Revenchuk I., Shatovska T. Lifelong Learning Monitoring Model //XIII International Conference “Modern problems of radio engineering, telecommunications and computer science” TCSET’2016.- Lviv-Slavske, 23-26 of February 2016.- P. 817-821.

image001Аbstract The article presents the best practice model for monitoring of LLL programme planning and implementation. The objectives of LLL monitoring model is to help organizations track the progress and achievements of the programmes by regularly collecting, analysing and using information to assist timely decision making, ensure accountability, and provide the basis for evaluation and improvement. This model has been developed to understand the way in which LLL programme performance monitoring is done in EU countries.

Keywords Monitoring model, lifelong learning, program planning, program implementation, program appraisal, program improvement.

І. INTRODUCTION

Information on the legal framework and procedures, stakeholder involvement mechanisms and LLL program concept and structure development employed by LNU, DTU, UC and UR to shape and establish their LLL programmes

  1. MONITORING OF LLL PROGRAMME PLANNING IN EU COUNTRIES

 

The European Union has a supportive role in the development of a shared vision on education and training policies including the idea of Lifelong Learning (LLL), its policies and priorities. Member States are in charge of their own education and training systems, but they cooperate within the EU framework in order to achieve common goals. LLL instruments are being developed on behalf of the Ministries responsible for LLL and vocational education and training in the 34 European countries and social partners at European level. This cooperation has resulted in agreements on quality, guidance and validation, on founding a European Qualification Framework (EQF), the development of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS). It means that the participating countries commit themselves to continue their national implementation efforts in making higher education comparable across Europe. For the purpose of translation of different national qualifications in different EU countries and for joining the qualifications of different EU members together, the European –wide qualifications framework (EQF) has been adopted. The EQF aims to facilitate mobility of students and workers within the EU in order to encourage development of mobile and flexible workforce throughout Europe and to help develop lifelong learning. A European Reference Framework for Qualifications for Lifelong Learning (the European Qualification Framework, EQF) is a tool to enable qualification levels (course certificates, professional certificates, etc.) to be easily understood and compared, both by individuals and employers, across different European countries. It serves also to increase, ease and stimulate the mobility of individuals and facilitate

Ilona Revenchuk – Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics, Lenin ave., 14, Kharkiv, 61166, UKRAINE, E-mail: ilona.revenchuk@nure.ua

Tetyana Shatovska – Kharkiv National University of Radioelectronics, Lenin ave., 14, Kharkiv, 61166, UKRAINE, E-mail: shatovska@gmail.com

  • With participation of stakeholders, faculty or Subject Department levels
  • According to institutional standards and guidelines for programme development
  • Considering the  location  of  target  groups  and

availability of relevant resources at the university.

The development of the objectives and architecture of the programmes usually reflect the needs of the target groups as well as competition among companies/enterprises to get best qualified, best educated employed staff members.

Student assessment methods are defined differently in the EU consortium higher educational institutions:

  • Defined by an instructor individually (decision about student assessment methods is made by the lecturer on individual basis)
  • Based on the results of the survey of the instructors’/lecturers’ opinion on the objective and fair student assessment.
  • According to the institutional regulatory documents on student assessment (Institutional standards and guidelines for programme development; State

Educational Requirements).

There are some defined criteria for selection of instructors for LLL programmes that are similar to the criteria for the selection of instructors for other types of educational programmes. These criteria include advanced qualification in a relevant to the LLL programme field and professional experience. Some universities have internal procedure of selecting an academic staff for each program. Discussions are held between members of the Subject Collegium, members of the subject department and Head of Department. In the other universities the responsibility for the planning for teaching materials and/or administrative management of LLL programmes lies with the different members of staff, course teachers themselves, course coordinators, the Dean and IT department members.

EU universities usually collaborate with different types of

  • Stakeholders:
  • individuals who already have higher education but want to get a higher level degree;
  • individuals who already have higher education but want to obtain new specialization;
  • individuals who do not have higher education and want to acquire one;
  • institutions / companies / business enterprises involved in LLL programmes;
  • institutional actors and community members affected by LLL (e.g. parents);
  • potential employers of trained students;
  • companies, company associations;
  • public services;
  • NGOs;
  • unions;
  • professional bodies;
  • other educational organizations.

