4 – Design and Approval of Programmes

The Academy‚Äôs policy for the design and development of training programmes is based on a structured methodology which gives high relevance to the varied conditions in which work is undertaken as well as the wide range of organisations the Academy deals with. Therefore, the design process starts with a training needs analysis, allowing MACTT to identify the most needed skills in the labour market in liaison with the Stakeholders outlined thereto. The aim is to target the most appropriate audience through  the training programmes marketing strategy. This process   is usually carried out by the Director of Studies and/or Coordinator of Studies, together with the Legal Representative and the Head of Academy who design innovative and appealing training solutions responding to the actual needs while remaining in line with the national educational priorities. Stakeholders are also involved during the design process through the following methods:

  • One-to-one meetings with representatives of organisations on demand;
  • Informal discussions with representatives of organisations during fairs/events/B2Bs.

4.1.1      New Course / Programme Development or Renewal

MACTT aims to design high standard courses able to positively influence the professional performance of attendees, facilitating also the recognition of qualification. For this reason, MACTT courses are planned and designed on the basis of a learning outcomes approach, as approved by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education in Malta, clearly identifying skills, knowledge and competences that students will acquire by the end of the course. The MQF level of the certification is therefore identified on the basis of the national and European guidelines and ECTS are defined for each course and module composing it.

Therefore, when designing Programmes for accreditation or otherwise, MACTT abides by the NCFHE policies related to the Higher Education Course/Programme, including the appropriate resources and forms of assessments in programme design.

In order to accredit courses or programmes we ensure they are pegged to the Malta Qualifications Framework as indicated by the NCFHE process. More specifically, our training programmes design are in line with the following process:

  • Type of Course outlining the Qualification /
  • Mode of Delivery: Traditional/Face-to-Face Learning or Online/Blended
  • Title of the Qualification /
  • Proposed MQF Level including the Hours of Total Learning keeping in mind that the minimum number of total learning hours for accreditation is 25 hours of which at least 20% (5 hours for every ECTS) are contact hours or as otherwise established from time to time by
  • Total Contact Hours which include lectures, seminars, tutorials, participation in online forums, video-lectures and other learning activities, all of which are under the direction and control of an
  • Supervised Placement and Practice Hours which include hours the learner is supervised, coached or
  • Self-Study Hours which include the estimated workload of research and
  • Assessment Hours being: examinations, presentations, group work, projects
  • Outline the Total Learning Hours for the
  • In the case of online or blended learning, the contact hours delivered online and those face- to-face are
  • Percentage of Total Contact Hours delivered
  • Contract Hours: Delivered Online or Delivered Face-to-Face.
  • Total number of ECTS / ECVET for Course
  • Course Type and Duration: Full-Time / Part-Time in the number of lectures per week and the duration in
  • Course Rationale: explaining the reasoning behind offering this course, what is the marked need for this course, how this course fulfils these
  • Target Group: Indicating the sort of learners that are anticipated in joining this
  • Relationship to Occupation/s: we list the occupations for which this course prepares the student. Making reference to skills frameworks and/or occupational/professional standards wherever
  • Entry Requirements: when necessary we specify what requirements the students should have before joining this course in terms of qualifications, language and/or digital
  • Overall Course Objectives including: the overall knowledge, skills and competences acquired by the learner at the end of the
  • Learning Outcomes for Communication Skills for the whole course need to be
  • Learning Outcomes for Learning to Learn Skills for the whole course: these learning outcomes focus on the learner‚Äôs ability to pursue and plan future learning and self-development.

General Pedagogical Guidelines and Procedures for the course

MACTT considers an appropriate mix of teaching and / or learning methods that are fit for purpose and that allow learners with different learning styles and abilities to achieve mastery  (for more detailed information vide Section 10.1.1 Student Participation and Active Learning). Should the programme include an online learning component, from a pedagogical standpoint we select specific modes of delivery such as video-lectures, asynchronous vs synchronous discussions, peer-learning, connected learning amongst others. The digital methods selected need to demonstrate equivalent or superior to non-digital methods of teaching/learning or rather show examples to the theories being taught. Moreover, MACTT also evaluates the pedagogical methods employed by trainers using evaluations sheets, following which we critically analyse and make changes to the pedagogical methods used (For more information about our evaluation methods vide Section 4.2 Programme Design, Evaluation & Review).

