Teaching Quality Assurance

Quality

2012-02-21 00:00:00
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Teaching Quality Assurance

Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA)

One of the plans of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research is the implementation of the program of Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) in Kurdish Universities and Institutes. This step came as one of the ministry’s obligations to ensure that modern standards are met in teaching and students are assured advanced levels of education. Through this program, the ministry aims to ensure that all universities are able to achieve a high level of quality and to pursue the goals set by the Ministry, which are:

  • Instill confidence in the value of the certificates awarded to students by the universities and institutes of the Kurdistan Region;
  • Assure the public that the quality of education and lectures offered by our universities and institutes are up to par and on a level of those offered by international universities;
  • Support students during taking their courses of study;
  • Writing reports, reviewing, following up, observing, filing, decision-making, and sometimes examining the lecture contents and methodology.

The above mentioned goals are to help the teachers/ lecturers present a lecture in a modern way through using the necessary tools set for that purpose e.g. computers and data- shows via the Power Point Presentation- PPP device which raises the enhancement of the teachers’ abilities to use nowadays techniques and technologies in order to update their knowledge and references.
As well, the teacher is required to prepare a course book for the taught subjects given by him/ her. The course book is a sort of summary of the subject that the student will take either during the first or second course of the academic year, or during the whole academic year. It will include personal information of the teacher and the coordinator to contact them which eases the connection between the teacher and the students. In addition, the course book has to include the objectives of the subject in general and the reasons of the importance and the necessity of this course. The same information about the teacher's contact details, the objectives and the importance and necessity must be with regard to the topics included within the subject of the course.
Furthermore the teacher is required to supply the course book with some sample of the questions of the given subject for the students and how to prepare practical strategies for answering these questions. The questions should be with multiple types i.e. multiple choice questions that offer a range of choices from which you select the most appropriate response. Short answer questions require answers of up to one paragraph. Essay questions require you to write an essay type response to a topic. Essay questions may be arranged in sections in the exam paper which reflect different sections of the course. Take home questions are questions that are given to you to take away and complete and then return them within a specified time e.g. 24 hours. Oral questions are used to test oral language skills. Typically they are taken individually and while practical questions test your practical skills and technique usually in laboratory, clinical or field settings.

The Structure of the QA at UoD


The Responsibilities and Duties of the QA members:

Director’s Responsibilities are to:

  • Preserving and protecting student files at the university or institute
  • Manage, review and research as necessary to discover the achievements of the departments and faculties
  • Liaise with the external assessor for mutual purposes
  • Write a university/institution value statement for students to sign before starting the new academic year
  • Serve on the university’s Quality Assurance Committee

The Duties of the Coordinator:

  • To act as a bridge for communication between students and the administration
  • To organize course books for the students
  • To create a channel for communication with students and constantly check e-mails and posts from students
  • To plan and organize work and contact the head of the pertinent department and the lecturer so lectures are not delayed or cancelled
  • To plan and organize work and contact the head of the pertinent department and the lecturer so lectures are not delayed or cancelled
  • To guarantee the feedback of the student for the lectures and courses given them

Coordinator of the Department

  • To prepare the annual report and rise it to the schools committee of QA at the end of each academic year
  • To attend the Meetings of the Directorate of QA to write notes and minutes of the meeting
  • To supervise the TQA process at the department and all the stages that belong to it and to organize between the given lectures and lecturers
  • To follow up the lecturers and make sure that they are applying the new methods of giving the lectures

The Lecturer:

  • To write out the lecture notes for the assigned topics and to provide a copy of such notes to the course coordinator to be included in the student’s course book
  • To prepare detailed, educational lectures on the pertinent topic, those are enriched with up-to-date knowledge and illustrations
  • To present a summary of the lecture using the power-point program, handouts of the presentation should be given to students at a suitable time (before or after the lecture)
  • For each course two batches of questions should be included so that at the end of the course the exam committee can choose one of the two batches
  • To advise students regarding the skills needed for exam preparation and answering questions. For example, “Read the question twice; think about what you wish to say; plan the answer on a separate sheet of paper; the answer should have an introduction, a body of substance, and a conclusion
  • Organize special courses in the summer like Word, spread sheet, power-point and data show.
  • To insert samples of questions and answers into the students’ course books and analyze them during the semester or the academic year. These samples should include two essays and five different multiple choice questions. Guidelines or expectations should be provided to students so they can plan their answers and think productively. Students are expected to think ahead and consider how the lecturer will assess their answers and which points he/she will be looking for. The questions level should be in three different tiers (higher, intermediate and lower).

