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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON FACTORS AFFECTING QUALITY ASSURANCE IN TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCESS AT THE INSTITUTE OF ADULT EDUCATION IN NIGERIA
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- Name: Factors Affecting Quality Assurance In Teaching And Learning Process At The Institute Of Adult Education In Nigeria
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CHAPTER ONE 1.0 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background to the Study The concept of quality is not a new phenomenon in education. In fact, colleges and universities have long concerned themselves with quality (Dill 1992, Astin 1991, Ewell, 1991and Dinham, 1991) as cited by Rumble (2005). But what is quality? In actual sense there is no general consensus on the concept of quality (IUCEA, 2008). According to Gandhe, (2009) and Williams (1997) quality is often defined as embracing effectiveness, efficiency and accountability. These terms are related with terms used in trade, commerce and industry. In education is much different in that every element therein such as input, process and output is human beings who are very complex and highly individualistic. Therefore, effectiveness, efficiency and accountability in this case are much relied on personal life and achievement of the needs and aspirations of the learners, since everyone has his or her own feelings about quality. Quality has always been an issue in any educational institution. The issue of quality affects the institution in a number of ways such as competing for students in a labour market as well as compliance with regulatory bodies. Quality assurance become more complicated in learning institutions because there are so many stakeholders in the field and all of them have their own interest. These stakeholders are like the government, the employers, the students the professionals, the parents and the society at large. Quality assurance (QA) is defined as a system through which an institution demonstrates conditions that are in place for students to achieve the prescribed standards in educational programmes. The QAA defines quality assurance as the systematic monitoring and evaluation of learning and teaching processes that support them to make sure that the standards of academic awards are met. It includes all those planned and systematic activities which provide confidence or assurance that service provided will satisfy a given requirement for quality. Quality assurance can also be defined as those systems, procedures, process and actions intended to lead to the achievement, maintenance monitoring and enhancement of quality (Ram and Lelor, 2008).The process of quality assurance therefore compares the quality of products or service with minimum standards set either by the provider or by some external government or industry standard authority (Rupande, 2014). Learning is an active process which requires the learner to apply new materials to past knowledge in everyday life. In a simple language, teaching is the transmission of knowledge by the teachers to students. This is the traditional approach which considers a learner as a recipient and empty minded. This is teacher centred. In the modern approach which is learner centred is emphasizing self directed learning. It is flexible and a learner is active participant in teaching and learning process. This modern approach which is also known as competence based approach is more suitable in adult learning. Competence based learning is an approach to teaching and learning more often used in learning concrete skills than abstract learning. (Wikipedia free encyclopaedia). This is learner focused and works naturally with independent study and with the instructor in the role of facilitator. The Institute of Adult Education (IAE) adopted this approach after the accreditation by National Council for Technical Education (NACTE) in 2009. Teaching and learning process is among the core activities in an academic institution. Teaching and learning represents the four stages that occur in the design and delivery of classroom tasks that incorporate an outcome based approach. Normally the cycle has no start or end point with each step informing the next. It is the process of gathering data and reflection that dictates where in the cycle one need to be operating. Zucher, (1999) Conceptualize teaching and learning process by means of continuum that covers the whole range from informal to formal processes. He uses an analytical perspective that relates the terms informal and formal teaching and learning to the notion of formalization which interpreted as generalization of the characteristics of the teaching and learning process. The spectrum of possible actors in teaching is extended and the teaching process intertwined with the learning process. Therefore quality assurance has to be an integral part of teaching and learning process. Quality must be the responsibility of the teaching staff and must be a group responsibility rather than individual one. The external and internal institutional bodies cannot by themselves assure quality, though they can and should make sure that the necessary conditions for quality assurance are there. Teaching and learning process as a whole can be described into following sub processes (Massy, 1996 and EUA 2010): curriculum design, assessment, pedagogical design, quality of teaching staff and learning resources. Curriculum design is a process of thinking through how you want to organize what you want student to learn, (Yogou, 2001). Curriculum design includes consideration of different aspects such as aims which tell learners what the result of studying is likely to be; Intended learning outcomes which indicate what learners will learn if they successfully complete the programme and pass the assessment; the content to be taught; teaching and learning methods and assessment. This part looks on the processes guiding the designing, reviewing and improvement of curriculum. It asks such questions like who is involved in the curriculum designing. Is this activity of curriculum designing done by external or internal stakeholders? Is the academic staff involved in curriculum designing? For how long curriculum is reviewed? How evaluation of curriculum is done? Pedagogical design is a process of deciding on the methods to be used in teaching and learning process. It is a process which guides the selection of teaching and learning methods. It asks questions like whether staff spend their time working together on discussing pedagogical methods, and if pedagogical methods integrate feedback about learning achievement with the academic content. How learning feedback used to improve teaching and learning methods. Is there any innovation in teaching and learning methods which include more interactive methods? Student assessment is an important element in any academic institution. The outcomes of assessment have an effect on students’ future careers. Therefore it is important that assessment is carried out professionally at all times and takes into account the extensive knowledge that exists on testing and examination processes, (IUCEA, 2008). Assessment provides important information about the efficiency of teaching and learning process. Student’s assessment procedures are expected to be designed to measure the achievement of the intended learning outcomes. A learning outcome is the specification of what a student should learn as the result of period of specified and supported study (Harvey, 2004). Assessment evaluates the quality of the specific educational activities. It generally follows accreditation in using a combination of performance indicator, self study and peer review. Assessment of students should be done by using published criteria regulations and procedures which are applied consistently (EUA, 2010). The assessment of teaching and learning can be viewed as two complementary and overlapping activities that aim to benefit both the quality of student learning and the professional development of the instructor. Assessing teaching and learning can help instructors improve and refine their teaching practices and help improve students’ learning and performance, (Wikipedia the free encyclopaedia). This part explains on how the institution deals with monitoring of learners and learning outcomes. How assessment is linked to the teaching and learning process. Many institutions have clear pre defined examination or other assessment methods in place which include regulations covering student absence, illness or other circumstances. Normally an institution is supposed to make sure the assessment methods and criteria are publicly available through their website, prospectus or any other means which learners can access as well as to ensure that assessment are conducted securely by following the stated institutions procedures. Teachers also are supposed to inform learners about these methods and criteria at the beginning of the course.