Use of Alumni Tracer Analysis to keep Curriculum Relevancy

Distance education can play an essential role in the professional development of a producing country like Indonesia by reaching human source requirements. It caters to the necessity not only those who are unemployed but also of these who are on the job. Their knowledge can be up to date through continuing education programs. In-service educator education is an investment in individual capital, which brings benefits in the form of enhanced educator production, and higher levels of output. One of the main functions of the education sector is to provide knowledge and skill to various sectors of the education area. It really is generally argued that the structure and structure of education, especially at the elementary and secondary level, should be purposefully re-oriented towards new nationwide standard to join alongside the projected future design of graduation requirements. Presently, the majority of the countries of the world, especially Indonesia, has given anticipated importance to in-service instructor education to provide diversification of educational opportunities to be able to enhance individual professionalism and reliability, reduce the distance between urban and rural area of skilled teacher and offer an alternative for those pursuing advanced schooling.

Distance and online learning on view University of Indonesia (UT) has been greatly developed as a strategy for providing education for many who previously may have found further education inaccessible for various reasons. In the purpose of accreditation process, UT put a finest on compliance and included some reporting requirements in tracer review that always lead programs toward excellence or increase in-service teacher students' impact on their academic institutions and distance learning. In writer's judgment, Universitas Terbuka can responsively maintain curriculum relevancy and usefulness for professional development.

Ornstein and Hunkins (2009, p. 15) claim that curriculum development includes how a 'curriculum is designed, implemented and assessed, as well as what folks, processes and steps are involved. . '. Curriculum models help designers to systematically and transparently map out the rationale for the use of particular coaching, learning and analysis approaches. They suggest that although curriculum development models are theoretically useful, they often overlook the human factor including the personal attitudes, emotions, values involved with curriculum making. Therefore they aren't a method and really should not be a substitute for using professional and personal judgement on exactly what is a good approach to develop scholar learning.

UT structured alumni tracer study in 2009 2009 and received more than 10. 000 reactions but in this paper the writer only use 200 responses to be examined randomly. Tracer analysis encourages UT to solve sophisticated problems confronting professional development. It is also common for higher educational organizations to acquire their graduates make an analysis of their learning experience and the quality of learning which they received. This evaluation process often takes the form of graduate or alumni research, which are occasionally known as tracer studies. It really is focused not only on calculating teacher and program performance, but also other alumni and other aspects. UT should know the fortunes of the graduates in order to make a complete examination of the way the educational process has impacted their graduates. While using tracer study result, UT is able to make development and changes on the programs that can enhance their students' likelihood of achieving success. Within this paper the use of the tracer review will be talked about as a powerful method of analyzing the success of distance and online programmes to provide and maintain curriculum relevancy for professional development in UT.


UT which was founded in 1984 is a national school constituted under the Presidential Decree of the Republic of Indonesia Number 41 Calendar year 1984 and gets the same legal and educational status as any other countrywide university in Indonesia. UT is quite unique as it's the only university in Indonesia that is dedicated to distance learning.

The academic programs of the UT are specifically designed to enable persons who have graduated from high school graduation to pursue an increased education. The programs of the university enable students to become listed on in at the amount of the qualifications they possess and are organized from license and proceed to diploma, bachelor degrees and graduate levels.

At present with a complete college student enrolment of around 639, 049 (http://www. ut. ac. id/ut-dalam-angka. html, 2010), UT gets the largest student body in the united states. The students are signed up for more than 30 programs of analysis out of which 96 % of the students are used and around 82 per cent are teachers. The conclusion of programmes by students are more problematic for students who enrol at Open up Universities because they are compelled to study while working and going to with their normal family tasks. It is important therefore, to examine the alumni satisfaction once they graduated from UT.


The Feature of UT's students

UT's students are similar with the other ODL students. Its characteristics are grouped as non-traditional students (Easton, 2003): have internal motivation to get higher education and self-discipline to attempt study. One of the motivations is they can review while working for folks who for a few reasons cannot attend in person education, for example people living in rural areas, in isolated islands, who cannot move to the metropolitan areas where there are universities. UT differs from other open up university on two accounts. It requires formal entrance requirements and they have both full-time as well as part-time students (Hiola & Moss, 1990).

The insufficient time and cash promote students to use in UT. Potential UT's students are not a captive market. UT can at least rely on students intake produced from the geographical location where they are approximated. Closeness and subsidized fees through scholarship often make nearby companies the first option for students. For individuals who cannot physically sign up for, UT provides education from certain places on the world by ODL. The prospective distance education pupil can therefore join in UT for the type of programme they wish to pursue that happen to be congruent with the professional and personal goals.

UT has many rivals across the world, because the demand for ODL has grown thoroughly. Many private and open public colleges have increased their university student intake by offering online programmes. With the large numbers of institutions taking part in ODL it has turned into a highly competitive market for providers. Distance education has considered on the characteristics of something industry, with students becoming the loyal customers for the training product. The necessity for client satisfaction therefore increases the necessity to get students evaluate the product (Millington, 2008).

