IR at Hitotsubashi

IR (Institutional Research) was launched at Hitotsubashi University in FY2006. A major role of the IR was to collect and analyze institutional data regarding student, faculty, curriculum, courses offering, and learning assessment. By studying and sharing information on such broad perspectives in education, IR was anticipated to be vital to better understand teaching and learning practices at the university.
In FY2008, Hitotubashi University has moved a step forward for the utilization and strengthening of IR function by receiving a fund from the Ministry of Education (MEXT) that aims to enhance university education and student support. The project was designed to maximize the effect of instructional innovation and system reform by incorporating various aspects of education, namely 1) learning assessment, 2) course and program development, and 3) learning support. Since then IR has been applied as a catalyst for realizing the synergistic efficiency of the university education.
From FY2012, IR was placed as one of the main components of Academic Planning Center (APLAC), a university-wide unit for supporting undergraduate students in their autonomous academic planning and learning processes. Under this initiative, IR enables further expand and deepen student support activities through providing comprehensive analysis of data on academic affairs, results of student surveys, course assessments and other relevant educational data.

Tuning, IR and GPA

Tuning, IR and GPA are closely inter-related.
IR offers excellent source of information for University to know precisely about the organization of teaching and learning as well as their outcome. In addition, IR is to gather and provide sources that allow comparing Hitotsubashi’s curriculum or student assessment results with those at other universities in Japan as well overseas. In particular, through IR it is possible to define the characteristics of each courses and programs provided, as well as to assess their functions and performance.
For Tuning process, information from IR indeed is indispensable.
Tuning, a faculty-driven process, is to reflect uniqueness and thus diversity of universities. At the same time, Tuning is to build and share common understanding on expectations of what a student is able to do when a degree will be earned. It means that Turning requires clear definitions of goals, competences, and outcomes of given/chosen disciplines, as well as the human and material resources needed during the study.
Therefore, it is a prerequisite for putting Tuning into practice to:

  1. discuss existing curricula by close examination as a way for creating shared competences, outcomes and thus comparable and compatible credits and degree profiles within and out of Japan;
  2. develop and strengthen teaching and learning assessment system that can be compared to universities in Japan and other countries.

Hitotsubashi University fully introduced Grade Point Average (GPA) system from FY2010. GPA offers languages and standards to explain students learning outcomes, thus increases the accountability in education. Furthermore, GPA is important for assuring the compatibility and comparability of learning outcome with ECTS in Europe and GPA in the United States.

At present, IR and GPA system at Hitotsubashi are both operating successfully, contributing to the process of improvement of teaching and learning. Knowledge and results derived/extracted from application of IR and GPA systems are significant as a means of providing a data-based ground for establishing Tuning. Therefore, Tuning, IR and GPA interactively led to (1) the enhancement of compatibility and comparability of credits and degrees, (2) the ensuring of credits accumulation, (3) the systematic development of course and curricula, and (4) the differentiation of the university education with that of in other universities. In this regard, they altogether offer a solid ground for expanding internationalization and improving quality assurance on one hand, and on the other, keeping the university’s educational qualities as a unique one at a national, regional and global level.

Figure : Linkage between IR, GPA System, and Tuning

Linkage between IR, GPA System, and Tuning