For ages, I wanted to initiate a series of monologue related to higher education Quality. A systematic and didactic piece of writing is never appealing to education community. Thus I decided to take a less formal way of expressing various issues using monologues. The issue might be a known fact for you but this would not be the case for everyone. It is least necessary to agree with what I express here. However, your feedback will certainly help me identify further areas in future.
Being a faculty member, do we ever wonder why the course we are teaching is included in the program? Do we ever ask ourselves how a course is included in a program and how does various courses lead to formulation of a program. In practice, we teach a course because we studied the course in the same or similar program. However, none of us ever wonder how I am contributing to a program. This is mainly because when a program is initiated in any institution, similar programs are reviewed and either the same or similar courses are included in the program. Thus a new program is ready.
Here we need to understand a mechanism called Program-course Matrix (mapping of courses with Program). When a program is designed or proposed, the first thing is to formulate program mission and objectives . These objectives lead to identification of the required competencies/skills/learning outcomes of a specific program. Once Program learning outcomes (PLOs) are identified, courses which will contribute to achieving the learning PLOs are identified and put in a matrix. This mapping matrix decides the place of each course and the level of contribution of the courses.
This matrix must be provided to each faculty member who is teaching a course so that the faculty may see the role of the course in a program and how the course should be designed to contribute in achieving the program learning outcomes.
If you are not a faculty member but have some managerial position in institute of higher education, make sure that faculty members are aware of this mapping and have a copy of the same as well. Only in that case, you are entitled to ask them how they are contributing in the overall success of the program.
The next question is, how to achieve the desired role of courses?? Come back again soon with the answer.....................................