“Quality of education” is not only the results of studies, but also a system, model, organization and procedures to ensure that students receive comprehensive personal and social development, giving them the opportunity to meet their needs and enable them to contribute to the progress and improvement of society .
Today, the quality of education is characterized not only by necessary knowledge, skills and abilities. Demands of modern life are much richer and broader, more diverse and more complex. In many situations of professional activity effect is not the amount of knowledge and skills but their composition and structure, not the use of skills but creative approach to problem solving. In this regard in the modern conditions of development it is insufficient to get just some qualification as the result of education. It is necessary not only to provide the level of training, but also the nature of social existence in professional life.
The main parameters of the quality of education reflect the totality of the factors that have a significant impact on the formation of quality, as well as determine the extent and characteristics of these factors and their interaction with each other.
Y.B. Vasenev identifies several key factors that determine the quality of education: the quality of the content of education, i.e. quality of Federal State Educational Standard of Higher Professional Education and quality of specific educational programs, based on these data, the quality of applicants and students; positive motivation of students enrolled, the quality of methodological and material and technical support of the educational process, the quality of the teaching staff and support staff; positive motivation of staff, the quality of learning technologies etc. .
In addition to the above factors there are some others that influence the quality of education, including student learning and success in higher education establishments: financial situation, health status, age, marital status of students, their level of pre-university training, possession of skills of self-organization, planning and supervision of their activities (especially studying) motives in choice of high school, the adequacy of the initial ideas about the specifics of high school training, mode of study (full-time students, part-time, distance, etc.), availability of tuition fees and amount of payment, the organization of the educational process in high school, the school’s prestige, and finally, individual psychological characteristics of students.
One may ask why some students are diligent and learn well, while others are less successful? Such differences can be observed in the same environmental conditions of training activities. In explaining this phenomenon psychologists and educators often appeal to such individual psychological characteristics of students as intelligence, creativity, learning motivation, providing strong positive experiences in achieving educational goals, high self-esteem, leading to the formation of high level of aspiration, etc. But none of these qualities alone or even a combination of them is not sufficient to ensure students’ focus on everyday stubborn and hard work on mastering knowledge and professional skills in fairly frequent or long-term setbacks that are inevitable in any complex activity.
In higher educational establishment the effectiveness of quality management system can be traced back through the interaction with the educational sector of the student council and with teaching staff for the effective organization of the educational process, by informing students about the features and requirements for the quality of their training, by making a survey of students and parents, by providing a wide range of educational literature (main, extra, special and electronic books), through the analysis of the outcomes of sessions and interim certification.
The work of the internal support system for the quality of education of universities is carried out by deans’ offices. They are a key element in the educational process, carrying out immediate feedback to students, organizing psycho-educational support for students at all times during training at the university. The main purpose of the deans’ offices is organization of the process of improvement of the educational system as a whole and its individual components, it assumes not ascertaining of the level of quality but constant search for ways to improve it. In actual practice, improving the quality of education can only be a gradual process of approximation to the ideal notions of stakeholders . In their work deans’ offices can systematically collect information on student academic performance and quality of student learning, taking into account their attitudes to learning, meaningful incentives in learning activities, motives to enter university.
At the first and second years of studying the main areas of work of deans’ offices may include: the formation of students’ knowledge about the features of university studies, forms and methods of control, creating the conditions for self-realization and optimization of learning activities, formation of students’ culture of self-education, self-organization and self-control.
At the senior courses of studying dean’s office may pay special attention to the formation of the students’ motivation to self-development, self-improvement, active lifestyle and professional positions, the development of students’ culture of self-education and self-control.
The second factor in the direction of the dean’s offices work may be the analysis of students’ participation in extracurricular activities in the following areas: mass sports, cultural and recreational, as well as participation in research work of students. Cooperation of deans’ offices with student government and student activists affects the quality of education.
Another factor affecting the quality of education in high school is self management, which is regarded as the most natural tool for teaching the skills of self-organization (time management), understood not simply as a set of techniques of planning, but also as a technique to control personal activities (self-management).
In his book, “If you hurry – do not hurry: new time-management in accelerated world: seven steps to the effectiveness and independence in the use of time”, Lothar J. Seiwert gives this definition: “Time-management is self-management and active formation of personal behavior or leadership” .
Thus, self-management of a student is consistent and purposeful use of proven techniques of organization of personal and training activities in daily practice, in order to make the best use of time.
The introduced method of self- management to the work of dean’s office and learning activities of students could be one of the biggest factors that can be used to develop the skills of self-organization, planning and supervision of students’ activities. However, before you form students’ self-management skills, any activity of a dean’s office should be organized according to the method of self-management: first of all it should be planned for a year, a quarter, a month, a week or a day. The advantage of the plan is that even in the event of unforeseen circumstances, the scheduled tasks will not remain forgotten. In addition, self-management involves setting priorities for each day. This will help distribute the time and avoid the crisis at the end, when the work is to be completed, and the time is gone.
On the other hand, a student who does not have the skills of organization of personal time will not be able to become a full-fledged specialist and member of the labor market as well as learn effectively. A student, studying at university, should organize his or her work, plan studies, and distribute workloads. Finally, a student who does not master self-management and have no clear strategy of life is unable to grasp what is given in a university.
After analyzing the activities of the dean’s office for a year at the Institute of social education in Ural state pedagogical university, there were identified the following potential inconsistencies that arise in the course of providing services of higher education:
1. Poor progress of students.
There were identified the following reasons for poor progress of students: non-attendance of training sessions by students and untimely working off debts, lack of motivation to learn, the lack of normal conditions in family, and in this regard, the combination of study and work.
On the identified discrepancies there was scheduled such correction: interviews with students to identify the reasons for failure and the organization of additional consultations with students who have academic debts, but having the right to liquidate them within two weeks, scheduling elimination of tests and examinations.
In addition to these measures there were planned some corrective actions: conducting interviews with parents, holding organizational meetings with students, conducting the so called “parent meetings”.
There were conceived the following preventive actions: to introduce students to the “Regulations for interim certification”, including in working curricula of the first course of studying such elective course as “Culture of learning activities”, clear indication of the order of evaluation and criteria of the discipline in working curricula, conducting ongoing assessment of students in the subjects studied, the development of the system of admission of students to the session.
2. The instability of the initial composition of the students.
The reasons: academic underachievement of students as a result of which they are subject to expulsion, the student’s own desire.
Analysis of the reasons allowed to plan for corrective interviews with students and their parents, as well as with the teaching staff to identify the causes of deductions.
There were scheduled the following corrective and preventive actions: to introduce students to an excerpt from the Charter of USPU and the “Regulations for interim certification”, systematic work with faculty members by dean’s office, discussion of problems in the departments.
Based on the identified gaps, we can isolate the effect of self-management techniques to the dean’s office and student activities, as only systematic, planned correction, conducting corrective and preventive actions will improve the quality of education at university. The result of the introduction of self-management techniques into the work of dean’s offices allowed to systematize the work of the internal support system for the quality of education at university and in addition allowed the students to develop professional competences in the field of:
- control of personal time;
- the implementation of self-examination and the level of self-organizing of their own activities;
- rationalization of their own personal and educational activities;
- goal-setting and planning;
Thus, it can be concluded that the implemented method of self -management to the work of dean’s office allows to talk about the creation of the necessary conditions for the successful implementation and deployment of an effective system of quality management education and, ultimately, ensures long-term success of the university in the education and working force market.