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Web 2. Opinions of children regarding their needs and use for children library: user expectation survey in Varanasi , Navneet Kumar Sharma. Naved Ahmad University Librarian. Stake Stake considers the case study not to be a methodological choice but a choice of object to be studied. According to this, the choice of MAIS is made to advance understanding of the main objectives of the research Stake It is also common to recognize in a case study that certain features are within the system, within the boundaries of the case, other features are outside, for example the Italian context.

Having insufficient information to present an in depth picture of a case limits the value of some case studies Creswell To avoid this pitfall, in planning the research, the researcher used a conceptual framework, developed from the theoretical framework, within which to specify the amount of information and units of analysis which were likely to be collected about the case Fig. The conceptual framework was related to the research aim of discovering whether the BP could be a lever to stimulate the development of quality at national level and was related to the BP learning outcomes model.

The particular phenomenon, MAIS was examined using the component parts of the conceptual framework, which became the variables of the study Merriam The BP concept of integration was considered in relation to quality criteria, principles, and recognition of qualifications. Data collection procedures The units of analysis were a critical factor in the case study.

The case study methodology tended to be selective, focusing on the theoretical framework factors which have been considered fundamental to understanding the system being examined Tellis : programme, process, outcomes and qualification recognition. In this case study, the researcher followed Lincoln and Guba Lincoln and Guba and Yin Yin case study structure. Stake , and Yin identify at least six sources of evidence in case studies. All these documents are listed in the Appendix 1 by topic. In the interests of triangulation of evidence, the documents served to corroborate the evidence from other sources.

Documents were also useful for making inferences about events. However, documents can lead to false interpretations, in the hands of inexperienced researchers, which has often been a criticism of case study research. This was borne in mind at all times, so the researcher was not misled. The investigator was careful to evaluate the accuracy of the records before using them. Even if the records were quantitative, they could still be inaccurate. The forms of interviews chosen were: focused, and semi-structured.

Open-ended interviews were avoided. The researcher avoided becoming dependent on a single informant, and sought to have the same data from different sources, to compare the results and to verify authenticity. Key respondents proposed solutions or provided insight into single events. They also corroborated evidence with insights obtained from other sources.

English abstract

Only three of the interviews were done in person and those people lived in Parma. In total, there were 34 interviews and all of the participants were interviewed after they had completed the Masters or after they had withdrawn, that is between January and March As an ethical researcher, closely connected with those being researched — the MAIS students — the researcher needed to avoid being in position of influence and authority with those she was interviewing.

The researcher was completely immersed in the situation and the question was: how the researcher could avoid causing harm to the participants? These ethical issues are discussed further in the following paragraph 2. Apropos the interviews with the MAIS students, a semi-structured schema was used, in which the same questions were posed in the same order to all the students. Therefore, each possible reply fell within a specific category of analysis in the ambit of the research.

International Quality Assurance Programme

Nevertheless, the pre-established format left the interviewee free to reply to the question as fully as he or she wished. More specifically however, for a fuller understanding of the problem of recognition of the qualification encountered by some of the students, in addition to the interview common in format to all the students, a second, unstructured interview was also carried out.

This second round of interviews involved three MAIS students — two reporting critical situations and one a case of success. More specifically, these were: 1 a MAIS student who had decided to leave the library sector, 2 another who had on various occasions attempted to obtain recognition of her qualifications in both the private and the public sector, and 3 the third who had obtained promotion while remaining in the same job. All these three follow up interviews were done by email. A selected sample of employers was selected that ranged over a variety of organisations.

The choice of this sample considered first of all the types of libraries. Essentially two types of library were considered: university libraries and public libraries, essentially twotypes of libraries were considered: university libraries and public libraries. Secondly, the attitude of the employers demonstrated towards internationalisation. The employers were interviewed from April to May The first question to the employers was focused on the outcomes, asking them about what changes they had observed in the employees following the MAIS course.

In the semi-structured interview to the employers of the MAIS students, they were asked: Did you notice an appreciable change in the productivity and behaviour of A.? If so what? The data on MAIS drawn up by politicians and government representatives were collected from the documentary analysis and from reports about the context of the Bologna process.

