Providing quality education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels is one of the core values developed by the university over the period of time. For this purpose, the university has established various bodies including academic council at university level headed by the vice chancellor, board of faculty (BOF) at faculty level headed by dean of the respective faculty, and board of studies (BOS) and postgraduate research committee (PGRC) at department level headed by chairman of the respective department or dean of the respective faculty. Besides, university has also established quality enhancement cell (QEC) since 2005 under the directions of HEC to monitor quality aspects of various programs at the university.
The department considers continuous quality improvement (CQI) as a useful tool and the most important component of OBE implementation for ensuring quality education. Through CQI process, the results of the existing practices within the department are regularly evaluated and an action plan for improvement is generated and acted upon. To implement the CQI process at the department, a practical, useful, and simple mechanism known as PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) is employed. PDCA cycle is chosen for two basic reasons:
- Reliability can be checked for the assessment methods and
- A comparison can be made with any previous assessment; thus, rate of improvement can be calculated.
PDCA cycle, also known as Deming Wheel, comprise of four major phases namely plan, do, check and act described as follows:
PLAN: The planning phase involves assessing a current process, or a new process, and figuring out how it can be improved upon. Knowing what types of outputs that are desired helps to develop a plan to fix the process. QEC planning incorporates all nine criteria tested by the HEC.
DO: The do phase allows the plan from the previous step to be enacted. Small changes are tested, and data is gathered to see how effective the change is.
CHECK: During the check phase, the data and results gathered from the do phase are evaluated. Data is compared to the expected outcomes, given in the form of KPIs, to see any similarities and differences. The testing process is also evaluated to see if there were any changes from the original test created during the planning phase.
ACT: If the check phase shows that the plan phase which was implemented in do phase is an improvement to the prior standard (baseline), then that becomes the new standard (baseline). Instead, if the check phase shows that the plan phase which was implemented in do phase is not an improvement, then the existing standard (baseline) will remain in place. In either case, if the check phase showed something different than expected (whether better or worse), then there is some more learning to be done and that will suggest potential future PDCA cycles.
The implementation of CQI is critical for successfully running the OBE as it supports the evaluation and improvement of the OBE processes. The CQI process is continuously executed to improve the attainments of CLOs, PLOs, and PEOs; it regularly assesses the academic standards and outcomes of the academic program.
Roll of the departmental QEC
The department has established a quality enhancement cell (QEC) in February 2017 to take necessary measures for the implementation of OBE and continuously improve the quality of education. A senior faculty member was appointed as incharge to look after the activities of QEC. Further to build the capacity of QEC and conduct its activities effectively, a fully furnished and equipped separate office was allocated where committee members regularly interact to discuss and present ideas for the attainment of OBE KPIs. Tasks are assigned to different faculty members to be completed in a specified time frame. For effective working, three dedicated team are formed in the QEC namely supervisory team, monitoring team, and advisory team. The organogram of QEC teams and key responsibility of each team is given in figure below.
The composition of each team is given in table.
|QEC Director||QEC Secretary|
|Dr. A.N. Tabish||Ms. Farah Butt|
|Supervisory team||Monitoring team||Advisory team|
|Dr. A.N. Tabish (Lead)||Dr. Hamayoun Mahmood (Lead)||Dr. Muhammad Asif (Lead)|
|Dr. Adeel Anwar||Mr. Muhammad Sulaiman||Mr. Qazi Muhammad Umar|
|Ms. Nazia Baig||Dr. Ch. Haider ali (SC)|
|Ms. Azqa Khalid (SC)|
|Mr. Hafiz Mudassar|
There are three types of roles that QEC plays to ensure the quality education in the department and those are:
Supportive role: QEC provides support in the form of on-demand expertise, templates, best practices, and access to information.
Controlling role: When there is a desire to “rein in” the activities, processes, procedures, documentation etc. a controlling role is accomplished. Not only does the QEC provide support, but it also requires that the support be used. Requirements might include adoption of specific methodologies, templates, and forms.
Directive role: This type goes beyond control and actually “takes over” by providing the experience and resources. A certain direction may be required to follow strictly.
The key responsibilities of the cell are;
- Review of quality standards and the quality of teaching and learning in each subject area.
- Develop standard operating procedures including:
- Stakeholder’s feedback (Employer, Alumni, Faculty, students, Graduating student)
- Infrastructure and facilities survey
- Development of KPIs and CQI process
- Assessment and review of curriculum, PEOs, PLOs, and CLOs
- Maintain academic record (course folder etc.)
- Monitor student’s attainment of CLO and PLO at course and summary level
- Review and update OBE-based SAR and coordinate for program accreditation
- Review the quality of semester projects, final year projects, and coursework assigned.
A comprehensive report is prepared at the end of each semester to assess the level of attainment of CLOs and consequently PLOs for courses at the individual as well as cohort level. According to the results, the QEC suggests improvement if any are required based on the feedback received from the key stakeholders. The QEC also serves to identify and eliminate worthless assets from the department through proper channel.
QEC works under the frame work of PDCA. QEC
a) plans possible improvements to mitigate the existing problems or reach a new standard by recognizing the problems and offering ideas for solution,
b) implements the changes to check if they work or not,
c) continuously monitor the results to examine the effects of changes on the quality and also to identify the new problems, and
d) take active/corrective measures to implement the changes according to the previous results.