Quality Assurance in Eramis Network: The Assessment of Students
Sergio Luján-Mora, Marek Milosz, Jean-Michel Adam, Agathe Merceron, Arto Toppinen
Abstract Book of the 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED 2012), p. 1499, Valencia (Spain), March 5-7 2012. ISBN: 978-84-615-5562-8.
(INTED'12a1) Congreso internacional / International conference
During the last few years, Russian, Kazakh, and Kyrgyz higher education systems have been reformed and are progressively evolving within the context of Bologna Process (European Higher Education Area), towards a common higher education framework. The opening of Russian, Kazakh and Kyrgyz universities has been encouraged by many international projects, notably European ones. In the beginning of 2010, the European Tempus project European-Russian-Central Asian Network of Master Degrees "Informatics as a Second Competence" (ERAMIS) started to set up a network between a group of universities from Europe, Russia and Central Asia. The members of the project are: five universities from Europe (Finland, France, Germany, Poland, and Spain), four universities from Russian Federation, three universities from Kazakhstan, two universities from Kyrgyzstan, and three enterprises from Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. The main objective of this project is to create a network of master degrees in computer science as a second competence intended for specialists in social sciences, exact sciences, and engineering. The objective of the master degree is to give specialists coming from other disciplines, a training enabling them to master computer techniques and programming languages in order to create, develop, manage and maintain new software tools for their specific domains. One of the secondary objectives of the project is to develop an own culture of quality assurance between the partners. In order to achieve this objective, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Improvement Committee (MEIC) was established inside the project. This committee consists of one academic representative from each European university, plus an external and independent expert from another European university. The main task of this committee is to provide quality control and monitor the activities and outcomes of the ERAMIS project. The MEIC has established a transparent quality assurance system mainly based on the guidelines from the “Council Recommendation of 24 September 1998 on European Cooperation in Quality Assurance in Higher Education (98/561/EC)”. Due to the international and heterogeneous nature of this project (14 universities from 8 countries), one of the most difficult tasks has been to develop comparable criteria and methodologies. The quality assurance method can be briefly summarized in: establishing a policy and procedures for quality assurance; Monitoring and periodically reviewing subjects and syllabuses; assessment of students; quality assurance of teaching staff; and quality assurance of learning resources and student support. In this paper, we present our quality assurance system, although the assessment of students is the main topic because it is one of the most important elements of our quality assurance method. Student assessment procedures are designed to measure the achievement of the intended learning outcomes. Assessment also provides valuable information for universities about the effectiveness of teaching and learners’ support. Our assessment procedure allows the partners to compare the results between subjects, programmes, and universities, and leads to an exchange of experiences of best practices.