A Proposed Web Application for Quality Improvement of Academic Programs in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)
In this research, we have proposed and developed a web application as an evaluation tool for academic programs in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The purpose of this tool is to explore and report strengths and weaknesses in different practices within academic programs based on specific standards. In addition, the tool proposes corrective actions to enhance the strengths, as well as interventions to overcome the weaknesses. This evaluation tool consolidates continuing improvement of academic performance and learning outcomes. The implementation of this web application has included weighting and scoring of indicators automatically in order to reduce time and efforts. It has utilized the AArU standards for programmatic evaluation. Internal or external reviewers or evaluation teams can use it. The responses to quantitative and qualitative indicators have been filled online by the relevant evaluation teams during data collection. Then, the weights and scores of each program in all domains have been computed using a novel mathematical model for weighting and scoring.
The researchers have used a focus group discussion to explore the current situation regarding quality evaluation of academic programs in the Palestinian HEIs. Moreover, they have discussed the target situation and the actions required to bridge the gap between both situations. The focus group consists of directors of quality in these HEIs. The outcomes of the research highlights the necessity of having such a tool to evaluate the academic programs and propose corrective actions for improvement. After implementation of the web application and training its users, we have conducted a survey for testing and validation based on four dimensions, usability, performance, security and acceptance. Results show that the application has achieved very good scores in the four dimensions. According to users’ suggestions and comments, we have improved the application’s usability and fixed some security issues in the latest version.
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