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What is Conceptual Approaches

Handbook of Research on Engineering Education in a Global Context
Conceptual approaches to quality enhancement means more scholarly approach to basic steps in undertaking successful quality enhancement projects.
Published in Chapter:
Quality Assurance in Norwegian Higher Education: A Case Study
Vidar Gynnild (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3395-5.ch001
This chapter starts out by exploring why five higher education institutions failed to meet nationally agreed criteria for the approval of their quality systems. In order to achieve this, the review panels' reports were examined with a particular view to data analysis and data application. The reports were readily available online and represented an excellent data source for research purposes. Panels found that institutional quality reports were descriptive rather than analytical, that quality procedures were unsystematic and conclusions often missing. Unfortunately, the panels failed to come up with radically new approaches that could potentially alter that situation. Rather, the recipe seems to be more of the same, in particular student evaluation of teaching. With this as a backdrop, this study provides conceptual tools that might change the actors' approaches and thus empower those undertaking quality reviews locally. The alternative could otherwise be sustained frustration and wasted efforts.
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