The collection and analysis of data has been classified according to elements of the theoretical framework developed during the first phase of the research: programme content, process, outcomes, BP integration and recognition of qualifications. Quality Assurance Agency. The improvement of teaching and learning was identified in the MAIS focus on reflective practice and the teaching of research methods. The data gathered, which are primarily qualitative, were compared with the traditional quantitative measurements of university performance. Research into the enhancement of the quality of the MAIS learning and teaching was based on numerous information sources.

The tool selected to collect data on the improvement in learning and teaching generated in the MAIS was primarily the interview. These were held with the main actors involved in the MAIS: students and teachers. The semi-structured interview administered to the MAIS students spanned the various aspects of the study. In the focus group the researcher acted as mediator or moderator, between questions and the group and between the individual members of the group. Those invited to attend the focus group included the key informants, Ian Johnson and Sue Myburgh, and two MAIS students who, during the interviews, had brought up specific issues related to the application of research method in their work environments.

The meeting is indicated as a focus group, as it features all the characteristics of such Powel, Single et al. The discussion of the focus group was very animated, stimulating comparison between the different contexts: the international scenario, defined and confirmed by the key informants, and the Italian situation as expounded by the MAIS students, generating much food for thought on an issue which is of crucial importance for LIS education in Italy. Learning Outcomes The source of information selected to illustrate the achievement of the MAIS learning outcomes was primarily the students themselves, and a selection of their employers.

The MAIS documentation was also used as a supplementary source. To prepare the semi-structured interview for the students, the researcher took the MAIS documentary review documentation and monitoring reports listed in Appendix 1 as a basis. MAIS were listed and used as the framework for both the interviews with the students and for the interviews with their employers.

Another issue was to establish whether the evidence of the achievement of the outcomes was to be derived from direct or indirect measurements. An outcome assessed on what the students claim they have learned is defined as indirectly measured, as is the judgment made by an employer on a member of staff after completion of the course. Evaluation of the assignments taken by the MAIS students are instead taken as direct measurements. However, since the transcripts of the assignments were not available for all the MAIS students, the evaluation of the achievement of the outcomes was based essentially on the interviews with the students and their own perceptions regarding the attainment of the course outcomes.

More specifically, the MAIS learning outcomes, taken from the course documentation, were structured as the knowledge and skills obtained through the course. The MAIS students were asked in the interviews to indicate which learning outcomes they had, in their opinion, most successfully achieved. They were free to answer in any way. In replying some students preferred to indicate a degree of achievement on a scale ranging from Excellent, Good, Poor. In effect several students explained that they felt that they had achieved all the desired learning outcomes, although some of them had been more effectively mastered than others.

To apply principles from this course to new situations. Acknowledgement of the international and lifelong learning context of learning. Ability to analyse professional situations, particularly in terms of underlying issues; problem solving. Ability to empathise with others; to work beyond what is given and to devise innovative solutions to problems. Ability to collect data and apply research methods to find replies to my own questions and participate in decision making. What personal skills have you acquired through the MAIS?

I learned to communicate and explore ideas confidently with other people. The MAIS stimulated my enthusiasm for further learning. The course developed my confidence to investigate new ideas. To be critical and self critical and self-assess my own practice. To be engaged in participative problem solving and continuing professional development. Ability to maintain positive working relationships with others; to understand intercultural issues.

Ability to discuss complex ideas; to have developed an awareness of audience. To control time-management techniques and priority-setting. One specific problem was how to relate the change in behaviour to the attainment of the outcomes of the MAIS course. How could one eliminate possibly conflicting explications for the achievement of certain objectives? In the end, what the researcher decided was to refer directly to the employers of the MAIS students to investigate their opinions about the outcomes. More specifically, this outcome was indicated as a new job, or as an improvement or promotion in the previous work situation of the MAIS student.

Career improvement Recruitment in new workplace As regards the employability aspect, the employers of the Master students were specifically asked for their opinion of the learning outcomes of the MAIS. The employers were also questioned about their expectations, and eventual suggestions regarding any necessary improvements: Are the learning outcomes of the MAIS suited to the changing demands of the library system? If you consider the learning outcomes inadequate, could you list those you feel need to be added?

