Α.ΔΙ.Π. EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION ATHENS UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS - PDF

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1 ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΣΙΑ Α.ΔΙ.Π. ΑΡΥΗ ΔΙΑΦΑΛΙΗ ΠΟΙΟΣΗΣΑ ΑΝΩΣΑΣΗ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΤΗ HELLENIC REPUBLIC H.Q.A.A. HELLENIC QUALITY ASSURANCE AGENCY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING

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1 ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΣΙΑ Α.ΔΙ.Π. ΑΡΥΗ ΔΙΑΦΑΛΙΗ ΠΟΙΟΣΗΣΑ ΑΝΩΣΑΣΗ ΕΚΠΑΙΔΕΤΗ HELLENIC REPUBLIC H.Q.A.A. HELLENIC QUALITY ASSURANCE AGENCY FOR HIGHER EDUCATION EXTERNAL EVALUATION REPORT DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION ATHENS UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS June 25, 2010 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS The External Evaluation Committee Introduction I. The External Evaluation Procedure Brief account of documents examined, of the Site Visit, meetings and facilities visited. II. The Internal Evaluation Procedure Comments on the quality and completeness of the documentation provided and on the overall acceptance of and participation in the Quality Assurance procedures by the Department. Α. Curriculum APPROACH Goals and objectives of the Curriculum, structure and content, intended learning outcomes. IMPLEMENTATION Rationality, functionality, effectiveness of the Curriculum. RESULTS Maximizing success and dealing with potential inhibiting factors. IMPROVEMENT Planned improvements. B. Teaching APPROACH: Pedagogic policy and methodology, means and resources. IMPLEMENTATION Quality and evaluation of teaching procedures, teaching materials and resources, mobility. RESULTS Efficacy of teaching, understanding of positive or negative results. IMPROVEMENT Proposed methods for improvement. C. Research APPROACH Research policy and main objectives. IMPLEMENTATION Research promotion and assessment, quality of support and infrastructure. RESULTS Research projects and collaborations, scientific publications and applied results. IMPROVEMENT Proposed initiatives aiming at improvement. 3 D. All Other Services APPROACH Quality and effectiveness of services provided by the Department. IMPLEMENTATION Organization and infrastructure of the Department s administration (e.g. secretariat of the Department). RESULTS Adequateness and functionality of administrative and other services. IMPROVEMENTS Proposed initiatives aiming at improvement. Collaboration with social, cultural and production organizations E. Strategic Planning, Perspectives for Improvement and Dealing with Potential Inhibiting Factors Short-, medium- and long-term goals and plans of action proposed by the Department. F. Final Conclusions and recommendations of the EEC on: The development and present situation of the Department, good practices and weaknesses identified through the External Evaluation process, recommendations for improvement. 4 External Evaluation Committee The Committee responsible for the External Evaluation of the Department of Marketing and Communication of the Athens University of Economics and Business consisted of the following five (5) expert evaluators drawn from the Registry constituted by the HQAA in accordance with Law 3374/2005 : 1. Professor Vakratsas Demetrios (Coordinator) McGill University, Canada 2. Professor Tsoulouhas Theofanis, North Carolina State University, USA 3. Professor Thanassoulis Emmanuel Aston University, Birmingham, UK 4. Mr. Koutsianas Nikolaos CEO, APIVITA Natural Products, Greece 5. Mr. Agis Pistiolas Head of Marketing and Exports Dpt, EV. GE. PISTIOLAS S.A., Greece 5 N.B. The structure of the Template proposed for the External Evaluation Report mirrors the requirements of Law 3374/2005 and corresponds overall to the structure of the Internal Evaluation Report submitted by the Department. The length of text in each box is free. Questions included in each box are not exclusive nor should they always be answered separately; they are meant to provide a general outline of matters that should be addressed by the Committee when formulating its comments. Introduction I. The External Evaluation Procedure The committee visited the department over a three-day period, Monday June 21 to Wednesday June 23, and met with Faculty members, the Rector and Vice-rectors as well as students from all degree programs; undergraduate, master s (full and parttime) and Ph. D. During the first day the committee attended a presentation by the Department, led by its chair, Professor Papavasiliou. The presentation was thorough and comprehensive and covered all the main points related to the evaluation including Curriculum, Teaching, Research, Services and outreach. The presentation was interactive and the members of the Faculty answered satisfactorily the questions the committee posed. Following the presentation the committee met with the Vice- Rector of Academic affairs and had a discussion about the various degree programs and possibilities of further exchange programs that will enhance the international reputation of the institution and, consequently, the department. On the second day the Committee met with a large number of Faculty members to discuss issues related to teaching and research as well as potential inhibiting factors both at the institutional and the state level. Subsequently the committee met with the University Rector. Unfortunately, the meeting was interrupted by a group of students that demanded to be present and persisted that committee members identify themselves because they were opposed to the presence of a practitioner member of the committee. The afternoon was taken up by a meeting with undergraduate students as well as graduates of the undergraduate program who discussed curriculum, teaching and infrastructure issues. The committee also visited the Secretariat of the Department as well as the undergraduate teaching facilities. On the third day, the Committee met with graduate students from all programs (Master s full and part-time, in Marketing and Communications, HR and PRIMA and the PhD program). The sessions were focused on curriculum and teaching issues as well as student needs. The following documents were provided to and examined by the committee: o o o o The Department s Internal Evaluation report (including tables with statistics on research productivity, average grades of graduating students, list of courses offered at various degree programs etc.) The Department s Power Point presentation The Department s newsletter on the research conducted by the Faculty including list of publication The Department s study guide 6 II. The Internal Evaluation Procedure The internal evaluation report was comprehensive with extensive appropriate supporting documentation including tables, figures etc. The committee would have liked to see more evidence regarding the placement of graduates and the career progression as well as the depth of research collaboration with other institutions (within and outside Greece) and the nature of the research projects undertaken by the faculty members. Overall, the Department has met the objectives of the evaluation process as evident from both the Internal Evaluation report and the site visit. 