General description of minimum qualifications for tutors / lecturers for the course

The tutors or lecturers need to have the appropriate qualifications to deliver the course for them to be involved in:

  1. Course Design and Content Development;
  2. Technical and Media Support;
  3. Teaching Course, Interacting and Supporting Learners;
  4. Providing support to persons in Teaching Course, and Interacting and Supporting Learners.

General assessment policy and procedures

MACTT considers an appropriate mix of assessment procedures that are fit for purpose and that allow learners with different learning styles and abilities to show mastery in the area of study. This includes: examinations; assignments; presentations; group work; and projects amongst other.

Methods for verifying student identity in online learning activities

Students fill in a registration form online requesting Personal Data such as the Name and Surname, Address, Email Address, Phone Number, Date of Birth and Identity Card/Passport number. Such Data is processed in line with the Data Protection Act (Cap. 440 of the Laws of Malta).

Outline of Course

  1. Module/Unit Title
  2. Compulsory or Elective
  3. ECTS/ECVETS
  4. Mode of Teaching (Lectures, workshop, placement, asynchronous forums, VLE )
  5. Mode of Assessment (Examination, assignment, project, reflective diary/blog )
  6. Total ECTS/ECVETS Requesting Accreditation
  7. Total ECTS/ECVETS for Course Completion
  8. Exit Awards/Qualifications

For each module / unit listed above

  1. Title of the Module / Unit
  2. Module / Unit Description: explaining the reasoning behind providing this module/unit and how it fits within the whole A breakdown of the module/unit’s content is also provided when necessary.
  3. Learning Outcomes:
    1. Competences: it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of having the responsibility and autonomy to master such
    2. Knowledge ‚Äď at the end of the module/unit the learner will have to the following: it is important to highlight what the learner will have been exposed to at the end of the module/unit in terms of knowledge
    3. Skills ‚Äď it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of skills
    4. Applying knowledge and understanding – it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of applying knowledge and understanding to a possible scenario or
    5. Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities: it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of Judgement and Critical skills such as: critical skills, dispositions, values and actions, or
    6. Module-Specific Communication Skills – it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of communication
    7. Module-Specific Learner Skills – it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of learner
    8. Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences – it is important to highlight what the learner will have acquired at the end of the module/unit in terms of digital
  4. Hours of Total Learning for this Module / Unit:
  • Total Contact Hours
  • Supervised Placement and Practice Hours
  • Self-Study Hours
  • Assessment Hours
  1. Total Number of ECTS / ECVET of this Module / Unit
  2. Outline of how the module/unit will be assessed including assessment weightings for the particular module (Example: Presentation: 40% and Assignment: 60%).
  3. Identify and describe the digital learning tools being used for your course and any other relevant
  4. Reading List: Both core and supplementary texts will be for Courses at MQF 5 and above more than one textbook/source will be used, presenting other viewpoints and perspectives as applicable. For texts/sources with different editions, the latest version is used. For courses at MQF 5 and above texts should not be older than 10 years, although this threshold may be too low for higher MQF Levels especially in particular content areas. The exception is ‚Äėclassic/canonical‚Äô texts, such as the original texts by Piaget in psychology or Plato‚Äôs Republic in Philosophy. Therefore, the following need to be provided:
    1. Core Reading List
    2. Supplementary Reading List
  5. Description of minimum formal qualifications and experience required to teach this Module/Unit. Additional Unit Qualifications for persons responsible for:
  • Course design and content development
  • Technical and media support;
  • Teaching course, and interacting and supporting learners;
  • Providing support to

4.1.2      Approval of New / Renewal of Courses

The previous section outlines the formal process for planning and approval of new/renewal of courses, based on the NCFHE requirements. Non-accredited courses follow the same course outline to ensure MACTT delivers training courses of high standards. As highlighted in Section 2.1, a new course stems from stakeholder consultation.

