Quality Assurance Framework
Quality assurance involves all activities in the institute that are necessary for fulfilling the purposes of sustaining high quality education and educational services, it aims at:
- Ensuring continuous enhancement of the quality education
- Maintaining consistency and effectiveness in quality assurance activities
- Promoting the culture of quality assurance system.
1. Objectives of IQAC
The institute Quality Assurance System is established to:
- To set quality performance indicators in domains of teaching, research and administration pertaining to departments/programs and other units of the Institution.
- To develop benchmarks for quality performance indicators.
- To develop strategies to evaluate quality performance indicators.
- To evolve and implement self-evaluation proforma for faculty members and executives.
- To evolve and implement stakeholders’ feedback assessment.
- To facilitate periodic academic and administrative audit.
- To develop strategies to improve quality in alignment with the institute mission and vision, the strategic plan and the academic development plan of the institute.
2. Quality Assurance Framework
The Quality Assurance Framework of institute contains the following elements:
- Quality Assurance Policy and the mechanism for continuous review of the Quality Assurance Systems
- Guidelines for various academic processes
- Collection of feedback information for monitoring the operation of various academic processes
- Follow-up actions, continuous improvement of the academic quality
3. Quality Assurance Committee
The Quality Assurance Office (QAO) is established to provide administration support to the
Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) of the College.
The QAC is established to:
- Promote quality assurance and foster a culture of quality assurance
- Advise on policies and procedures for approval, monitoring and review of programmes
- Audit the effectiveness and operation of the quality assurance system so as to maintain quality and to overview the quality and standards of all programmes
4. Guiding Principles
- Involvement of stakeholders to evaluate the set quality performance indicators.
- Feedback collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant information citing concerns where improvement measures should be taken
- To facilitate accreditation and review processes through involving external agencies
5. Broad Functions of IQAC
- Review of Institutional and Departmental Vision and Mission
- Contribute to preparation of SAR especially information related to institutional and finance
- Develop faculty self-appraisal questionnaire and student feedback questionnaire
- Access faculty performance annually
- Develop a description of the process with questionnaires and tools required for continuous assessment
- Decide frequency of assessment of POs – internal and external
- Assessment and revision of PEOs
- Prepare and finalize the PEOs and POs / PSOs, align them with the Mission and write the process of development of PEOs and POs
- Take corrective actions and additional inputs for meeting POs/PSOs
- Obtain COs from respective faculty for concerned PO along with their alignment with PO, Bloom’s Taxonomy and target of expected achievements
- Conduct assessment of placement record for ensuring PEOs attainments or revision if required
- Conduct assessment of curriculum and resources available to meet the developed PEOs and POs, decide additional courses / contents, professional / open electives to bridge the gaps and inform the shortfalls in resources to the Institutional Core Committee which will evaluate the needs and present the additional requirement to the management
- Supervises the COs and their alignment to POs, question banks, assignments, tests, quiz, activities, Bloom’s Taxonomy and ensures targets set by faculty are realistic.
- Develop common Performance Indicators for respective Courses aligned to the PO and ensures the faculty develop activities, question banks, tests, quiz, assignments related to the common performance indicators as well as for their course specific indicators
- Conduct Semester End Examination (SEE) analysis of results and achievement of POs/PSOs for all Departments
- Analyze the student examination (SEE / CIE) question papers for respective courses aligned to the PO and analyze the average achievement of performance
- Hold discussions with concerned faculty on shortfalls for the achievement of pre-set targets.
- Prepare and conduct indirect assessment and prepare report
- Prepare annual report of success / failures on various parameters
- Monitor progress periodically
- Collect recommendations for improvements
- Maintain and update website
6. Quality Assurance Systems
- Programme Quality Assurance
- Teaching, Learning and Assessment
- Monitoring and Collection of feedback
6.1 Program Quality Assurance
6.1.1 Student Admission
The Quality Assurance procedures for student admission are established to:
- Monitor the overall student recruitment process so as to admit students in line with the College admission requirements and to ensure the fairness and transparency of the recruitment process and selection criteria
- Ensure that applicants are considered solely on their academic excellence, abilities and potential regardless of gender, national origin and disability etc.
6.1.2 Student Admission Process
Student recruitment involves collection of application forms from candidates, basic check for meeting the minimum entrance requirement for the applied programme by the College General Office, arrangement of interviews, collection of application recommendations from the academic departments, final approval from the Registrar and announcement of application results.
6.1.3 Programme Quality Assurance
The Programme Quality Assurance systems is established to
- Maintain and enhance the academic standard and quality of the programmes through periodic review and regular monitoring, with appropriate reference to local and international benchmarking standards.
- Evaluate whether the programmes align with the College mission and vision
6.1.4 Programme Committee
The Programme Committee in an academic department is established to develop, manage, monitor and review the running of the programme by incorporating input from academic staff, students and external assessors such as external examiners, academic advisors or industrial advisors.
