Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 29

Quality assurance Related Abstracts

29 A Comparative Study of Three Major Performance Testing Tools

Authors: Abdulaziz Omar Alsadhan, Mohd Mudasir Shafi

Abstract:

Performance testing is done to prove the reliability of any software product. There are a number of tools available in the markets that are used to perform performance testing. In this paper we present a comparative study of the three most commonly used performance testing tools. These tools cover the major share of the performance testing market and are widely used. In this paper we compared the tools on five evaluation parameters which are; User friendliness, portability, tool support, compatibility and cost. The conclusion provided at the end of the paper is based on our study and does not support any tool or company.

Keywords: Software Development, Software Testing, Quality assurance, Performance Testing, load runner, rational testing, silk performer

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28 Quality Assurance as an Educational Development Tool: Case from the European Higher Education

Authors: Maha Mourad

Abstract:

Higher education in any competitive European economy should serve the new information society by increasing the supply of good quality education services and by creating good international brands in the international higher education market. Hence, continuous risk management techniques through higher educational reforms programs became one of the top priorities within the European Union to control the quality of higher education. Risk is higher education is studies by several researchers who agreed that the risk in higher education has a direct influence on continuity of quality education and research contribution. The focus of this research is to highlights the Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) activities in the Polish higher education system as a risk management tool used to control the quality of education. This paper presents a qualitative empirical analysis in 5 different universities in Poland. In addition, it aims to help in finding global practical and create benchmark for policy makers concerning the risk management techniques based on the Polish experience.

Keywords: Sustainability, Quality assurance, education development, european higher education

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27 The Food Industry in Nigeria: Development and Quality Assurance

Authors: Agi Sunday, Agih Ukuru Agih

Abstract:

In Nigeria, the food processing sector is dominated by small and medium enterprises, as well as multinational food companies. Quality standards are usually related to improving the safety of food products suitable for consumption in accordance to specifications by food regulatory bodies. These standards are essential elements for local and international businesses which contribute to economic progress through industrial development and trade. This review takes a critical look on the Nigerian food industry development in terms of quality standards that are necessary to be given consideration in the production of food and also ways of improving food production in Nigeria through the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) technique and the use of computerized systems to produce high quality and high value products while at the same time reducing production time and cost.

Keywords: Quality assurance, Food industry, Computerized Systems, Nigeria, TQM

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26 Evaluating the Dosimetric Performance for 3D Treatment Planning System for Wedged and Off-Axis Fields

Authors: Nashaat A. Deiab, Aida Radwan, Mohamed S. Yahiya, Mohamed Elnagdy, Rasha Moustafa

Abstract:

This study is to evaluate the dosimetric performance of our institution's 3D treatment planning system for wedged and off-axis 6MV photon beams, guided by the recommended QA tests documented in the AAPM TG53; NCS report 15 test packages, IAEA TRS 430 and ESTRO booklet no.7. The study was performed for Elekta Precise linear accelerator designed for clinical range of 4, 6 and 15 MV photon beams with asymmetric jaws and fully integrated multileaf collimator that enables high conformance to target with sharp field edges. Ten tests were applied on solid water equivalent phantom along with 2D array dose detection system. The calculated doses using 3D treatment planning system PrecisePLAN were compared with measured doses to make sure that the dose calculations are accurate for simple situations such as square and elongated fields, different SSD, beam modifiers e.g. wedges, blocks, MLC-shaped fields and asymmetric collimator settings. The QA results showed dosimetric accuracy of the TPS within the specified tolerance limits. Except for large elongated wedged field, the central axis and outside central axis have errors of 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively, and off- planned and off-axis elongated fields the region outside the central axis of the beam errors are 0.2% and 1.1%, respectively. The dosimetric investigated results yielded differences within the accepted tolerance level as recommended. Differences between dose values predicted by the TPS and measured values at the same point are the result from limitations of the dose calculation, uncertainties in the measurement procedure, or fluctuations in the output of the accelerator.

Keywords: Quality assurance, dose calculation, wedged fields, off-axis fields, photon beam

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25 Open Fields' Dosimetric Verification for a Commercially-Used 3D Treatment Planning System

Authors: Nashaat A. Deiab, Aida Radwan, Mohamed S. Yahiya, Mohamed Elnagdy, Rasha Moustafa

Abstract:

This study is to evaluate and investigate the dosimetric performance of our institution's 3D treatment planning system, Elekta PrecisePLAN, for open 6MV fields including square, rectangular, variation in SSD, centrally blocked, missing tissue, square MLC and MLC shaped fields guided by the recommended QA tests prescribed in AAPM TG53, NCS report 15 test packages, IAEA TRS 430 and ESTRO booklet no.7. The study was performed for Elekta Precise linear accelerator designed for clinical range of 4, 6 and 15 MV photon beams with asymmetric jaws and fully integrated multileaf collimator that enables high conformance to target with sharp field edges. Seven different tests were done applied on solid water equivalent phantom along with 2D array dose detection system, the calculated doses using 3D treatment planning system PrecisePLAN, compared with measured doses to make sure that the dose calculations are accurate for open fields including square, rectangular, variation in SSD, centrally blocked, missing tissue, square MLC and MLC shaped fields. The QA results showed dosimetric accuracy of the TPS for open fields within the specified tolerance limits. However large square (25cm x 25cm) and rectangular fields (20cm x 5cm) some points were out of tolerance in penumbra region (11.38 % and 10.9 %, respectively). For the test of SSD variation, the large field resulted from SSD 125 cm for 10cm x 10cm filed the results recorded an error of 0.2% at the central axis and 1.01% in penumbra. The results yielded differences within the accepted tolerance level as recommended. Large fields showed variations in penumbra. These differences between dose values predicted by the TPS and the measured values at the same point may result from limitations of the dose calculation, uncertainties in the measurement procedure, or fluctuations in the output of the accelerator.

