One of the biggest achievements of Directorate of Quality Enhancement (DQE) is the successful Third Party Evaluation under “Commonwealth of Learning Review and Improvement Model (COL-RIM) Implication” held at AIOU. This model focuses on stakeholder needs and core processes, systemic approach to the performance of the whole system with an emphasis on the key role of human actors in the system. It is also a do-it-yourself approach which helps to review the institution itself with the recommended option of getting the findings verified by a quality professional or panel of verifiers. The key processes of the COL RIM are listed below:
The MOU between Commonwealth of Learning and Allama Iqbal Open University was signed on 02.04.13 at the main campus of AIOU by Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University and Prof. Asha Kunwar, President Commonwealth of Learning.
The following key persons were involved in the COL RIM process.
Key Contact Persons: Vice Chancellor AIOU
For AIOU: Dr. Nomana Anjum (Director, DQE)
For COL: Professor Madulika Kaushik, Education Specialist
External Verifier: Professor Uma Coomaraswamy (former Vice Chancellor of Sri Lanka Open University)
The Core team and the Verification team comprised academics from all the faculties and employees from administration, servicing departments and regions.
The second step was the Staff Survey. The staff survey was conducted at AIOU from 19th to 26th April, 2013 as part of step two of COL RIM Process. Fifty percent staff list was forwarded to the External Verifier appointed by Commonwealth of Learning (the list included academicians from the four faculties, officers from all the servicing departments and officers from all the regions). The external verifier administered the survey online.
The third step was the “SELF Review”. The core team did the self review using the
On the basis of “Triangulation Technique”, the core team gave new ratings to each theme and corresponding indicators by using the guidelines given by COL.
The triangulation method including observations, interview and review of documents were carried out in most cases for finding the facts. Several meetings (including six notified meetings and about 15 informal meetings) were held among the team members and with the Director (DQE) to discuss various indicators.
A list of required documents from various departments and sections was formulated and assigned to various people to collect the documents and place them in the Directorate of Quality Enhancement Committee Room. Teams made visits on their convenience to review the documents and report the evidences according to their theme requirements. This strategy helped in overcoming the time constraint.
The Self Review team had representations from all faculties and servicing departments which provided an opportunity to have access to most of the required documents. In case representation was not available, DQE collected the documents. However, in most cases cooperation was received from all the departments. Self Review team has observed that in most cases evidences are well documented and are accessible on request.
The next step was the “verification”. The verification team audited the ratings of the Self-Review and the evidences gathered by the Core Team. Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has been declared as “Verified” with the maximum as per the final report from External Verifier appointed by Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and its rating has been considered as the highest so far. (Mention overall rating and the rating scale used in this exercise).
As the verification process has recently completed hence, the next step of follow-up is likely to start in near future.