From September 7 to October 2, 2017, the BUILD-IT project conducted a series of 14 in-country workshops on international accreditation, quality assurance and evaluation of student learning. More than 550 participants from BUILD-IT and non-BUILD-IT universities and education organizations in both STEM and non-STEM areas from Can Tho, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Hue and Hanoi participated in the workshops.
More than 550 participants attend series of BUILD-IT workshops on accreditation and evaluation
The workshops were led by Kathy Wigal, BUILD-IT project director, and Scott Danielson and Charles Nguyen, co-leads of BUILD-IT Activity 4: Implementing Quality Systems. All workshop instructors provided useful knowledge and expertise on how to develop sustainable quality assurance systems that help to ensure continuous improvement at both program and institutional levels, which in turn are critical for successful international accreditation and recognition. The workshops also introduced new perspectives from U.S. educators that are relevant and applicable in the context of Vietnamese educational institutions.
The workshops introduced essential knowledge about how to develop quality systems that meet international accreditation and recognition standards to universities and education organizations nationwide. A series of workshops on the principles of successful institutional quality assurance systems was delivered in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi. At the program level, administrators and faculty in Hanoi started to explore ABET accreditation, including mission, organizational structure and timeline, to consider the next step in the efforts to advance quality academic programs and curriculum, and worked on using templates developed by BUILD-IT to draft partial outlines for their AUN-QA self-assessment reports. Meanwhile, participants in Ho Chi Minh City were given a forum to share and discuss success stories and challenges encountered as part of the preparation process for ABET and AUN-QA, and were exposed to experiences in establishing and maintaining relationship with employers via Industrial Advisory Boards.
In addition, the latest series of BUILD-IT workshops had a particular focus on providing tools that help faculty, administrators and quality assurance staff to effectively establish, run and connect the different stages in the quality systems — particularly at the program level. These are the stages that are often considered as gaps in the current practice of teaching and learning in most universities in Vietnam. In particular, workshop participants explored using a working automated data aggregation model developed by BUILD-IT to streamline the assessment process for student learning outcomes, practiced developing different types of valid, reliable and fair assessment rubrics, and re-evaluated and critiqued course evaluation tools currently being used at different BUILD-IT schools to develop high-quality instruments measuring instructional effectiveness based on rigorous research in the field. Workshop participants in Ho Chi Minh City were also introduced to the application of the concepts of formative and summative assessment methods, where they had to re-think different activities in their teaching and learning process, including both classroom learning activities and assessment of student learning at courses and program level using a constructive alignment approach.
Many participants who attended the workshops have shared that they found the knowledge and skills learned very valuable, which was seen as “lifebuoy” to their teaching and learning activities, as one young faculty put it. Another participant shared that the workshops “helped me to learn new and useful knowledge which I had been searching for the whole life but had failed to find it — thank you.”
BY NGUYEN HUU DIEM HUONG