In most cases there are no formal mechanisms for identification of stakeholders in EU country universities.

Guidebook for the individuals interested in LLL courses/programmes to learn about application procedure, requirements, and exams. While the others do not have any separate regulation especially for LLL program admission rather than general admission regulatory documents for any educational programmes. LLL programmes offered by universities cover various fields of specialization: Pre-School Education, Nursing, Forestry, Wood Technology, Health Care, Engineering, Agriculture, Machine Engineering, Transport, Business and Management, European Studies, Pedagogy, Law, Economics, Foreign Languages, Computer Literacy and others. Courses are offered for advanced level education for school teachers, librarians, engineers, programmers, business administration people, social health care people, policemen, administrative workers. Duration and workload (number of ECTS) of the LLL programmes vary as well. They can last from one– to six semesters.

The graduation requirements are defined by the programme itself. They can specify the amount of ECTS to be accumulated within each programme, the exam requirements, etc.

In the EU universities the graduates mostly are granted University Diplomas for LLL programmes and Course Certificates for LLL courses. In some universities two respective documents are issued “University Certificate” and “Course Diploma”.

What is the administrative and academic support given to LLL programme students in EU universities?

A common practice at EU universities is that students are guided by one person per course, who usually is the same person as the course teacher. He or she provides academic guidance or both academic and administrative support to the LLL programme students. The course tutor is in charge for consultancy and academic guidance of students. Besides of this, the Career Development Centre as an important institution associated with administrative support of students.

In case of need, there is some staff for technical support or

“specialized administrative services” available at the universities.

III MONITORING OF THE LLL PROGRAMME APPRAISAL AND

IMPROVEMENT

This section is focused to describe the information on legal framework and programme appraisal mechanisms employed by universities to assess the effectiveness of their LLL programmes.

Legal Frameworks is aimed to establish the quality assurance mechanisms underlying the LLL programme effectiveness and efficiency. We should know what are the QA mechanisms applied in EU consortium institutions about LLL programme quality.

All EU consortium countries comply with the standards and guidelines for Quality Assurance (QA) in the European Higher Education Area (as part of the Bologna Process) when monitoring the quality of LLL programmes. QA is a subject to national regulations in all countries except of Portugal. As example in Bulgaria, Sweden and Denmark external evaluation leading to accreditation is conducted by the

implementation, appraisal and improvement was not homogeneous. It showed different approaches to the Lifelong Learning practices in different higher education institutions as well as common LLL policy and systems development within all EU universities. Some key aspects of these approaches appear to be shared by most of the partners and therefore can be regarded as highly recommended to be adopted by the countries in transition as well Ukraine.

The logic of LLL programme planning and implementation also suggests that apart from focusing on the design, development and the application of the LLL programme involves placing an emphasis on the inputs, outputs and outcomes of the LLL programme.

  • Inputs – Human and financial resources used for the implementation of the LLL programme.
  • Outputs – The direct and measurable results expected from the implemented LLL programme. These should be tangible, measurable and visible products of the work of the LLL programme.
  • Outcomes – These are related to the differences or observed changes made as a result of the LLL program outputs.
  • Impact– This is related to the long-term effect(s) of the LLL programme and is directly linked to its objective(s). It has to be noted that these might be more difficult to monitor but which could add important insights into the overall quality of the LLL programme.

Apart from that in order to get a full and detailed picture of the processes of LLL programme planning and implementation, monitoring needs to focus on the:

  • activities– these are the actions performed by the hei to allow the inputs to turn into outputs.
  • performance indicators – qualitative or quantitative measures that are expected to be designed by each university to apply to the activities within the lll programme. these are intended to measure the progress made towards the lll programme objectives.
  • pathways–the links between the lll programme activities that lead to the expected outputs, outcomes, impact(s).
  • assumptions–identification of potential risks that could affect the lll programme success.
  • external factors–those factors which are external to the lll programme, i.e. they are not under its control but which can have an effect on the outcomes and the impact (e.g. a change in the government policies, etc.)

