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Prof. Marvin W. Peterson, Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan
Quality, Evaluation and Accreditation in Higher Education

I. A Contextual Overview

A. Global Challenges to Higher Education

B. Centrality of Quality

C. Universal Forces Impacting Concern for Quality

II. The Quality Debate

A. The Q-A-C Triangle of Tension

B. Quality and Competing Purposes

C. Accountability to Multiple Stakeholders

D. Cybernetic Capacities-Diverse Mechanisms

E. Two Primary Levels:

1. Institutional

2. Government-Institution Interface

III. Institutional Concern for Assessing, Evaluating and Controlling Quality

A. Institutional Processes for Quality

B. Criteria for Quality

C. Implication

IV. The Government-institution Interface

A. Mechanisms: Accreditation, Quality Assurance, Performance Indicators and Outcomes Assessment

B. Criteria for Quality

C. Implications

V. Accreditation

A. Nature and Purpose

B. Broker of Stakeholder Interests

C. Institutional and Program or Special Focus

D. Typical Accreditation Process and Role of Self Study

E. Issues and Implications

VI. Quality Assurance

A. Nature and Purposes of Quality Assurance Process

B. System, Institution or Unit Focus

C. Typical Quality Assurance Process

D. Criteria for Quality

E. Issues and Implications

VII. Performance Indicators

A. Nature and Purpose of Indicators

B. Level of Focus

C. Development and Legitimization of Indicators

D. Criteria for Quality

E. Issues and Implications

VIII. Outcomes Assessment (Student)

A. Nature, Rationale and Purposes of Outcomes Assessment

B. Types of Student Assessment Data

C. Linking Educational Purposes, Objectives and Measures

D. Developing Information, Reporting and Analysis Systems

E. Strategies for Supporting, Promoting, and Using Student Assessment

F. Issues and Implications

IX. Conclusion: A Reprieve on the Q-A-C Triangle

A. Quality--improving Institutions, Programs and Student Performance

B. Accountability--A Shared Responsibility

C. Cybernetics--An Expanded Capability

D. The Unexamined Assumption

(china.org.cn, July 30, 2002)

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