Student Handbook

We are happy to support you with any kind of difficulty while using GC Academy courses. Please send your support request explaining your difficulty to e[email protected]

The GC Academy Management will get in touch with you in 24 hours during the business hours.

 

The language of daily communication with GC Academy management and staff is ENGLISH. Please, use the google translate service to manage the communication in your language.

You can change the settings of your CHROME browser to tranlate the platform in your langauge if it is avalable.

The students of GC Academy Courses have the opportunity to monitor their study progress at any the time. The Platform includes the feature “Online Result” in the profile “My Courses” section of every student. This feature can be accessed only after the student has signed in.

The “Online Result” feature generates a PDF document that shows the achieved result/grades of the student. The generated information provides the period of the semester, title, date and the result of the subject. In this PDF document, the Platform provides the best result that the student has achieved during the tests (if applicable).

The students can also monitor the results of  the relevan Tests. This information is available in the “Test Details” feature.

If the student has any doubt or missing information, the GC Academy Management can provide them explanation requested by the student. Such request has to be sent to [email protected]

The interested students have to complete the signup and payment procedure before starting the course.

The students must use their personal email address to access the GC Academy platform. NO email address of any company or organisation is accepted; it is highly recommended to set up a GMAIL address for this course (https://accounts.google.com/signup).

Follow the guide hereunder that helps the sign-up procedure.

Registered students must click on the "Sign in" button in the top right corner of the Platform. Type in your username, which is the email address used during “Sign-up” and the password, then click on "Sign in".

If the student has forgotten the password that was given during sign-up, the following steps to follow:

  1. Go to sign in and scroll down to the username and password window.
  2. Under these windows, you will see the function titled "Forgot password?" and click on it.
  3. Add your email address, click on "Send" and check your email account.
  4. Follow the instructions of the email to change your password.

Every GC Academy Course may have one or more assigned instructor/lecturer/tutor. The name and the picture of the instructors/lecturers/tutors are available in the Course side. The students can also receive information about the instructor/lecturer/tutor by reviewing the profile.

The GC Academy platform provides different features of communication between the students and the instructor/lecturer/tutor.

The Forum post is available for every student to submit any question or query that is related to each module/subject. The Forum post feature provides the discussion for all the students enrolled in the same course at the same time. The instructor/lecturer/tutor provide guidance and explanation for the students answering the questions or query submitted by a student.

Translation device of the Forum post provides flexibility for the students to submit their question in the language they speak.

The students also can contact the instructor/lecturer/tutor directly.

The chat features of the Forum serve this possibility. Students can also send a personal email message to the instructor/lecturer/tutor directly. The email address of the instructor/lecturer/tutor is available in the course site of the platform.

The subject of the Forum post and the direct email messages can cover questions and queries included but not limited to issues of guidance in study skills, finding resources and counselling.

Meeting between a student and the instructor/lecturer/tutor can be scheduled on an individual basis. Since the students of GC Academy are coming from all over the world and live in different time zones, such a meeting must be scheduled carefully.

The GC Academy platform provides the feature of a live session via the Wowza feature that is embedded in the Platform.

The students of  GC Academy Course can provide their feedback after the Course is completed.

Every GC Academy Course has a specific online questionnaire where the students can express their opinion online anonymously. The feedback form can be completed up to 4 weeks after the Course concluded. This deadline is indicated in the invitation for the questionnaire.

The students receive an invitation for the questionnaire by email, where they can use the link that connects to the online form. The survey has mandatory and free questions. Every section of the poll also includes the possibility where the student can express their notes and proposals.

The GC Academy Management evaluated the completed feedback forms and stored in the database. The highlighted summary of the results is presented in a PowerPoint format and circulated among the instructors/tutors of the course for review. The GC Academy Management highlights the findings that require attention for the instructors/lecturers/tutors. The GC Academy Management hold a meeting for the discussion of the results and find the solution if necessary.

