Sustainable Quality Enhancement in Higher Education Learning and Teaching. Integrative Core Dataset and Performance Data Analytics

Project acronym: 
Project start date: 
Friday, December 1, 2017
Project end date: 
Monday, August 31, 2020
Main researcher: 
External researchers: 
José Alberto Rafael; Daniela Costa
Research team: 
Proponent institution: 
EVALAG - Evaluation Agency Baden-Wuerttemberg, Mannheim, Germany
Participating institutions: 
Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal Birmingham City University, England Universiteit Gent, Belgium Uniwersytet Jagiellonski Kraków, Poland Universität für Weiterbildung Krems, Austria Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Project description: 
The SQELT project aims at establishing a comprehensive L&T core dataset (LTCD) for assessing HEIs' performance quality in L&T. The LTCD shall be based on the general criteria of empirical reliability and relevance for quality enhancement and strategic governance; it shall include data definition, data formats and software-adequacy; operationalization capacity shall be analyzed at least for important selected core data. LTCD includes generic core data relevant to any HEI. At the same time, LTCD will be part of a toolbox from which HEIs can select 'individual' performance data according to their specific strategic profile, mission and vision. The SQELT project will also attempt to identify ('construct') related performance indicators. The integrative LTCD shall be prepared for its use in DPDM, in particular Learning Analytics, including an ethical code of practice. That way, the SQELT project will contribute to the ‘Research on Indicators of Teaching Quality’, and thus to what was recently recommended to the European Parliament: ‘In order to strengthen the role and weight of teaching and learning in international rankings, more research on adequate and internationally comparable indicators for the quality of teaching appears desirable, even necessary. […] Should it be possible to define a set of usable key indicators, the next step would be the creation of a global data collection and feeding into an international database, to be run by trusted international actors, like the EU, the OECD or the UNESCO’ (Wächter, B. et al., 2015, University Quality Indicators: A Critical Assessment. Directorate General for International Policies, p. 78). The results of the SQELT project shall help to ensure HEI stakeholders get maximum benefit from LTCD and DPDM. To this end HEIs should use systems that are designed in consultation with stakeholders; supported by an ethical code of practice; driven by the improvement of performance processes and stakeholder engagement; 'tailored to the particular needs of each institution; embedded in an institution’s strategic plan’ (Higher Education Commission, 2016, From Bricks to Clicks. The Potential of Data and Analytics in Higher Education, Policy Connect, p. iii). The main target groups of the SQELT project are HEIs' actors in L&T and stakeholders interested in L&T quality enhancement - students, parents, employers, HE politics, QA agencies. The SQELT project intends to include as many of these as possible. Since SQELT has the character of a pilot project with limited capacities, however, the focus will pre-eminently be on HEIs including students, teaching staff and internal QA, and secondly on QA agencies and HE politics. The SQELT project builds on available models of DPDM in L&T, an analysis of current literature, own DPDM models and practice of project participants, external experts’ knowledge, and surveys with the project's HEI partners about their assessments of relevance and actual use of performance data and indicators. The LTCD will be developed by conceptual analysis and comparison of the various sources including benchmarking of the partner HEIs and an impact analysis to support inductive development of a reference framework for LTCD. The project has six Transnational Project Meetings and nine Multiplier Events, among them one International Evaluation Workshop, one International Conference and seven Euro-Region Dissemination Workshops. The main outputs will be a Benchlearning Report, LTCD, Evaluation Report, Ethical Code of Practice for Learning Analytics, Manual SQELT LTCD, and, last but not least, peer-reviewed publications of the results. The project outputs can be found at
Project keywords: 
Performance Indicators; Learning & Teaching; Learning Analytics
Financing amount: 
405512 Euros (35661.00 Euros for the Cipes/UA participation)
Funding entity: 
Programa Erasmus+ (Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices;Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for higher education)

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