Student reactions on these concerns can measure the level of satisfaction with the course itself and institutional organizers can implement advancements where dissatisfaction has been indicated. However, this form of analysis does not measure the outputs and benefits of education. Furthermore, UW-Stout conducts surveys on all its alumni one and five years after their graduation. Bosshart, Wents, and Heller (2009) point out these studies provide critical information for assessing and determining the potency of programs. These results will then be utilized for program improvement. Schomburg (2003, p. 25) identifies the outputs as characteristics such as knowledge and skills, and results as changeover to career, work experience and service to culture. He suggests the use of the tracer analysis by companies as a way for knowing the "destiny of these graduates and the partnership between their review and their professional incentive. " (p. 29).

Tracer Analysis and Curriculum Development

Although the most common end of the course analysis can ask for the college student to assess whether they have gained the data and skills necessary for satisfying their personal aims, there is actually little proof this until the university student has completed the whole course of review and has inserted the labor force. By surveying a cohort of graduates from: a particular institution; profession; self-control; graduation date; degree of education; or a mixture of the for comparative research, Schomburg (2003) reveals examples of issues that can be attended to in tracer studies. Biographical data on "Where are our graduates now" may source information on income, job name, nature of job, and many years of employment. He also thinks that surveys should also include information "about the sort of work task the partnership between study and work, and professional worth and job satisfaction. "

The use of tracer studies to provide and keep maintaining curriculum relevancy for professional development have been conducted by Harald Schomburg and his fellow workers at the Centre for ADVANCED SCHOOLING and Work, University of Kassel, Germany, have done extensive research on executing tracer surveys, building effective tracer review questionnaires and their statistical analysis. They have conducted survey tasks including the CHEERS (Profession after Higher Education-a Western european STUDY) which looked into the links between advanced schooling and graduate work in Europe. They did similar research in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Zembere and Chinyama (1996) tried out to find out what factors are essential for professional success of graduates considering personal factors and identify key areas of the carrying on professional education of graduates in University of Malawi. Another tracer study is conducted in Nigeria (Ugwuonah & Omeje, 1998) with the results the following:

  • Link and match in both the industries and higher education profiles.
  • Broad established and trans-disciplinary curriculum planning and development
  • Collaboration between higher education institution and establishments.

Tracer study conducted for open up and distance learning (ODL) is not many. One of them is performed by the Personnel Training and Research Institute of Distance Education (STRIDE) at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). Furthermore, tracer research also completed by the Nigerian Institute (NTI) which launched its Nigeria Certificate in Education by ODL in 1990 in response to immediate need to teach more instructors. The conclusions of the study were that the performance of ODL graduates was as effective in the class as that of their peers who acquired studied in the traditional way. Predicated on the tracer review final result, the Institute itself got advanced its management and monitoring systems (Umar, 2006).


Provision Of a Working Meaning Of The Tracer Analysis Concept

For the purposes of this discussion tracer review will be studied to mean:

A period when establishments of learning set up regular intervals of time to venture into the field and follow their past graduates to learn what they are doing with the training they received and discover from them how best they think the organizations who trained them can help them up grade their attained knowledge and skills through the reform and advancement of curricula and course programmes including school-based or work-based professional development to surpass the objectives of the constantly changing scientific and methodical working environment and workplace demands (Boaduo, Mensah & Babitseng, 2009).

In educational research, regarding to Schomburg (2003), tracer analysis is a review of graduates from companies of higher education since its goal groups is the alumni. The ILO Thesaurus 2005 defines a tracer analysis as a direct effect assessment tool where during analysis the "impact on target groups is traced back again to specific components of a job or program so that effective and ineffective task components may be recognized. " Schomburg (2003, p. 36) notes that graduate studies are popular for "analysis of the relationship between advanced schooling and work. " They provide quantitative-structural data on career and career, the character of work and related competencies, and home elevators the professional orientation and experience of their graduates.

The alumni tracer study in UT has targets to construct strong bonds between the institution and its own graduates, because the alumni will be the excellent source of advice for improvements of institution and to measure the amount of professional and educational careers pursued by the graduates after gaining knowledge and skills through academics institutions.

Many questions were designed so that appropriate answers could be ticked off. Some open-ended questions were developed to get ideas, comments, explanations and clarifications. Immediate supervisors or employers were wanted to provide views on UT's graduates in their job, in terms of theoretical knowledge, functional experience/skill, job performance, advantages, weaknesses and suggestions for improvement. Assuming that peers can be the main appraisers of the fellow UT's graduates, as they are extremely near them in many respects, peer groupings were asked to convey the advantages of UT's graduates. A scaling approach was put on measure the relevancy and usefulness of tracer in professional and academics development of UT's graduates. Some questions were included in a tabular format to assess job profile that UT's graduates considered before and after their studies at UT. This was done to get information on the number of positions held, yr of starting and stopping job, title and degree of the positions, important positions, name of the employers' firm, type of employers, major responsibility, and honours, rewards or offers. The position levels in categorically split into three periods such as study organization, data collection, data research and report writing.