The students of GC Academy have the possibility to complain and appeal against any decision taken by the GC Academy Management including the results of tests, assignment and practical scores if applicable. Any complain or appeal shall be submitted to the platform, using the “Contact us” link that is available on the main page. The students shall select the "General Complaint" or “Appeal” in “Select topic” drop-down menu. A detailed description shall be posted and sent to the GC Academy Management. This email will automatically be sent to the [email protected] address.

The submitted message of complaint or appeal will be handled by the GC Academy Management. The proposal of solution regarding the submitted complaint or appeal of the students is circulated among the instructor/lecturer/tutor and the GC Academy Education Director for final approval of the decision. In case of an appeal the GC Director will inform three (3) external member committee to decide on the case. The appeals committee decision is a final decision.

The GC Academic Education Director will send the final decision of the submitted appeal and handles the appropriate administration if necessary in the database of the student who submitted the appeal.

The GC Academy Courses are designed in the way that students can study using the online platform anywhere and anytime. If students face scheduling difficulty in completing the course within the timeframe of the given semester (if applicable), they can request the completion of the missing Tests during the upcoming scheduled semester (if available).

It is important that every student must finish the GC Academy course(s) within 12 months from the date of their sign-up/registration. After the 12 months, the course results will expire and the student has to start all over again from the very beginning of the course.

Students must send a letter to [email protected] to submit such intention.

 

Students must send a letter to [email protected] if they intend terminate the course.

The platform is designed for desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

The tests and assignment uploads can only be completed online. The period for these tests is available from the date when the trial opens until the end of the Semester. This flexibility will provide a comfortable choice when the test is completed during the given period. The period for the assignment uploads is indicated in the space where the upload to be completed.

Every lecture includes learning material for download. The students can download the suggested content that can be used offline. The list of the downloadable content is available in every module page of the Platform.

Some courses do require to activate the web camera of the used devices. Although the camera option works for tablet and mobile devices only on the Android platform, above version 4.0. The test application requiring web camera works on desktop computers (internal or external camera) and laptops with web camera. It is recommended to use the CHROME browser for the use of the camera test option.

When a Video Test option is active, the students have to allow their laptop and/or desktop computers to access the camera.

The GC Academy course certificates are delivered directly to the students only by email in PDF format. The certificates are only delivered if the student has completed all the necessary requirements of course completion.

Students can also find the copy of your certificate(s) in the Profile section where they can download it any time.

The transcript can be downloaded in the Profile section from “My Courses” using the “Final Results” feature in the Platform if applicable.

 

Title of Qualification - Postgraduate certificate in Internal Quality Assurance for Higher Education

Level of Qualification - Level 7 - EQF

Hours of Total Learning - 850

Contact Hours - 120        

Self-Study Hours - 510

Assessment Hours - 220

Number of ECTS - 34

Course duration: 6 months (Full-time) - 1 year (Part-time)

Course type: Full-time/Part-time

The Level 7 Postgraduate Certificae in Quality Assurance course aspires to prepare students who are interested in developing a career in quality Assurance or who are already working in an educational institution and want to further their academic and practical knowledge to a Level 7 in this field.

  1. An EQF Level 6 or equivalent or
  2. Mature student over 21 years of age or
  3. Through Recognised Prior Learning (RPL).
  4. The  students have to meet minimum C1 Level ( IELT 6.5 and 7.5) in English.
The Learner will be able to:
 
  • Comprehend knowledge about Quality assurance, Quality enhancement, the quality cycle and policies and procedures.
  • Comprehend the ENQA standards and added standards of Probity and Internationalisation for Internal Quality Assurance
  • Comprehend theories as basis to standards and how this forms the basis of developing and applying ideas.
  • Apply the Theory to practice by using a toolkit, but also creating original questions for internal audit purposes.
  • Apply the theory to practice by demonstrating mastery of knowledge and skills in managing people and projects.
  • Communicate to specialist and non-specialist ( including the general public) audiences through reports and discussions.
  • Perform critical evaluations and analysis to come to his own judgement and assume his position on the standards and other work of his peers
  • Research and carry out a final piece of research as a position paper on any topic related to Internal Quality assurance
  • Develop new skills in auditing with response to the ENQA standards and the newly added Probity and Internationalisation in a way to demonstrate the leadership skills required for report writing and its defence.
  • Audit an Educational Institution and its programmes through his research.
  • Manage an Educational Institution at various leadership roles in different cultural contexts or Manage an Internal quality assurance Unit.
  • Demonstrate autonomy by researching on the standards and come to a personal position in auditing.
  • Learn skills to allow him to continue studying and go onto other related programmes or for work purposes.

