You are on page 1of 1

Attributes of Quality Educational Programs

Clayton R. Wright, PhD crwr77 @ gmail.com

Based on working closely with educational colleagues to develop courses and programs in North America, Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia, I believe that quality educational programs (and support structures) exhibit the attributes outlined below. y The program is learner-centric. Those developing and delivering the program are clearly cognizant of whom they are serving. Decisions are based on addressing student needs. The needs of other stakeholders such as boards, government ministries, and employers are always taken into account, but emphasis is placed on student needs. The mission, values, and goals of the program are available for public scrutiny. If words such as accessibility, equity, flexibility, and just-in-time learning are included in mission or goal statements, though difficult to measure, practical means are devised to measure these factors and to gauge the progress made over varying lengths of time. Leadership recognizes that quality is not a static end-point, but a dynamic, evolving process that must be continually nurtured. Leadership values people and encourages all to reflect upon and critique the activities of the program developers, providers, and support personnel. Suggestions brought forth by the educational community are listened to and acted upon. The outputs of the program are measured, not just the inputs. Ideally, the long-term impact of graduates on society is measured. Program teams work in a collaborative manner, yet each member is empowered to make an immediate decision and take action to best serve students. All staff and faculty are highly trained or educated. They, like their students, are actively learning. Students, faculty, and tutors are involved or have input into the governance and operation of the program. Students are respected. Without students, no one in the program would have a job. Effective programs are interactive and engage the learner. They require learners to search, compile, analyze, interpret, and apply data from the real world. They encourage critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving; provide opportunities for practice and knowledge transfer; offer timely, constructive, relevant, and frequent feedback; and provide links to resources beyond the content and the learners¶ communities. Programs are reviewed continuously and revisions are based on reliable data. But, there is room for ³gut instincts´ and personal reflection. People are encouraged to take action and make improvements. Both internal and external reviews are conducted to ascertain the breadth, depth, currency, and relevancy of the program. Applied research is encouraged and the results are used to inform the quality assurance process. There is an unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation by all. Quality is not just an add-on, but fully integrated into all facets of the operation. Quality and innovation are everyone¶s business.

y

y y

y y y y

y

y

y

y