The Faculty of Engineering at Islamic University, Madinah Munawarrah has implemented a revolutionary web based quality management system employing EvalTools ® to achieve highest levels of success in student learning. Outcomes based curriculum, assessment and Continual Quality Improvement (CQI) models have been integrated into every phase of teaching and learning using the Learning Management (LMS), Outcomes Assessment (OAS), Administrative Assessment (AAS) and Continuous Improvement Management (CIMS) Systems. Several hundreds of performance indicators have been defined and classified as per Bloom’s 3 learning domains cognitive, affective and psychomotor and their learning levels for accurate assessment and evaluation of student performances for realistic improvement. The curriculum is delivered based upon ‘design down’ principle of the Outcomes Based Education (OBE) model where specific student learning activities and skill levels are clearly indicated by instructors using precision language of course outcomes. The teaching strategies, assessment, evaluation and CQI efforts are tightly aligned to these performance indicators. Weighting factors are scientifically assigned to different types of assessment and skill levels to ensure accurate program, course and individual student evaluations.
The Faculty took a courageous initiative under the then acting dean Dr. Mohammed Addas in 2014 to implement innovation and technology into pedagogy and achieve assessment for learning. After several years of rigorous efforts by the Quality and Accreditation office headed by its director, Wajid Hussain and continued support of the current dean Dr. Saleh Al Ahmadi, faculty members have successfully aligned all student assignments to outcomes and corresponding performance indicators.
Wajid confidently says, “Scientific constructive alignment, weighting factors and unique assessments when coupled with hundreds of specific and generic performance indicators prepare the way for highest levels of accuracy essential to assessment. Outcomes based models require William Spady’s 4 power principles: clarity of focus, highest expectation, expanded opportunity and design down to be implemented in spirit and letter. We are happy to announce that our assessments data have achieved a very high level of accuracy and are now also being used for academic advising. We are actually able to visualize strong skills in academically weak students. This is a breakthrough in education since a great number of career prospects can open up for even the academically underperforming students.
For realistic improvements to occur assessments should be embedded into various phases of the curriculum and measure all levels of skills targeted in an educational process. The assessments should be formative and create opportunities for students to improve real time. Continuous improvement processes that do not support real time root cause failure analysis and remedial actions for academic improvement are ineffective and do not benefit students learning at all. Such processes exist in educational institutions only due to institutional requirements for the cosmetic fulfilment of minimal accreditation standards.
As per the national 2030 vision we have to shift to a knowledge based economy and therefore we thank our management for the right decision taken to pursue quality and not minimal accreditation standards.”