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Hunters & gatherers : strategies for curriculum mapping and data collection for assurance of learning

Lawson, Romy, Taylor, Tracy, Fallshaw, Eveline, French, Erica L., Hall, Cathy, Kinash, Shelley, & Summers, Jane (2011) Hunters & gatherers : strategies for curriculum mapping and data collection for assurance of learning. In Yorke, J (Ed.) Proceedings of the ATN Assessment Conference 2011, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.

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Abstract

Assurance of learning is a predominant feature in both quality enhancement and assurance in higher education. Assurance of learning is a process that articulates explicit program outcomes and standards, and systematically gathers evidence to determine the extent to which performance matches expectations. Benefits accrue to the institution through the systematic assessment of whole of program goals. Data may be used for continuous improvement, program development, and to inform external accreditation and evaluation bodies. Recent developments, including the introduction of the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) will require universities to review the methods they use to assure learning outcomes.

This project investigates two critical elements of assurance of learning: 1. the mapping of graduate attributes throughout a program; and 2. the collection of assurance of learning data. An audit was conducted with 25 of the 39 Business Schools in Australian universities to identify current methods of mapping graduate attributes and for collecting assurance of learning data across degree programs, as well as a review of the key challenges faced in these areas.

Our findings indicate that external drivers like professional body accreditation (for example: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)) and TEQSA are important motivators for assuring learning, and those who were undertaking AACSB accreditation had more robust assurance of learning systems in place. It was reassuring to see that the majority of institutions (96%) had adopted an embedding approach to assuring learning rather than opting for independent standardised testing.

The main challenges that were evident were the development of sustainable processes that were not considered a burden to academic staff, and obtainment of academic buy in to the benefits of assuring learning per se rather than assurance of learning being seen as a tick box exercise. This cultural change is the real challenge in assurance of learning practice.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 46561
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Assurance of Learning, Curriculum Mapping, Staff Engagement
ISBN: 9780646566115
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 21 Oct 2011 10:35
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2013 20:25

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