Keywords: Quality assurance, dose calculation, photon beam

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24 Evolving Software Assessment and Certification Models Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

Authors: Saad M. Darwish

Abstract:

Recently, software quality issues have come to be seen as important subject as we see an enormous growth of agencies involved in software industries. However, these agencies cannot guarantee the quality of their products, thus leaving users in uncertainties. Software certification is the extension of quality by means that quality needs to be measured prior to certification granting process. This research participates in solving the problem of software assessment by proposing a model for assessment and certification of software product that uses a fuzzy inference engine to integrate both of process–driven and application-driven quality assurance strategies. The key idea of the on hand model is to improve the compactness and the interpretability of the model’s fuzzy rules via employing an ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO), which tries to find good rules description by dint of compound rules initially expressed with traditional single rules. The model has been tested by case study and the results have demonstrated feasibility and practicability of the model in a real environment.

Keywords: Quality assurance, software quality, software certification model, software assessment

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23 Software Assessment Using Ant Colony Optimization Algorithm

Authors: Saad M. Darwish

Abstract:

Recently, software quality issues have come to be seen as important subject as we see an enormous growth of agencies involved in software industries. However,these agencies cannot guarantee the quality of their products, thus leaving users in uncertainties. Software certification is the extension of quality by means that quality needs to be measured prior to certification granting process. This research participates in solving the problem of software assessment by proposing a model for assessment and certification of software product that uses a fuzzy inference engine to integrate both of process–driven and application-driven quality assurance strategies. The key idea of the on hand model is to improve the compactness and the interpretability of the model’s fuzzy rules via employing an ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO), which tries to find good rules description by dint of compound rules initially expressed with traditional single rules. The model has been tested by case study and the results have demonstrated feasibility and practicability of the model in a real environment.

Keywords: Quality assurance, software certification model, software assessment, optimization technique

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22 Whose Education Is It? Developing Communities Left Out in Framing Higher Education

Authors: Muwanga Zake, Johnnie Wycliffe Frank

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Developing communities accommodating institutions of Higher Education (HE) often have no capacity to pay for HE and so do not contribute values and do not participate in Quality Assurance. Only governments, academia, employers and professional organisations determine values, QA and curricula in HE. A gap between the values in HE and those desirable in local communities and environments leads to erroneous conceptions of the purposes of HE, and to graduates who hardly fit into those local communities. Unemployment and under-utilization of local resources are thus expected. As a way to improve and make HE more relevant for local communities and environment, public perceptions, values and needs should be researched and HE courses should relate with local values and environments. Communities should participate in QA.

Keywords: Higher Education, Utilization, Quality assurance, Values

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21 A Comprehensive Study on Quality Assurance in Game Development

Authors: Mehreen Sirshar, Maria Komal, Zaineb Khalil

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Due to the recent technological advancements, Games have become one of the most demanding applications. Gaming industry is rapidly growing and the key to success in this industry is the development of good quality games, which is a highly competitive issue. The ultimate goal of game developers is to provide player’s satisfaction by developing high-quality games. This research is the comprehensive survey of techniques followed by game industries to ensure games quality. After analysis of various techniques, it has been found that quality simulation according to ISO standards and play test methods are used to ensure games quality. Because game development requires cross-disciplined team, an increasing trend towards distributed game development has been observed. This paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of current methodologies used in game industry and draws a conclusion. We have also proposed quality parameters which can be used as a heuristic framework to identify those attributes which have high testing priorities.

Keywords: computer games, Quality assurance, Video Games, User Experience, Game Development, gaming industry, playability

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20 Quality Assurance in Software Design Patterns

Authors: Mehreen Sirshar, Rabbia Tariq, Hannan Sajjad

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Design patterns are widely used to make the process of development easier as they greatly help the developers to develop the software. Different design patterns have been introduced till now but the behavior of same design pattern may differ in different domains that can lead to the wrong selection of the design pattern. The paper aims to discover the design patterns that suits best with respect to their domain thereby helping the developers to choose an effective design pattern. It presents the comprehensive analysis of design patterns based on different methodologies that include simulation, case study and comparison of various algorithms. Due to the difference of the domain the methodology used in one domain may be inapplicable to the other domain. The paper draws a conclusion based on strength and limitation of each design pattern in their respective domain.

