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Improving the quality of student assessment practices: a Saudi University case study

Wessam Mohamed (Centre for Quality of Assessment and Examinations, Vice Presidency Office for Academic Affairs, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Taghreed Almuqayteeb (College of Education, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Ibrahim Abd El Sattar (College of Education, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Taghreed Al-Ghamdi (College of Applied Medical Sciences, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)
Ghazi Alotaibi (College of Applied Medical Sciences, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)

Quality Assurance in Education

ISSN: 0968-4883

Article publication date: 19 June 2024

Issue publication date: 27 June 2024

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the best practices to institutionalize the internal quality of student assessment (SA) when a gap emerges between quality conceptualization and practice work, using Imam Abdul Rahman bin Faisal University (IAU) as a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

A single-embedded case study research design chronologically presents key events of assuring and improving SA at IAU. It integrates quantitative and qualitative data to provide empirical evidence of changes in SA practices.

Findings

Over three years, evident improvements in SA practices resulted in more effective internal quality assurance strategies (e.g., faculty involvement) and the achievement of performance indicators.

Research limitations/implications

This study used data from informal observation and self-reports. Thus, it is suggested that future research should use in-depth (e.g. focus group) and diverse data sources from stakeholders (e.g. students) and use emerging global trends to assess SA quality.

Practical implications

Involving faculty as changing agents via accountability and training in assuring and improving SA quality leads to measurable improvements.

Social implications

A top-down approach alone is insufficient to assure and improve the quality of SA practices, so empowering faculty via involvement and training is inevitable.

Originality/value

The quality assurance of SA described in this practice-oriented case places IAU as a leading university in the region, contributes to the external quality assurance of SA, empowers Saudi graduates to compete in the labor market as aspired in Vision 2030 and adds to the literature on quality assurance of SA in a higher education context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The extensive help and commitment of numerous individuals and entities within the institution were necessary for the accomplishment of this research. Since 2018, the heads of units for the quality of assessment and examinations at IAU have been working as changing agents of student assessment practices at IAU colleges, and for that, the authors are truly grateful. Moreover, the authors would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the administration of IAU colleges, whose support and commitment guaranteed the fulfilment of the performance indicators of the student assessment practices.

Citation

Mohamed, W., Almuqayteeb, T., Abd El Sattar, I., Al-Ghamdi, T. and Alotaibi, G. (2024), "Improving the quality of student assessment practices: a Saudi University case study", Quality Assurance in Education, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 416-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAE-10-2022-0186

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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