RETHINKING THE QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ORIENTED TO SUCCESSFUL LEARNING: CASE STUDY
Purpose – To study how the educational organizations provide the quality assurance seeking to ensure the successful learning.
Design/methodology/approach – Rapid environmental change, globalization, competition to provide innovative services create new challenges and requirements for educational organizations. The organizations strive to meet the demands of a wide range of stakeholders and this refers to the fact that the subject of quality receives increasing attention.
Despite the facts that quality means different things to different people (Harney & Green, 1992; Gallifa & Batalle, 2010) and that both from the perspective of quality‘s dimensions (input, process and output) and from the perspective of the stakeholders, there are many views of quality (Guellali, 2008), quality issues are relevant not only for educational organizations but also for learners.
With the implementation of a quality management system there are many possibilities, but the new approach highlighting the idea of successful learning is in demand. In this context Learner-Oriented Quality development and certification model (LQW) is the only quality development process which is focused on the successful learning of the learners – it means that learners are treated as a determinant of quality (Reetz & Heldmann, 2006; Zech, 2007; Douillet, 2008). LQW introduces a continuous cycle of quality development and combines internal and external quality management evaluation. According LQW, clearly defined requirements of the development of quality are examined in eleven obligatory quality areas and must be proven in the self-evaluation report of the organization. Central and unique to the LQW model is the necessity to define successful learning right at the start of the quality process and the fact that all quality measures in all eleven quality areas have to be justified based on the definition of successful learning (Zech, 2007).
The quality evaluation research done by using the inductive cognitive methods discovers the main advantages and problematical fields of three different kind educational organizations in Lithuania by providing successful learning. The evaluation of each of eleven quality areas allows to get the common view of quality understanding which leads to the potential of the organizations by implementing quality assurance concept.
Findings – Research findings indicate from one side, the individual approach of each of three different educational institutions to the implementation of the successful learning concept, on the other hand, reveal the common issues due to the general social-economic context.
Originality/value – The paper provides the new, not standard approach to quality assurance which relies more on the quality criteria defined by the educational organization. The approach is based on reflection and not on formalization. The empirical research shows the relativity of successful learning concept and the main hindrances and weaknesses for the quality assurance due to the organizational and general context.
The paper is based on the material of the Leonardo da Vinci innovation transferring project “Crossnational quality management in continuing learning for people with low educational attainment in the European context” ("Länderübergreifendes Qualitätsmanagement in der Weiterbildung für Personen mit niedrigem Bildungsstand im Europäischen Kontext“) (No 2009-1-PL-LEO05-05039).