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Glossary of terms used on this site

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Glossaries

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Term Definition
SIMPLE INDICATOR

A more general type of indicator, expressed in the form of absolute figures, intended to provide a relatively unbiased description of a process. Simple indicators are less relative than performance indicators in that they exclude any judgments and/or points of reference (e.g., a standard, an objective, or an assessment). 

SITE VISIT

A component of external evaluation that is normally part of an accreditation process. However it may be initiated by the institution itself. It consists of external experts visiting a higher education institution to examine the self-study produced by the institution and to interview faculty members, students, and other staff in order to assess quality and effectiveness and to put forward recommendations for improvement.

SKILLS

Skills refer to application of knowledge and know-how in performing tasks and problem solving. In Croatian Qualification Framework, skills shall refer to cognitive (logical, intuitive and creative thinking) and/or psychomotor (physical dexterity and use of the methods, instruments, tools and materials) skills.

STANDARDS

Statements regarding an expected level of requirements and conditions against which quality is assessed or that must be attained by higher education institutions and their programmes in order for them to be accredited or certified. Standards may take a quantitative form, being mostly the results of benchmarking, or they may be qualitative, indicating only specific targets (e.g., educational effectiveness, sustainability, core commitments, etc.). When quantitative, the standards include threshold levels that have to be met in order for higher education institutions or programmes to be accredited. More often than not, the thresholds are defined at the level of minimally acceptable quality. 

STUDENT EVALUATION OF TEACHERS

The process of using student inputs concerning the general activity and attitude of teachers. These observations allow the overall assessors to determine the degree of conformability between student expectations and the actual teaching approaches of teachers. Student evaluations are expected to offer insights regarding the attitude in class of a teacher (approachable, open-minded, entertaining, creative, patient, etc.), and/or the abilities of a teacher (to explain things, to motivate students, to help students think, to correct mistakes in a friendly manner, to offer information efficiently, etc.). 

STUDENT OUTCOME ASSESSMENT

The act of assembling, analyzing, and using both quantitative and qualitative evidence of teaching and learning outcomes, in order to examine their congruence with stated purposes and educational objectives and to provide meaningful feedback that will stimulate improvement. 

STUDENT SURVEY

An assessment method that uses surveys and interviews to ascertain the satisfaction of enrolled students with programmes, services, and different other aspects of their academic experience. Students are usually asked to respond to a series of open-ended, close-ended, or telephone questions. The survey may include in-class questionnaires, mail questionnaires, telephone questionnaires, and/or interviews (standard, in-person, or focus group). Student surveys are relatively inexpensive, easy to administer, and can reach participants over a wide area. They are best suited for concise and non-sensitive topics, being able to give a sense, from the student perspective, of what is happening at a given moment in time, in the respective higher education institutions. Some observers may question their validity or reliability, as well as their relevance to academic policy.

SUBJECT BENCHMARK / SUBJECT BENCHMARK STATEMENTS

Subject benchmark statements provide means for the academic community to describe the nature and characteristics of programmes in a specific subject and the general expectations about standards for the award of a qualification at a given level in a particular subject area. They are reference points in a quality assurance framework more than prescriptive statements about curricula.

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