External Assessor
At the end of each year the colleges will select several courses for external assessment.  The external assessor is invited from outside the university or institute to assess the work of the lecturer including the grading, and the students’ performance.

Duties of the External Assessor
The external assessor should carry out the following duties:

  • Be an assistant Professor or higher and, if possible, should be from an international university. If the university is unable to secure someone of this rank, then a person of a lower rank may be appointed;
  • Be an active academic and have experience in his/ her field or in fields closely related to theirs.
  • Not have participated in lecturing or planning or laying out the course topics.

The Role of the External Assessor
The external assessor has specific tasks to perform in the Quality Assurance program which helps to ensure that the expected quality of courses remains at a high level. Tasks assigned to the external assessor include the following:

  • To assess the entire layout of the course including the course topics;
  • To assess the exams. The external assessor should have access to student exam papers after they have been marked. They should see three examples of papers with high marks, three with intermediate marks and three with lower marks in order to decide whether the papers were marked accordingly;
  • To assess student feedback;
  • To offer recommendations to the teachers responsible for the teaching and grading and to question them. Teachers are expected to answer these questions and point out the reasons for their answers.

The Rights of the Student
Students have certain rights in the educational process that must be protected for maximal learning to take place. Such rights include the following:

  • The right to get the course books prior to the start of the course;
  • The right to provide feedback at the end of the course. This feedback will be in a format that accords with the objective standards of each subject. Feedback should be submitted during the lecture period;
  • The right to provide feedback on the examination process according to objective standards. This feedback will be used to change and improve the way exams are conducted. It will be used as a measurement device to assess the style and management of the courses, the departments and the entire faculty;
  • The right to receive a photocopy of his/her examination paper only in necessary cases. (according to University order, the student has the right to see his/her examination paper for one subject only)

The Duties of the Student
The university or institution has certain rights and responsibilities; but it also has certain expectations of students and vice versa. At the beginning of each academic year, when the student is admitted to the university or institute, a number of terms and conditions are included in certain forms and given to the student which he or she is expected to sign. These agreements include the following conditions:

  • The student should behave according to university guidelines;
  • The student will be obligated to behave according to the guidelines and instructions he or she has signed when accepted by the university.

Student assessment of academics, courses and lectures is important and is expected to be carried out by the student. However, student attendance is also important, not only for learning and training, but also for the success of the learning experience provided by the universities and colleges. The staff and administrators who manage faculty are expected to take student attendance seriously, register student attendance regularly, and follow-up where needed.

It is a patriotic and academic duty that students behave within the realms of responsibility and raise the standard of knowledge and certificates. Unauthorized absences are those that exceed 10 per cent or 15 per cent of authorized absences. The consequences for exceeding these limits are as follows:

  • The student will no longer have the right to assess the lecturer or the manner in which the course was managed;
  • The student will no longer have the right to take the preliminary exams for the course and will automatically be listed for a retake.

A student will automatically lose the right to sit for end-of-year exams and will fail the course if their total percentage of absences from lectures exceeds 15 percent for authorized absences and 10 percent for unauthorized absences for the year.
In the case of retakes, change of courses, lessening of workload or expulsion from the university or institution, the following guidelines will pertain:

  • Each student has the right to change his or her course topics according to the previous standards. If a student fails in fewer than half of the subjects throughout the year (or half of the subjects of the entire course of study) then he or she will be allowed to retake the papers. Those who fail in more than half of the subjects will automatically be classified as having failed the entire year and they will not be able to retake the papers.
  • Expulsion for 2010-2011 will remain as it was previously. If a student fails for two consecutive years then his or her name will be erased from all state universities and institutes and he or she will lose the right to study at these institutions. This student will, however, be free to study at private universities and institutions.