After the planning stage of the course is complete and drafted by the selected trainer, the implementation stage kicks in, whereby the Director of Studies and the Education Board review the course outline ensuring it meets the abovementioned criteria, and should it require accreditation, it is forwarded to NCFHE for accreditation, alternatively the course is marketed and developed by the trainer on the version approved by the Director of Studies and/or Coordinator of Studies and the Head of Academy. This same process is used to renew a course following the feedback received from stakeholders as well as students.

Furthermore, before launching a new course on the market, MACTT usually conducts an internal dry run of the training, via video call or face-to-face, to assess course contents and learning outcomes as well as teaching practices. Following this process, the course kicks off and is implemented and run for its duration. Contact with students and stakeholders is ensured for any informal feedback. An evaluation form is provided to students and employers of students that may have requested in-house training, assessing all aspects as highlighted in more detail in the next Section 4.2.

Finally, after an initial evaluation assessment and/or a public intake of the course, the Director  of Studies and/or Coordinator of Studies together with the Education Board decide whether approving/renewing the training programme. The criteria taken in consideration for this decision.

 

 

are the following: the number of students and their feedback after attending the course, the need and relevance of the specific skills provided by the course at international level, the offer of other training service providers, the economic advantage of running the course, the opportunity of covering the tuition fees with national or European funding schemes (i.e. the Erasmus+ Programme). Once it has been approved internally, the accreditation of the training programme with the National Commission for Further and Higher Education starts. This procedure is implemented by the Coordinator of Studies with the support of the Director of Studies and the supervision of the Education Board.

As far as students are concerned, they are both directly and indirectly involved in the design of training programmes: directly when they are requested to give feedback on a training after having attended it (the evaluation method used is the Kirkpatrick Model of Evaluation), therefore contributing to the improvement of the course as well as by being given the opportunity to provide feedback to MACTT throughout the course; informally when being represented by their employer if a specific course for in-house training is requested.

Another, informal, opportunity for students to be involved in programme design is actually requesting a specific training course not yet included in MACTT‚Äôs current offer: the Coordinator of Studies, who usually receive the requests, is in charge of presenting the request to the Head  of Academy and/or to the Education Board, who will evaluate the opportunity of designing a new training programme.

The courses are therefore, developed on the basis of the student‚Äôs specific needs and interests as well as on industrial needs and skills gaps following consultations with various stakeholders. To ensure the above as well as the evaluation of the pedagogy being used in the course delivery, we invite students to provide us with  feedback throughout the course they enrolled in, as well  as evaluate the training programme at the reaction stage using the Kirkpatrick‚Äôs Evaluation Model, which is a Four-Level Training Evaluation Model to analyse training effectiveness, that enables MACTT to objectively analyse effectiveness and impact of the training being delivered for the training to improve in future programmes.

The Kirkpatrick Four-Level Training Evaluation Model has four levels of evaluation, namely: Reaction; Learning; Behaviour; and Results.

The Kirkpatrick Model

  • Level 1: Reaction – The degree to which participants find the training favourable, engaging and relevant to their
  • Level 2: Learning – The degree to which participants acquire the intended knowledge, skills, attitude, confidence and commitment based on their participation in the
  • Level 3: Behaviour – The degree to which participants apply what they learned during training when they are back on the
  • Level 4: Results – The degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the training and the support and accountability

This student evaluation feedback form, together with the relevant stakeholders‚Äô feedback as described in Section 4.1.2 (Approval of New/Renewal of Courses) above, and as explained further in Section 14.2 (Quality Assurance Measures), is brought together for analysis, discussed during the MACTT Board Meeting and reviewed within the course context. Decisions are then taken, to improve the programme or course being delivered to ensure the best possible outcome for the students. Thereby completing the cyclical process of planning,  implementation, evaluation and review.

MACTT is strongly committed in obtaining the approval of its training programmes from the National Commission for Further and Higher Education in Malta. With this aim, the Academy abides by the rules, regulations and directives pertaining to customer engagement, quality assurance and provision of training that are issued from time to time by the NCFHE. Specifically concerning the communication, as a ‚Äėlicensed institution‚Äô MACTT respects all parameters of publicity both in terms of advertising material (e.g. training programmes brochure, website, mailshots) and certificates issued at the end of a course (for more information refer to the Information Management section 10.2).