Third Party Evaluation





One of the biggest achievements of Directorate of Quality Enhancement (DQE) is the successful Third Party Evaluation under “Commonwealth of Learning Review and Improvement Model (COL-RIM) Implication” held at AIOU. This model focuses on stakeholder needs and core processes, systemic approach to the performance of the whole system with an emphasis on the key role of human actors in the system. It is also a do-it-yourself approach which helps to review the institution itself with the recommended option of getting the findings verified by a quality professional or panel of verifiers. The key processes of the COL RIM are listed below:

  1. Initiation
  2. Staff Survey
  3. Self-review
  4. Verification
  5. Follow up
Here is the alpha and omega of the whole process carried out at AIOU.


Step-1:

INITIATION OF COMMONWEALTH OF LEARNING REVIEW AND IMPROVEMENT MODEL (COLRIM):

The MOU between Commonwealth of Learning and Allama Iqbal Open University was signed on 02.04.13 at the main campus of AIOU by Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University and Prof. Asha Kunwar, President Commonwealth of Learning.

1.2. Key persons


The following key persons were involved in the COL RIM process.
Key Contact Persons: Vice Chancellor AIOU
For AIOU: Dr. Nomana Anjum (Director, DQE)
For COL: Professor Madulika Kaushik, Education Specialist

External Verifier: Professor Uma Coomaraswamy (former Vice Chancellor of Sri Lanka Open University)

The Core team and the Verification team comprised academics from all the faculties and employees from administration, servicing departments and regions.

Step-2:

STAFF SURVEY

The second step was the Staff Survey. The staff survey was conducted at AIOU from 19th to 26th April, 2013 as part of step two of COL RIM Process. Fifty percent staff list was forwarded to the External Verifier appointed by Commonwealth of Learning (the list included academicians from the four faculties, officers from all the servicing departments and officers from all the regions). The external verifier administered the survey online.

Step-3:

SELF REVIEW

The third step was the “SELF Review”. The core team did the self review using the review On the basis of “Triangulation Technique”, the core team gave new ratings to each theme and corresponding indicators by using the guidelines given by COL.

Implementation of the Self-Review

3.(a) Strategy for the self review

The triangulation method including observations, interview and review of documents were carried out in most cases for finding the facts. Several meetings (including six notified meetings and about 15 informal meetings) were held among the team members and with the Director (DQE) to discuss various indicators.

A list of required documents from various departments and sections was formulated and assigned to various people to collect the documents and place them in the Directorate of Quality Enhancement Committee Room. Teams made visits on their convenience to review the documents and report the evidences according to their theme requirements. This strategy helped in overcoming the time constraint.

3. (b) Quality and Quantity of evidence gathered

The Self Review team had representations from all faculties and servicing departments which provided an opportunity to have access to most of the required documents. In case representation was not available, DQE collected the documents. However, in most cases cooperation was received from all the departments. Self Review team has observed that in most cases evidences are well documented and are accessible on request.

3. (c) Ratings by theme, based on your evidence-based judgments:

Themes
Rating of the Self Review
Comment on why this rating seems appropriate
Communication: How effectively does the institution communicate with its stakeholders?
1.6
In the light of interviews and the documents collected, it would be justifiable to establish that the university has very strong mechanism of communication. Composition of the Executive Council reflects that the university has well established participatory mechanism of decision making.

Need Orientation: How well does the institution provide the outcomes that its stakeholders need and value?
1.7
The proposed budget estimates of AIOU for the year 2012-13 allocates Rs: 4 million for computer equipment, Rs: 184.8 million for communication, Rs: 2 million for IT equipment and RS: 4 million for laptops. The range of need based programmes being offered for the diversified population through distance learning and blended learning along with allocations of funds/facilities are evident that AIOU value its stakeholders.

Engagement: How effectively does the institution engage with local and international communities?
1.04
Interview reports conducted with Deans, Head of Departments indicate that university is advancing in right direction regarding best use of Information Technology, Liaison with national and international organizations, expansion of its regional net work throughout the country, decentralization of Examination Department, conduct of examination of Overseas Pakistani Students and electronically updating of student’s result.

Innovation and Creativity: How effective are the institution’s innovative and creative responses to a changing environment?
1.25
Evidences report that university has invested huge amount in last two to three years for purchase of IT Equipment and also arranging ICT training of all staff members. Records indicate that university is providing community service for long however, history of basic and applied sciences research is short but good progress is made in short duration.

Capacity Building: How effectively does the institution develop the capacity of its people to provide valued outcomes for stakeholders
1.40
Records indicate that staff turnover is high. Staff is given opportunity to enhance qualification and acquire specialized training to meet current educational challenges.



Quality Management: How well does the institution monitor and improve its performance?
1.52
Evidences report that institution is scheduling all the activities and progress is constantly reviewed and monitored in STG and Sub STG meetings. Bottlenecks are being removed and improvements are made through participatory approach.




Step-4:

VERIFICATION

The next step was the “verification”. The verification team audited the ratings of the Self-Review and the evidences gathered by the Core Team. Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has been declared as “Verified” with the maximum as per the final report from External Verifier appointed by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and its rating has been considered as the highest so far. (Mention overall rating and the rating scale used in this exercise).

Step-5:

FOLLOWUP

As the verification process has recently completed hence, the next step of follow-up is likely to start in near future.