Keywords: Evaluation, Design Patterns, Quality assurance, software domains

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19 Knowledge of Quality Assurance and Quality Control in Mammography; A Study among Radiographers of Mammography Settings in Sri Lanka

Authors: P. B. Hewavithana, H. S. Niroshani, W. M. Ediri Arachchi, R. Tudugala, U. J. M. A. L. Jayasinghe, U. M. U. J. Jayasekara

Abstract:

Mammography is used as a screening tool for early diagnosis of breast cancer. It is also useful in refining the diagnosis of breast cancer either by assessment or work up after a suspicious area in the breast has been detected. In order to detect breast cancer accurately and at the earliest possible stage, the image must have an optimum contrast to reveal mass densities and spiculated fibrous structures radiating from them. In addition, the spatial resolution must be adequate to reveal the suffusion of micro calcifications and their shape. The above factors can be optimized by implementing an effective QA programme to enhance the accurate diagnosis of mammographic imaging. Therefore, the radiographer’s knowledge on QA is greatly instrumental in routine mammographic practice. The aim of this study was to assess the radiographer’s knowledge on Quality Assurance and Quality Control programmes in relation to mammographic procedures. A cross-sectional study was carried out among all radiographers working in each mammography setting in Sri Lanka. Pre-tested, anonymous self-administered questionnaires were circulated among the study population and duly filled questionnaires returned within a period of three months were taken into the account. The data on demographical information, knowledge on QA programme and associated QC tests, overall knowledge on QA and QC programmes were obtained. Data analysis was performed using IBM SPSS statistical software (version 20.0). The total response rate was 59.6% and the average knowledge score was 54.15±11.29 SD out of 100. Knowledge was compared on the basis of education level, special training of mammography, and the years of working experience in a mammographic setting of the individuals. Out of 31 subjects, 64.5% (n=20) were graduate radiographers and 35.5% (n=11) were diploma holders while 83.9% (n=26) of radiographers have been specially trained for mammography and 16.1% (n=5) have not been attended for any special training for mammography. It is also noted that 58.1% (n=18) of individuals possessed their experience of less than one year and rest 41.9% (n=13) of them were greater than that. Further, the results found that there is a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the knowledge of QA and overall knowledge on QA and QC programme in the categories of education level and working experience. Also, results imply that there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the knowledge of QC test among the groups of trained and non-trained radiographers. This study reveals that education level, working experience and the training obtained particularly in the field of mammography have a significant impact on their knowledge on QA and QC in mammography.

Keywords: Knowledge, Quality Control, Quality assurance, Mammography

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18 Integrating Accreditation and Quality Assurance Exercises into the Quranic School System in the South-Western Nigeria

Authors: Popoola Sulaimon Akorede, Muinat A. Agbabiaka-Mustapha

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The Quranic / piazza school where the rudiments of Islam are being imparted from the teaching of Arabic/ Quranic alphabets which later metamorphosized to higher fundamental principles of Islam is the major determinant of the existence of Islam in any part of south western Nigeria. In other words, one can successfully say that where there is a few or non-existence of such schools in that part of the country, the practice of the religion of Islam would be either very low or not existing at all. However, it has been discovered in the modern worlds that several challenges are militating against the development of these schools and among these challenges are poor admission policy, inadequate facilities such as learning environment and instructional materials, curriculum inadequacy and the management and the administration of the schools which failed to change in order to meet the modern contemporary Educational challenges. The focus of this paper therefore is to improve the conditions of these basic Islamic schools through the introduction of quality assurance and integrating accreditation Exercise to improve their status in order to enhance economic empowerment and to further their educational career in the future so that they will be able to compete favourably among the graduates of conventional universities. The scope of this study is limited to only seven (7) states of yorubaland and with only three (3) proprietors/ schools from each state which are Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo and parts of Kwara State. The study revealed that quality assurance as well as accreditation exercise are lacking in all the local Arabic/Quranic schools. Suggestions are proffered towards correcting the anomalies in these schools so that they can meet the modern Educational standard.

Keywords: Quality assurance, Accreditation, Quranic schools, South-western Nigeria

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17 Modified Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) Model for Quality Assessment of Malaria Parasite Microscopy and Rapid Diagnostic Tests in Kano, Nigeria

Authors: F. Sarkinfada, Dabo N. Tukur, Abbas A. Muaz, Adamu A. Yahuza

Abstract:

Appropriate Quality Assurance (QA) of parasite-based diagnosis of malaria to justify Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy (ACT) is essential for Malaria Programmes. In Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC), resource constrain appears to be a major challenge in implementing the conventional QA system. We designed and implemented a modified LQAS model for QA of malaria parasite (MP) microscopy and RDT in a State Specialist Hospital (SSH) and a University Health Clinic (UHC) in Kano, Nigeria. The capacities of both facilities for MP microscopy and RDT were assessed before implementing a modified LQAS over a period of 3 months. Quality indicators comprising the qualities of blood film and staining, MP positivity rates, concordance rates, error rates (in terms of false positives and false negatives), sensitivity and specificity were monitored and evaluated. Seventy one percent (71%) of the basic requirements for malaria microscopy was available in both facilities, with the absence of certifies microscopists, SOPs and Quality Assurance mechanisms. A daily average of 16 to 32 blood samples were tested with a blood film staining quality of >70% recorded in both facilities. Using microscopy, the MP positivity rates were 50.46% and 19.44% in SSH and UHS respectively, while the MP positivity rates were 45.83% and 22.78% in SSH and UHS when RDT was used. Higher concordance rates of 88.90% and 93.98% were recorded in SSH and UHC respectively using microscopy, while lower rates of 74.07% and 80.58% in SSH and UHC were recorded when RDT was used. In both facilities, error rates were higher when RDT was used than with microscopy. Sensitivity and specificity were higher when microscopy was used (95% and 84% in SSH; 94% in UHC) than when RDT was used (72% and 76% in SSH; 78% and 81% in UHC). It could be feasible to implement an integrated QA model for MP microscopy and RDT using modified LQAS in Malaria Control Programmes in Low and Middle Income Countries that might have resource constrain for parasite-base diagnosis of malaria to justify ACT treatment.

