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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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Since 2005, considerable progress is made in quality assurance. Research and innovations in higher education play a crucial role in supporting social cohesion, economic growth and global competitiveness.  European societies are becoming more and more knowledge-based. Increased demand within skills and competences requires higher education to respond in new way. It requires a more student-centered approach to learning and teaching, embracing flexible learning process and recognizing competence gained outside formal curricula. A key goal of the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area is to contribute to a common understanding of quality assurance for learning and teaching across border and among all stakeholders (Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area, 2015; Vraa-Jensen, 2016; Vraa-Jensen, n.d.). These provide guidance, covering the areas that are vital for successful quality provision and learning environments. Preparing students for active citizenship throughout future careers (students' employment), supporting personal development, creating a broad advanced knowledge base, stimulating research and innovation represent the basic aims in European higher education system. Educational process mainly refers to quality of the interaction between teachers, students and institutional environment. Thus, learning opportunities with adequate learning environment and facilities have to fit with the content of course program. This are entrusted to the institution's performance, to improve the quality, together with students, academic staff, the institutional leadership and management. This also include external stakeholders such as employers and partners of an institution. Together, they set a common framework for quality assurance system for learning and teaching at European, national and institutional level. European qualification framework (EQF) was developed in 38 countries in 2015. It starts to make an impact on education, training and employment policies and practices. Each country developed National qualification framework (NQF) based on learning outcomes, specifying what learners are expected to know to be able to do and understand at the end of learning sequence (Pasanec Preprotić, 2015; Pasanec Preprotić, 2017). This sets up comprehensive frameworks, which are covering all levels and types of qualifications. The Croatian qualification framework (CROQF) act was established in 2013, based on learning outcomes, which are defined in terms of knowledge, skills, responsibility and autonomy (CQF-Introduction to Qualification, 2011; Cedefop, 2015). The teacher's role is important factor in creating a high quality student experience and enables the acquisition of knowledge, competences and skills. Thus, students have to focus on learning outcomes stronger, throughout collaborative teaching process (Figure 1), which includes community, collaboration process, interactions, brainstorming, discussion and sharing ideas (Duron 2006; Pasanec Preprotić, 2017).

Figure 1. Collaborative teaching process

Student-centered learning and collaborative teaching process change the role of teacher. Teaching ex-cathedra style “from the seat of authority” is replaced and teacher became moderator. Such learning and teaching environment sets up and follows clear and transparent processes, which offers opportunities for professional development of teaching staff throughout encourages scholarly activity. It reflects in strengthening the link between education and research, also encourages innovation in teaching methods and the use of IT technologies like e-learning (The European Commission, 2002; Pasanec Preprotić, 2017).

This paper presents students as subjects of educational process, who actively participates in evaluation with their comments and suggestions, which can stimulate the teacher to improve all phases of teaching process. The evaluation of collaborative teaching process directly contributes improving quality of active teaching process. Students are giving a critical review about teaching performance what is very important for achieving course-learning outcomes. Thus, the aim of the research is to establish the existence of a significant difference in theoretical or practical teaching based on the principle of collaborative learning in a different learning environment.

2. New Methodical Approach to the Teaching of Bookbinding in Graphic Technology

Learning framework for Bookbinding course was developed with input from teachers, education experts and business leaders to define and illustrate the skills and knowledge, which students need to succeed in work, life and citizenship, as well as the support system for learning outcomes. This is critical teaching system which directly ensures teacher development using adequate learning environment (ERR framework, Merlin e-learning platform). Personal skills, content knowledge and important expertise, which they will need at Faculty, on the job and generally in life, students achieve better when they are actively engaged in solving meaningful problems. All of this can be provided with active learning processes through enhancing student-centered learning approaches, collaborative and participative forms of teaching and learning. Dialog, writing and “high-order thinking” have significant importance, which directly improve communicative learning processes, including social network model of thinking. That process involves focusing on achieving a particular prior learning outcome (previous courses) and resolution comprehension of all aspects of the bookbinding issue including bookbinding-learning outcomes (Budimir et al., 2014).