Could you also specify why, in your opinion, they are inadequate? Finally, the professional success of the MAIS students was also investigated, since this was considered to be indicative of the transformation generated by the MAIS from student to authentic qualified professional. The interviews comprised the following question, giving different choices of actions taken which can demonstrate professional behaviour: What results have you had as a professional? Recognition The surveys consisted of querying all students tracking success and retention, and modes of study.

Patterns of weaknesses among cohorts were used to monitor the success of the programme as a whole. Success factors were registered as student attainment f the educational outcomes. Following graduation, the ability of the alumni to find work or advancement in the professional world was an indicator of how well the programme serves the International Masters mission.

A number of dependent variables could have been tested against each of the several students subgroups. These might have included: personality, opinions and attitudes variables; levels of personal and professional competence and satisfaction with professional attainments after graduation. However, this in depth analysis of the students personality has not been done, as it was not considered central to the research objectives.

This choice was also dictated by ethical considerations, demonstrating respect for students and allowing them feel free to reply honestly. Common facets of behaviour in all the students were noted, however, such as a hierarchical approach to work and difficulty in communication The research supplemented the collection of data through the interviews, by comparing and contrasting the answers of the interviewees with the data contained in the extensive documentation collected both for the MAIS and, more generally, on documentation about the application of the BP in Italy.

This strategy entailed a comparison of each datum with all the other data collected so as to conceptualise possible relations between the data. Yin Yin encourages researchers to make every effort to produce an analysis of the highest quality. The case analysed is of secondary interest, it played a supportive role and facilitates an understanding of the Bologna process issues and challenges for LIS education in Italy.

The research has studied the present International Masters individual case for broader transferability. Learning is a combination of several inseparable aspects: the outcome what is learned , the situation the programme and the context where it is learned , the process how it is learned , and the internal characteristics of the learner genetic and historical influences Schmeck The categories of the analysis were used to describe the following elements and their interrelationships: personal and cultural characteristics of the students, the MAIS course competitive attractiveness in the context of LIS education in Italy Where , the MAIS enhancement of learning and teaching How and the MAIS learning outcomes What , including skilled students and employability.

The pattern matching used in the case study is illustrated in Fig. The transcripts of the interviews were sent to the respondents, who checked them and agreed with the transcription. The first step in analyzing the data was to organise the data by searching for words, sentences and facts that appear regularly and putting those with the similar units of meaning in the conceptual framework category. This was done using an excel file.

The results of this process was a set of categories which could provide a reasonable reconstruction of the data collected. Developing categories began with the coding of the data from the beginning of the research. Three implications of the expected results were noted. First, the importance of the internationalisation driven by the BP for the learning outcomes assessment. Second, the consideration of the relationships among learning outcomes and, as a cascade effect, the curriculum design and a focus on pedagogy and in the learning experience, including recognition as an internationalisation factor.

Also, work environment anomalies and obstacles to recognition of LIS qualifications in Italy were evidenced as issues to be considered in the enhancement of quality of the educational process. These modes of conceptualisation are the personal interpretations of the researcher, who is conscious of her interpretative discretion, who may decide what is a pattern and if this pattern has been matched.

Consideration of alternative and rival explications were considered, providing balance. The main objective has been to use the mode of explication. In the explication building mode, the researcher started taking the data collected attempting to see if they converge over a logical sequence of events and explain the case study outcomes. Constant reference to the original purpose of the research was made, during this process. Instruments that can identify non formal and informal learning appear important for the research.

Mellon Mellon defines this as objective subjectivity: identifying that it is impossible to remove all subjectivity from a qualitative study: this stimulated the researcher to be constantly alert to this subjectivity and compensate whenever necessary. To apply the objective subjectivity to this research, the case report has been verified with all the study participants using member checking.

The goal of the research process was to ensure that the results accepted as subjective knowledge of the researcher, can be traced back to the raw data of the research and that they were not merely a product of the observer worldview, disciplinary assumptions, theoretical proclivities and research interests Charmaz Evidence needed to be provided that demonstrates that the methods and techniques were applied appropriately and with relevance to the study.