Keywords: Microscopy, Quality assurance, Malaria, RDT

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16 Enhancing Students’ Performance in Basic Science and Technology in Nigeria Using Moodle LMS

Authors: Olugbade Damola, Adekomi Adebimbo, Sofowora Olaniyi Alaba

Abstract:

One of the major problems facing education in Nigeria is the provision of quality Science and Technology education. Inadequate teaching facilities, non-usage of innovative teaching strategies, ineffective classroom management, lack of students’ motivation and poor integration of ICT has resulted in the increase in percentage of students who failed Basic Science and Technology in Junior Secondary Certification Examination for National Examination Council in Nigeria. To address these challenges, the Federal Government came up with a road map on education. This was with a view of enhancing quality education through integration of modern technology into teaching and learning, enhancing quality assurance through proper monitoring and introduction of innovative methods of teaching. This led the researcher to investigate how MOODLE LMS could be used to enhance students’ learning outcomes in BST. A sample of 120 students was purposively selected from four secondary schools in Ogbomoso. The experimental group was taught using MOODLE LMS, while the control group was taught using the conventional method. Data obtained were analyzed using mean, standard deviation and t-test. The result showed that MOODLE LMS was an effective learning platform in teaching BST in junior secondary schools (t=4.953, P<0.05). Students’ attitudes towards BST was also enhanced through MOODLE LMS (t=15.632, P<0.05). The use of MOODLE LMS significantly enhanced students’ retention (t=6.640, P<0.05). In conclusion, the Federal Government efforts at enhancing quality assurance through integration of modern technology and e-learning in Secondary schools proved to have yielded good result has students found MOODLE LMS to be motivating and interactive. Attendance was improved.

Keywords: Performance, Quality assurance, basic science and technology, MOODLE LMS

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15 Collaborative Governance and Quality Assurance of Higher Education Institutions for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Integration: The Philippine Experience

Authors: Rowena R. De Guzman

Abstract:

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration requires that higher education institutions (HEIs) must adjust the quality of their educational services and develop a global mindset, through various quality assurance (QA) activities to a level producing global graduates and encouraging human resource mobility. For Philippine HEIs, QA involves enormous tasks and responsibilities, whereby the implementation of which involves various parties, agencies and stakeholders; and in that case innovations have to be installed to engage the whole system in the QA process. In this study, collaborative governance (CG), a concept from the field of public administration, is introduced in educational management, particularly in the area of QA management. The paper suggests that the exercise of and attitude toward CG in QA is relevant to the practice of activities across QA indicators in higher educational services among stakeholders from participating HEIs. Participants representing different interests are collectively empowered, and this compelled them to participate and support the QA activities of the HEIs. It is recommended to embed CG model in the system for HEIs undergoing or intending to undergo QA achieve their desired QA outcomes. The study supports the commitment of the Philippine government to the evolving policy and efforts to achieve comparable qualifications across the Asia-Pacific region under the auspices of the UNESCO.

Keywords: Higher Education, Government policy, Quality assurance, Global Education, ASEAN integration, collaborative governance, international demands

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14 National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Reaccreditation, the Challenges and Advantages: A Qualitative Case Study

Authors: Narottam Puri, Gurvinder Kaur

Abstract:

Background: The National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) is India’s apex standard setting accrediting body in health care which evaluates and accredits healthcare organizations. NABH requires accredited organizations to become reaccredited every three years. It is often though that once the initial accreditation is complete, the foundation is set and reaccreditation is a much simpler process. Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, a part of the Fortis Healthcare group is a 262 bed, multi-specialty tertiary care hospital. The hospital was successfully accredited in the year 2012. On completion of its first cycle, the hospital underwent a reaccreditation assessment in the year 2015. This paper aims to gain a better understanding of the challenges that accredited hospitals face when preparing for a renewal of their accreditations. Methods: The study was conducted using a cross-sectional mixed methods approach; semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior leadership team and staff members including doctors and nurses. Documents collated by the QA team while preparing for the re-assessment like the data on quality indicators: the method of collection, analysis, trending, continual incremental improvements made over time, minutes of the meetings, amendments made to the existing policies and new policies drafted was reviewed to understand the challenges. Results: The senior leadership had a concern about the cost of accreditation and its impact on the quality of health care services considering the staff effort and time consumed it. The management was however in favor of continuing with the accreditation since it offered competitive advantage, strengthened community confidence besides better pay rates from the payors. The clinicians regarded it as an increased non-clinical workload. Doctors felt accountable within a professional framework, to themselves, the patient and family, their peers and to their profession; but not to accreditation bodies and raised concerns on how the quality indicators were measured. The departmental leaders had a positive perception of accreditation. They agreed that it ensured high standards of care and improved management of their functional areas. However, they were reluctant in sparing people for the QA activities due to staffing issues. With staff turnover, a lot of work was lost as sticky knowledge and had to be redone. Listing the continual quality improvement initiatives over the last 3 years was a challenge in itself. Conclusion: The success of any quality assurance reaccreditation program depends almost entirely on the commitment and interest of the administrators, nurses, paramedical staff, and clinicians. The leader of the Quality Movement is critical in propelling and building momentum. Leaders need to recognize skepticism and resistance and consider ways in which staff can become positively engaged. Involvement of all the functional owners is the start point towards building ownership and accountability for standards compliance. Creativity plays a very valuable role. Communication by Mail Series, WhatsApp groups, Quizzes, Events, and any and every form helps. Leaders must be able to generate interest and commitment without burdening clinical and administrative staff with an activity they neither understand nor believe in.

