Students’ Engagement in the Quality Assurance Procedures in Slovenian Higher Education

Katarina Aškerc,* Center of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programs, and Alenka Braček Lalić, Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Slovenia

Abstract

Slovenian higher education (hereafter HE) legislation ensures that students are relatively well integrated in different evaluation procedures as well as in decision- making on the national and on the institutional level. However, the analysis of the Slovenian Quality Assurance Agency’s (SQAA) 2013 report on quality in Slovenian higher education, which contains the evaluation of more than 100 reports, indicated that only one part of the students’ population is directly integrated in the higher education development and quality assurance (QA) procedures prepared by the SQAA experts on a basis of external evaluations, site visits, and initial accreditation procedures of Slovenian study programs and higher education institutions (HEI), and a pilot research conducted among 422 students of Slovenian HEIs.

Keywords: student engagement, institutional governance, pedagogical excellence

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Computer Ethics: Its Necessity and Its Integration into the Curriculum

Marion Ben-Jacob,* Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Mercy College, USA

Abstract

Technological advances of this millennium have enabled enhanced learning experiences for students. Technology has and continues to be integrated into the educational environment from many perspectives and to different degrees. However, to facilitate the appropriate use of the power of technology in student learning, we need to integrate the study of computer ethics into the curriculum. This paper addresses the importance of computer ethics and discusses methodology and pedagogy that support student engagement, student-faculty teamwork, student assessment of the quality of the instruction, and the learning of this essential subject.

Keywords: student engagement, assessment, instructional technology, academic integrity

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A Critical Consideration of, and Research Agenda for, the Approach of “Students as Partners”

Colin Bryson,* Ruth Furlonger, and Fae Rinaldo-Langridge, Combined Honours Centre, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Abstract

This paper that critically reviews the case for faculty-student partnership. We propose that fostering deeper engagement in students is the pre-requisite for transformational learning. The approach of students as partners may develop, and catalyse, such strong engagement. Thus far, what research there is on partnership has focused on a model of partnership in which a small number of students work with individual staff (Model A). This model has benefits but also defects. We propose a second model of partnership (Model B) where the intention is to involve all students in partnership. This offers a more inclusive approach to partnership through working with students in the curriculum itself. We consider and problematize the issues raised by both models of partnership and offer a research agenda.

Keywords: faculty-student partnership, student engagement

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Using Structured Reflection to Enhance Student Engagement and Professional Growth

Slavko Cvetek,* Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a small-scale study that aimed to identify areas of concern to students, future nurses, during their clinical practice in homes for the elderly. For this purpose, the author used a simplified version of critical incident analysis (Tripp, 1993). The study’s findings confirmed the value of structured reflection as a pedagogical tool in professional nurse education. Some potential areas of concern were identified in students’ reflective writings, such as lack of professionalism by some of the staff, and also maltreatment and neglect of care.

Keywords: medical education, nursing, self-reflection, critical thinking

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Bridging the Gap between University and Business: The ESAU Project

Néstor Lázaro,* Coordinator of the ESAU Project, Ana Bilbao-Goyoaga, Department of English and German Philology, Irene Barainca, Department of Financial Economy I, Pedro Gómez, Department of Financial Economy II, Izaskun Larrieta and Lorea Magureri, Department of Business Innovation and Management Assessment, Business School of Bilbao, University of the Basque Country, Spain

Abstract

Practice Firms Applied to University (ESAU) is a groundbreaking learning methodology in university education, with wide international projection and development. The Business School of Bilbao (University of the Basque Country – UPV/EHU) pioneers its implementation in Spain. Students participating in the ESAU project leave the conventional classroom to enter a company created and run by them in an international market. Under the motto “learning by doing, learning by working” this teaching tool rests on two methodological cornerstones: cooperative learning and learning based on problems or projects. Students thus become the main agents of their own learning, involved in the innovation process by facing situations of the real business world and collaborating in methodology design and improvement. We consider these key features that make the methodology bidirectional, dynamic, and customized to the particular needs of the team.

