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The complexity of the subject matter of quality assurance in initial and continuing vocational education and training (IVET and CVET) has led to the development of varying approaches. A relatively widespread approach is to consider IVET and CVET as a linear process, making distinctions between the individual dimensions (input, process and output quality).
The second approach is to systematise the operative domain by distinguishing between the three organisational levels (the macro, meso and micro level). On the macro level, quality assurance of the whole domain is considered. This includes legal regulations, regulatory proposals and top-level recommendations and resolutions. The quality assurance questions assigned to the meso level are those which have impacts on the work of the given training providers (e.g. pedagogical concepts). The micro level refers to the specific teaching and learning processes in detail.
Good practice is understood to mean successful solutions or methods which have proven their worth over a considerable period of time. Good practice in this sense is not limited exclusively to the micro level but can also be applied to the other two levels. Therefore it is equally possible to present laws and quality standards as examples of what can be called “good practice”.
Input quality Process quality Output quality Macro level Rules, laws and ordinances National standards and stipulations by policymakers and associations National and international comparisons of indicators and benchmarks Meso level Infrastructure, curriculum and courses, professionalisation of teachers and trainers Models, feedback culture, quality assurance measures Annual reports, programme completion statistics, public relations Micro level Resourcing of the learning environment Recording, assessment and standardisation of teaching and learning Certification of attainment, occupational careers
(Table based on: Gonon, Philipp: Qualitätssicherung in der beruflichen Bildung. [Quality Assurance in Vocational Education], in: Zeitschrift für Pädagogik. Weinheim and Basel 2008, suppl.53, p.97)
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