Keywords: Quality assurance, NABH, reaccreditation, quality indicators

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13 An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles

Authors: Nabil El Kadhi, Minerva M. Bunagan

Abstract:

The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.

Keywords: Teaching, Audit, Quality assurance, Accreditation, learning and assessment

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12 Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Nigerian Universities: The Management Imperative

Authors: F. O Anugom

Abstract:

The general functions of the university amongst other things include teaching, research and community service. Universities are recognized as the apex of learning, accumulating and imparting knowledge and skills of all kinds to students to enable them to be productive, earn their living and to make optimum contributions to national development. This is equivalent to the production of human capital in the form of high level manpower needed to administer the educational society, be useful to the society and manage the economy. Quality has become a matter of major importance for university education in Nigeria. Accreditation is the systematic review of educational programs to ensure that acceptable standards of education, scholarship and infrastructure are being maintained. Accreditation ensures that institution maintain quality. The process is designed to determine whether or not an institution has met or exceeded the published standards for accreditation, and whether it is achieving its mission and stated purposes. Ensuring quality assurance in accreditation process falls in the hands of university management which justified the need for this study. This study examined accreditation and quality assurance: the management imperative. Three research questions and three hypotheses guided the study. The design was a correlation survey with a population of 2,893 university administrators out of which 578 Heads of department and Dean of faculties were sampled. The instrument for data collection was titled Programme Accreditation Exercise scale with high levels of reliability. The research questions were answered with Pearson ‘r’ statistics. T-test statistics was used to test the hypotheses. It was found among others that the quality of accredited programme depends on the level of funding of universities in Nigeria. It was also indicated that quality of programme accreditation and physical facilities of universities in Nigeria have high relationship. But it was also revealed that programme accreditation is positively related to staffing in Nigerian universities. Based on the findings of the study, the researcher recommend that academic administrators should be included in the team of those who ensure quality programs in the universities. Private sector partnership should be encouraged to fund programs to ensure quality of programme in the universities. Independent agencies should be engaged to monitor the activities of accreditation teams to avoid bias.

Keywords: Quality assurance, Accreditation, physical facilities, staffing, national universities commission

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11 Quality Assurances for an On-Board Imaging System of a Linear Accelerator: Five Months Data Analysis

Authors: Liyun Chang, Cheng-Hsiang Tsai

Abstract:

To ensure the radiation precisely delivering to the target of cancer patients, the linear accelerator equipped with the pretreatment on-board imaging system is introduced and through it the patient setup is verified before the daily treatment. New generation radiotherapy using beam-intensity modulation, usually associated the treatment with steep dose gradients, claimed to have achieved both a higher degree of dose conformation in the targets and a further reduction of toxicity in normal tissues. However, this benefit is counterproductive if the beam is delivered imprecisely. To avoid shooting critical organs or normal tissues rather than the target, it is very important to carry out the quality assurance (QA) of this on-board imaging system. The QA of the On-Board Imager® (OBI) system of one Varian Clinac-iX linear accelerator was performed through our procedures modified from a relevant report and AAPM TG142. Two image modalities, 2D radiography and 3D cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT), of the OBI system were examined. The daily and monthly QA was executed for five months in the categories of safety, geometrical accuracy and image quality. A marker phantom and a blade calibration plate were used for the QA of geometrical accuracy, while the Leeds phantom and Catphan 504 phantom were used in the QA of radiographic and CBCT image quality, respectively. The reference images were generated through a GE LightSpeed CT simulator with an ADAC Pinnacle treatment planning system. Finally, the image quality was analyzed via an OsiriX medical imaging system. For the geometrical accuracy test, the average deviations of the OBI isocenter in each direction are less than 0.6 mm with uncertainties less than 0.2 mm, while all the other items have the displacements less than 1 mm. For radiographic image quality, the spatial resolution is 1.6 lp/cm with contrasts less than 2.2%. The spatial resolution, low contrast, and HU homogenous of CBCT are larger than 6 lp/cm, less than 1% and within 20 HU, respectively. All tests are within the criteria, except the HU value of Teflon measured with the full fan mode exceeding the suggested value that could be due to itself high HU value and needed to be rechecked. The OBI system in our facility was then demonstrated to be reliable with stable image quality. The QA of OBI system is really necessary to achieve the best treatment for a patient.