This is a unique course in Quality Assurance since it combines the Academic element with hands-on practical elements.  The course is being offered to contribute to the professionalisation of Quality Assurance as a subject.

Learning outcomes for communication skills for the whole course:

Communicating questions adequately and writing a self-assessment report to be understood by the general public.

Learning outcomes for learning skills for the whole course:

  1. Pursue further education in Quality Assurance.
  2. Comply with gathering information interpreting and implementing data in the field to be used for enhancement purposes.
  3. Apply and use information and communication as required in this area of study.

Assessments

  1. Each module will be assessed according to the written module template.
  2. Each module is a Pass or Fail with the exception of the 10th module which is the Long Essay and is assessed with marks out of 100.
  3. The overall mark is a Pass in all modules and students must achieve 50% in the long Essay for the full qualification to be given.
  4. Students failing to obtain a Pass have the chance to repeat the module at the next available opportunity.  Failure in the Long Essay will be as above.

Assignments/Tasks

  1. All assignments (questions, discussion boards etc) must be submitted per deadlines as disseminated to the students before the start of the course.
  2. Students who for some reason or other who cannot hand their assignments on time have the Mitigating policy and Procedure to abide by.
  3. Any student who does not agree with the result can apply the Complaint Policy and Procedure.  After the result which may not be satisfactory to the student, the Appeals Policy and Procedure can be applied.

Long Essay

  1. The long Essay must be uploaded on the plagiarism software.  A soft copy of the Long Essay is to be provided to an external examiner. 
  2. Students who have to re-do the Long Essay will be charged € 100.  The fee can vary along the years and each year this fee is revised.
  3. Students are not assisted by a tutor for the Long Essay but can ask for assistance from the lecturer since the lecturer is not the examiner. 
  4. All Long Essays are corrected by external examiners having an EQF level 7 certificate or above. 

This online course uses recorded webinars, power point presentations, inquiry-based questions and discussion boards.  Reflective thinking and planning will also be added to the overall learning objectives in order to encourage critical thinking as part of effective experiential learning.

Types of assessment which will be used

  • Long Essay
  • Reports
  • Questions
  • Discussion
  • Critical analysis
  • Creating toolkit questions

 

QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION

Hello and welcome to the Quality Assurance Postgraduate Certificate.  My name is Gino Schiavone and I am the Head of Internal Quality assurance office in a Maltese Educational Institution.  I am also an external quality assurance auditor.

This Quality Assurance Postgraduate Certificate is made up of 10 modules.  Each module can be completed online in three/ two weeks except the 10th module which takes longer, because it is the module for the long essay.

The modules are:

  1. Strategy, policies and procedures
  2. Probity and internationalization
  3. Design and approval of programmes
  4. Student-centred learning, teaching and assessment
  5. Student admission, progression, recognition and certification
  6. Competence of teaching staff
  7. Learning resources and student support
  8. Information management and on-going monitoring and periodic review of programmes
  9. Public information
  10. Long-essay

Why should you apply?

This programme is ideal for all those who want to work or are already working in quality Assurance and also for managers or heads of departments, schools, institutions, faculties and universities.  Employers and employees in education need to be highly competent in Quality Assurance in today’s world.  You will learn how to audit an educational institution against the European standards and more. This course is also ideal for Management.