The experience from the EU partners suggests that at the level of LLL programme planning the partner universities in Ukraine might need to focus their efforts on:

  • planning LLL programmes through observation of the EQF, national and institutional regulations for the reason of complying to a common reference framework as a translation device between different qualification systems and their levels;
  • development of stakeholder identification and effective involvement mechanisms within relevant fields;
  • inclusion of such stakeholders as: industry/ business

enterprises,   current   students,   graduates,   academic   and

their lifelong learning. All partner countries are encouraged to relate their national qualifications systems to the EQF so that all new qualifications issued from 2012 onwards carry a reference to an appropriate EQF level. Also the Higher Education Act as a general document, specifying the organization, funding and key players involved in higher education is used. The EQF national coordination points have been designated for this purpose in each Tempus partner country. The EQF is divided into eight reference levels describing what a learner knows, understands, and is able to do – “learning outcomes”, where level one is the lowest and level eight the highest (equivalent to doctorate degree).

Along with the European Qualification Framework as a primary EU regulatory document, universities have a detailed description of institutional procedures for LLL programme planning on the university level; some refer only to general documents concerning development of educational programme curricula and syllabi.

The “European Union’s Europe 2020 Strategy” sets out a vision of Europe’s social market economy for the 21st century and places a strong focus on the acquisition of transferable skills and making lifelong learning a reality. It shows how the EU can come out stronger from the crisis and how it can be turned into a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy delivering high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. It includes a European benchmark for raising the proportion of higher education graduates (in the age range 30– 34 years) to 40% by 2020.

The strategic framework for co-operation in Education and Training 2020(ET2020) focuses on four key areas:

  • making lifelong learning and mobility a reality (including a European benchmark that by 2020 at least 15% of adults (age group 25–64) should participate in lifelong learning);
  • improving the quality and efficiency of education and training;
  • promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship;
  • enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship.

The EU consortium countries mostly follow the regulations outlined in standards and guidelines for LLL programme development on EU, national and institutional levels.

EU standards and guidelines for LLL programme development: European Qualification Framework; European Universities Charter.

The LLL programmes in EU countries are of different format: online/distance; face-to face; blended learning and they can comply with different levels of the European Qualification Framework.

The decision on the format of the LLL programme is made mostly on institutional level:

  • With participation of industry partners
  • In order to link the planning of the LLL programme to the needs of stakeholders some EU universities have formal mechanisms in place, which includes:

    • establishment of an engagement strategy with stakeholders and setting common priorities;
    • close cooperation with stakeholders as a prerequisite for cooperation, creativity and future development;
    • sustaining stakeholder dialogue by involving them in the preparation of LLL curricula and asking for help in

    terms of the qualifications they expect from their future employees.

    LLL Programme Concept and Architecture includes:

    • regulations of LLL programme planning exist in EU countries on national and on institutional level;
    • the format of LLL programmes;
    • the specification of LLL programme objectives;
    • the link between the LLL programme objectives and the expected outcomes;
    • LLL programme student assessment and its link to the LLL programme outcomes;
    • selection procedure of LLL programme teaching staff;
    • planning for teaching materials/ administrative management of the LLL programmes.

    II MONITORING OF LLL PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION

    The monitoring of LLL program is dealing with information on the legal framework, admission process and student support mechanisms to successfully implement the LLL programs.

    Legal Framework Procedures includes the institutional regulations and procedures of LLL programme implementation in EU countries.

    All EU universities have institutional regulations for implementation of LLL programmes. Some of the has two types of regulations namely programme syllabi and course plans, other refers to the internal system for quality assurance as the main mechanism providing assessment of teaching and administrative processes.

    The institutional procedures cover different phases of programme implementation. They include the following:

    • approval of the official documentation of the LLL programme;
    • preparation of all course related documents;
    • inclusion of the new LLL programme in admission process.

