The Development of Quality Programs in Higher Education

Greg Auhl,* Denise Wood, and Sally McCarthy, Division of Learning & Teaching, Charles Sturt University, Australia

Abstract

Developing quality programs in higher education, across international jurisdictions, is becoming more challenging as a variety of stakeholders demand greater input into curriculum development processes. These multiple stakeholders include professional bodies, governments, ‘consumers’ of higher education qualifications and institutional requirements themselves. This paper will examine what constitutes quality in program design and how integrating standards can drive quality program development. It will further describe a process to drive what the authors describe as both internal (within course/subject) and external (within program) alignment to intentionally design programs that meet both quality markers and the requirements of stakeholders.

Keywords: Quality course design; integrated standards; internal/external alignment; intentional design

*Corresponding author. Email: gauhl@csu.edu.au

(NB: In preparing this paper, every attempt has been made to use internationally recognised terminology. At the authors’ home institution in Australia, a “course” is a “program/qualification.” Individual units are designated as “subjects,” which equate in many institutions to “courses,” “units,” or “modules”).

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Transforming Minds — Interactive Craft Education in India

Saroj Bala* and Lisha Malhotra, Pearl Academy, India

Abstract

There is a danger of traditional crafts losing their value as the technology occupies more space in the Indian education system. How can traditional crafts be taught in innovative ways to make them attractive to the young generation?  After all, this is the generation which has to take forward the rich craft heritage of India.  The paper will explore various avenues of bringing younger students into contact with that heritage, including  the hand-painted “kalamkari” pictures and narration of stories, keeping in view the “essence” and “fragrance” of craft. Craft education at an early age can stimulate creative thinking and contemporary application.  It deserves and requires our support if it is to survive.

Key Words : artisans, kalamkari, education, heritage, crafts

*Corresponding author. Email: saroj.bala@pearlacademy.com

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Transitioning Points of View: Participating in a Faculty Learning Community at Edinburgh Napier University

Laura Ennis,* Information Services, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

Abstract

Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) are formal, time-bound, and selective communities that encourage collaborative enhancement of teaching and learning. Based on the model developed by Milton D. Cox (2004), the first FLC at Edinburgh Napier University was founded in 2018 intending to explore the ways in which staff could support each other throughout the institution. This paper reflects on the activities of the FLC participants and uses these to explore potential barriers to successful participation in future FLCs.

Keywords: faculty learning communities, professional development, higher education

*Corresponding author: Email: l.ennis@napier.ac.uk

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Stem Education Reversed: Enhancing Science and Technology Awareness in Social Science and Humanities Students

Elke Hemminger,* Department of Sociology/Social Work, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Michael Waltemathe, Department of Protestant Theology, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

Abstract

A lack of science and technology awareness impairs students in the humanities and social sciences in their participation in social discourse about science and technology. However, students express the wish that innovative technology, science and interdependencies with society should be addressed as a topic in their university studies. Closing the gap between students expectations, societal needs and the reality of university education proves difficult, as addressing these topics in university courses in the humanities and social sciences is a complex challenge. A novel university teaching program based on empirical data has been designed and tested to address this issue.      

Keywords:  science and technology awareness, STEM subjects, interdisciplinary

*Corresponding author.  Email:  hemminger@evh-bochum.de

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Academic Adjustment and Maladjustment: An Assessment of Ahmadu Bello University’s Adviser-Advisee Scheme

Michael Kwanashie,* Department of Economics,  Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria

Helen Kwanashie, Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria

Abstract

In an attempt to revamp the Adviser-Advisee Scheme at Ahmadu Bello University, a pilot study was conducted to unearth the challenges experienced by Faculty (advisers) and Students (advisees) operating the scheme, as well as suggestions for its improvement. Online search on Academic Advising was undertaken to ascertain best practices across continents. Against this backdrop, the Adviser-Advisee Scheme (AAS) at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) was evaluated using primary and secondary data, obtained via quantitative and qualitative methods. The results identified challenges facing ABU’s AAS and possible solutions, including as these relate to students and faculty transitioning to learning in today’s digital age in an LDC. Despite diversities, conferees were invited to share their institutional and personal experiences of academic advising, and so enriched the strategy that was eventually proposed by the authors as the way forward for the AAS at ABU.

Keywords: academic advising, adviser, advisee, student-faculty collaboration, student preparedness

* Corresponding author. Email: mike.kwanashie@gmail.com

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Reality According to People (A Seminar to Learn Academic Thinking)

Alexandra Lehmann*, Department of Psychology, Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, Germany

Elke Hemminger, Department of Sociology, Protestant University of Applied Sciences, Bochum, Germany

Abstract

Beginning their course of study at university confronts students with many challenges, such as to test theories concerning their plausibility and credibility. The internet, with its wide variety on information, complicates this survey process, while reports of “fake science“ increase the uncertainty. In our seminar, we address this topic for first-semester students in Social Work Studies by asking the following questions: What is “reality“? How do we individually construct our world? How does communication between people with different experiences (hence realities) work? Based on sociological and psychological theories, students are asked to test their own perceptions of specific social questions (e.g. gender, demographic change, poverty), and in the process are confronted both with different perspectives on these topics and with the particular evolutionary history and effects.

Keywords: analytic thinking, academic thinking, epistemology

* Corresponding author.  Email: lehmann@evh-bochum.de

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A Systemic Intervention for Engaging First-Year Students: The Context Matters

Leda Panayotopoulou* and Irene Nikandrou, Department of Marketing & Communication, Athens University of Economics & Business, Greece

Abstract

In this paper we present the theoretical framework of a training intervention designed for first-year students in their first semester. Our vision was to help them in their transition from a narrow and protected environment (family and school), to a wider, more complex and impersonal environment (university). First, we need to look at first-year students as bio-psychosocial systems, in order to understand the elements that shape their behavior. Then, we identify the skills to be developed. The proposed model is based on the general principles of systems theory and what is called “organized complexity.”

Keywords: Engaging first-year students, student transition, systemic training, organized complexity *Corresponding author. Email: ledapan@aueb.gr

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