The POLITO-Q.A. FRAMEWORK : a possible genetic modification of internal Quality Assurance?

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Author(s)Muzio M. Gola
The Quality Assurance Framework developed at Politecnico di Torino (POLITO) is a tool for Quality Assurance and Assessment of Engineering Education. It was developed as a tool fully compatible with ENQA ESG requirements and, in general, the European trends toward internal Quality Assurance “for enhancement” of programmes. The POLITO-Q.A. framework deploys appropriate evidence on the following set of core principles:
- the programme must be clearly designed around functions to be covered by the degree holder in a working context and around the related competencies;
- the programme must be clearly deployed with appropriate learning outcomes, which are in agreement (content, amount, level) with the target functions / competencies;
- the programme appropriately certifies that learning outcomes have been reached, the exams have a certifying value.
Of course, it contains also a section of objective monitoring data and a section of procedures and responsibilities aimed at ensuring that student learning is well supported, and at obtaining information on how well methods for achieving quality are known and practised by staff. The POLITO-Q.A. framework is an ICT based tool, and is structured in a modular manner designed for being used with a web medium.
A genetic modification leaves the organism basically the same, but it enhances certain functions and suppresses others. In our case, the POLITO-Q.A. framework:
- stresses to a maximum the fact that a worthy programme is the one which guarantees a match between external requirements (functions / competencies) and academic requirements (proven learning outcomes);
- uses the same set of documents, presented exclusively on-line, to inform the public, the internal and the external QA assessors, making it an instrument first for communication, then for transparency and control;
- suppresses the need of the self-evaluation report, which is substituted by a collection of annual QA frameworks and related review reports;
- is at the same time a programme design and review tool, and a documented checklist for programme evaluation and accreditation.
CategoriesQuality of HE » 2009 4th EQAF