The graphic discipline includes mass communication that involves creation, production, management and distribution of advertising, marketing, web sites, books, magazines, newspapers, catalogues, packages and other media in printed and digital form. Graphic engineering is the part of technology field that requires the application of scientific and engineering knowledge and methods combined with technical skills in support of engineering activities (Kipphan, 2001). Bookbinding course is relate to design and production of traditional books, classified by content, binding type and binding form. Every book product is usually made of book block as a carrier of printed information and cover as protection unit, produced independently and then assembled into a single unique product. To analyze the organization of the production process it is useful to structure the bookbinding finishing processes into individual process sections. Each section characterizes the transformation of the materials with regard to the desired processing outcome. The designations of these process sections use unique terminology including classification in bookbinding (Kipphan, 2001, p. 776). The frame of bookbinding engineering contributes to student engagement and comprehension of a complex network of binding technology as well as a one-man craft bookbinding (Pasanec Preprotić, 2014; Preprotić et al., 2014; Dasović et al., 2015). The course follows finishing processes throughout publishing and craft bookbinding. It studies the bookbinding processes and binding block system types. It focuses on determination of bookbinding characteristics regard to book shelfs system, binding unit, adhesive and paper type. The aim of the Bookbinding course is to find the best solution within available bookbinding engineering frameworks. Practical lessons are focused on specific details, including individual handmade books, which allow students to understand a complex binding technology network. Course topics support student engineering activities with integrated education environment and interdisciplinary approach to learning that provides hands-on a relevant learning experience for students. Students are working on real current bookbinding problems, which help them to develop critical thinking, student-learning habits and to grow individually. Thus, students` practical skills, explanations and conclusions are becoming measurable. In collaborative teaching process, students are able to think deeply, with critical thinking integrated into student activities. Vizek (2009) showed that Bloom classification (Figure 2) of cognitive domain active verbs provide active learning process throughout teaching method ERR framework system (Terzić, 2012; Dijanic, 2012). Students are relying on prior learning outcomes to develop complex levels of understanding (Pasanec Preprotić, 2017).

Figure 2. Teaching method based on Bloom classification

3.Results and discussion

Bookbinding course is an obligatory course in the last, 6th semester, for Bachelors of Science at Faculty of Graphic Arts, Technical – technological program. In academic year 2016/2017, 48 students attended the course frequently, and with support of the Information system of higher education institutions of Croatia (ISVU), during the last (15th) course week, 34 of them were involved in evaluation process of theoretical and 39 for evaluation of practical lessons. Evaluation sheet, which is questionnaire for improving the teaching processes, consists different groups of questions – about students' presence, compatibility of theoretical and practical lessons, students` interest in course and teacher performing quality. At the end of evaluation sheet, students gave remarks and suggestions for improvement of teacher work and pointed at least three learning outcomes (practical knowledge and graphic engineering competencies). Students` responses were anonymous and expressed their personal opinions about the collaborative teaching process quality.

Research results are presented separate for theoretical and practical lectures. Practical classes students attended in small groups (8-10 students) in working-friendly environment (Bahr, 2010). Theoretical classes were performed in ex-cathedra style lecture hall, which did not leave impression of collaborative teaching process (Divjak, 2005). Results of evaluation sheet showed that students really like the concept of collaborative teaching process. On Graphs 1-9 results of evaluation sheet related to teacher performing quality are presented, as one of the most important group of questions for this research. For this group of questions, students used psychometric Likert rating scale (from 5 to 1) for teacher evaluation, in order to express their opinion, i.e. to agree or disagree with the offered assertions (strongly agree - agree – neutral – disagree – strongly disagree; or can not estimate).

Graph 1 shows the results related to teacher preparedness. There are no significant changes in the results for theoretical and practical part of course.

Graph 1. The results of teacher preparedness

On Graphs 2-7 slightly more significant differences in theoretical and practical results are visible. The results showed slightly lower rating for theoretical part of course. These results are a reflection of teachers' inability to devote to each students' needs individually during theoretical lectures.   

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