In order to allow for this an audit trail has been maintained by the researcher along with a research journal. An example of the data produced can be examined in the Appendix 3, in terms of accuracy relating to transcripts and levels of saturation in document collection. The point at issue is whether the data jumped or were pushed, emerging versus forced Melia Dependability is concerned with the manner in which the study was conducted. To strengthen further the dependability Gorman and Clayton , a number of means have been employed, for example consistent note taking, immersion in the context by participating in international and national Conferences on LIS education, and referring to other research experiences.

The components of validity have been based on face validity, criterion validity and construct validity. Information collected about MAIS students and graduates has been analysed in terms of International Master goals and objectives, the peculiarities of the Italian context, and emerging professional trends in Italy, prior to decision making about the curriculum. To reduce misinterpretation, triangulation has been carried out, using a process of multiple perceptions to clarify meaning, verifying the repeatability of an observation or interpretation Stake For example, different perceptions of MAIS students and their employers were considered for a better understanding of the first findings 2.

Based on the data collected, the case study of MAIS could be used as a pilot study for further research on the impact of BP on quality in a context with similar conditions to Italy. In qualitative research the goal is to allow for transferability of findings rather than generalisation Pickard Here the researcher provides rich pictures on LIS education in Italy, but every other context is by definition different: the researcher collected sufficiently detailed descriptions of data in LIS education in the Italian context and has reported them in a manner to allow judgements about transferability.

In the final interpretative phase, the researcher reported, as Lincoln and Guba Lincoln and Guba advocate, the lesson learned from the case. This could potentially be intrusive, causing harm to participants. The researcher obtained the informed consent of all concerned, following the code of conduct of the University of Northumbria see Appendix 3. In relation to the research related to interviewing the MAIS students, also the Italian legislation has been followed.

The University of Northumbria has its own policy of ethics relating to research2. A formal letter of request was sent to the interviewees and respondents, detailing the nature of the study and specifying the aims and objectives. The research participants gave informed consent, with mutual understanding of the research objectives, accepting possible publication of the results. Anonymity implies that research participants remain totally anonymous during and after the research activity.

This is not the case of MAIS students, where we can however assure confidentiality. Confidentiality means that nobody will be told of the identity of the participant. This has been done by removing all identifying data at the earliest stage of transcripts. The students participating jn the research are only identified by a code formed of letters S1, etc.

This was achieved by: 1 trying to keep the data collection purposes very clear and limiting the data requested only to those strictly necessary for the research objectives. This was to prevent intruding into the wider personal behaviour and attitudes of the individual students; 2 contacting students and agreeing in advance about the telephone interview, respecting the different needs of the students; 3 carrying out the interviews after the students had completed the programme, so that they felt free to answer honestly knowing that this would not affect their academic assessment. The key informants gave their consent to be nominated.

Member checking was used, sending the transcript of the interviews to the respondents. This is a normal step in case study research and provides a very useful means of clarifying how the researcher has interpreted, analysed and presented the data. This was motivated by the need for clarity and to develop a case explanatory description.

Charmaz, K. Rethinking methods in psychology. London: Sage, pp. Creswell, J. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Dervin 'Information as a user construct: the relevance of perceived information needs in synthesis and interpretation', in Ward, S. Knowledge structure and use: implications for synthesis and interpretation. Pittsburgh: Temple University Press, pp. Dey, J. London: Routledge. Flick, U. London: Sage. Glaser, B. New York: Aldine. London: Facet. Johnson, I.

Kuhn, T. Chicago: UNiversity of Chicago Press. Lazar, D. Researching Society and Culture. Lincoln, Y. Beverly Hills: Sage. Grandi guide Career Book. Maykut, B. London: Farmer Press. Melia, K. Context and method in qualitative research. Mellon, C. London: Greenwood. Merriam, S. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Myburgh, S. London: Chandos. Pickard, A. Pors, N. Powel, R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. Schmeck, R. Perspectives on individual differences. New York: Springer. Stake, R. Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp.

Strategies of qualitative inquiry. Strauss, A. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Proceedings of the Conference, Parma, November Fiesole: Casalini. Van Damme, D.

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Newbury Park: Sage. Yin, R. Internationalisation and Quality 3. This new socio-economic context driving higher education has been created by the approval of the World Trade Organization WTO of the General Agreement on Trade in Services GATS , which, in a globalised world, sets rules for the conduct of international trade in services, including education services. The GATS includes both general rules—for example, those related to the transparency of trade-related regulations—and a framework for specific commitments under which countries choose whether, and under what conditions, to allow access to their markets for foreign suppliers.