Curriculum Relevancy and Effectiveness for Professional Development in UT

The alumni tracer research involves many aspects. Some of them are impact study that seeks to ascertain graduates satisfaction with the establishment especially with curriculum relevancy and usefulness. A different one is professional development study to look for the extent to which the curriculum is rolling out them qualified in their job. As the writer said that the majority of learners are already working, they need to develop their competencies and skills to remain relevant and useful. The features that would be developed in the distance education in the future are knowledge and skills, perspectives, contextual problem solving, network and competency-based final results (Boettcher, 2006). UT must have planning to accommodate these new emphases and offer curriculum relevancy because of its alumni to include their education and professional competencies.

Academic curriculum as an instrument used to develop the skills, functions as a vehicle, which attributes can be moved through the learning process (Fallows & Steven, 2000). In the academic curriculum aspect for 2009, both of items are bulk rated sufficient (Desk 2. ). It is shown that alumni are usually content with the curriculum produced by UT. In writer's assumptions, one of the contributors of the curriculum relevancy is the abundant composition of members in academic curriculum development, which consists of lecturers, students, curriculum specialist, professionals and experts using fields from government functions or private industries. Another contributor is the utilization of information and communication technology in learning process. Regarding to Listyarini, Ratnaningsih and Yuliana (2010), alumni and stakeholders identified that alumni experienced upgraded in their knowledge and skills of ICT and learning advertising.

Strategy to supply and Maintain Curriculum Relevancy

Earlier in this newspaper it was recommended that the results of tracers studies could be utilized to reform

ODL programs. As observed in the African studies graduate dissatisfaction with resources, technology and the necessity to enhance professor competence in audio-visual technology items to where institutional investment and reform could be targeted. The Malawi analysis revealed the importance of interpersonal skills and proficiency in English. These details could be utilized by curriculum organizers for the incorporation of the skills into training and course content. The Nigerian review indicated a need for better linkages with the industrial sector to make programmes more highly relevant to the making industry, specifically for engineering. Most of all, the actual fact that tracer studies can show that the grade of ODL graduates can be compared (much like the NTI) with those of traditional education shows that they should be an intrinsic tool for assessing ODL.

Tracer studies of ODL graduates can offer the information had a need to reform educational programmes to bring about the fit between your requirements of the employment world and research. Studies do have their disadvantages: it may also be difficult to find alumni and also have them complete questionnaires. Schomburg (2003) warns that the graduate may not always be able to identify the partnership between the knowledge attained during research and their professional lives and this research conclusions are valuable inasmuch as planners can turn the conclusions into concrete reforms. However, this newspaper suggests that the tracer analysis can be an information supplier as well as an analysis tool. The success of graduates can be utilized, as a maintaining technique to develop curriculum. UT may use the information compiled to modify their lessons to the needs of professional development and alter programmes to extend professional progression through ODL.

Zhou, Varnhagen, Sears, Kasprzak, & Shervey (2007) study the role of technology in continuing professional development and learning. They research whether online delivery of professional development is an effective option to other forms of professional development. This review provides a rich account into the problems and tensions concerning how market leaders in higher education create and help in a shared, communal eye-sight in the framework of online curriculum delivery.


This paper has provided documentary research about the necessity to use tracer research paradigm for the enlargement of the grade of training offered in UT in Indonesia to be able to meet the needs of the changing educational requirements of the new century. An operating definition upon that your whole discussion was based has been provided.

It is important to indicate that tracer analysis is a way of gathering important info about previous graduates of higher corporations to be able to identify what they are doing with the training they obtained and what could be achieved to add to their competence through these institutions to be able to reform their course programs to keep up with the needs of the swiftly changing technological and scientific years.

The result validated that UT is making a significant contribution to its distance learner by providing opportunities to boost their knowledge and skills, not only to perform better in their careers but also in providing the chance to follow their studies to a higher level. This displays the success of UT in providing the culture of lifelong learning among its learners. The main thing is that most alumni mentioned that they might recommend their co-workers to study at UT for professional development purposes.

It must be indicated that tracer study survey is a very wearisome and complicated exercise. Intensive efforts is going into monitoring and contacting individual graduates and alumni. There is need to intensify the procedure of providing regular opportunities for alumni to join up and create a forum electronically and through the web. Furthermore continuous attempts should be made to acquire data progressively before and after graduation that will donate to the improvement of the examination of future tracer studies. Additional data can be gathered for the sort of institutions, dynamics of work, and rates of days gone by graduates.

The following suggestions are provided as a way to assist in improving tracer study in the future: (1) repository developing for everyone higher education establishment in Indonesia, (2) Establishing network between UT and its graduates, and (3) developing a committee of alumni tracer review for the whole higher education institution in Indonesia.

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