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Practising what we teach: quality management of systems-engineering education

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2 Author(s)
A. van Peppen ; Fac. of Syst. Eng., Delft Univ. of Technol., Netherlands ; M. R. van der Ploeg

In 1992, Delft University of Technology (DUT) established a new Master degree program in the field of systems engineering, policy analysis, and management. This educational program is administered by the School of Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis, and Management (SEPA). The SEPA administration aims for high quality of all aspects of its educational program. A quality management system was put in place when classes started in 1992. This system consists of protocols and is administered by an educational advisor. The system is stake-holder-centered rather than based on didactic principles. The objectives of the system are to secure external and internal consistency of all elements of the educational program. Through a variety of assessment methods, information is collected from students, faculty, and experts from outside the university on the quality of curriculum design, teaching methods, teaching skills, and the learning environment. Assessment methods vary for the various stakeholder groups; the frequency of assessment depends on the frequency with which classes are taught and adjusted, and on the frequency of external reviews. Assessment criteria are derived from stakeholder objectives. Reports are used successfully for problem detection, diagnosis, and remediation. The system characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, may be explained in part by the fact that the system was developed to meet the needs of the SEPA administration. The set of assessment criteria and the importance of the different assessment methods would change if the system was administered by an other stakeholder in SEPA education

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C (Applications and Reviews)  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 2 )