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A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
  • DEFINITION

    Research that examines phenomena primarily through words and tends to focus on dynamics, meaning, and context. Qualitative research usually uses observation, interviewing, and document reviews to collect data.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    For people with disabilities, the most common reasons cited by countries for under-representation are insuffi ciently adapted infrastructure, lack of appropriate teaching and learning materials, and funding problems. The same issues are also perceived in compulsory education, with several countries mentioning the negative impact of segregated education. Inte restingly, very few countries mentioned psychological barriers created by perceived negative attitudes towards disability. The exceptions are Liechtenstein and the United Kingdom (Scotland), which mention the lack of a ‘disability acceptance culture’ within higher education institutions and the negative impact of stereotyping. These countries’ statements chime with empirical qualitative research fi ndings concerning students with disabilities that stress that creating an inclusive higher education environment is at least as important as adapting physical infrastructure (Crosier and Parveva, 2013: 49).

  • DEFINITION

    Quality assurance encompasses any activity that is concerned with assessing and improving the merit or the worth of a development intervention or its compliance with given standards.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    One of the main tasks of a quality assurance agency is precisely to determine its understanding of what quality is and how to define it, the stakeholders it will consult, the way in which it will take into account international standards and definitions, and how to legitimize and make this definition acceptable throughout the system (Martin and Stella, 2007: 33).

  • DEFINITION

    The process of quality evaluation that focuses on the internal measurement of the quality of an institution or a programme. It refers to a set of operational activities and techniques (monitoring activities and a structured internally planned and implemented policy) elaborated and used to fulfill requirements of quality. Often used interchangeably with quality management and quality assurance, it refers to an aggregate of actions and measures taken regularly to assure the quality of higher education products, services, or processes, with an emphasis on the assurance that a prescribed threshold of quality is met. It aims both at monitoring the process and at eliminating certain causes generating an unsatisfactory functioning. Sometimes a minimal quality control (mostly in the shape of some kind of certification) exists serving as a filtering mechanism in confirming that a higher education institution is fulfilling minimal agreed upon quality requirements and has appropriate quality monitoring procedures in place.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    In large-scale studies, it is also often the case that quality control of the actual testing is carried out. Specially trained test administrators are sent to randomly selected schools to observe the testing and verify that it is well conducted. Checks are made to ensure that the correct students are tested, that the seating in the testing room does not allow students to cheat, and so on (Postlethwaite, 2004: 101).

  • DEFINITION

    The general concept of educational quality is composed of three interrelated dimensions: the quality of human and material resources available for teaching (inputs), the quality of teaching practices (process) and quality of the results (outputs and outcomes). Furthermore, any analysis of the quality of education should include the question: quality for whom? Should the efforts concentrate on students from underprivileged groups, the most able, or all students of the system? (Grisay and Mahlck, 1991).

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    The demand for high-quality education, which can translate into higher costs per student, must be balanced against other demands on public expenditure and the overall tax burden. Policy makers must also balance the importance of improving the quality of education services with the desirability of expanding access to education opportunities, notably at the tertiary level (OECD, 2013: 162)., UNESCO promotes access to good-quality education as a human right and supports a rights-based approach to all educational activities (Pigozzi, 2004). Within this approach, learning is perceived to be affected at two levels. At the level of the learner, education needs to seek out and acknowledge learners’ prior knowledge, to recognize formal and informal modes, to practise non-discrimination and to provide a safe and supportive learning environment. At the level of the learning system, a support structure is needed to implement policies, enact legislation, distribute resources and measure learning outcomes, so as to have the best possible impact on learning for all (UNESCO, 2005: 30).

  • DEFINITION

    Research that examines phenomena that can be expressed numerically and analyzed statistically.

    EXAMPLE OF USE

    The central aspects of the scientific usefulness of any quantitative research work are reliability and validity. Unless the reliability and validity of a research project are considered to be acceptable, the results of the project are suspect and perhaps unusable (Hite, 2001: 45).