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Friday, 27 July 2018 10:33
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Building outcome standards for training programs in Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

(LLCT) - The establishment of outcome standards for training programs and disciplines is one of the important solutions to improve the quality of training. Outcome standards form criteria for assessing the quality of university and training programs. In Vietnam, since 2010, the Ministry of Education and Training has instructed training institutions to develop and issue outcome standards requirements for all training programs. The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics has determined that it is imperative to develop its program outcome standards, thus reflecting its responsibility in training and fostering cadres, managers and Marxism - Leninism.

1. The necessity for development of training outcome standards at Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

The training outcome standards are specific requirements of the knowledge, skills and attitudes that learners need to achieve after the course. In other words, this is the concretization of education-training objectives. Therefore, it is important to clearly define the training outcome standards, otherwise the training program will be detective, unbalanced and not up to the program objectives. The set of subjects (the training program), the assessment mode, the test and the evaluation will reflect the outcome standards. Training program should be developed only when the outcome standards has been made. The training outcome standards are developed based on  the needs of the society, together with the consideration of human resources (faculty, training staff, technical staff), and financial resources (financial support, teaching facilities) in order to achieve the expected outcome standards.

In Vietnam, all universities, colleges, academies and schools must post outcome standards of training programs on their websites. Almost all of them have done this. However, several universities and institutes, including the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, have not done it.

The Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics is responsible for training and fostering middle-level and senior leaders for the political system. In addition, the Academy also offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, in accordance with the training regulations issued by the Ministry of Education and Training. Therefore, it is imperative for the Academy to define the training outcome standards to catch up with the development trend of education and training in Vietnam and in the world.

First, the training outcome standards are the basis for reviewing and adjusting the training programs.

The approach to outcome standards in education and training renovation requires that all stages and processes of training should be coordinated and oriented. Therefore, when training institutions announce the training outcome standards, all program contents must be consistent with them. The establishment of outcome standards is the basis for the development and improvement of the training program.

At present, the Academy has been implementing a strong reform of the program contents, methods, constantly improving the quality of teaching. However, the result remains modest, and it is required further synchronized and stronger efforts. The building of outcome standards for modules and classes is the basis for renewing the curriculum. Any contents that meet the requirements of the outcome standards will be retained or supplemented. This will overcome the situation in which unnecessary contents are provided in the curriculum by specialized institutes, making the program cumbersome.

Secondly, the outcome standards are the basis for innovation, improving the quality of training.

Outcome standards are basis for developing new training programs or reviewing and adjusting them. At the same time, they are the basis for renovating the organization and management of teaching activities. Accordingly, all other activities must be compatible and directed to the set outcome standards.

Outcome standards are also the basis for reviewing and adjusting training objectives; overcoming limitations in teaching and learning, as well as in training management. As a result, the quality of training will be improved, affirming the prestige of the Academy. The outcome standards are also the basis for renovating teaching methods; selecting the method of assessment and testing for trainees; encouraging lecturers, administrators and trainees to innovate their teaching-learning methods, thus improving the quality of training.

At present, the Academy is intensively renovating the teaching methods, including the application of active teaching methods, renewing assessment, examination and evaluation forms. Therefore, the establishment of the training outcome standards will be the starting point for renovating the training activities of the Academy.

Thirdly, building the outcome standard reflects the Academy’s commitment to the Party, the State and society in training leaders and managers.

That training outcome standards are set proves the Academy’s commitment to quality, capacity and conditions to ensure quality training. This is also the basis for learners and agencies to send students to learn and supervise the training activity of the Academy. As a result, teachers and learners will endeavor to innovate teaching and learning methods; managers will endeavor to innovate training management innovation and evaluation methods. At the same time, enhancing the responsibilities of management staffs and lecturers, encouraging learners rise up in their self-study to attain the expected outcome standards. The issuance of the outcome standards will help the trainees to know the professional knowledge that is to be provided as well as professional competence, practical skills, cognitive ability to solve problems after the course. This is also the basis for strengthening cooperation and co-ordination between the Academy and the institutions sending learners in the process of training and employing leaders and managers.

