate NFQ level • Comparability/Mobility (Learning Outcomes) • Flexibility
The DCU AFI Process • Review and redesign all Programmes to use Learning Outcomes • All programme outcomes now rewritten • AFI Fellows to guide local process • All modules rewritten by May ’09 • Still need work • On assessment • Programme Review • New Marks & Standards • Upgrade to MIS
Implementation used in DCU Top Down Approach • Mainly involves Programme Chairs initially • Module coordinators involved at later stage Generic Descriptors NFQ Level Descriptors NFQDescriptors • More coherent approach • than bottom up Disciplinary Programme Outcomes Other Programme Information Programme Descriptors Learning Outcomes Coursework Assessment Indicative Syllabus Module Descriptors
‘Learning Outcomes Week’: Introduction to LO paradigm Learning from other institutions Role of LOs in student learning Events for programme chairs Round table discussion: Workshops and clinics Web/print resources Coursebuilder system Debate: “Academic choice and flexibility - friend or foe” AFI Fellows – one per school/dept Key issues Clarity on mandatory requirements vs. autonomy Space to debate issues DCU Process: Support for Developers
Working with Professional Organisations Engineers Ireland • Also require a Learning Outcome-based approach • Now requires Masters-level for professional engineer status Programmes must enable graduates to demonstrate (to a certain standard under 7 headings): a) Advanced knowledge and understanding of the mathematics, sciences, engineering sciences and technologies underpinning their branch of engineering. b) The ability to identify, formulate, analyse and solve complex engineering problems. c) The ability to perform the detailed design of a novel system, component or process using analysis and interpretation of relevant data .
Working with Professional Organisations Programmes must enable graduates to demonstrate: d) The ability to design and conduct experiments and to apply a range of standard and specialised research (or equivalent) tools and techniques of enquiry. e) Understanding of the need for high ethical standards in the practice of engineering, including the responsibilities of the engineering profession towards people and the environment. f) The ability to work effectively as an individual, in teams and in multi-disciplinary settings, together with the capacity to undertake lifelong learning. g) Ability to communicate effectively on complex engineering activities with the engineering community and with society at large.
Working with non-Bologna Systems NFQ/Bologna introduction in Ireland accompanied by − Semesterisation and Modularization − makes mobility of students easier − biggest remaining difficulty is synchronisation of academic calendars – even within Ireland European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) • Clearly defined measure of student workload • Fairly compatible nationally and across EU • Possible to translate to other approaches such as student credit hours, but often need to keep both approaches side-by-side
Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA Part 1: Internal QA within HEIs 1.1 Policy and procedures for quality assurance 1.2 Formal mechanisms for Approval, monitoring and periodic review of programmes and awards 1.3 Students should be assessed using published criteria, regulations and procedures which are applied consistently. 1.4 Procedures for QA of teaching staff - qualified and competent. 1.5 Adequate and appropriate Learning resources and student support: 1.6 Institutions should collect, analyse and use relevant information for the effective management of their programmes/activities. 1.7 Institutions should regularly publish up to date, impartial and objective quantitative and qualitative information, about the programmes and awards they offering.
Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA Part 2: External QA of HE 2.1 External QA procedures should examine effectiveness of the internal quality assurance processes 2.2 Published Aims and objectives of QA processes should determine their design. 2.3 Formal external QA decisions should be based on explicit published criteria applied consistently. 2.4 External QA Processes should be fit for purpose. 2.5 Published Reports should be clear and readily accessible to its intended readership. 2.6 QA Follow-up should be clear and implemented consistently. 2.7 External QA should be on a clearly defined cycle 2.8 There should be System-wide analyses.
Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EHEA Part 3: Standards for external QA agencies 3.1 External QA agencies should take into account the presence and effectiveness of the external quality assurance processes. 3.2 Agencies should be formally recognised and comply with any relevant legislation. 3.3 Agencies should undertake external QA at institutional or programme level) on a regular basis. 3.4 Agencies should have adequate and proportional resources 3.5 Agencies should have clear and explicit goals and objectives for their work, contained in a publicly available statement. 3.6 Agencies should be independent of third parties such as HEIs, ministries or other stakeholders. 3.7 The processes, criteria and procedures used by agencies should be pre-defined and publicly available. 3.8 Agencies should have in place procedures for their own accountability.
What’s MTE-EUA about? Design, development, implementation, accreditation of three taught Masters programmes in Telecommunications Engineering at Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan • Relevant to local market needs • Internationally comparable and compatible • Building on EU developments in Higher Education
How did it come about? Visit to DCU by YU President and two Deans - Nov 2009 • Send Masters/PhD students to English-speaking universities in Europe • Jordan academics/HE system quite US-centric • Interest in taught postgraduate and industrially relevant programmes • Stability of the country was a factor that interested us Yarmouk – one of the two major public universities in Jordan − New university like DCU, with programmes geared toward industry − Jan 2010: asked to contribute to Planning Tempus project • to reform an existing MSc. program in Wireless Communications Engineering • to introduce new tracks in related fields
Why are we involved? School of Electronic Engineering, DCU • operating a flexible taught postgraduate programme since 1990 • specialism in Telecoms Engineering since 1996/97 • collaborative version with Wuhan University in China since 2006 • involved in a curriculum reform Tempus project in the late-1990s organised by Poznan University of Technology, Poland – a positive experience that led to subsequent research collaboration “… apart from the possible benefits of collaboration, we thought it would be useful to us (DCU) to ensure that we also achieve the same objectives of relevance, practicality and quality to which they (YU) aspire.”
DCU’s Input to Tempus MTE-EUA • Knowledge of an NFQ, based on Learning Outcomes • Knowledge and experience of QA/QI procedures • Particular expertise in Telecoms and Management • Experience in the development of Masters Level Programmes • Experience in Accreditation of Engineering programmes for Professional (Chartered) Engineer recognition • Links between Learning Outcomes approach and assessment • IT systems for QA and student support
And who else is involved? Strengths in • International collaboration • Quality Assurance processes • Experience with international IET Accreditation Strengths in • Curriculum development • Teaching methodologies and study models • Industry needs; Surveying methodology Strengths in • Industry-oriented programs • Industrial needs in the telecommunication sector • Engineering Management and Marketing Strengths in • Project management; Market analysis & Surveying • Technical expertise • Management IT System Development
What has it achieved so far? Three industry-relevant Masters programmes in Telecoms and Telecoms management designed – teaching materials being developed; Underpinned by market research for industry, student and society needs; Solid understanding of Bologna-type educational structures by JO Partners (credits, learning outcomes + matched assessment, layered QA structures and processes); Trust and good working relationship built across all of the project partners Quality Control structures • implemented for the project • designed for the operating programmes Website and Documentation management systems to support the project Information System for QC on programme well-progressed Professional Accreditation process by the IET well underway.
What will be the durable benefits? Mutual respect and understanding between the participants • New personal networks in a new region for us Compatible programmes and modules • will allow the exchange of expertise, staff, students and teaching materials between Jordan and the EU Professional Development of academic staff of JO partners A network of collaboration with EU institutions for JO partners Strong links between JO Partners and local Industry in Jordan Improvements in our programmes and processes in DCU … and more that we are only beginning to realize