    Due to the fact that the admission and graduation processes play a key role in the planning and implementation of successful LLL programmes, this is process includes:

    • the admission procedures on institutional level in EU universities;
    • the LLL programme fields in EU universities (on institutional level);
    • the graduation requirements.

    The admission procedures vary in EU universities. In some cases, higher educational institutions refer to general regulatory documents that are common for all types of educational programme admission. Some has an Admissions 

    National Accreditation Agencies. Accreditation standards slightly vary from country to country. In Bulgaria it deals with a range of different issues (e.g. structure, design and content of the curricula; staff profile and qualification), whereas in Sweden it mainly focuses on examination of theses written by students at all levels.

    QA is subject to institutional regulations in most of the EU universities. In some universities there is an institutional regulatory document called “Policy on the Quality of the University”, identifying the key elements/standards ensuring the quality assurance of programmes offered by the university. In Denmark in accordance with the requirements of the national accreditation system, the QA process goes on to the departmental level. In Sweden the evaluation is done on the level of individual courses.

    The main purpose of Quality Assurance Mechanisms for LLL Programmes is to identify the national and institutional QA mechanisms in EU countries and institutions.

    Almost all universities from the EU countries undergo external evaluation by National Accreditation Agencies for appraisal of their LLL programmes.

    Besides an external evaluation system, almost all EU universities have a system for internal evaluation. For continuous quality enhancement purposes special regulatory documents are developed regulating production of relevant documents, study process and development of teaching and research staff competencies.

    LLL Programme Effectiveness Measurement can be realized through the questions:

    • What indicators are used by EU consortium institutions to measure the quality of their LLL programmes?
    • How is the effectiveness of LLL programmes measured by the EU institutions?
    • Who is involved in the measurement of the effectives of LLL programmes in EU universities – national and institutional level?

    The effectiveness of LLL programmes could be measured through feedback from participants and stakeholders (employees) of these programmes as well as by specified indicators helping them to measure effectiveness of LLL programmes. These indicators are: Relevance; Quality of Programmes; Cost-benefit ratio; Impact; Innovativeness.

    National Accreditation Agencies are involved in the QA processes on national level in universities.

    The monitoring of LLL program improvement is aimed at collecting data/information on the legal framework and programme improvement mechanisms employed by universities to make informed decisions on the improvement of their LLL programmes.

    Legal Frameworks includes the regulations of LLL programmes at the EU institutions.

    The Improvement Process based on decision making for the improvement of LLL programmes on the basis of the QA feedback at EU consortium institutions.

    1. CONCLUSIONS AND

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    The information obtained from the EU universities regarding the monitoring of LLL programme planning, 

    administrative personnel, etc. in the LLL programme planning, appraisal and improvement processes;

    • development of the LLL programme architecture by academic/teaching staff within universities and its unification with the needs of stakeholders.

    Issues concerning the implementation of LLL programmes cover all phases of programme life-cycle and thus transparent, comprehensive and effective procedures and processes need to be elaborated for successful LLL programme delivery within Ukrainian universities, namely:

    • responsibilities for implementation of LLL programmes need to be delegated within universities and among stakeholders;
    • LLL programme admission preconditions and requirements need to be clear to ensure the participation of persons with adequate knowledge, skills and values into the programme and information regarding LLL programmes need to be accessible and available for prospective students;
    • graduation requirements need to be clear and available for admitted / current students from the commencement of the LLL programmes;
    • the institution need to ensure that students get necessary consultancy, assistance and support from course instructors, administrative or academic staff.

    A major challenge is to ensure the enhancement of the quality of LLL programmes. For this reason an elaborate monitoring system for programme appraisal needs to be developed. To achieve this it is vital that higher education institutions (HEIs) have:

    • clearly stated regulations and guidelines for LLL programme appraisal;
    • effective quality assurance (QA) mechanisms;
    • well-developed and purposeful tools and instruments for effectiveness measurement of LLL programme execution.