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Maintaining Quality within Institutions focuses on how people undertake, define, measure, monitor and improve quality and quality assurance processes and procedures within tertiary education. Tertiary education institutions are under mounting pressure to demonstrate their quality as a measure of social and financial accountability to students, the public and the government.
This subject will enable students to understand the contexts and approaches of internal quality monitoring, addressing and exploring a range of theoretical, cultural, methodological and practical considerations. It contains four modules of study, preceded by a short informatory webinar which also introduces students to the national and international contexts of quality assurance.
• Module 1: Quality Assurance and the Quality Cycle
This module introduces the notion of quality assurance within the tertiary education sector, and explores how institutions can plan quality strategies and operations. It introduces the concepts of the planning pyramid and the quality cycle and how these can be adapted to their institutional context.
• Module 2: Positive Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) Culture
This module focuses on the nature of a quality culture within institutions and organisational units and explores ways and means by which a quality culture can be developed, maintained and enhanced. Leadership, staff capability and comprehensive behavioural characteristics and quality culture identifiers are introduced and explored.
• Module 3: IQA Governance and Management
This module considers differences, similarities and overlap of External and Internal Quality Assurance systems, including exemplar bodies. Common institutional approaches to audit are explored; governance and management are defined and illustrated with reference to function, values, principles and policies and procedures.
• Module 4: IQA in Action
This module draws together the themes and content of the preceding modules in the context of IQA in action, including inputs, outputs and appropriate responses to the requirements of demonstrating compliance. In so doing, teaching and learning, research and research training, professional / administrative units and partnerships are addressed separately. Benchmarking and specific tools for IQA conclude the module.
Intended learning outcomes
Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- discuss theoretical concepts of quality and quality assurance;
- discuss the social, political, economic and technological changes that are driving the quality agenda in tertiary education;
- assess, appraise and apply quality assurance concepts and strategies to their everyday work; and
- discuss some of the issues and challenges relating to quality assurance.
On successful completion of this subject participants will appreciate the challenges of meeting internal and external QA priorities, and be able to apply this knowledge to specific situations.
Last updated: 13 February 2024