The provisions in the GATS related to trade regulations and the ways countries choose to allow access to their markets are relevant to the issue of recognition of international quality standards or qualifications for professionals. Universities worldwide are engaged in innovative teaching modes, and expanding their activities in the area of distance education, continuing education, vocational training and lifelong learning Van Damme Moreover, in the context of an increasingly internationalised job market, employers need reliable information on how to evaluate higher education degrees in terms of the degrees recognised and granted in their domestic market.

Many fear that an unregulated global higher education market will give way to a devaluation of quality standards. In a more demand-driven educational market, standards tend to adapt to the demands of customers. The internationalisation of higher education could also be dangerous for the consumer, if it lacks transparency. Transparency has to be achieved through common systems of recognition, as for example years of study, and tools such as the European Qualification Frameworks.

The second objective deals with relationships between countries, which cooperate to agree on common criteria of recognition and quality. The third objective refers to internationalisation and quality assurance experiences, in which it is possible to agree on quality guidelines and on quality assurance procedures with a leading international body.

Concerning this third objective, there are very few experiences to evidence, but bottom up consensus building and voluntary acceptance of shared principles seem to be the favourite procedures used by national agencies, professional bodies and joint courses. Shared principles and quality criteria are essential for the success of any cooperation and coordination of LIS schools in Europe. OECD OECD provided a summary of the progress on mapping trends in international quality assurance, accreditation and recognition of qualifications.

For stimulating cooperation, UNESCO and OECD encourage the implementation of assessment criteria and procedures for comparing programmes and qualifications and also the adoption of learning outcomes and competences that are culturally appropriate in addition to input and process requirements.

Also, the need to improve the accessibility, at an international level, of up to-date, accurate and comprehensive information on mutual recognition agreements for the professions is stressed and the development of new agreements is encouraged. For the third objective, related to an international process of quality assurance, the international professional associations are stimulated to develop guidelines on recognising standards of professional programmes, respecting national sovereignty and avoiding uniformity. The aim of these efforts was to facilitate the recognition of professional qualifications across national borders and to enhance the quality of LIS education globally.

These would provide opportunities for improving the skills of individual students and increasing the quality of the national LIS Schools. Section Education and Training Section Education and Training which lists all the institutions offering education in LIS worldwide. The objectives of the research were to identify the quality indicators and how quality is measured and evaluated.

Whereas in the past, an institution of higher education might have seen itself as a self-assertive organisation, increasingly, the survey has demonstrated that there is now external assessment. In most cases, the European LIS schools have to follow the guidelines which are given by the Government Agency which are common to all universities and not subject related. They did note the challenges of keeping such a database current as well as recognizing that most countries did not have library associations that oversaw the quality of LIS education programmes, which would likely be a significant barrier to the realization of this third approach.

Weech and Tammaro Tammaro and Weech have investigated further the feasibility of equivalency and recognition guidelines. For civil servants, additional requirements are certification of individuals as for example Estonia, Belgium , or professional exam Spain, Croatia. For career advancement in Public Administration, there are special requirements, such as professional retraining Russia , or Masters completion as in France.

However some issues have been evidenced. Same subjects receive different ECTS points as the calculation is not related to agreed standards. The participants to the IFLA SET survey were also requested to give their opinions on the realisation of an international recognition and accreditation procedure. Tammaro, , p. In conclusion, as the internationalisation concept matures, both as a concept and a process, LIS institutions of higher education are beginning to address the issue of quality assessment and assurance in an international dimension.

The literature review has evidenced that the main stimulus for international quality assurance is the influence of the market approach to higher education and the emphasis on competitiveness of higher education systems is both from an improvement of quality and accountability perspective Knight and De Wit LIS schools use two approaches: 1 accreditation of the programme by professional associations, 2 accreditation of the programme by higher education institutions. Strengths and weaknesses of these two approaches have been extensively discussed Cronin ; Saracevic ; Gorman The professional association approach is used in Europe only in the United Kingdom.

