Quality Assessment of Higher Education in Latin American University: A Case Study

Quality Assessment of Higher Education in Latin American University: A Case Study

Rafael Ignacio Pérez-Uribe, Gloria Sierra, Sandra Bibiana Clavijo-Olmos
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9829-9.ch016
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The purpose of the chapter is to present the experience of the evaluation based on competences, through an institutional evaluation program that verifies the quality of the training as a process of quality assurance and as part of the Quality Management System in a Latin American university. It will describe the academic process called Assessment Center that designs, manages, and implements the program of undergraduate and postgraduate evaluation in face-to-face and virtual modality, and that has an objective to develop the project of Evaluation in Higher Education by Competences based on the Pedagogical Model of the College. Finally, this chapter aims to demonstrate from an experience in higher education the importance of quality as an integral part of the institutional culture of a Latin American university, as well as the collective and individual intentionality of the educational communities, in such a way that it is reflected in the processes and tasks that are carried out in the university institutions.
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The EAN University developed an Education Approach in the teaching and learning process of its students. It is based on the principle of learning through developing competences, in order to evaluate the performance of members of the institution, especially students and professors. “The education approach applied to teach students at the The EAN University is a demonstration of the institutional philosophy, which refers to the integral education of its students. This fact gives education a valid sense as a process to construct knowledge in a permanent way and develop competences, abilities, attitudes and skills, encouraging professionals to be actors of growth and social change. The EAN University proposes its education approach based on competences, within the framework of its education purpose. It should be noted that “competence” means the ability people have to be competent, to know about something, and to know what to do in real situations to solve problems, to make decisions and develop projects from an entrepreneurial point of view” (EAN University, 2016).

According to Sierra (2016a), a competence is “a characteristic that underlies a person and it refers to his/her performance, behavior, the development of his/her skills and abilities, or the combination of cognitive processes, knowledge, skills and attitudes”. Therefore, a competent person is able to solve problem situations that arise in his/her daily life, by following an innovative and autonomous way, and applying his/her skills and knowledge (see Table 1).

Key Terms in this Chapter

UNESCO: It stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It is a specialized agency of the UN that was established in 1945 and is based in Paris (France).

Competence: Knowledge, habits, skills, responsibility, attitudes, values, quality, efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, excellence, actions to achieve satisfaction in rendering services, inclusion of knowledge, skills and attitudes to respond successfully to specific situations. It is also acting in a competent way, having managerial abilities to solve problems, taking charge of scientific and technological advances to use them properly. In addition, it includes moving the motivation and affective component of personality or as unique interests.

PERCE, SERCE y TERCE: 3 tests that evaluate and compare the performance of Latin American students in third and sixth grade. These tests are made by the Latin American Laboratory of Evaluation of the Quality of Education (known in Spanish as LLECE), to certify quality of education in the region and guide decisions in term of public education policies.

Meta-Evaluation: It is considered as specific evaluation of the operation and result of all assessment processes that take place in Higher Education Institutions.

Learning: It means a change of attitude and ability of people that can be retained and is not just a result of the process of growth. It is a process by which an activity is created or changes based on a reaction to something that was found, if the features of the registered change cannot be explained from foundations of innate trends to response, to mature or to temporary conditions of organisms (such as fatigue, drugs, among others). It refers to subjective processes of training, incorporation, retention and use of information received by the individual in his constant interaction with the environment.

Assessment Center: “Center for thinking, designing and managing evaluation processes, as well as to certify competences”. It is mainly focused on giving solid foundations, researching, evaluating and certifying competences of students, professionals and professors. It also accredits programs and Higher Education institutions in terms of their processes of education and development of competences.

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