P. Pouyioutas

University of Nicosia (CYPRUS)
Teaching quality is becoming a strategic direction of the European Higher Education Area reforms. Its importance is recently gaining more and more recognition by both the policy makers as well as the various providers of higher education. A more balanced provision of teaching and research is now within the vision and mission of Universities, even those universities who have been traditionally focused mainly on basic research.

This paper introduces THEQM, the Teaching in Higher Education Quality Model. THEQM is a model, which measures the commitment of institutions of Higher Education to teaching quality. The model is based on the Report of the European Commission (EC) on “Improving the quality of teaching and learning in Europe’s higher education institutions”. The report provides sixteen (16) recommendations for improving quality of teaching as well as, case studies and best practices from various EU countries to exemplify how these recommendations can be met. Some of these recommendations are addressed to the European Commission and the member states and address the need for financial support, the promotion of initiatives, methods and methodologies for quality teaching, the creation of a European Academy for Teaching and Learning, the availability of Structural Funds for supporting related activities,

At the institutional level, the recommendations address amongst other things, issues related to the strategy and supporting funds at an institution, teachers’ professional certifications, training courses in teaching and learning, recognition and award for good teachers, student involvement in curriculum development and the learning process, multi-disciplinary approaches in teaching and internalization of teaching.

Based on the aforementioned recommendations at the institutional level, we have defined one hundred (ninety nine plus one) quality indicators and propose herein, a model based on a numeric system for measuring the adherence to these recommendations/indicators by a particular institution, thus measuring its commitment to teaching quality. We are in the process of receiving feedback for our model and at the same time building a web-based tool, namely THEQMTool that will provide an on-line version of THEQM; the tool will allow an institution to carry out a self-assessment of its commitment to teaching quality, and find out how it comparing (ranking wise and anonymously) to a number of other institutions that have carried out the same self-assessment exercise.

The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 briefly presents related work in the area of teaching quality. Section 3, presents the quality indicators that we propose for each recommendation. Section 4, presents the proposed model, which can be used to measure the commitment of an institution to teaching quality. Section 5 briefly presents the functionality of a proposed IT tool, namely THEQMTool. Finally, Conclusions briefly addresses our future work with regards to the model and THEQMTool.