II : Internal Academic Audit cell (IAAC) A Faculty-driven Initiative for Quality Control & Scrutiny for Self-reflection, Collaboration and Peer Feedback
1. Title of the Practice:
Internal Academic Audit cell (AAC) – A Faculty-driven Initiative for Quality Control & Scrutiny for Self-reflection, Collaboration and Peer Feedback
2. Objectives of the practice:
The main objective of the Internal Academic Audit Cell is to identify the potentiality and competence of quality assurance practices, their applicability and effectiveness in assuring quality of inputs, processes and outputs.
Specific objectives are:
- To understand the existing system and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the departments and to suggest the methods for improvement and overcoming the weaknesses.
- To promote and enhance high quality teaching and learning.
- To confirm that students are fully supported in their academic and personal development.
- To encourage strategic developments that enrich the curriculum and enhance students’ opportunities for employment and career development.
- To be a motivating force to achieve excellence in all the activities leading to fulfilment of the vision and mission of the college.
- To suggest the methods for continuous improvement of quality keeping in mind criteria and reports by NAAC and other bodies.
The role of higher education institutions is reflected in its learning outcomes. The learning outcomes contribute to develop quality professionals by enhancing competency in subject knowledge and intellectual capability, grooming professionalism and employability skills.
3. The Context:
The Internal Academic Audit Cell was formulated in Loyola Academy to promote self-reflection and self-improvement among all departments and student activity centres of the college. It was introduced by the IQAC in the College, in the purview of Quality Control and Scrutiny of Academic and Student Development activities and initiatives. At a department level, the Academic Audit reviews the quality of resources and general ambience from the perspective of meeting the learning outcome. At an examination section level, it assesses the process of conduct and document archival in the examination section. At a Student Activity Centre level, it assesses the process of conduct, document archival and promotion of student support activities and services.
4. The Practice:
There are two phases in the academic audit. One, a self-evaluation phase. Two, a review phase. During the self-evaluation phase of the Academic Audit, the faculty look at the key activities in place that regularly improve the quality of teaching and learning. During the review phase, peers called the Academic Auditor Team conduct a review of the self-evaluation phase. The team reviews the self-evaluation report of the faculty (the format
is prescribed in advance) conducts a site visit and writes its own report that includes commendations, affirmations and recommendations for continued improvement. Academic Audit Cell (AAC) constitutes a Coordinator and about five members of the teaching staff. AAC looks into various aspects of academics like uniform distribution of work to faculty, improving the quality of syllabi, conducting the internal audit etc. It gives a (pre) Board of Studies schedule to all the UG and PG departments to conduct preliminary meetings within the departments. In these meetings, each department will discuss at length the syllabus to be implemented in the upcoming academic year. The changes recommended by the department will be approved by the BOS and finally will be ratified by the Academic
Council. It also looks into the maintenance of the quality of teaching and learning, by conducting internal audit of all the departments in the following way:
The Coordinator of the IQAC cell initiates the process by inviting the HOD and staff members of the department to submit a Self-Evaluation report prior to the audit.
The audit is conducted at the departmental level for its activities and also at the level of the individual staff. The audit is performed based on a set of criteria.
The staff is requested to submit the documents with valid proofs. The auditors will scrutinise, collate the evidence, analyse and evaluate the documents, formulating specific lines of enquiry from the above.
Later, a report is prepared which will make commendations of good practice, affirmations that recognise improvements the auditee is already making, and recommendations for improvement. The auditors will produce a report that describes the strengths and weaknesses of the auditee’s efforts to improve the academic quality of their programmes and identify areas of improvement. The audit report is made available to the auditee who shall respond to the issues raised in the report. The response of the auditee shall be part of the final audit report. The audit report shall be presented to the governing body. A plan of action is then prepared to implement the suggestions provided by IQAC and GB.
AAC is exercised biannually i.e. in every semester and once in three years by an external audit committee.
5. Evidence of Success:
- AAC has found that majority of the departments have assessed their incapabilies and worked towards achieving their targets. Syllabi were updated. Innovative methods of teaching and learning processes were incorporated.
- Mentoring was taken seriously and data was recorded in a book. Faculty attended seminars, published research articles, authored books, and applied for research projects.
- One of the direct outcomes of the Internal Academic Audit was that it met institutional expectations, and over the years, became a thoroughly documented process that meets the requirements of any inspection.
6. Problems Encountered:
Until date, no problems have been encountered.