6.1.5 Programme Review
In order to maintain and enhance the quality of the programmes offered by the College, programme review always plays a critical role in the quality assurance systems. Programme review covers an overview of the present form and the latest condition of the programme, its academic validity of meeting the programme aims and objectives, and other factors concerning the programme.
It is important that while programme monitoring is undertaken on the basis of the internal resources available to the Programme Committee, programme review requires external expertise be brought in to look into the different aspects of the programme. The expertise may be the academic staff within the College, members of related professions and senior academics from other universities. In some cases, professional bodies will be a major source of external scrutiny of the programmes.
6.1.6 Offering New Degree Programmes
All the programmes offered to students must have at first undergone a process of programme development and a procedure of academic approval. This mechanism aims to ensure that the all the programmes in the College are well established, and their academic standards are at internationally comparable standards. The programme development procedures involves three stages: (1) Planning and Initial Evaluation Stage (2) Approval Stage, and (2) Implementation and Resource Allocation Stage.
This system of programme design and proposal is proven successful in the past years via successful programme validation and re-validation exercises by HKCAAVQ. Besides, the line of decision-making in different layers is explicit, and all the relevant issues listed above are properly considered and scrutinized in the whole process of programme development. The College has full confidence and absolute capability to accept all forms of challenges from the operation of learning programmes in the programme areas.
6.1.7 Making Changes to Existing Degree Programmes
As the impact of changes on an accredited academic programme may vary from one situation to another, the associated approval process therefore depends on the degree of academic and strategic implications.
For changes with little impact, the approval authority is delegated to the Programme Committee (PC) of the Department. All major changes to programmes require a recommendation from the programme team in order to seek approval from the Faculty Board and the Academic Board and subject to the financial considerations by the College Council (CC). The College Council is the ultimate authority to approve any changes of programmes due to financial constraints and budgeting requirements as stipulated by the Board of Governors.
6.1.8 Outcome Based Teaching and Learning
The College is committed to employ the Outcome Based Teaching and Learning approach (OBTL) to ensure the quality of the programmes. All the College degree programmes are pitched against the relevant QF levels’ General Level Descriptors (GLDs) according to the guidelines from the HKCAAVQ and EDB for entering the Quality Register.
The following areas are guidelines for departmental reference in designing new programmes, and modifying existing programmes.
- The proper alignment of Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (PILOs) to GLDs should be observed.
- The proper alignment of PILOs to College Mission and Vision/Graduate Attributes should be observed.
- The proper alignment of Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs) to PILOs should be carefully conceived and executed.
- The proper mapping from CILOs to PILOs to College Mission and Vision and to GLD should be carefully conceived and executed.
- The proper mapping of College course levels to the relevant GLDs should be followed
6.1.9 Review of PILOs, CILOs and the OBTL mappings
Whenever a new programme is developed or an existing programme undergoes changes, the Programme Committee should conduct review on PILOs, CILOs and the OBTL mappings (mapping between PILOs and CILOs, mapping between PILOs and College Mission, Vision and Graduates' Attributes and mapping between CILOs and GLD).
- Teaching and Learning and Assessment
The College is committed to the following:
- Provide the students with a consistently high quality teaching and learning environment
- Enhance the teaching and learning environment periodically
- Review the teaching and learning environment periodically for continuous enhancement
6.2.1 Review of Teaching and Assessment Methods
Based on input from academic staff, Subject Group Leaders shall submit Subject Reports including the summaries of the comments and suggestions on the teaching and assessment methods to Programme Committee for review at the end of each term.
6.2.2 Staff Training
For newly-recruited academic staff, an induction talk will be arranged to explain the teaching requirements and general information of the Programme. In each term, the College will organize regular forum for improving teaching skills of the academic staff. Speakers from other institutions or senior academic staff from academic departments may be invited to give seminars and share their experience on teaching.
Assessment task are designed to
- Be fair, consistent, reliable and constructively aligned to course (CILOs) or programme (PILOs) intended learning outcomes and possess sufficient scope and depth to enable assessment of students’ achievement in course (CILOs) and programme (PILOs) intended learning outcomes
- Be designed in such a way NOT TO discriminate individuals according to gender, age, religion and ethnicity etc.
- Allow students to demonstrate their learning and potential, and assist student learning through timely feedback on performance
- Academic staff should follow the assessment methods and weightings as stated in the syllabus document; any change of assessment methods should be approved by the Head of department, Faculty Dean and Registrar
- The academic departments should strictly follow the guidelines of the College-wide Examination Moderation Systems in order ensure the quality of assessment, and report to the Senior Management through Quality Assurance Committee about the outcomes and effectiveness of the moderation process of the departments
6.2.4 Examination Moderation System
The Heads of the academic departments under the supervision of Faculty Deans were responsible for the following:
- Arrange for the internal and external moderation of examination papers and moderation of the assessment results
- Ensure that academic staff follow up on the decisions made by the Board of Examiners.