Keywords: Quality assurance, Image Quality, CBCT, OBI

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10 Dose Profiler: A Tracking Device for Online Range Monitoring in Particle Therapy

Authors: V. Patera, A. Sarti, A. Sciubba, G. Traini, M. Marafini, G. Battistoni, F. Collamati, E. De Lucia, R. Faccini, C. Mancini-Terracciano, I. Mattei, S. Muraro, E. Solfaroli Camillocci, M. Toppi, S. M. Valle, C. Voena

Abstract:

Accelerated charged particles, mainly protons and carbon ions, are presently used in Particle Therapy (PT) to treat solid tumors. The precision of PT exploiting the charged particle high localized dose deposition in tissues and biological effectiveness in killing cancer cells demands for an online dose monitoring technique, crucial to improve the quality assurance of treatments: possible patient mis-positionings and biological changes with respect to the CT scan could negatively affect the therapy outcome. In PT the beam range confined in the irradiated target can be monitored thanks to the secondary radiation produced by the interaction of the projectiles with the patient tissue. The Dose Profiler (DP) is a novel device designed to track charged secondary particles and reconstruct their longitudinal emission distribution, correlated to the Bragg peak position. The feasibility of this approach has been demonstrated by dedicated experimental measurements. The DP has been developed in the framework of the INSIDE project, MIUR, INFN and Centro Fermi, Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche 'E. Fermi', Roma, Italy and will be tested at the Proton Therapy center of Trento (Italy) within the end of 2017. The DP combines a tracker, made of six layers of two-view scintillating fibers with square cross section (0.5 x 0.5 mm2) with two layers of two-view scintillating bars (section 12.0 x 0.6 mm2). The electronic readout is performed by silicon photomultipliers. The sensitive area of the tracking planes is 20 x 20 cm2. To optimize the detector layout, a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation based on the FLUKA code has been developed. The complete DP geometry and the track reconstruction code have been fully implemented in the MC. In this contribution, the DP hardware will be described. The expected detector performance computed using a dedicated simulation of a 220 MeV/u carbon ion beam impinging on a PMMA target will be presented, and the result will be discussed in the standard clinical application framework. A possible procedure for real-time beam range monitoring is proposed, following the expectations in actual clinical operation.

Keywords: Quality assurance, particle therapy, tracking detector, online range monitoring

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9 System Analysis of Quality Assurance in Online Education

Authors: Kuan-Chou Chen, Keh-Wen Carin Chuang

Abstract:

Our society is in a constant state of change. Technology advancements continue to affect our daily lives. How we work, communicate and entertain ourselves has changed dramatically in the past decades. As our society learns to accept and adapt to the many different technological advances that seem to inundate every part of our lives, the education institutions must migrate from traditional methods of instruction to online education in order to take full advantage of the opportunities provided by these technology advancements. There are many benefits that can be gained for university and society from offering online programs by utilizing advanced technologies. But the programs must not be implemented carelessly. The key to providing a quality online program is the issue of perceived quality, which takes into account the viewpoint of all stakeholders involved. To truly ensure the institutional quality, however, a systemic view of all factors contributing to the quality must be analyzed and linked to one another — allowing education administrators to understand how each factor contributes to the perceived quality of online education. The perceived quality of an online program will be positively reinforced only through an organizational-wide effort that focuses on managed administration, augmenting online program branding, skilled faculty, supportive alumni, student satisfaction, and effective delivery systems — each of which is vital to a quality online program. This study focuses on the concept of quality assurance in the start-up, implementation, and sustainability of online education. A case of online MBA program will be analyzed to explore the quality assurance. The difficulties in promoting online education quality is the fact that universities are complex networks of disciplinary, social, economic, and political fiefdoms, both internal and external factors to the institutions. As such, the system analysis, a systems-thinking approach, on the issue of perceived quality is ideal to investigate the factors and how each factor contributes to the perceived quality in the online education domain.

Keywords: Online Education, Quality assurance, Systems Thinking, MBA program

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8 Inclusion and Changes of a Research Criterion in the Institute for Quality and Accreditation of Computing, Engineering and Technology Accreditation Model

Authors: J. Daniel Sanchez Ruiz

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The paper explains why and how a research criterion was included within an accreditation system for undergraduate engineering programs, in spite of not being a common practice of accreditation agencies at a global level. This paper is divided into three parts. The first presents the context and the motivations that led the Institute for Quality and Accreditation of Computing, Engineering and Technology Programs (ICACIT) to add a research criterion. The second describes the criterion adopted and the feedback received during 2017 accreditation cycle. The third, the author proposes changes to the accreditation criteria that respond in a pertinent way to the results-based accreditation model and the national context. The author seeks to reconcile an outcome based accreditation model, aligned with the established by the International Engineering Alliance, with the particular context of higher education in Peru.

