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DSS FOR QAED: DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION

 

TITLE DSS FOR QAED: DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE IN EDUCATION
AUTHOR JINTANA KHEMPRASIT
DEGREE MASTER OF SCIENCE PROGRAMME IN COMPUTER SCIENCE
FACULTY FACULTY OF SCIENCE
ADVISOR JARERNSRI L. MITRPANONT
CO-ADVISOR SUKANYA PHONGSUPHAP
 
ABSTRACT
Recently, quality assurance is drawing the attention of the management from most higher education institutes. However, a tool to help evaluate the quality in education has not yet been developed, as it should be. In our research, a knowledge- based system was analyzed and designed to develop “A Decision Support System for Quality Assurance in Education” (DSS for QAED). We defined criteria and knowledge-based models used in quality assurance evaluation (QA) as based on the information and knowledge collected from many sources such as the Southern Regional Education Board of America and Australian University Quality Agency (AUQA), etc. Then, a structured situation diagram and dependency diagram were used as a tool to design rules. Criteria was created from 5 main areas to evaluate QAED. The five areas were programme of studies, student background information & survey results, university resources, quality of teachers, as well as funding for and amount of research. As a result, we developed a knowledge-based system, which comprised of approximately 400 if-then rules. Visual Rule Studio was used as an expert system shell to make inferences using forward chaining. A user interacts with the system through Visual Basic Interface using Active X Designer. A user can trace back the recommendation to find what factors are involved and what criteria are used. Additionally, our research also used benchmarking to evaluate the quality assurance in education at Australian universities called a McKinnon Benchmark, which consists of 67 benchmarks in 9 areas. A set of questions and answers were used to evaluate the QAED, so the Balanced Scorecard Technique was used to analyze the result. A user can trace back the recommendation to find what benchmarks are involved and what questions are used. The prototype was developed to work on Window 98, and was implemented by Visual Basic programming using Microsoft Access for database management. DSS for QAED was tested on data under different institute decision scenarios and case studies. The results show that the system performs all functions correctly and effectively. Finally, DSS for QAED can give information that helps support a decision about quality in education.
KEYWORD DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM / KNOWLEDGE BASED SYSTEM / EXPERT SYSTEM / RULE-BASED / QUALITY ASSURANCE / EDUCATION / BENCHMARKING / BALANCED SCORECARD

 

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