Our concern in this paper is specifically with teaching, as opposed to academic or research program structure and administration. We first consider how an instructor can improve the quality of instruction in an individual course, and then the more difficult question of how an academic organization (a university, college, or academic department) can improve the quality of its instructional program. In both cases, we examine the potential contribution of quality management principles to teaching improvement programs in light of the cultural differences between industry and the university.
Some academic programs and many individual faculty members have tried applying quality principles in their work. Recent papers in engineering education describe quality-based models for classroom instruction (Jensen and Robinson 1995; Shuman et al. 1996; Stedinger 1996; Latzgo 1997; Karapetrovic and Rajamani 1998), curriculum reform and revision (Bellamy et al. 1994; Litwhiler and Kiemele 1994; Summers 1995; Houshmand et al. 1996; Shelnutt and Buch 1996), and department program planning and administration (Diller and Barnes 1994). Nevertheless, after more than a decade of such efforts, TQM has not established itself as the way many universities operate, especially in matters related to classroom instruction.
Our recommendations for improving teaching quality finally come down to this. Instructors who wish to improve teaching in a course should consult the literature, see which instructional methods have been shown to work, and implement those with which they feel most comfortable. Total quality management need not enter the picture at all. An administration wishing to improve the quality of its instructional program should first make the necessary commitment to provide the necessary resources and incentives for faculty participation. Then, don’t talk about TQM—just do it.
This six-step plan sounds like a TQM model, and of course it is. It can be put into effect perfectly well, however, in the context of the university culture, without ever mentioning customers, empowerment, bottom-up management, or any other TQM term whose applicability to education is questionable. Consensus on all of the issues involved in educational reform might or might not be achieved, but at least the dialogue would focus on the real issues rather than semantic red herrings.
Here, then, is our view of what can be done to improve the instructional program at a university. Each step requires agreement of the faculty members who must implement it and the administrators who must provide the necessary resources.
Many faculty members are irate. They argue that TQM was developed by and for industry to improve profits, industry and the university are totally different, and talking of students as "customers" is offensive and makes no sense. They make it clear that they will have nothing to do with this scheme and will view any attempt to compel them to participate as a violation of their academic freedom.
Higher education discovered total quality management in the 1980s and quickly became enamored of it. Books like (Bateman and Roberts 1992) and (Sherr and Teeter 1991) declared that TQM could serve as a paradigm for improving every aspect of collegiate functioning from fiscal administration to classroom instruction. Terms like "customer focus," "employee empowerment," "continuous assessment," and "Deming’s 14 principles" started appearing with regularity in education journals and in administrative pronouncements on campuses all over the country. Deming himself suggested the linkage between quality management principles and education, claiming that "…improvement of education, and the management of education, require application of the same principles that must be used for the improvement of any process, manufacturing or service" (Deming, 1994).
. If the students could just as easily complete assignments by themselves, the instructor is not realizing the full educational potential of cooperative learning and the students are likely to resent the additional time burden of having to meet with their groups. The level of challenge should not be raised by simply making the assignments longer, but by including more problems that call upon higher level thinking skills.
Moreover, we have been helping students all over the world for more than 6 years with their college papers, improving the whole working process, staying updated on the formatting changes and various school requirements.
The objective of the method focuses on cooperation of the ASN anchored mobility and SIP mobility and uses the B2BUA concept to improve the handoff performance as well as to reduce the handoff dropping rate.
Used for advanced network services, multicasting is used to improve the performance of your network by reducing the amount of bandwidth consumed by network traffic.
In short, while improving the quality of classroom instruction is a worthwhile goal—arguably the most important goal that a university can adopt—there is no need to force-fit an industrial model or invent questionable analogies (e.g., students as "customers") to achieve it. TQM was developed by identifying problems with existing manufacturing practices and then applying a combination of sound economic and psychological principles to devise a better approach. Improving teaching requires identifying problems with existing academic practices and then applying a combination of sound educational and psychological principles to devise a better approach. Such approaches have already been devised. Why not just use them?
An announcement goes out to the faculty that from now on the university will operate as a total quality management campus. All academic, business, and service functions will be assessed regularly, and quality teams will plan ways to improve them. A campus quality director and a steering team are named, with the director reporting to the Provost. All university departments appoint quality coordinators, who attend a one-day workshop on quality management principles and return to their departments to facilitate faculty and/or staff meetings at which quality improvement is discussed.