Academic efficiency: an indicator from which it´s required to know more
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Academic efficiency: an indicator from which it´s required to know more

 

Eficiencia académica: un indicador del que se requiere conocer más

 

 

Katia Rodríguez Niebla1, Alfredo Gutiérrez Maydata2, Teresita Wong Orfila3, Dianadys López Castellanos4

1 Medical Doctor. Master of Science. Asociate Profesor. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail: katiarn@ucm.vcl.sld.cu
2 Medical Doctor. Master of Science. Asociate Profesor. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail: alfredogm@ucm.vcl.sld.cu
3 Medical Doctor. Master of Science. Asociate Profesor. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail: teresitawo@ucm.vcl.sld.cu
4 Medical Doctor. Master of Science. Assistan Professor. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail: dianadyslc@ucm.vcl.sld.cu

 

 


ABSTRACT

The Academic Efficiency (EA) is an assessment indicator whose quantitative dimension reflects qualitative aspects that cover from the quality of the preceding educational systems, the enrolment to higher education policies, up to a wide range of factors that intervene in the teaching-learning process and in the institutional policies to guarantee the students permanence. It is an urgent necessity that the professionals participate with a bigger number of quantitative research works to update and to analyze the main variables that reflect the state of the academic efficiency of the health sciences careers. The authors communicate about the necessity to conceptualize and to apply appropriately the concepts Academic Efficiency (AE), Longitudinal Efficiency (LE) Cross-sectional Efficiency and Average Cross-sectional Efficiency (AC-sE) and they expose some of the limitations frequently made while using them.

MeSH: Educational measurement, underachievement, schools, medical.


RESUMEN

La Eficiencia Académica es un indicador evaluativo cuya dimensión cuantitativa refleja aspectos cualitativos que van desde la calidad de los sistemas educativos precedentes, las políticas de ingreso a la educación superior, hasta una amplia gama de factores que intervienen en el proceso docente educativo y en las políticas institucionales para garantizar la permanencia de los estudiantes. Urge la necesidad de que los profesionales participen con un mayor número de investigaciones cuantitativas para actualizar y analizar las principales variables que den cuenta del estado del rendimiento académico de las carreras de ciencias de la salud. Los autores comunican acerca de la necesidad de conceptualizar y aplicar adecuadamente los conceptos Eficiencia Académica (EA), Eficiencia Horizontal (EH), Eficiencia Vertical (EV) y Eficiencia Vertical media (EVm) y exponen algunas de las limitaciones en que se incurre con su uso.

DeCS: Evaluación educacional, rendimiento escolar bajo, escuelas médicas.


 

 

The selection of quantitative indicators constitutes an indispensable necessity in the assessment, planning and in the decision-taking processes about the quality of the educational systems.

One of the best known assessment criteria is the Academic Efficiency (AE) whose quantitative dimension reflects qualitative aspects that cover from the quality of the preceding educational systems, the enrolment to higher education policies, up to a wide range of factors that intervene in the teaching-learning process and in the institutional policies to guarantee the students permanence.

The AE has a great importance for the assessment of quality in the higher education centers, because it values the behavior of the promotion and the development of the methodological work. In the higher education institutions in Cuba studies and educational research works are carried out to look for causes and factors that impact negatively in the efficiency of the teaching-learning process and in the permanence at school and the students' graduation; however, the national and international literature acknowledge the existence of different variants with different meaning and the fact that their calculation is not always carried out in a correct way, those facts give credit to a space like this one by means of which the authors try to clarify its precise and appropriate use as for validity and reliability.

Habitually the AE is worked and analyzed relating the factor time with the registered students and those that finish with success; approach that is applicable to the academic year, an area inside the study plan, the career, the faculty and the university.1,2

If the calculation is carried out keeping in mind the number of students that graduate satisfactorily in a cohort that covers the time of duration of the career in relation to the number of those that entered in the first course of that promotion, it is obtained what is known indistinctly in the international literature as Final Academic Efficiency, Internal Efficiency, Rate of Successes, and in Cuba it is also known as Pure Academic Efficiency (of the cycle) or Longitudinal Efficiency (LE).3

From one course to another not only vary the students of the cohort that leave school, but also those who are transferred to other centers and the ones who are reincorporated that don't belong to the cohort, it is not enough to have the annual data of entrance and graduated students but rather it is necessary to have those that allow to subtract individually the group of those that finish in a given moment, distinguishing them according to the moment when they began their studies. If this rigor is not taken into account in the calculation of the (LE), erroneous results will be obtained, generally greater than the real ones. Formulas has been used like the one based on dividing into 100 000 000 the product of the promotion, one after the other in the total of years if it is a 5 years career; it´s divided into 10 000 000 000, if it is a six years career, as this is being done, there are very high probabilities to make that mistake.1

The LE that expresses in percentage terms the number of students that graduate from a particular generation it is the index that integrates the results of the ones who did not beass the exam and desertion; in consequence, it allows knowing the level of performance of an institution, considering that its social commitment is the formation of human resources.

The low LE constitutes one of the big problems of the university education in many countries, it means that a high percentage of the students who enter school, abandon the studies, increasing the formation costs of each one of the professionals who graduate.