The major aims of examination moderation system are:
- To ensure the quality of examinations so as to give an objectives measurement of the student achievement in learning outcomes
- To ensure that the design and quality of the examination papers closely align with the course learning outcomes and attain an appropriate academic standard which is comparable to that of other equivalent programmes offered by local or overseas institutions
- To ensure that the examinations can measure the student achievement in learning outcomes accurately, consistently and fairly
- To reinforce the reliability of assessment results by ensuring consistency and standards between course lecturers
6.2.5 External Examiners and Advisors
External Examiners and Advisors are appointed to monitor the quality of the examinations, the fairness and appropriateness of the student assessment and to ensure that the overall structure and the academic standard of the Programme are comparable to the relevant programmes in local and overseas universities
- Monitoring and Collection of stakeholders' feedback
All the approved programmes being offered to students are required to undertake regular monitoring of the quality of delivery and of the outcomes standards. This involves a continuous process of reflection and review, including the feedback from students, teaching staff and external examiners, and the comments on teaching and learning resources. When problems are identified, remedial action should be taken immediately. The aim of this mechanism is to continuously monitor the programme so as to provide relevant indications of how well the high standards of delivery and of outcomes are maintained, and to help identify and solve any possible problems efficiently.
6.3.2 Teaching Evaluation Questionnaire
Feedback from students is always the most important element in monitoring the quality of a programme. The teaching evaluation questionnaire is used in every academic term as a common framework for all courses. A survey on the teaching performance of lecturers is conducted before the end of a term.
- Teaching Quality Observation
In-class teaching quality observation by the Head of department or Programme Leader or other senior colleagues is a requirement related to all new teaching staff during their first term of teaching work. For existing teaching staff, a senior academic staff or the Programme Leader or the education expert from the College Quality Teaching and Learning Center will be arranged to conduct the in-class teaching observation.
- Feedback from External Examiners and Advisors
At the end of each academic year, the academic departments will arrange a meeting with the External Examiners (EE) and Advisors (EA). The academic departments will invite the External Examiners and Advisors to visit our campus to conduct the regular programme review. The academic departments will collect the comments and feedback from the EEs and EAs on the quality of the programme.
- Feedback from students – Term-End Student Meeting
At the end of a term, the Programme Leader will meet with the student representatives to understand more about their learning problems and to collect comments on the learning facilities and support. This provides a good opportunity for the Programme Leader to help the students solve their immediate problems or take preventive actions for a better teaching and learning environment, and it also provides a channel for students to express their concerns. The Programme Leader can also collect feedback from students for the design of the programme curriculum, and the teaching and learning environment of the department.
- Feedback from Subject Lecturer - Course Evaluation Form
A subject lecturer will be asked to complete the course evaluation form at the end of the term. The objectives of the course evaluation form are to collect their comments and feedback on the quality of the courses and the programmes.
- Graduates’ and Employer Survey
As employability of the graduates and the satisfaction rate of the employers can reflect the outcomes standard and quality of the academic programmes, a graduates’ employment survey will be conducted annually by the Student Affairs Office (SAO). The SAO will collect relevant information that includes first employment fields, monthly salaries, regional locations and satisfaction in programme outcomes etc. In order to find out the views of employers on how well the College has prepared its graduates in meeting their needs, comments are gathered from employers so that improvement can be made to the College’s academic programmes.
- Feedback from Professional Bodies
The academic department should establish links with professional bodies so as to collect comments and feedback from the professional bodies on the quality of the programme. Their comments and feedback can enhance the programme quality and to equip the graduates with professional and practical skills for employment.
- Follow-up Actions for the Stakeholders' feedback
Comments and feedback from students, academic staff, external examiners/advisors and professional bodies will be brought up in the Programme Committee meeting for discussion and regular programme review. Follow-up actions will be decided and carried out by the Programme Committee.
7. Quality Assurance Questions
7.1 Defining intended Course and Program Outcomes:
- What should a student who successfully completes the program know and be able to do?
- Are the program Educational Objectives (PEOs) of your department aligned to the Mission of the Institution?
- Are the statements of POs/PSOs relevant to the (a) PEOs and (b) curriculum prescribed by the university?
- If the POs and PSOs are not aligned or aligned at the low level, what are the efforts by the department to bridge the gaps?
- How do you ensure that the POs/PSOs align to the requirements of industry/employers?
- How do you ensure POs/PSOs meet future employment needs of students and assist them acquire meaningful values and social skills?
- How do the POs/PSOs take care of the holistic development of students?
- How are the learning outcomes communicated to staff, students, and external examiners/employers/alumni?
- What is the basis of defining PSOs of your department?
