Prior to 2009, assessment activities at University of Bahrain occurred in various forms within the individual colleges and instructional programs respectively. However, there was no uniform, University-wide assessment system which documented assessment and use the results for improvement. The university has responded to the challenge of establishing a culture of assessment through the University Quality Assurance and Accreditation Center QAAC which was created during the academic year 2009-2010. The QAAC’s role is to lead and support quality improvement initiatives. The Quality Assurance Office QAO was also created at each college. This has resulted in a university-wide outcome-based assessment process to assess all of UOB’s academic programs and support units, practices, policies and planning to achieve and maintain optimal academic quality.
The framework which QAAC’s members were able to develop their activities over the year was laid out in the new University Strategic Plan 2009-2014. This gives them a long-term focus on a clear set of priorities. More specific assessment activities crucial to the effectiveness of the university in achieving its institutional goals are provided. Four of the twenty four strategic initiatives are assigned to the quality assurance leaderships.
In the academic year 2009/2010, every program at UOB was asked to map its program outcomes to these UILO’s, and the annual assessment that is planned for the next academic year (2010/2011) will then be used to measure the programs’ and the university’s success in achieving these outcomes.
As a major achievement in 2009/2010, for the first time in UOB’s history, all programs completed their core program specification items, including the specification of the program, mission, educational objectives PEO’s, outcomes PILO’s, stakeholders, and the mapping of these items. This enables all departments to start reviewing their academic programs in the upcoming year using performance indicators PI’s.