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Exploring Innovative and Effective Methods for IQA - Research Framework


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Exploring Innovative and Effective Methods for IQA (Internal Quality Assurance) - Research Framework
Autor: Michaela Martin, programme specialist IIEP-UNESCO
Presentation made for CIES 2016, Vancouver, Canada

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Exploring Innovative and Effective Methods for IQA - Research Framework

  1. 1. EXPLORING INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE METHODS FOR IQA – RESEARCH FRAMEWORK CIES Conference, Vancouver 6-10 March 2016 MICHAELA MARTIN, IIEP Programme Specialist An IIEP research project
  2. 2. THIS PANEL  The IIEP research project on « Exploring innovative and effective solutions for internal quality assurance (IQA)»  The case of IQA at Xiamen University  A comparative overview on the research findings  A commentary on the project
  3. 3. 1. Introduction  « Quality crisis » in higher education since 1980s  International trend : External Quality Assurance (EQA)  Since 2000, EQA is a major focus of research and capacity development at the UNESCO/IIEP  But without IQA, no sustainable quality improvement  IQA therefore is a major reform strand  in HE worldwide
  4. 4. 2. Variation in definition of IQA  Internal Quality Assurance: procedures and instruments which measure whether a higher education institution is in line with external standards and its own development goals in its fields of activities (UNESCO).  IQA refers to quality enhancement processes if they are directly derived from measurement procedures and instruments (ESG)  IQA systems are an integrated whole which together support quality policy and institutional goals (IIEP).
  5. 5. 3. Major Challenges  Articulation of IQA instruments among each other  Articulation of IQA with strategic planning, management  Balance between centralized and decentralized structures  Information systems, data management and analytical capacities  Human and financial resource constraints
  6. 6. 4. Three major research questions  What are innovative and effective options for IQA policy, structures, processes and instruments ?  What are the effects of such IQA systems on  the quality and relevance of academic programmes (employability of graduates), and  managerial effectiveness ?  What internal and external factors condition the effective functioning of IQA systems?
  7. 7. 6. Research methodology Case study research design  Better understand IQA systems within their national and institutional contexts  Exploratory and descriptive design  Mixed methods data collection process to study the effects
  8. 8. 7. IIEP’s role in the project  IIEP set the research framework  IIEP selected identified the universities selected as case studies and the research teams  IIEP prepared the research instruments and discussed methodology with the research teams  IIEP accompanied the preparation of the case studies, organized a research validation workshop
  9. 9. 8. Primary Data sources Integrated qualitative and quantitative design  Online surveys of academic and administrative staff on perceptions of the local IQA system, their effects and conditioning factors  Semi-structured interviews with key actors  Central and middle level academic and administrative decision-makers  Focus group discussions  Head of departments with selected programme directors  Students
  10. 10. 9. Secondary Data sources  Content analysis of official documents to document effects  EQA Reports (e.g. institutional or programme accreditation)  University annual reports  University statistics  Reports produced by IQA structure  Triangulation of different actors’ perspectives  Triangulation of perceptions and secondary data sources
  11. 11. 10. Selection of eight university case studies Europe: ▪ University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany ▪ Economics University of Vienna, Austria Asia: ▪ Xiamen University, China ▪ International American University of Bangladesh Anglophone Africa: ▪ Daystar University, Kenya ▪ University of the Free State, South Africa Latin America region: ▪ Talca University, Chile Arab region: ▪ University of Bahrain
  12. 12. 11. Scope and limitations  Focus on IQA mainly in the domain of T&L and management, not on research  Actors’ perceptions only a proxy for change, not impact assessment  Case study design does not produce generalizable results, however insights into the effective functioning of IQA methods in specific contexts