As part of the Bologna reforms many universities are in the process of implementing quality management systems (QMS) to systematically improve the quality of teaching and to accredit both study programmes and the university as a whole. The result of quality management is that products, processes, quality criteria, evaluations and possible improvement measures must be precisely described. Numerous data values, structured descriptions with knowledge of products and quality must be recorded and evaluated in the process.
Quality management (QM) for study programmes means that study programmes must be seen as a (service) product. As in industry, there is a list of products with modules and smaller units of teaching. At the same time it is necessary to specify demands at all levels of the product list (qualification goals and learning outcomes). Quality management takes place at the same time in the form of the definition of goal size (e.g. dropout rate), measurements (surveys) and reports (peer reviews). It is just as important to show the processes for the product.
During the QM processes, numerous text, web and tabular documents have to be shown as files in complex data file directories and versions. Evaluations and the compilation of documents (e.g. the production of a module catalogue or a report which summarizes the quality of a university) are very work-intensive tasks. Very quickly large amounts of complex data are produced. This knowledge is however highly structured, making software support possible.
The FINQUAS project (Furtwangen Information System for Quality Assurance) aims to clarify how quality management in universities can be well supported with software and how the quality checking processes can be mapped and improved with software.
The project began in September 2012. Since December 2013 the system has been successfully implemented with increasing functionality in the quality management of Furtwangen University.
U. Schreier, M. Reusch, M. Hüffmeyer, D. Belzer – Information System Support for
Quality Management Applying European Standards and Guidelines for Higher
Education – 6th International Conference On Computer Supported Education, 2014