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موضوع: مقالات چاپ شده در مجلات خارجي ISI    نويسنده: administrator    تاريخ: 13 مرداد 1393    بازديدها: 1236
Analysis of external quality proficiency of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 from graduates and employers viewpoints

1. D.r Seyed Ahmad Hashemi
PhD, Lamerd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran Hmd_hashemi@yahoo.com

Abstract
Quality is an important factor in higher education which directly has considerable role in a country’s destiny. This study aims at evaluating internal quality of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 in order to introduce a paradigm for developing universities quality. To evaluate internal quality, we analyzed graduates viewpoints on educational, financial-administrative, cultural, collegiate and research factors in Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 and also employers and bosses viewpoints have been taken into consideration. The number of participants in this research consists of 123406 graduates and 123406 of their employers and bosses in M.A fields of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 in the academic year 2011-12. In this research, Cochran Formula was used for sample size determination and cluster random sampling was used for sample selection obtained and selected among some random Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 and their graduates, employers and bosses were evaluated. Then 383 graduated and 383 employers and bosses were selected. Data collection instruments consisted of two researcher-made questionnaires according to the Likers Scale and the questionnaires were evaluated by Cornbrash’s Alpha coefficient (graduates 0.807 and employers and bosses 0.853)in other that their validity of content and appearance be approved by experts’ viewpoints. Data analysis was also done by SPSS software in two levels of descriptive statistic (frequency, frequency percentage, frequency percentage chart, median, mode and curve) and inferential statistic (one sample t parameter in meaningful level of 0.05). The results showed that:
1. Students’ curriculum proficiency was below average, cultural program proficiency was average and curriculum and financial-administrative proficiency were above the average on graduates’ viewpoints.
2. Proficiency of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 was above average on employers’ and bosses’ viewpoints.
Keywords: external proficiency, Islamic Azad universities of Area 1, employers and bosses, graduates and quality.