7 Α. Curriculum Undergraduate program. APPROACH The goal of the curriculum is to develop the knowledge and skills of students in the theories and practices of management, marketing, communication, human resource management and organizational behavior. The curriculum is designed in order to be responsive to the needs of society and the marketplace so that graduates of the undergraduate program can acquire vocational positions corresponding to their level of qualifications. The department has established an undergraduate curriculum committee which considers feedback of faculty members in order to propose curriculum revisions which are then forwarded to the general assembly for approval. The faculty pointed out that teaching evaluations are also considered in this process. The curriculum is consistent with the objectives stated above. The internal report explains that the department was created in its current form in 2002 after staff in the fields of Operational Research and Marketing left to join the then created Department of Management Science and Technology. The committee notes that the curriculum is not always implemented as designed, in that some elective courses may not be offered in certain years, i.e. they remain in the books often due to insufficient uptake by students. This is potentially due to the fact that a large number of courses are available while only a relatively small number of free electives are necessary to fulfill the degree requirements. The design of the curriculum should look for ways to minimize this problem. IMPLEMENTATION The undergraduate degree offers three options: Marketing, Communication and Mixed. The Marketing option is well structured and popular with students. The labeling of the communication option, on the other hand, does not reflect the HR/OB content of the program accurately. It includes a wide array of courses, both OBrelated and communication-related. Although it is understandable that communication includes both external (e.g. advertising and PR) as well as internal (intra-organizational) forms of communication, this may not be clear to the students especially in the initial stage of their studies, thus causing confusion. Perhaps a relabeling and even re-focusing of this option should be considered. Further, some students claimed that this option is more theoretical. They also mentioned that they felt the multi-media course is irrelevant. The great majority of courses are taught by full-time faculty members who are wellqualified and cover a wide range of topics. The curriculum is comparable to those offered by reputable international schools. Although classroom capacity appears adequate for the delivery of undergraduate courses, classrooms are not well maintained, have poor climate control and instructors frequently encounter audio visual (AV) problems. There are a good number of projects carried out either individually or within groups of students. This helps student exposure to the practice world and to teamwork. In the same vein students are also exposed to a number of case studies. A case course could be offered to further enhance the presentation and writing skills of students. The Department has established a flourishing exchange program at undergraduate level with universities in other countries (approximately 150 exchange agreements) 8 RESULTS and also participates in the ERASMUS program. This offers participating students the opportunity to experience education in foreign countries and share cross cultural experiences. The number of courses offered at the undergraduate level is rather extensive. This can lead to some elective courses being poorly attended. Further, the flexibility given to students to register for courses beyond the minimum number required for the degree, and the ability to then drop excess courses at short notice, complicates planning for class sizes and avoidance of timetable clashes. There is no formal process for following up the placement and career paths of students after their graduation and this is a priority the department should set. However, the department reports that in a relevant research undertaken, there is a sense of appreciation of degree by the marketplace. The department should pursue further quantification of the effectiveness of the undergraduate program by closely monitoring graduate initial placement and career progression through an ongoing formal process. IMPROVEMENT Core courses for the first three years of studies overlap with courses of other Departments. Certain courses taught by different departments are virtually identical. The possibility to teach core courses jointly with larger classes and exploit economies of scale at university level, without detriment to the quality of student experience, should be considered. The committee recommends establishing the position of Program Director for the undergraduate degree who will oversee general curriculum issues such as content, delivery and student experience on an ongoing basis, and report to the Department. He or she may at times initiate changes to the curriculum to keep it up to date. Undergraduate programs would benefit from the integration of quantitative methods within the marketing courses. More exposure of students to finance and accounting concepts would also be beneficial. 9 Α. Curriculum Graduate and doctoral programs. APPROACH The goal of the curriculum of the Master s programs is to provide students with highly specialized skills in the degree subjects. The recently launched PRIMA program also aims at offering international experience to students via exchanges with international participating institutions. The curriculum is consistent with these objectives except that in the case of the PRIMA program, students voiced some concerns as they encountered difficulties in securing an exchange. The committee acknowledges that this could be due to the recency of the program but the department should take great care in smoothing out such glitches. The curricula of all Master s programs are generally well-structured and designed with specific sets of admission criteria. They are well-designed for developing student skills in the areas of marketing, human resource management and communication. However, as with the case of the undergraduate program, in the case of the Marketing and Communications with New Technologies (MENT) Master s some