Most of the present QA systems are driven by government and university quality audit: these assessors look for quality such as fitness for purpose and value for money. The content of a core curriculum is indicated, based on information management. IFLA guidelines specify theory and practice and suggest having practicum, internship and fieldwork for students.

Transferable skills, such as communication skills, time management skills, analytical and problem solving skills are also listed as desirable learning outcomes. The three models correspond to different phases of the educational cycle. They are: 1 programme orientation, 2 educational process orientation and 3 learning outcomes orientation. The criteria most commonly used in LIS Guidelines assume that learning takes place if institutions provide certain inputs or resources e.

Quantitative indicators such as number of students enrolled and drop out rates are also important. Quality is meant as fitness for purposes and value for money. The assumption is that, if the learning and teaching process is well carried out, the success of the education is assured. The monitoring of the educational process is continuous with a combination of self-evaluation and external evaluation. When specifying quality standards, some define minimum requirements and others look for identifying excellence. The adoption of a learning outcomes approach focuses on the student achievements, competences and employability.

The assessors involved in a learning outcomes approach are professional associations, higher education institutions with the involvement of students active participation in the assessment. The quality assurance model in this case stresses a transformative concept of quality of learning, and is based on individual student assessment. This approach has many implications for the design of curriculum, course content, and learning and teaching courses. This evidence consists of a professional development report, a portfolio and an interview of the person to be certified.

A relatively small number of competences have to be evidenced, utilising different methodologies Winterton and Delamare A first method of analysing occupational functions begins with a top-down process of identifying the key purpose and key roles, and then progressively breaking these down into smaller units of competence. Each element of competence can be further refined into a series of identifiable, measurable and assessable performance criteria.

A number of English-speaking countries have formally developed and published national frameworks of qualifications, or National Vocational Qualifications NVQ Konrad Another approach reviews the range of activities and work arrangements in which professional functions occur, related to different work environments and qualifications levels.

Some indicators relate to a professionalism process such as competences and knowledge mastery, and some critical skills such as problem solving, use of practical knowledge Special Libraries Association Association of College and Research Libraries The approach based on competences has become increasingly sophisticated, with a detailed set of training standards in a wide range of occupational areas Norris ; Wolf ; Harvey to the point where the importance of the methodological concerns have been recognised in some LIS schools Layzell Ward, ; Ashcroft, ; Roggema-van Heusden, ; Bruyn, ; Corrall, ; Gleize, Such competence lists, however, do not contemplate the disciplinary knowledge or the ethics of the librarian.

They are, moreover, subject to continual change. These levels are not related however to the European Qualifications Framework. It should be underlined that the process of certification can be cumbersome or costly. The accreditation of courses seems more reliable, however no international standards have been agreed. The focus is on basic process control of products and services. In trying to use industrial standards in education, education can be treated as if it were a manufacturing process and students are viewed as products or consumers. Classifying students as customers has the advantage of emphasizing that to achieve quality one has to listen to students and be sure they are satisfied.

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Based on this view, Harvey Harvey hypothesizes that the effort to implement quality management models as practiced in industry across all operations of a university is mistaken. An educational enterprise has to take a more holistic approach, not limited by the processes, product or service approaches of the industrial model. Subject benchmark statements set out expectations about standards of honours degrees in broad subject areas. This phenomenon is one of the reasons for the difficulty in changing a curriculum in LIS.

Sometimes, especially in countries of Central and Southern Europe, these LIS departments co-exist with other forms of on- the-job training offered by national libraries or other libraries or cultural institutions Harbo, This phenomenon characterising LIS education in Europe, which is called convergence, has a big impact on the quality of the LIS programme, i. Designing a programme with an international content needs to reply to a key question: what does internationalisation mean for curriculum design? Is it possible to develop a European curriculum in LIS? A single curriculum has been attempted in the past, but in Europe the traditions and the labour markets are different, and agreement on a single programme is not only difficult but not desirable.

The idea of a common curriculum model has been abandoned, as it is not easy for an institution to change from a more traditional curriculum to one that may be radically different. At the same time, joint courses are promoted to experiment cooperation for a common curriculum and shared quality assurance procedures. To meet this objective, it is important to share reference tools, such as guidelines and standards, both for improving transparency and as a basis for a cooperative dialogue among stakeholders.

