INDEPENDENT KAZAKH AGENCY FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION

Promoting excellence in education

Questions and Answers (Bologna Process)

Assessment

The total range of methods used to evaluate the learner’s achievement in a course unit or module. Typically, these methods include written, oral, laboratory, practical tests/examinations, projects, performances and portfolios. The evaluations may be used to enable the learners to evaluate their own progress and improve on previous performance (formative assessment) or by the institution to judge whether the learner has achieved the learning outcomes of the course unit or module (summative assessment).

Assessment Criteria

Descriptions of what the learner is expected to do and to what level, in order to demonstrate that a learning outcome has been achieved and to what extent. The criteria are usually related to the cycle and/or level descriptors for the module being studied in the discipline concerned.

Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG)

Ministers have entrusted the implementation of all the issues covered in the Berlin Communiqué, the overall steering of the Bologna Process and the preparation of the next ministerial meeting to the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG), formed in Berlin Conference in October, 2003. The Group is a key element and executive body of the Bologna Process. The BFUG is composed of the representatives of all member states of the Bologna Process and of some international organization as consultative members. BFUG meets at least twice a year, chaired by the EU Presidency, with the host country of the next Ministerial Conference as vice-chair. A Board, also chaired by the EU Presidency and with the next host country as vice-chair, will oversee the work between the meetings of the BFUG. The overall follow-up work will be supported by the Bologna Secretariat which the country hosting the next Ministerial Conference will provide.

Each member states of the Bologna Process has own national working group on the development of the Bologna Process.

Cohort (or class)

A group of students that started a particular degree programme or course at the same time.

Competences

Competences represent a dynamic combination of cognitive and metacognitive skills, knowledge and understanding, interpersonal, intellectual and practical skills, and ethical values. Fostering these competences is the object of all educational programmes. Competences are developed in all course units and assessed at different stages of a programme. Some competences are subject-area related (specific to a field of study), others are generic (common to any degree course).

Contact hour

A period of 45-60 minutes of teaching/learning activity in which a staff member is engaged face to face with a learner or group of learners.

Convergence

Convergence involves the voluntary recognition and adoption of general policies for the achievement of common goals. Convergence in the architecture of national educational systems is pursued in the Bologna process.

Course unit

A self-contained, formally structured learning experience. It should have a coherent and explicit set of learning outcomes, expressed in terms of competences to be obtained, and appropriate assessment criteria. Course units can have different numbers of credits.

Credit

The ‘currency’ used to measure student workload in terms of the time required to achieve specified learning outcomes and the associated workload measured in time. Credit can be awarded to a learner in recognition of the verified achievement of designated outcomes at a specific level through work based learning or prior learning.

Credit accumulation

In a credit accumulation system a specified number of credits must be obtained in order to complete successfully a study programme or part thereof, according to the requirements of the programme. Credits are awarded and accumulated only when the successful achievement of the required learning outcomes is confirmed by assessment. Learners can use the credit accumulation system to transfer or ‘cash in’ credits achieved from work-based learning/different programmes within and between educational institutions. Credits are also transferable between programmes in the same institution, between different institutions within the same country, or internationally. The process allows learners to study individual units and modules without immediately achieving an academic award.

Credit framework

A system that facilitates the measurement and comparison of learning outcomes achieved in the context of different qualifications, programmes of study and learning environments on the basis of student workload measured in time.

Criterion-referenced assessment

In this form of assessment particular outcomes, i.e. knowledge, understanding, skills, abilities and/or attitudes are specified as criteria for ‘passing’ the assessment. Criterion referenced assessment can be associated with the desired and/or ‘threshold minimum’ of the learning outcome to be achieved.

Cycle (level) descriptors

Generic statements of the broad expected outcomes of each of the three cycles, defined in the Bologna Process.

Cycles

All European higher education qualifications are located within three cycles (the first cycle, the second cycle, the third cycle), defined in the Bologna Process.

Degree

A formal qualification awarded by a higher education institution after successful completion of a prescribed study programme. In a credit accumulation system the programme is completed through the accumulation of a specified number of credits awarded for the achievement of a specific set of learning outcomes.

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