Introduction
Higher education has been considered by many nations and governments as an important and essential institution. Achieving modern technology and science accelerates societies toward prosperity which is obtained by developing higher education and qualitative and quantitative curriculums (Farokhnejad, 2005). There is a lot of historical evidence to the benefit of higher education in economic growth. For instance, South Korea and Japan have probably obtained benefit from their development in higher education (Lim, 2001). Therefore, political and economic development is subject to scientific and cultural development and its source is universities (Farokhnejad, 2005). In fact, universities are circles in which producers ensure and provide a system for national inventions (Bills, 2005). Also universities’ role in the production of more and better human sources can bring about a full-scale development (Effron et al., 2005). Izadi (1996) points out in a research that the increase in the expenses in higher education and the allocation of more resources versus less return demonstrate the lack quality in higher education.
Barzargan (2004) believes that many definitions have been introduced in higher education and in universities. In this regard, Chang (2003) points out that the definition of quality in higher education can be feasibly defined; however, there is no consensus about that.
One of the challenges facing universities today is the new concept of quality and expectations that participant groups have for being ensured of this concept (Gritz, 1999). Hence, much considerations should be taken. Evaluation in higher education is an analytical-systematic and critical process and which leads to the judgment and recommendation in the quality of organizations or curriculums. This evaluation is done in two ways; internal and external (Harvey 2002, Campbell 2002, Vlasceanu, 2007).
The reason for the importance of external evaluation is that scientific communities seek other group’s approval in addition to the internal results. This must be done by setting rules and criteria (requirements) accepted by groups of expert faculty members in the evaluating fields and done by a group of educational inspectors inspecting educational groups or universities in order to provide recommendations from the quality of the institution (Bazargan, 1995). In external evaluation, the reason for the having responsibility to the participants and all other subcategories is that it is the guarantee to the continuity of the quality of universities in order that they could determine the quality and to find a way to solve the deficiencies. As a result, external quality assurance by peer faculty essentially ensures the improvement of quality culture (Bazargan, 2004). Heywood (2000) cites that internal evaluation is essential because a scientific society needs the approval of faculty peers as well as the results of internal evaluation in order to make sure of the educational quality of a system. Ghobadian (1994) & Hatry (1998) believe that ultimate aim of external evaluation is to improve and develop goals’ proficiency. Therefore, effective factors of Islamic Azad Universities of Area one will be evaluated, and with regard to the evaluation of these components and achieved resulted in this research, some recommendations will be given to improve the quality of universities. Here the results of some research will be discussed.
Yadegarzade (2002) in his M.A thesis ‘Evaluation of Quality in Science College of Hamadan Abu-Ali Sina University’ tried to determine the factors of success in internal evaluation. In this research, the factors of management and organizational group, university students, graduates, underway educational courses, teaching process- learning, educational and research facilities were evaluated. The results showed that university students, management and organization of teaching process group- learning, educational and research facilities were in ideal condition, and graduates and underway educational courses’ condition were fairly ideal.
In his thesis, Farokhnejad (2005) evaluated internal and external quality of M.A and PhD courses of educational management groups, education psychology and sociology of Shiraz University. Results showed ideal condition in the research.
Araste et al. (2007) evaluated ‘Tehran universities’ condition in the era of universalization in students’ perspective’. These universities describe six components of lecturers’ proficiency and skills, contents’ appropriateness, teaching methods, evaluating students’ academic progress, and facilities in the status quo. The results showed that lecturers’ proficiency and skills was higher than average, courses contents were average, teaching methods were higher than average, academic progress was average, and facilities were higher than average in terms of quality.
Bazargan (1996), in a research evaluated the medical science university groups of Tehran and Kerman. The evaluation factors in this research were organization and management with 10 indices, students with 8, underway educational courses with 6, teaching process-learning with 4, and graduates with 8, and the instruments for collecting information were questionnaires, interviews and check-lists. The result of this research showed that the process of determining aims are set by the lesson topics by the faculty members. Ideality of input factors, process and output can be evaluated by the scope of ‘ideal’, ‘fairly ideal’ and ‘not ideal’.
In a research done by the University of Latrobe in March 1994, facilities, management and educational groups, research and financial affairs were evaluated in order to get feedbacks in various M.A fields with relation to the locution of the curriculums. The results showed that the facilities and financial affairs were in ideal condition, and research, curriculum and educational group management and faculty were fairly ideal. Finally, this council introduced improvement reform (Lim, 2001).
Alvez and Vieira (2006)researched on the quality of services in higher education institutions in Portugal and the results showed that these universities were in ideal condition in terms of group management and organization, students, teaching process-learning, underway educational courses, educational and research facilities and graduates were all fairly ideal. Faculty members and graduates were also ideal.
In another research carried out by V. Yilmaz et al. (2007), they evaluated the quality of services in higher education in Turkey in two universities and seven factors were taken into consideration. The factors of group organization and management, students, teaching process-learning and underway educational courses were ideal; however, the graduated were not satisfied about their conditions.
This research aims at analyzing external proficiency in Islamic Azad Universities of Area 1 as well as graduates’ and employers’ viewpoints about the proficiency quality of curriculums, financial-administrative, cultural, students and research.
Research Questions
1. How are M.A graduates, curriculum proficiency, financial-administrative, cultural, student and researching evaluated in Islamic Azad universities of Area 1?
2. How do employers and bosses evaluate the proficiency of M.A fields of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1?
Research Method
In this research, applied method is used in terms of the type of aim and descriptive-sampling method is used for data collection. The research participants consist of graduates, their employers and bosses in M.A fields of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 in the academic year 2011-12 and the sampling volume was selected from the groups of graduates, employers and bosses and measured by Cochran Formula, the selection was done by cluster random sampling and some random selection and evaluation were done among the graduates, employers and bosses of Islamic Azad universities. Table 1 shows the volume of participants of the research.
Table 1

The data collecting instruments in this research were two researcher-made questionnaires:
1. Graduates questionnaire. This questionnaire consists of 37 questions which evaluates the viewpoints of graduates regarding the educational components, financial-administrative, cultural, collegiate and researching.
2. Employers and bosses questionnaire. This questionnaire consists of 26 questions which evaluates the viewpoints of employers and bosses regarding the proficiency of graduates.
The validity of content and appearance has been approved by experts and their stability resulted from the test implemented in two weeks interval and among 30 persons using Cronbach’salpha coefficient according to the below table.
Table 2

To analyze the achieved data, descriptive methods such as frequency, frequency percentage, frequency percentage chart, median, mode and curve and inferential statistic (one sample t parameter) have been applied in the meaningful level of 0.05. The process of data analysis and the implementation of statistical tests were used by SPSS16 software.
Findings
a. Analysis of M.A graduates viewpoints on the proficiency of external quality of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1.