In this economically-driven and globalised context, the BP has established the quality of the European Higher Education Area as one of its main aim. The priorities of BP are: the cooperation for quality enhancement and the recognition of qualifications European Commission ; Bologna Process The activities of the BP in achieving transparency, quality enhancement and recognition of qualifications cover reference tools such as the European Qualification Framework and other European standards such as ECTS, Diploma Supplement, Europass, Dublin descriptors. The BP objective is to achieve a cross-border quality assurance system, based on cooperation of national quality procedures European Commission ; Van Damme The existing QA agencies and accreditation systems could use the quality model mentioned above, based on a mutually accepted definition of quality and basic standards and criteria.

The key role of internationalisation for quality enhancement has been gaining increasing recognition in Europe Van Damme The European trends toward internationalization of quality which until now have been experimented with are: 1 International benchmarking: benchmarking and comparison with best practices and standards was started by the BP ENQA Benchmarking should be considered as a response to the growing competition among educational institutions nationally as well as internationally and their search for the best practices and most superior performance.

In the context of the BP, benchmarking emphasises the need for increased comparison, transparency and visibility of quality in higher education ENQA The BP has been also stimulating the specific development of standard indicators for learning outcomes in a range of all occupational areas, with the purpose of improving employability and mobility of students and professionals in an international labour market.

This trend tries to compensate for the inability of the HE sector to agree on internationally standards of academic quality, by imposing professional standards with a focus on competences Whitehead, ; SEFI. Irish Presidency Conference The way programmes are organised, the delivery mode, the specific teaching and learning setting, even the exact amount of time and workload invested in them, are increasingly diverging, but this divergence does not intrinsically affect the comparability of learning outcomes.

Europe is only at the outset of a move from input standards for QA in terms of structure of the courses, content lists and contact hours towards outcomes based on curricula and continuous outcomes assessment. This move is also from quality assurance of higher education institutions to a quality culture spread amongst all stakeholders. Learning outcomes and 'outcomes-based approaches' have implications for curriculum design, teaching, learning and assessment, as well as quality assurance.

Teachers must be concerned with the learning outcomes at the level of the programme, but they must also consider the necessary alignment of the national and international levels and the professional qualifications EQF. The issue of the quality of the education is bound up with the question of recognition in the framework of lifelong learning and the consequent need to record the learning achieved, through both formal education and informal training, in a quantitative manner.

After Bergen , the BP focus on learning outcomes has been further clarified and the quality of teaching and learning was linked to the achievement of learning outcomes and to the international recognition through the application of the European Qualifications Framework. International recognition is based not only on quantitative indicators as numbers of ECTS, years of study but requires that individuals must be able to combine and accumulate learning outcomes acquired in different institutions and a set of BP common reference tools supports this aim, giving transparency to the different levels of higher education.

Dublin descriptors, as proposed by the Joint Quality Initiative meeting in Dublin in March European Commission, define competences in broadest sense. EQF5 is a tool which attempts to deal with the issue of professional recognition and the accumulation of the various credits related to formal learning and university education, comprising those competences described by the Dublin descriptors. A qualification based on these specified learning outcomes should confer official recognition of value in the European labour market and in further education and training.

The use of the learning outcomes and competences approach implies changes regarding the teaching, learning and assessment methods which are used in a programme. If designed properly, learning outcomes could promote improved communication between teachers and students, information on courses and programmes, study guidance, study planning, assessment of learning as well as teaching methods, feedback mechanisms as students, employers and other stakeholder will assess the quality of the education at hand in relation to learning outcomes Tuning ; Tuning.

The first tenet of an international course applying the learning outcomes model is that it should have a student-centered approach. Student-centered learning allows students to actively participate in learning processes from an autonomous viewpoint. Students consume the entire class time constructing a new understanding of the material being learned without being passive, but rather proactive. Developing links between learning outcomes, teaching strategies, student activities and assessment tasks is very challenging for the teacher. This could be particularly difficult as the curriculum and teaching methods of an existing institution may be very inflexible Harvey Biggs refers to this type of learning and teaching process as involving a constructive alignment between the method of teaching, learning activities and methods for assessment.

