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Title: Improving the quality of students' performance through teacher/department effectiveness: the case of MET Polytechnic, Ghana
Author: Nkrumah , Maame Afua
ISNI:       0000 0004 5358 4775
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2014
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This study examines the quality of students' performance between teachers/departments within the same Higher Education (HE) institution in terms of both "raw and Value Added" (V A) approaches, and seeks potential explanations to any observed differences using mixed-methods methodology. The study was informed by several issues including increasing student enrollment in Higher Education (HE) and current quality demands brought about by the new Polytechnic Act (2007). The study draws on School Effectiveness Research (SER) theories, conceptual models, methodologies and approaches given that, evidence from the research field links quality education with institutional self-evaluation, particularly studies that use the "V A" approach and multileve1 statistical techniques. Although SER studies do 'not provide a blue-print for effective institutions, this study explores the utility of the valuable insights provided by SI?R as used by various stakeholders to design and to improve policies and practices aimed at improving the overall quality of student performance within institutions. The input-process-output-context framework presented in the Global Monitoring Report (2004) was utilised in selecting appropriate issues and variables for the study. Overall, the study focused on five generic student outcomes (African Studies, first and second semester Communication Skills and Computer Literacy), using two separate cohort datasets (2009 and 2007-2009) and interview data obtained from four academic Deans and two servicing Heads of Departments (HoDs). The datasets (2009 and 2007-2009) were created using data from different sources including secondary data, administrative records and data collected via a student/teacher survey. The 2009 dataset (about 1,800 students) included additional information on students' SES and I , . student/teacher survey not available for the 2007-2009 dataset (about 6,000 students). The quantitative and qualitative data were respectively analysed using MLwiN and thematic analysis, The 2009 dataset was used in (a) examining the extent and size of the variation in "raw" student perfonnance, (b) "V A" progress made (adjusting for prior attainment measures only), (c) teacher/department effects (adjusting for prior attainment, background, SES and department context in the fonn of mean prior attainment) and (d) the relevance of teacher-inputs, and student/teacher views about classroom/department processes. ANOVA and descriptive statistics based on the 2009 dataset were further used to surnrnarize typical classroom/department activities that occurred consistently or were significantly different between the three courses - African Studies, Connnunication Skills (CS) and Computer Literacy (CL). The stability of the students' perfonnance over time was also examined using the 2007-2009 data set and the linear approach. The face-ta-face interviews with the servicing HoDs and the academic Deans, on the other hand, focused on typical servicing department/faculty processes that may potentially explain the quantitative fmdings in particular and the students' perfonnance in general Overall, the study indicated that teachers/departments were to an extent different in promoting the . students' "V A" perfonnances though no teacher/department appeared consistently effective in promoting the students,' performance in all five outcomes. Another key fmding was that prior attainment, background, SES and mean prior attairunent measl!Ies may not be as insightful in understanding students' performance at the tertiary le~e1 as they are at the pre-tertiary level. Key input and process factors identified to have influenced the students' performances included teacher characteristics such as age, gender, academic qualification, teaching experience within the ii I I institution, individualized academic support for students, high expectation of student achievement, students' perception about the courses, regular monitoring of student pelfonnance, teacher commitment, whether or not students/teachers felt valued, order and discipline, quality of teaching, teacher professional development and cooperation among teachers. The study also highlighted a number of key issues that needed to be addressed in tenns of policy, practice and research, if the quality of students' performance within the Polytechnic is to be improved. Such issues included .the need for (a) a policy document on regular self-evaluation, (b) a national dataset created in collaboration with the Polytechnics for examining effectiveness across institutions, (c) early remedial SUPPOlt for both low and high achieving students and (d) the standardisation of rules across all faculties. However, a careful and contextualised interpretation/use of the fmding is emphasised considering the limitations of the study. Keywords: Raw performance, valued added progress made, teacher/department effects, trend analysis, teacher-input, classroom/department processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available