Study Material

1. Designing Effective Quality Management Systems in Higher Education Institutions

This module lays the general basis for the training course and gives an introduction to two fundamental quality assurance (QA) related topics: quality assurance systems and change management. It introduces quality concepts, definitions of quality assurance and development and discusses the question why quality management is needed at universities and which models, instruments and structures can be used in that regard.

Based on this, the module gives an overview of key issues of change management processes at higher education institutions. Participants get an insight on communication and implementation strategies that are relevant to develop change processes at universities. This also includes the analysis of roles and responsibilities in quality management processes, dealing with resistance, as well as possibilities to promote linkages between internal quality development and other fields of higher education management (such as human resource or organisational development). 

2. Tools and Procedures for Quality Assurance in Higher Education Institutions

This module deals with the basic knowledge of empirical social research methodology and technical demands and procedures of particular instruments and processes in the field of quality assurance. Core elements are such as the precise conception and systematic conduction of qualitative and quantitative data collection as well as data analysis and interpretation. In addition, the preparation of self-evaluations (process organisation and report writing) as well as the preparation of external evaluations will be discussed. All this will be reflected taking into account national and international standards for evaluation and quality assurance (e.g. different regulations and education systems, technical infrastructure etc.)

3. Quality Assurance of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Institutions

The module introduces the role of quality assurance officers (QAOs) in communication and information processes of curriculum design and revision. Knowing the relevant stakeholders and how to systematically plan and organise the necessary processes of curriculum design are key topics of the chapters.

Based on this, the module concentrates on designing curricula. Participants learn how to support teaching staff on defining study programme objectives, learning outcomes and competences, as well as on adjusting curricula to internal and external standards and guidelines. They also learn how to render information for specific target groups of the study programme in a transparent way.

Furthermore, the QAOs get familiar with the use of qualitative and quantitative data for the development of study programmes. They discuss possibilities and challenges which have to be considered in this context. Finally, the issue of external evaluation (already introduced in module 2 “tools and procedures”) is examined more in depth, focussing on the linkage between external and internal quality assurance approaches. 

4. Information Management in Higher Education Institutions

This module is offered as an online module and focuses on possibilities and limitations of an evidence-based information management for the whole university. Discussing different case studies, participants get to know various (technical) structures and procedures of campus-wide data-sharing and information management. The online study material gives an introduction on how to establish a data-based reporting system at universities. It deals with objectives and different stakeholder groups of data collection and reporting.

Based on that, it shows how to collect data and discusses frequent challenges to be considered in this context. Therefore, participants get to know the relevance of key performance indicators. They learn to reflect them critically and to use them in a responsible way. Finally, the study material introduces systematic and quality-oriented steps for an institution-wide reporting-system in the context of national data-monitoring systems.

5. Quality Management and its Linkages to Higher Education Management

This module completes the training course. It summarises the key elements of the previous modules and shows how to create quality loops. It focuses more in detail on the linkage between quality management and decision-making processes and it analyses the functions of involved parties and existing limits of their actions.

The modul deals with methods and techniques to achieve a high impact of quality work. It focuses on different procedures of organising performance agreements and implementing monitoring systems.

Finally, the module gives an outlook to the question on how to establish a quality culture at higher education institutions. In doing so, module five addresses both, quality assurance officers and university top management. It discusses their different perspectives on targets and functions of quality management and how to link these to systematic quality assurance procedures at higher education institutions.