Keywords: Engineering Education, Research, Quality assurance, Accreditation

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7 Quality Assurance in Higher Education: Doha Institute for Graduate Studies as a Case Study

Authors: Ahmed Makhoukh

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Quality assurance (QA) has recently become a common practice, which is endorsed by most Higher Education (HE) institutions worldwide, due to the pressure of internal and external forces. One of the aims of this quality movement is to make the contribution of university education to socio-economic development highly significant. This entails that graduates are currently required have a high-quality profile, i.e., to be competent and master the 21st-century skills needed in the labor market. This wave of change, mostly imposed by globalization, has the effect that university education should be learner-centered in order to satisfy the different needs of students and meet the expectations of other stakeholders. Such a shift of focus on the student learning outcomes has led HE institutions to reconsider their strategic planning, their mission, the curriculum, the pedagogical competence of the academic staff, among other elements. To ensure that the overall institutional performance is on the right way, a QA system should be established to assume this task of checking regularly the extent to which the set of standards of evaluation are strictly respected as expected. This operation of QA has the advantage of proving the accountability of the institution, gaining the trust of the public with transparency and enjoying an international recognition. This is the case of Doha Institute (DI) for Graduate Studies, in Qatar, the object of the present study. The significance of this contribution is to show that the conception of quality has changed in this digital age, and the need to integrate a department responsible for QA in every HE institution to ensure educational quality, enhance learners and achieve academic leadership. Thus, to undertake the issue of QA in DI for Graduate Studies, an elite university (in the academic sense) that focuses on a small and selected number of students, a qualitative method will be adopted in the description and analysis of the data (document analysis). In an attempt to investigate the extent to which QA is achieved in Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, three broad indicators will be evaluated (input, process and learning outcomes). This investigation will be carried out in line with the UK Quality Code for Higher Education represented by Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).

Keywords: Higher Education, Standards, Quality, Quality assurance, Accreditation

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6 Quality Assurance in Translation Crowdsourcing: The TED Open Translation Project

Authors: Ya-Mei Chen

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The participatory culture enabled by Web 2.0 technologies has led to the emergence of online translation crowdsourcing, which mainly relies on the collective intelligence of volunteer translators. Due to the fact that many volunteer translators do not have formal translator training, concerns have been raised about the quality of crowdsourced translations. Some empirical research has been done to examine the translation quality of for-profit crowdsourcing initiatives. However, quality assurance of non-profit translation crowdsourcing has rarely been explored in detail. Using the TED Open Translation Project as a case study, this paper investigates how the translation-review-approval method adopted by TED can (1) direct the volunteer translators’ use of translation strategies as well as the reviewers’ adoption of revising strategies and (2) shape the final translation products. To well examine the actual effect of TED’s translation-review-approval method, this paper will focus on its two major quality assurance mechanisms, that is, TED’s style guidelines and quality review. Based on an anonymous questionnaire, this research will first explore whether the volunteer translators and reviewers are aware of the style guidelines and whether their use of translation strategies is similar to that advised in the guidelines. The questionnaire, which will be posted online, will consist of two parts: demographic information and translation strategies. The invitations to complete it will then be distributed through TED Translator Facebook groups. With an aim to investigate if the style guidelines have any substantial impacts on actual subtitling practices, a comparison will be made between the original English subtitles of 20 TED talks (each around 5 to 7 minutes) and their Chinese subtitle translations to identify regularly adopted strategies. Concerning the function of the reviewing stage, a comparative study will be conducted between the drafts of Chinese subtitles for 10 short English talks and the revised versions of these drafts so as to examine the actual revising strategies and their effect on translation quality. According to the results obtained from the questionnaire and textual comparisons, this paper will provide in-depth analysis of quality assurance of the TED Open Translation Project. It is hoped that this research, through a detailed investigation of non-profit translation crowdsourcing, can enable translation researchers and practitioners to have a better understanding of quality control in translation crowdsourcing in the digital age.

Keywords: Quality assurance, TED, translation crowdsourcing, volunteer translators

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5 An Audit on the Quality of Pre-Operative Intra-Oral Digital Radiographs Taken for Dental Extractions in a General Practice Setting

Authors: Gabrielle O'Donoghue

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Background: Pre-operative radiographs facilitate assessment and treatment planning in minor oral surgery. Quality assurance for dental radiography advocates the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle in collecting accurate diagnostic information. Aims: To audit the quality of digital intraoral periapicals (IOPAs) taken prior to dental extractions in a metropolitan general dental practice setting. Standards: The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) guidance outlines three grades of radiograph quality: excellent (Grade 1 > 70% of total exposures), diagnostically acceptable (Grade 2 <20%), and unacceptable (Grade 3 <10%). Methodology: A study of pre-operative radiographs taken prior to dental extractions across 12 private general dental practices in a large metropolitan area by 44 practitioners. A total of 725 extractions were assessed, allowing 258 IOPAs to be reviewed in one audit cycle. Results: First cycle: Of 258 IOPAs: 223(86.4%) scored Grade 1, 27(10.5%) Grade 2, and 8(3.1%) Grade 3. The standard was met. 35 dental extractions were performed without an available pre-operative radiograph. Action Plan & Recommendations: Results were distributed to all staff and a continuous professional development evening organized to outline recommendations to improve image quality. A second audit cycle is proposed at a six-month interval to review the recommendations and appraise results. Conclusion: The overall standard of radiographs met the published guidelines. A significant improvement in the number of procedures undertaken without pre-operative imaging is expected at a six-month interval period. An investigation into undiagnostic imaging and associated adverse patient outcomes is being considered. Maintenance of the standards achieved is predicted in the second audit cycle to ensure consistent high quality imaging.