Besides the LE the Cross-sectional Efficiency (C-sE) can be calculated for each academic year, determinated starting from the product of the promotion rates of every academic year over the total of years of the career. It is an indicator that reflects for an academic year in particular the proportion of students of the different years who were able to promote or to conclude their studies among those registered in that course without caring about their precedence.4

The Average Cross-sectional Efficiency (AC-sE) per cycle of application of the study plan it is calculated adding the rates of C-sE of each academic year inside each cycle, it´s divided into the number of courses of each cycle. This indicator shows the average proportion of students of the different courses inside a cycle who were able to promote or to conclude their estudies.5

The C-sE in each academic year is quite variable in general, with high values for the typical deviation and the variation coefficient, what evidences a non desirable feature in an indicator of efficiency and quality since in statistic it is said that a parameter is more efficient or more precise, when the variation coefficient is smaller. This tendency can be associated to the variable influence that the academic desertion has per academic year in the first and the second years of the career.

However, the (AC-sE) per cycle of application of the formation program expresses as central tendency the stability of its values (low values of the typical deviation and of the variation coefficient), higher than the LE, though it becomes a possible indicator to apply in the analyses and decision-taking of the managers as well as for the assessment and accreditation programs of university processes.6

One last thing, to point out the urgent necessity of the updating of statistical data and the elaboration of databases based on computerized programs which having as analysis unit each student, allow to have a powerful systematized and ordered quantitative information, with high descriptive and diagnostic value. Otherwise as it happens at present, it will continue to be weak any attempt of empiric contextualization and theoretical development about the quality of educación.7

It is also urgent the necessity that the professionals participate with a bigger number of quantitative research works to update and to analyze the main variables that give an idea of the state of the academic efficiency of the health sciences careers which contribute to the creation of a sort of historical memory with a great descriptive and analytic value, useful to enrich the analyses, judgments and statements for the decision-taking on the functioning of the educational system and becomes an indispensable support in the external and internal assessment of the formation system, as well as for the improvement plans of the quality of the Medicine graduates.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES

1. Enríquez O' Farril Z, Hernández Pupo L, O' Hallorans Rivero N. 174-Eficiencia académica en la carrera de medicina en la facultad Finlay-Albarrán, realidades y perspectivas [conferencia]. En: Hacia la equidad en salud. Educación Médica para el siglo XXI. [Internet]. 30 de septiembre al 3 de octubre del 2014. Palacio de las Convenciones. La Habana; 2014:[aprox. 6 p.]. Disponible en: http://conferenciasiglo21.sld.cu/index.php/conferenciasiglo21/2014/paper/viewFile/174/196

2. Arcos Vega JL, Ramiro Marentes F, Corrales Bargueño VA. La capacidad académica y su relación con la eficiencia Terminal de las dependencias de Educación Superior (DES) de Ingeniería de las Universidades Públicas Estatales (UPE) en México. Rev Perspectivas Sociales [Internet]. 2010 [citado 25 Nov 2014];12(2):[aprox. 15 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.google.com.cu/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDAQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdialnet.unirioja.es%2Fdescarga%2Farticulo%2F3649965.pdf&ei=QZp0VIr3D4ORyQS47YHwDA&usg=AFQjCNHGmw8k8oJeXssqnCcN -sNqr7ie1A&bvm=bv.80185997,d.aWw

3. Carreño de Celis R, Salgado Gozález L. Eficiencia académica en las carreras de Ciencias Médicas y Centros de Educación Médica Superior. Educ Med Super [Internet]. 2003 [citado 25 Nov 2014];17(2):[aprox. 10 p.]. Disponible en: http://scielo.sld.cu/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0864-21412003000200007&lng=es

4. Taccari DO. Indicadores de Eficiencia Interna del Sistema Educativo. Tasa de Repitencia: Una Mirada Analítica. Informe Metodológico No. 1. Instituto para el Desarrollo de la Calidad Educativa (IDECE). Argentina: Ministerio de Educación República Argentina; s.a:[aprox. 16 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.bnm.me.gov.ar/giga1/documentos/EL001018.pdf

5. Jiménez Álvarez YR, Fernández Chuairey L, Capó Pérez JR. Modelos matemáticos para el pronóstico de indicadores cuantitativos que miden la calidad de la educación superior en la carrera de agronomía de la Universidad Agraria de La Habana. Rev Investigación Operacional [Internet]. 2012 [citado 25 Nov 2014];32(2):[aprox. 6 p.]. Disponible en: http://rev-inv-ope.univ-paris1.fr/files/33212/33212-08.pdf

6. Torres A, Lima Z. Criterios cuantitativos de eficiencia pedagógica en la formación del personal agrónomo. Rev Pedag Univ [Internet]. 2003 [citado 25 Nov 2014];8(5):[aprox. 7 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.google.com.cu/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcvi.mes.edu.cu%2Fpeduniv%2Findex.php%2Fpeduniv%2Farticle%2Fdownload%2F265%2F256&ei=hZN0VPaZD4imyASpjYHYAw&usg=AFQjCNEVQ4lBaPMH0b_pLjPJ -YUgWFzDkg

7. García Alcaraz JL, Corrales Prieto RA, Maldonado Macías AA. Uso de laptops por estudiantes universitarios y su impacto en la eficiencia académica. RMIE [Internet]. 2013 [citado 25 Nov 2014];18(57):[aprox. 22 p.]. Disponible en: http://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1405-66662013000200011&lng=es&tlng=es

 

 

Received: November, 25 2014.
Approved: January, 28 2015.

 

 

Katia Rodríguez Niebla. Villa Clara University of Medical Sciences. Cuba. E-mail: katiarn@ucm.vcl.sld.cu

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