DaigakuRonshu_42_213.pdf 1.08 MB
Issues and Methodologies concerning Educational Quality Advancements by Faculties in the area of Engineering
Educational reform of Japanese higher education has been promoted by members of university faculties, who recognize that a cooperative effort is necessary to reach this goal. Some papers published by various organizations have revealed weakness in instructional quality and content. These papers also urged creation of a better educational system and the introduction of professional development for faculty members, so that Japanese universities can become more competitive with universities worldwide. Recently, many prototypical educational practices have been adopted, and there is evidence of an increase in educational effectiveness. One example is the Good Practice program, which is supported by the Ministry of Education (MEXT). All departments of the national universities in Japan have published self-assessment reports, some of which include evidence of educational quality improvements already enacted.
This paper focuses on evidence from Faculties of Engineering and Graduate Schools of Engineering at the top 8 Japanese research universities. The characteristics of faculty members and the settings of each Faculty's teaching activities are considered. First, the professional maturity and activities of each faculty member are summarized in a Figure, in accordance with previous studies. The need for professional development of academic staffincludes the improvement of teaching practices. Also it is suggested that enhancement of management and supervisory abilities of faculty members may be required to more effectively promote educational improvement. To support this hypothesis, the author analyzed cases that discussed educational improvement. Though the framework of educational reform in the area of Engineering has been proposed and discussed by faculty members, departmental administration reform still seems to be an obstacle. This suggests that systematic collaboration by faculty members is required for educational reform to proceed. Second, the evidence of advancements in educational quality is analyzed to extract the main contents and methodologies of instruction in Engineering courses. The author analyzed the evidence in the reports from the 8 universities and classified it into categories representing contents and methodologies, according to the educational activities of the Engineering departments and Graduate schools. As a result, improvements, such as English instruction to facilitate sufficient communication with academia beyond Japan in the areas of science and engineering, curriculum issues, and methods of evaluation, can be evaluated.
According to the results, the author would like to emphasize three points: (1) educational advancement and educational program development, which correspond to the need for advancement in the area of engineering education; (2) the development of educational support systems to enhance educational opportunities for students, such as by means of e-learning; and (3) organizing educational measurement and evaluation such as satisfaction surveys of students and of employers for graduates. In sum, it is suggested that these three kinds of professional development are required by faculty members for the advancement of the university educational system.
Copyright (c) 2011 Author(s)