Documents/ SIGQUAlg Tools
NEW STUDENTS PROFILING / CHARACTERIZATION
As part of the policy for continuous improvement of the teaching activities, and as a management l supporting tool, knowledge on the profile of new students at the moment of admission is of the utmost importance, regarding the definition of the educational offer strategy, simultaneously allowing conditions favouring student’s institutional fidelity opposing the occasional dropout trends or transfers for the competition.
The Quality Assessment Office (GAQ) implements an annual survey designated as New Students Characterization (CNE), targeting newly admitted students in UAlg via the different selection procedures for the Portuguese Higher Education system. The main objective of this survey, as the name implies, is to define and analyse the individual profile of the admitted students in UAlg courses available for application.
The information to be gathered on the CNE, and for purposes of analysis complemented with data supplied by students through the registration process, is structured in the survey general topics:
Previous educational experience;
Information about the course and the institution;
Motivations on choosing the university, faculty or school;
Motivations on choosing the course;
Expectations towards the institution;
Adaptation and participation;
The participation of all new students at this time of the academic life is of paramount importance in order to create and provide the best conditions to those who entrust us this stage, usually so definitive for their professional future.
THE CURRICULAR UNIT DOCUMENT (FUC)
The FUC are fundamental in organizing the courses and their teaching and learning processes, and are also indispensable for crediting previous training and disseminating the training offer. In addition, they are essential for informing students about the objectives, teaching and learning methodologies, as well as the methods of assessment in the Curricular Units (UC) in which they are enrolled, in a clear and transparent way.
The FUC are completed in Portuguese and English and are supported by the Academic Management Information System (SIGES). The auto-fill fields of the FUC are based on the information introduced by the Academic Services when creating a course study plan (structural and fixed elements), and are complemented by the manual fill fields, which refer to the variable elements and which are annually updated by the Teaching Unit (Faculties, Schools, Institutes, Departments) and by the Lead Teacher of the Curricular Unit. Within the scope of the SIMEA, a curricular unit was created which establishes the fixed and variable information of the various fields and assigns the responsibilities and procedures for the various stages of designing, filling in, validation, publication and monitoring of the entire procedure.
There are several guidelines accordingly to each level of responsibility available to help preparing theses contents:
FUC Guidelines – General;
FUC Guidelines – Course Director;
FUC Guidelines – Curricular Units Responsible;
FUC Guidelines – Staff member for quality.
The Integrated System for the Monitorization of Teaching and Learning (SIMEA)
The SIMEA encompasses a set of sequential processes for collecting and analyzing information, as well as establishing improvement measures, scheduling and monitoring their implementation, with the aim of continuously improving the quality of teaching and learning at University of the Algarve.
The SIMEA systematizes the processes implemented by the University in monitoring teaching and learning, involving all stakeholders (students, teachers, Course Directors, Pedagogical Council, Scientific Council, Scientific and Technological Council and Teaching Units Directors (Faculties, Schools, Institutes, Departments), and is an essential part of SIGQUAlg, which complies with national and international standards.
The SIMEA starts with the application of a closed-response questionnaire, with questions about the Perceived Teaching and Learning applied to students (PEA-E) and teachers (PEA-D). The following questionnaires are applied sequentially to Curricular Unit Teachers and concurrently to Year Delegates, Course Directors, Pedagogical Councils, Scientific Councils, Scientific and Technological Councils and Teaching Unit Directors (Faculties, Schools, Institutes, Departments). These incorporate the results of the previously applied questionnaires and other relevant information, taking the stakeholder into account.
The Teaching Units s (Faculties, Schools, Institutes, Departments), the Presidents of the Pedagogical Councils, Scientific Councils, Scientific and Technological Councils, the chairs of the Pedagogical Councils and the University of the Algarve Students’ Association were involved in drafting the SIMEA standard. In addition, the University Rectorate, in conjunction with the and Quality Assessment Office (GAQ), promotes informational and promotional sessions directed at Course Directors, Lead Teachers of Curricular Units and student year Delegates. In these clarification sessions, suggestions for improvement are also collected and are taken into account in the development of the SIMEA. All relevant information about this system is available on the GAQ’s page on the intranet.