Keywords: business education, student engagement, problem-based learning

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Teaching and Learning Innovation Projects: Promoting Teacher Development and Innovation among Teachers and Students

Roberto Espejo Leupin and José Mauricio Gónzalez-Suárez, Center for Innovation and Faculty Development, Andrés Bello University, Santiago, Chile

Abstract

In this paper presentation we discuss the experience of the teaching and learning innovation projects grants implemented by the Department of Innovation and Teacher Development (DITD) of the Office of the Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs of the University Andrés Bello, in Chile. These projects are focused on improving the quality of the teaching and learning processes between teachers and students through the implementation of creative ideas and strategies. However, they are also considered as a part of our faculty development system, being a space of teacher-development–in-practice, which brings together creativity, reflection, and research.

Keywords: teaching centers, faculty development, pedagogical philosophy

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Small Steps over Time: Energizing Students by Infusing Innovative Practices into Universities within a Transitional Country

Judy S. Richardson, Language Center, South Eastern European University, Macedonia, and Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

Abstract

Innovation energizes instruction, transcending a lecture-only and often boring approach to learning. But when students and professors are entrenched in a professor-centered system, how can change be accomplished? This paper explains, via examples and stories, practices university students have identified that energize their learning process. These practices are greatly effective but not difficult for professors to implement, if blended into a traditional model. The study, conducted in English Foreign Language methods courses, is mostly qualitative with quantitative aspects. For a country in transition, faced with many new regulations, small steps over time can make a difference in fostering student engagement.

Keywords: active learning, student engagement, teaching writing, ESL students

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Margins for Flexibility and Zones of Evolution in Transition: Exploring Students’ Conceptions and Experiences of HE Learning

Christine Smith, Quality Enhancement: University Campus Suffolk, UK

Abstract

This paper reports on a study of first year students’ conceptions and experiences of higher education (hereafter HE) and student engagement, linked to the transition from the secondary to the post-secondary learning environment. Facets of student engagement provide a thematic frame for analysis: active learning; academic challenge; staff–student interactions; enriching educational experiences; supportive learning environments; and work–integrated learning. Two findings are highlighted. The first suggests the need for margins of flexibility in transition: aligned to individual student needs, recognizing the diversity of students’ prior academic and life experiences, and by consequence their capacity for independent learning. The second finding emphasizes zones of evolution in transition, that students see engagement as a professionally–oriented construct, in their “becoming” within the disciplinary field and from the outset of their HE study.

Keywords: student engagement, active learning, faculty-student relations

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El Método de Casos: Hacia un Apredizaje Mejor

James Wilkinson, Harvard University, USA

Resumen

El método de casos resulta uno de los más eficaces para el aprendizaje activo, porque involucre a los estudiantes en el proceso inquisitivo, que es la actividad clave del aprendizaje. También lo es de la investigación científica, así que los métodos inquisitivos que emplean los profesores en sus trabajos de investigación pueden ser finalmente casi los mismos que los métodos empleados en la enseñanza. Pero, el hacerlo bien resulta muchas veces difícil. Y desafortunadamente, cuando se hace mal, este método puede conducer a resultados peores que los de la pedagogía tradicional. Por eso, cuando se habla de innovación se necesita tratar no sólo sus métodos, sino prepararse para utilizarlos también. Por muy útil e indispensable que sea la innovación pedagógica, su práctica requiera esfuerzos y un largo aprendizaje por parte de los profesores. Incluso para muchos, será necesario aprender otra vez a enseñar.
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Reflection on Action: A Scholarly Activity to Ensure Quality in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: The Case of Universidad de La Serena

Pamela Labra,* Rodrigo Fuentalba Jara, Ana María Vera, Jorge Fernández Labra, José Enrique Novoa, Jorge Pizarro Guerrero, Erika Zuñiga Fuentes, Claudia Toledo Robles, Oscar Robles González, Patricia Cortés Maldonado, Eric Troncoso Riquelme, Hernán Guiñez Guiñez, Luis Cortés Estrada, Moises Villablanca Villanueva, Ana María Villagrán Barrios, & Erico Wulf Betancourt, Universidad de La Serena, Chile

Abstract

Improving professional development in higher education is of vital importance, especially when seen in the context of (a) the increase in the number of students entering the university system in Chile who are insufficiently prepared for their studies, and (b) the increase in the number of higher education faculty hired to teach for the first time. The present study aims at summarizing the experience of the Teaching Center at the Universidad de La Serena in providing faculty with institutional
support to reflect on their teaching, i.e., to undertake a scholarly examination of the teaching-learning process in higher education.
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