The Quality of Learning


Chambers, David W.; Fernandez, Abel A.   (2004, ASQ)   University of the Pacific, San Francisco, CA

Quality Progress    Vol. 37    No. 3
QICID: 19503    March 2004    pp. 50-56
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Article Abstract

Quality in education can be difficult to measure because the educational process differs from manufacturing in certain intrinsic ways. The University of the Pacific�s school of dentistry uses a competency-based approach to education that assumes students progress through stages of learning while in school and continue self-learning after formal education. In the competency model, students are required to demonstrate prior to graduation the skills and values characteristic of practitioners in realistic settings. Pacific has found both yield and process capability measures are useful tools for reporting and improving the quality of educational outcomes, but the extent to which this approach is applicable to general education is debatable. In the event that higher education can agree on a general set of outcomes, identify a common path through the educational experience, and map faculty evaluations to decisions on those paths, outcomes measures based on yields or process capabi!lity indexes can be a valuable adjunct to quality improvement. A sidebar article explains the calculations Pacific�s school of dentistry uses to rate student competency.


Case study,Core competencies,Evaluation,Yield,Process capability index (Cpk),Process improvement,Quality improvement (QI),Higher education

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