2. Principles and procedures for outcome standards

Principles:

The outcome standards are divided into two levels: training program and module. All standard levels share common and specific principles. Normally, the general principles are applied when developing the outcome standards for the training program. Specific principles are applied for specialized disciplines, special subjects, and lectures.

General principles:

- Outcome standards detail and specify the contents of regulations on knowledge, skills and moral qualities of human resources trained from the objectives of the training programs.

- Outcome standards are stated in Directive 296/CT-TTg dated  February 27, 2010 of the Prime Minister, Official Letter No. 2196/BGDDT-GDDH dated April 22, 2010 of the Ministry of Education and Training on continuing the renovation on university administration on training based on the outcome approach; Regulation on evaluation of training quality of Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics;

- To closely follow the functions and tasks of the Academy as prescribed in the Politburo’s Decision No. 224-QD/TW dated January 6, 2014 on the functions, tasks and organizational structure of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics; Decree No. 48/2014/ND-CP dated May 19, 2014 defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics; to take into consideration the facilities, teaching staff and the needs of trainees to build outcome standards;

- Outcome standards in each subject area should complement and support each other in order to attain the overall program outcome standards;

- Carrying out the right processes in the construction of outcome standards;

- Outcome standards aim to implement the objectives and training strategy of the Academy;

- Determining the time to complete outcome standards.

Specific guidelines:

- Each outcome standard should start with an action verb, followed by the object of the verb, then a given phrase for the context;

- Use only one verb with each outcome standard;

- Avoid ambiguous words such as: know, understand, learn, get used to, be exposed, be familiar with, or be aware of...;

- Avoid complex sentences (if necessary use more than one sentence to ensure clarity);

- Outcome standards of subjects are related to the program’s overall results;

- Outcome standards must be observed and measured;

- The results obtained are likely to be evaluated;

- It is important to consider how these results will be evaluated;

- Before finalizing the outcome standard, consult coworkers and alumni if ##they are meaningful to them.

3. Some issues for considerations

The process of building the program outcome standards of Political Theory (Advanced level) at the Academy needs to pay attention to the following issues:

Survey results of the needs of students of political theory (advanced level);

Survey results of lecturers, administrators involved in teaching, management training courses on political theory (advanced level);

The facilities, human resources and staff.

4. Conclusions and recommendations

The program outcome standards play an important role in assessing the quality of the training program. On the other hand, the identification of outcome standards for a training program or course also serves as the basis for the development, adjustment and supplement of textbooks, materials, teaching methods and practices for learners.

The development of the training outcome standards is not only an inevitable necessity, but it also demonstrates the capacity to teach and follow the real social need of the quality of human resources. The Academy is responsible for training cadres of high and intermediate levels for the Party, the State and the political system. Therefore, the training outcome standards at the Academy is not only to confirm its assigned position, role and capacity but also is the motivation for its officers, civil servants and employees to constantly improve the quality of training.

Recommendations to specialized institutes at the Academy:

Creating outcome standards for subjects being taught at the institutes;

Reviewing and adjusting the contents of the course in accordance with the outcome standards that have been developed so that the course will transfer the knowledge to the trainees;

Renewing the assessment form, examining the course evaluation in accordance with the updated course contents;

Eliminating the existing modules which do not help achieve the outcome standards that have been developed for the training program.

Recommendation to Academy’s leaders:

Establishing the Outcome standards Steering Committee for training programs of the Academy;

Rebuilding the curriculum according to the proposed and normalized outcome standards;

Instructing the application of adjusted or rebuilt training program according to outcome standards for the new school year 2018 - 2019 at some classes in the Academy;

Recommendation to the organizations sending staff to study:

Monitoring the progress and development of graduates of training programs built under the outcome standards;

Facilitating, supporting when the Academy surveys the reality, evaluating the graduates of the training programs built in the direction of approaching outcome standards.

 

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Ho Trong Hoai

Dr. Tran Thi Tu Anh

Center for Testing and Quality Assurance,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

 

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