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Best Practice Exchange between the ISEC Departments in the Framework of Quality Assurance and Management

March 19, 2024

On March 19, on the initiative of Narine Vardanyan, Head of the Quality Assurance Department of International Scientific-Educational Center of NAS RA, an extended session was arranged to showcase and share the best practices within the institution.

The event was attended by Yerjanik Zargaryan, Deputy Director for Educational Affairs of ISEC, Narine Vardanyan, the Head of the Quality Assurance Department, as well as heads and coordinators of ISEC various Departments.

The meeting’s agenda included a presentation of the best experience of ISEC NAS RA Departments, particularly, "Foreign Languages" and "Environmental Protection and Nature Management", which have been recognized as the best by external experts within the framework of education quality assurance.

In the opening speech, the Head of the Quality Assurance Department of ISEC, Narine Vardanyan assured that such kind of meetings would continue, leading to stronger bonds between the departments, joint cooperation and implementation of future collaborative projects. N.Vardanyan also emphasized that ISEC had already advanced to a new, qualitatively higher level of education management and maintenance, since the ISEC's various departments adopted the culture and core principles of quality assurance, thus, implementing assessment tools and quality management practices beyond the purview of the ISEC Quality Assurance Department.

Head of the ISEC Department of Foreign Languages, Gohar Grigoryan delivered a presentation of the internal quality assessment tools and methodologies by demonstrating the example of the Department of Foreign Languages. G. Grigoryan pointed out that an independent evaluation mechanism and tools were developed and implemented in the Department of Foreign Languages in addition to the semi-annual evaluation of the Quality Assurance Department, which makes it possible to regularly identify the students’ educational needs and conduct training based on these needs, also considering the specifics and terminology of the professional field. G.Grigoryan highlighted the use of mutual evaluation by professors, which allows to identify current issues that are not disclosed by other research and can be used to improve subject programs and descriptions. A sample of the questionnaire developed by the Department was also provided to the attendees.

Lilit Sahakyan, Head of the joint Department of ISEC and the Center for Ecologanospheric Research of NAS RA presented the benchmarking outcomes initiated and implemented by the Department of Environmental Protection and Nature Management based on a well-designed practice of curriculum reform. L. Sahakyan emphasized in her speech that the cornerstone of teaching is project-based learning, which contributes to the development of practical skills, enhance the benefits of field working and research activities for professional development, which in turn enables a smooth transition from knowledge consumption to knowledge creation. L. Sahakyan noted that workshops with employers were arranged within the framework of benchmarking, bringing forward the gaps in the curriculum and improving the syllabus and course descriptions, all while addressing the knowledge and skill gaps required for master education and assisting students in developing their research and analytical skills. The speaker gave a thorough presentation of the eight syllabuses that were revised as a result of analyzing and implementing international best practices.

In order to apply the advanced experience in their departments going forward, the department heads asked the speakers questions about their concerns during the lively discussion that followed the event. Numerous tips and recommendations were made which were recorded by the ISEC Quality Assurance Department and will be carried out with persistent effort. Additionally, an agreement was reached with the heads of departments to organize round-table discussions with the participation of employers in the near future aiming to ensure the curriculum with measurable learning outcomes that best meet the labor market requirements in the process of improvement.

ISEC NAS RA Department of Public Relations and Career