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Learning Communities – an untapped sustainable competitive advantage for Higher education

Dawson, Shane P., Burnett, Bruce, & O'Donohue, Mark (2006) Learning Communities – an untapped sustainable competitive advantage for Higher education. International Journal of Educational Management, 20(2), pp. 127-139.

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Abstract

Purpose This paper demonstrates the need for the higher education sector to develop and implement scaleable, quantitative measures that evaluate community and establish organisational benchmarks in order to guide the development of future practices designed to enhance the student learning experience.

Design/ methodology/ approach Literature regarding contemporary Australian higher education policy and community development is critiqued to illustrate the need for universities to adopt scaleable quantitative measures to evaluate stated strategic imperatives and establish organisational benchmarks. The integration of organisational benchmarks guides the implementation of future practices designed to enhance the student learning experience. A current active exemplar methodology is discussed to demonstrate applicability to both higher education administrators and teaching staff across the various organisation levels.

Findings While universities are promoting and investing in the concept of community to enhance the student learning experience there are as yet, limited scaleable evaluative measures and performance indicators to guide practitioners. This paper proposes an effective measurement tool to benchmark current pedagogical performance standards and monitor the progress and achievement of future implemented practices designed to enhance the sense of community experienced by the student cohort.

Originality/ value This paper identifies and addresses the current absence of effective scaleable evaluative measures to assess the achievement of stated strategic imperatives implemented as a consequence of reducing government financial support, increasing accountability, and increasing student expectations as result of educational consumerism.

Impact and interest:

12 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 12344
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Keywords: Community, Higher Education, information and communication technologies, sense of community index, HERN
DOI: 10.1108/09513540610646118
ISSN: 0951-354X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Education Assessment and Evaluation (130303)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2006 Emerald Publishing
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:21

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