The debate about BP learning outcomes includes controversial concepts, as competences and employability. This approach consists of focusing on those competences which students should have to be competent professionals. One interpretation is relevant to the labour market, and is also more flexible when considering certification of individuals, taking into account issues of lifelong learning, non-traditional learning, and other forms of non-formal educational experiences.

However, most fear that the focus on achievements of low level competences could lower the academic competences Harvey, In this approach the learning outcomes are linked to the schema of professional levels or grades and the knowledge or skills required for each level of education, as defined by the Dublin descriptors and the European Qualifications Framework EQF. Participation and representation of all stakeholders in the quality process are now key issues in the framework of the BP, and special efforts are increasingly made to ensure that the widest range of views are taken into the quality enhancement commitment Van Damme The LIS sector could have a new role in this context, but there is no initiative until now Tammaro One case in the LIS courses in which these two competing approaches to learning outcomes are particularly evident is the learning of technologies.

The technological knowledge considered necessary for the librarian is an example of how the two approaches can lead to different results in terms of learning outcomes. If the aim of university education is to train someone who is capable of applying the technologies to the traditional library procedures, the result will be a library technician.

If instead the aim is that of educating a librarian who is capable of identifying problems, then understanding which problems of the profession can best be resolved through the application of the technologies then the result will be an educated librarian Cook, ; Pors, ; van der Starre, The different approach to learning outcomes in the first case leads to a concentration on the teaching of technological applications to libraries, whereas in the second case the focus is on the objective to be pursued through the application of the technologies.

In this case the focus is on learning outcomes such as critical spirit, reflective practice etc. In the first approach, the learning outcomes model is seen as a way to improve employability; but a balance should be found with educational criteria Pors ; Harvey and Mason ; Harvey ; Harvey The second approach is that pursued by the educators focusing on the transformation and the empowerment of the students, with the capabilities to apply knowledge in different contexts, adopting a reflective practice.

In this approach, the learning outcomes are understood as the result of an education process.

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In order for a teacher to move towards a student-centered approach, the incorporation of educational practices such as Bloom's Taxonomy can be very beneficial because it promotes various modes of diverse learning styles Bloom The cognitive domain is composed of six successive levels: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation. Learning outcomes can be defined as the knowledge, skills and understanding a student would be expected to acquire as a result of the learning experience at the level of graduate, Masters and Doctorate level.

BP has adopted the Dublin descriptors European Commission, which are composed of four levels: 1 knowledge and understanding, 2 applying knowledge, 3 making judgment and 4 allowing for abilities and transversal skills. Among the various possible learning outcomes, that of employability and success in the world of work appears the most obvious, emerging as the essential consequence of a quality course.

The BP definition of employability is Bologna Seminar, : …a set of achievements — skills, understandings and personal attributes — that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. Harvey Harvey has called the approach based on a learning outcomes model of quality a means for the transformation of the students throughout learning.

According to the author quality evaluation until now has contributed little to any effective transformation of the student learning experience, as it has been misunderstood as employability. Harvey , p. There is possibly a critical question that needs to be put: how has the LIS labour market been represented and by which leading bodies can curriculum development be established?

In the United Kingdom the collaboration with all the stakeholders has already been active for about ten years and seems very positive. The role of Library Associations can be very important Johnson, The first change that appears to be needed in applying the learning outcomes approach to university education in LIS relates to an enhanced collaboration among all the stakeholders to establish agreed definitions and range of learning outcomes European Commission.

We need to focus on vocational aspects of HE, in relation to the development of qualifications and competences at the sector level. This is essential for HE relevancy to labour market. This means a shift of perspective from providers to learning outcomes and competences Tuning. This collaboration is now being achieved by including experiential components such as internship and placement, in educational system and didactics. The learning outcomes model has the opportunity of connecting the different levels of LIS education quality: the local, national, international level of quality and recognition.

It stresses a student centered approach and a more active involvement of students in learning and assessment. However there are some issues affecting its application, such as different perceptions of outcomes to be achieved and measured, more related to employability or to the transformation of the individual students. ALIA Library and information sector: core knowledge, skills and attributes. Ashcroft, L. Association of College and Research Libraries 'Education for professional academic librarianship.

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