Keywords: Oral Surgery, Audit, Quality assurance, Oral Radiology, periapical radiographs

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4 Development of Multi-Leaf Collimator-Based Isocenter Verification Tool Using Electrical Portal Imaging Device for Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Authors: Todsaporn Fuangrod, Chirapha Tannanonta, Sangutid Thongsawad, Panatda Intanin

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Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is a highly precision delivery technique that requires comprehensive quality assurance (QA) tests prior to treatment delivery. An isocenter of delivery beam plays a critical role that affect the treatment accuracy. The uncertainty of isocenter is traditionally accessed using circular cone equipment, Winston-Lutz (WL) phantom and film. This technique is considered time consuming and highly dependent on the observer. In this work, the development of multileaf collimator (MLC)-based isocenter verification tool using electronic portal imaging device (EPID) was proposed and evaluated. A mechanical isocenter alignment with ball bearing diameter 5 mm and circular cone diameter 10 mm fixed to gantry head defines the radiation field was set as the conventional WL test method. The conventional setup was to compare to the proposed setup; using MLC (10 x 10 mm) to define the radiation filed instead of cone. This represents more realistic delivery field than using circular cone equipment. The acquisition from electronic portal imaging device (EPID) and radiographic film were performed in both experiments. The gantry angles were set as following: 0°, 90°, 180° and 270°. A software tool was in-house developed using MATLAB/SIMULINK programming to determine the centroid of radiation field and shadow of WL phantom automatically. This presents higher accuracy than manual measurement. The deviation between centroid of both cone-based and MLC-based WL tests were quantified. To compare between film and EPID image, the deviation for all gantry angle was 0.26±0.19mm and 0.43±0.30 for cone-based and MLC-based WL tests. For the absolute deviation calculation on EPID images between cone and MLC-based WL test was 0.59±0.28 mm and the absolute deviation on film images was 0.14±0.13 mm. Therefore, the MLC-based isocenter verification using EPID present high sensitivity tool for SRS QA.

Keywords: Quality assurance, EPID, SrS, isocenter verification

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3 Impact of Quality Assurance Mechanisms on the Work Efficiency of Staff in the Educational Space of Georgia

Authors: B. Gechbaia, K. Goletiani, G. Gabedava, N. Mikeltadze

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At this stage, Georgia is a country which is actively involved in the European integration process, for which the primary priority is effective integration in the European education system. The modern Georgian higher education system is the process of establishing a new sociocultural reality, whose main priorities are determined by the Quality System as a continuous cycle of planning, implementation, checking and acting. Obviously, in this situation, the issue of management of education institutions comes out in the foreground, since the proper planning and implementation of personnel management processes is one of the main determinants of the company's performance. At the same time, one of the most important factors is the psychological comfort of the personnel, ensuring their protection and efficiency of stress management policy. The purpose of this research is to determine how intensely the relationship is between the psychological comfort of the personnel and the efficiency of the quality system in the institution as the quality assurance mechanisms of educational institutions affect the stability of personnel, prevention and management of the stressful situation. The research was carried out within the framework of the Internal Grant Project «The Role of Organizational Culture in the Process of Settlement of Management of Stress and Conflict, Georgian Reality and European Experience » of the Batumi Navigation Teaching University, based on the analysis of the survey results of target groups. The small-scale research conducted by us has revealed that the introduction of quality assurance system and its active implementation increased the quality of management of Georgian educational institutions, increased the level of universal engagement in internal and external processes and as a result, it has improved the quality of education as well as social and psychological comfort indicators of the society.

Keywords: Stress Management, Quality assurance, Effective Management, stability of personnel, psychological comfort

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2 Enhancing the Performance of Bug Reporting System by Handling Duplicate Reporting Reports: Artificial Intelligence Based Mantis

Authors: Muhammad Saad, Shah Muhammad Emaduddin, Afshan Saad

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Bug reporting systems are most important tool that guides regarding different maintenance activities in software engineering. Duplicate bug reports which describe the bugs and issues in bug reporting system repository increases processing time of bug triage that monitors all such activities and software programmers who are working and spending time on reports which were assigned by triage. These reports can reveal imperfections and degrade software quality. As there is a number of the potential duplicate bug reports increases, the number of bug reports in bug repository increases. Identifying duplicate bug reports help in decreasing development work load in fixing defects. However, it is difficult to manually identify all possible duplicates because of the huge number of already reported bug reports. In this paper, an artificial intelligence based system using Mantis is proposed to automatically detect duplicate bug reports. When new bugs are submitted to repository triages will mark it with a tag. It will investigate that whether it is a duplicate of an existing bug report by matching or not. Reports with duplicate tags will be eliminated from the repository which not only will improve the performance of the system but can also save cost and effort waste on bug triage and finding the duplicate bug.

Keywords: Quality assurance, tool, bug tracking, triager

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1 Quality and Quality Assurance in Education: Examining the Possible Relationship

Authors: Rodoula Stavroula Gkarnara, Nikolaos Andreadakis

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between quality and quality assurance in education. It constitutes a critical review of the bibliography regarding quality and its delimitation in the field of education, as well as the quality assurance in education and the approaches identified for its extensive study. The two prevailing and opposite views on the correlation of the two concepts are that on the one hand there is an inherent distance between these concepts as they are two separate terms and on the other hand they are interrelated and interdependent concepts that contribute to the improvement of quality in education. Finally, the last part of the paper, adopting the second view, refers to the contribution of quality assurance to quality, where it is pointed out that the first concept leads to the improvement of the latter by quality assurance being the means of feedback for the quality achieved.

Keywords: Education, Quality, Quality assurance, Quality improvement

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