elective courses may not be offered due to insufficient uptake by students. The goal of the doctoral program is to train students to acquire a high level of skills in order to be able to conduct high quality research and become faculty members in reputable universities. There is no formal curriculum as there are no courses offered at the doctoral level which is a concern especially for research tools and academic writing courses or seminars. Doctoral students also voiced such concerns in the committee s meeting with them. IMPLEMENTATION The courses are taught by well-qualified full-time faculty members and cover a wide range of topics. The curriculum is comparable to those offered by reputable international schools. The building infrastructure for the delivery of graduate courses is satisfactory, with the classrooms used being comparable to those of many international institutions. Students of graduate programs are exposed to a great deal of case studies and the balance between practical and theoretical content appears to be good. The practical dimension of the courses is further boosted by guest lectures delivered by top-level practitioners with vast experience in the business world. The delivery of courses within the part-time master s programs during only certain days of the week in block form is appealing for students working outside Athens and offers a valuable service for such students while enabling the university to increase its intake of graduate programs. The number of courses offered at the HR master s program is rather large. Students felt the large number of courses meant some interesting areas were not covered in sufficient depth. RESULTS There are no formal processes for monitoring the placement and career progression of both Master s and Ph.D. students and the Department should focus on putting some places to work as it will demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs. This is certainly 10 feasible due to the smaller number of graduates compared to the undergraduate program. The Department in its presentation to the committee has pointed out that the number of applications for the Master s programs has increased which should be considered as a good indicator of the program s effectiveness and reputation. IMPROVEMENT Graduate programs appear to operate to a large extent as separate entities in terms of resources (e.g. secretarial support, computer labs). There may be scope for pooling resources across degree programs to generate economies of scale and provide better services for students. Graduate programs would benefit from the integration of quantitative methods within the marketing courses. More exposure of students to finance and accounting concepts would also be beneficial. The minimum GMAT level of 600 points required for admission to the PhD program is adequate. In contrast we would recommend raising the minimum GMAT score of 550 points required for admission to the master s programs. As stated elsewhere, the role of PhD students is not clearly defined. There is a lack of an institutional framework that describes their duties and benefits. Although this may be an issue of state legislation, it forces Ph.D. students to heavily rely on their supervisors for any procedural matters including securing the appropriate resources to conduct research. 11 B. Teaching APPROACH: The Department has a well-defined pedagogic policy comparable to those followed by established international schools. Teaching methods consist of a mix of lectures, labs (or problem solving sessions), projects (group and individual) and practical training. Based on the Department s internal report, the average teaching staff to student ratio is approximately 1 to 24. A target for a ratio smaller than 20 is desirable. Overall, the collaboration between faculty and students seems to be adequate. Each student, at least at the Master s level, is assigned an advisor to guide him/her through his/her studies. Further comments are provided in the implementation section below. The Committee believes that classrooms in the main building (used for the teaching of undergraduate courses) are adequate in terms of basic standards such as appropriate desks and chairs; however, they are in grave need of basic maintenance such as cleaning and painting, as well as better climate control. For example, when the committee met with approximately two hundred undergraduate students in a classroom, the air conditioning was inadequate and the windows could not be opened. The situation is much improved at the building which is used for the teaching of master s programs. Again, further comments are provided in the implementation section below. With respect to the use of information technologies, there are computing and multimedia presentation resources available, but some are either dated or have reached the end of their usable lifespan so that they break down in high frequency. More specific comments include: Multi-media lab software is not up-to-date according to student claims. Access hours are limited due to the lack of resources in hiring after-hours staff. Faculty and students report technical problems with the use of projection and computer equipment. This could be problematic in case exams are delivered using the computer. Missing considerable lecture time due to non-operating audio-visual equipment was reported to be a frequent occurrence. Regarding the examination system, the Department relies on a combination of assessment methods, including problem solving questions, labs or problem solving sessions, research projects, final examinations and practical training. However, midterm exams are not typically offered in most courses. The inclusion of midterms could be a motivating factor in student learning, facilitate gradual learning and provide more opportunities to students to improve a low grade. Instead, the current system relies on allowing for multiple opportunities to retake the final exam, which is inconsistent with international practice. That is, instead of students taking a couple of midterms and a final, they are taking a final exam 12 multiple times until they pass it. IMPLEMENTATION The Department has 25 regular faculty members and 6 additional teaching or lab staff members. The Department uses the online eclass tool for the submission of material by the students and the dissemination of knowledge in general, as well as for the speedy turnaround of assignment feedback if properly used. The committee found that students are quite satisfied with the use of the tool. Faculty members are available to students via and hold a minimum of two office hours per week. Nevertheless, some students claimed that faculty access and responsiveness can be improved. Faculty is required to collect teaching evaluations at
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