• Descriptive analysis

Tables 3 and 4 show descriptive information of the results of graduates’ descriptive analysis.

Table 3

Table 4

• Inferential analysis
According the Likert Scale, grade 3 has been given to average choice. Test t is designed as follows:

Table 5

As expected, regarding to the test results of t, it is concluded that the test is not meaningful only in two cases and it is meaningful in other cases, and it can be assumed that the average is higher than 3. Therefore, in is inferred that the viewpoints average regarding educational, financial-administrative and collegiate components is higher than 3 (e.g. higher than average) and the viewpoints regarding other components are either equal to average or less than that.
b. Analysis of employers and bosses viewpoints on proficiency of external quality of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1.
Tables 6 and 7 show the descriptive information of descriptive analysis results from employers’ viewpoints.
• Descriptive analysis
Table 6

Table 7

• Inferential analysis
According the Likert Scale, grade 3 has been given to average choice. Test t is designed as follows:

Table 8

As expected, regarding the test t, it can be concluded the test is meaningful and therefore the average is higher than 3. As a result, it can be inferred that viewpoints average is higher than 3 (e.g. higher than average).
Conclusion
a. Analysis of M.A graduates viewpoints on the proficiency of external quality of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1.
1. Educational component: The results revealed that graduates evaluated the educational proficiency of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 as higher than average. This result regarding educational proficiency illustrates positive and acceptable viewpoints of this group related to the services of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1. One of the reasons in this case can be related to the proficiency and up-to-date services provided by these universities. The results of this research is in accordance with those of Araste et al. (2007)and V. Yilmaz et al. (2007); however, they are not in accordance with those of USA Validator Organization (2003), Alvez and Vieira (2006), Lim (2001) and Farokhnejad (2005).
2. Financial-administrative component: The results showed that graduates evaluated the financial-administrative performance of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 higher than average. Regarding to the performance of financial-administrative programs of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1, students maintained acceptable viewpointson the conditions of these universities. The result of this research is in accordance with that of Yadegarzade (2002), Ahmadi (2005), Farokhnejad (2005), Lim (2001) and V. Yilmaz et al. (2007); however, it is not in accordance with that ofUSA Validator Organization (2003) and Alvez & Vieira (2006).
3. Cultural component: The result showed that graduates evaluated the cultural performance of Islamic Azad universities of Area one as average. In their perspective, it is essential that this program should be rethought and developed. The result is in accordance to that of Farokhnejad (2005) and Yadegarzade (2002).
4. Collegiate component: The result showed that graduates evaluated collegiate performance of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 as below average.From the viewpoints of graduates of Islamic Azad universities of Area one, the results were not satisfactory in terms of service providing and much rethought and development must be taken into consideration for better services. The result is in accordance with that of Yadegarzade (2005), Farokhnejad (2005) and V. Yilmaz et al. (2007).
5. Research component: The result showed that the graduates evaluated research performance of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 as average. Although the results are average, much activities should be done in this regard. The result of this research is in accordance with that of Yadegarzade (2002), Farokhnejad (2005), Lim (2001), and USA Validator Organization (2003).
b. Analysis of the employers and bosses on graduates’ proficiency.
According to the achieved results, employers and bosses evaluated the proficiency of the graduates of Islamic Azad universities of Area 1 as average. Successful universities always must evaluate themselves by taking their graduates evaluation into consideration. One of the methods of evaluating graduates’ performance is to analyze their employers’ and bosses’ viewpoints. In this research, graduates’ employers and bosses of Islamic Azad universities of Are 1 evaluated their performance as higher than average. The results show that the graduates’ performance received employers’ and bosses’ approval. This is the confirmation of the services provided by Islamic Azad universities in whole country regarding human sources education. The results of this research are in accordance with those of Yadegarzade (2002), Farokhnejad (2005), USA Validator Organization (2003), and Alvez & Vieira (2006); however, they are not in accordance with those of V. Yilmaz et al.


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