Assurance of learning and accreditations in business schools: an AACSB perspective

Mounir Kehal (Department of Business, Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences

ISSN: 1026-4116

Publication date: 25 October 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The post-globalization epoch has placed academic institutions internationally in competitive situations where knowledgeable, effective and capable decisions have come to provide the comparative edge. Academia has turned to explicit – and even conceptualizing on tacit – knowledge management to elaborate a systematic approach to develop and sustain the intellectual capital needed to succeed, in response to the employment market demand for its products. To be able to do that, you must be able to visualize your organization as consisting of nothing but knowledge and knowledge flows. The use of web-based technologies in academic institutions for their diverse practices has been widespread in colleges and universities for several decades. These applications include surveying stakeholders, assessing classes, reporting on faculty development and assurance of learning (AoL) data to mention a few. Further advances have led to the integration of applications that not only enable the sharing of knowledge but which also support the reporting requirements necessary to obtain and retain accreditation, for example; likewise, satisfy the supply of intellectual capital to the employment marketplace. The purpose of this paper is to portray the relationship between AoL and accreditations at large in business schools, with the particular articulation of a modus operandi and relevant model that could facilitate curriculum improvement likewise.

Design/methodology/approach

Observational research (or field research) is a type of correlational (i.e. non-experimental) research in which a researcher observes ongoing behavior. There are a variety of types of observational research, each of which has both strengths and weaknesses. A select set of business schools and leading accreditation agencies have been observed and reported upon in pertinence with the expected practices and modus operandi toward assuring learning.

Findings

The use of web-based technologies in academic institutions for their diverse practices has been widespread in colleges and universities for several decades. These applications include surveying stakeholders, assessing classes, reporting on faculty development and AoL data to mention a few. Further advances have led to the integration of applications that not only enable the sharing of knowledge but which also support the reporting requirements necessary to obtain and retain accreditation; likewise, satisfy the supply of intellectual capital to the employment marketplace. In this paper, the author aims to portray the relationship between AoL and assessment at large with real-life examples and approaches.

Research limitations/implications

Observational research types are organized by the extent to which an experimenter intrudes upon or controls the environment. Observational research is particularly prevalent in the social sciences. It is a social research technique that involves the direct observation of phenomena in their natural setting. This differentiates it from experimental research in which a quasi-artificial environment is created to control for spurious factors, and where at least one of the variables is manipulated as part of the experiment. Henceforth, other research methods may be engaged in to quantify and investigate the phenomenon of AoL vs international practices reported upon as per internal and external forces acting on business schools.

Practical implications

The diversity of approaches followed by business schools and encouraged by accreditations agencies is immense and at times may be connected to the choices such schools make as to how they ought to measure the learning curves of their constituents. Herein, a practical AoL approach is transcribed, as liaised with assessment and evaluation data.

Social implications

Academia has turned to explicit – and even conceptualizing on tacit – knowledge management to elaborate a systematic approach to develop and sustain the intellectual capital needed to succeed, in response to the employment market demand for its academic products and services. To be able to do that, you must be able to visualize your organization as consisting of nothing but knowledge and knowledge flows.

Originality/value

This research is conceptualized upon as per the international standards and expectations from the field with an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business framework in mind and aims to link AoL to curriculum management and through e-Assessment in a practical manner.

Keywords

Citation

Kehal, M. (2019), "Assurance of learning and accreditations in business schools: an AACSB perspective", Journal of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEAS-06-2018-0066

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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