- Did you seek inputs from faculty, students, alumni and industry/employers while developing and improving PEOs, POs/PSOs? If yes, what mechanism did you use?
- Have you developed relevant survey questionnaire/focus group discussions questions to seek such inputs?
- Do you have relevant documentation as evidence for conducting such an exercise
- Are data from such surveys analyzed so that you can justify your decisions in designing and improving PEOs, PO/PSOs and COs?
- What is your planned time frame for seeking inputs on COs, PEOs, POs/PSOs for review, improvements and corrective action through direct and indirect method?
7.2 Identifying curricular gaps and strategy to bridge the gaps
- Have you mapped your courses with Program Outcomes (PO)/Program Specific Outcome (PSO)?
- What are the major gaps identified by your department with the university curricula?
- Is there any PO/PSO that is not addressed at all by university curricula? If yes, provide the PO/PSO? and how do you meet the concerned PO/PSO?
- What is your justification of considering courses meeting Program/Course Outcome as low, medium and high?
- Do you consider the courses in the university curricula termed, "low" as adequate to meet your program outcome requirements? if your response is yes, give justification. if your response is no, what are the additional inputs you have included in the curricula to bridge the gaps?
- Are your courses covering all 6 Cognitive levels of Bloom's Taxonomy? if yes, are there sufficient courses that cover higher level skills of Bloom's Taxonomy? If no, what is the strategy adopted to include topics, subjects, electives that cover higher levels of Bloom's Taxonomy adequately for students to master these skills?
- Have you mapped your laboratory experiments to POs/PSOs?
- Which level of Bloom's psychomotor and affective domain do these cover or not cover adequately? State your strategy to bridge the gaps?
- How do you ensure that the curriculum content enables students to achieve the POs/PSOs?
- How do you ensure that the design and organization of the curriculum is effective in promoting student learning and achievement of POs/PSOs
- How do you ensure that the curriculum content and design is adequately informed by recent developments in pedagogy, research and changes in relevant occupational or professional requirements? Do you have adequate documents/evidence to justify?
- Who do you consult with in identifying curricular gaps and bridging it?
- What have you learnt from alumni/exit students and employers/industry?
- How do you ensure that there is agreement on the essential elements of the curriculum?
- Did you review best practices adopted by other departments in your institution as well as other institutions offering same program?
- How do you ensure that curriculum continuously remains updated?
- What are the recent changes in your curriculum?
- What is the basis for introducing these changes?
7.3 Designing effective teaching and learning processes
- How is teaching and learning organized for students?
- What pedagogical approaches are used by faculty to enhance teaching learning?
- What strategies are used to stimulate student centric learning in the classroom?
- What resources/ICT/learning simulation tools are used in teaching and learning?
- How is the quality of teaching maintained and enhanced? How do you ensure that strategies such as effective staff development, peer review, induction and mentoring are used?
- How effectively do lecturers use latest technological inputs, research, professional activities in their teaching to fill curricular gaps?
- Is there any academic support including handbooks, notes, videos and other written documents provided to students?
- How do you evaluate teaching and learning processes on a regular basis?
- Do you seek student feedback? How many times do you seek the feedback from students in a semester?
- What are your key performance indicators or benchmarks?
- How do you evaluate the courses/programs? How do you calibrate your quality standards?
- How are the analyses of data done and used for introducing improvements?
7.4 Developing and using outcome based student assessment
- Have you defined key quality performance indicators of your department?
such as comparing student quality at admission time and at graduation time; students performance in first year; students graduating rate with and without backlog; improvements in students' performance who graduated to next year with backlogs; progress of weak students and challenging better performers to challenging tests and assignments?
- How do you ensure that the assessment processes overall and particular assessment tool used by faculty enables the students to demonstrate achievement of POs/PSOs/COs?
- How are the POs/PSOs/COs assessment moderated?
- How do you ensure soundness of assessment tools used?
- How effectively is the student learning facilitated and improved through formative and summative feedback and monitoring arrangements?
- How do you monitor progress and use information to improve?
7.5 Assuring implementation of quality education - significant activities such as research and services, co- curricular and extracurricular activities to support program outcome
- Does the department work collaboratively, involving faculty, to decide on quality assurance parameters?
- How do you ensure that the COs and POs/PSOs are implemented as per plan and their assessment results are used effectively?
- How do you inform the stakeholders are informed that the POs/PSOs are consistently met and continuously improved?
- How do you work together to interpret the results and take appropriate corrective action based on the analysis?
- How the faculty and the Department do ensure memberships in professional society?
- How do you ensure and assess extra- curricular activities are planned to meet COs and POs?
- How do you analyze the impact of extra-curricular activities?
- How do you ensure and assess co-curricular activities are planned to meet COs and POs?
- How do you analyze the impact of extra and co-curricular activities?