If you are interested in Quality Assurance we have this course to help you achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality Assurance is a way of improving the internal environment and processes such that the effectiveness of learning and teaching can be ensured to achieve the planned goals.  You will be able to make sure through your work that the education services satisfy the needs of stakeholders and are accountable to the public.  Your professional job will be exactly this by ensuring that the aims, content, practices and outcomes of education are fit for purpose and for the future of new generations.

This Quality Assurance course will give you exactly that; the professional ability to quality assure education.

The GC Academy Management values research as part of learning and the long essay is a research module on quality assurance at EQF level 7.

Long Essay Procedure

The students can access information on Research Methods on the website and can ask other information through emails and integrated chat and forum discussion panels.

Students are requested to propose a title for their research and are assisted by their lecturers for feedback.  A proper template is circulated to all students to submit the title and additional information (see template).  An assessor is assigned to every student to assess the long essay.  The long essay marking scheme is also found on the website as the long essay is not just a pass/fail module but is assigned marks/percentage with assessor’s feedback.

The long essay should be between 5,000 – 6,000 words.  Appendices, bibliography and other references do not count as part of the word count.

Students exceeding the above parameters will be penalised 5% of the marks.

The final mark will be communicated to the students with a maximum of two months after submission.

GC Academy Management is against plagiarism and conducts a procedure in place for the long essay.

Staff and students are made aware that plagiarism is not accepted through a Welcome email with reference to the Policy and Procedure on the website. In the case the GC Academy Management and the lecturer find evidence that students work has been plagiarized then the student will be informed by an email. In the first instance, the student is given a chance to resubmit without capping marks. In the second instance, the student is given a chance, but his pass mark will be capped at 60%. In the third instance, the student will not get his award or qualification.

The Long Essay in Quality Assurance (Education) will be formally graded

In all cases we will use the Global Connect Academy grading scheme (below), with reference to criteria devised (below):

Grade A 80-100%

  • Excellent identification of the problem, in its real-world context
  • Highly relevant examples or evidence to illustrate the problem
  • Excellent grasp of research, concepts and theories relevant to the problem
  • Excellent critique of how far the theory or research used explains the problem
  • Strong integration of disparate evidence, concepts and theories
  • Highly persuasive and actionable proposals to address the problem
  • Excellent logical structure and very well written
  • Correctly cited references.

Grade B 61-79%

  • Good, clear identification of the problem, in its real-world context
  • Relevant examples or evidence to illustrate the problem
  • Good grasp of research, concepts and theories relevant to the problem
  • No critique of how far the theory or research used explains the problem
  • Good use of disparate evidence, concepts and theories, but no integration
  • Plausible and actionable proposals to address the problem
  • Good logical structure and well written
  • Correctly cited references.

Grade C 45-60%

  • Narrow or vague identification of the problem and its context
  • Limited relevance of examples or evidence to illustrate the problem
  • Limited but not misguided grasp of research, concepts or theories relevant to the problem
  • No critique of how far the theory or research used explains the problem
  • Very limited use of disparate evidence, concepts or theories, and no integration
  • Barely plausible but not unworkable proposals to address the problem
  • Acceptable logical structure and quality of writing
  • Correctly cited references but may contain minor errors.

The Essay will be evaluated by qualified external assesors. The external assesors are all qualified at a minimum of Level 7 and experienced in Quality assurance or equivalent like ISO auditors.

Dear Students,

Please, the GC Academy Management will send you the WORD document as below. After you have completed the form, please send it back to Mr Gino SCHIAVONE by email to [email protected]

Thank you for your cooperation.

Minimum full qualification pegged at MQF Level 7, together with 5 years of experience in teaching in a related area and minimum of 5 years working in Quality Assurance. Experience of online tutoring is recommended.
 
OR
 
Minimum full qualification pegged at MQF Level 6, together with 10 years of experience teaching in a related area and a minimum of 5 years working in Quality Assurance. Experience of online tutoring is recommended.
 
N.B: This is an up and coming discipline with no Internal Quality Assurance formal courses in Europe delivered in English (with 34 ECTS). Therefore, Lecturers have to be selected with experience in Quality Assurance for content delivery.