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Dr Sara Booth University of Tasmania Standards mean uniformity - one size fits all - national curriculum 5 sets of sector standards (DEEWR & TEQSA) for.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr Sara Booth University of Tasmania Standards mean uniformity - one size fits all - national curriculum 5 sets of sector standards (DEEWR & TEQSA) for."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Dr Sara Booth University of Tasmania

3 Standards mean uniformity - one size fits all - national curriculum 5 sets of sector standards (DEEWR & TEQSA) for Provider Registration, Provider Category, Qualification (AQF), Information, Teaching and Learning, Research Sets of academic standards – a contested space including professional (e.g. teaching standards); quality assurance; minimum threshold (what is achieved); aspirational and student achievement standards (Carmichael, 2010) TEQSAs discussion paper on Teaching and Learning Standards (July, 2011) Learning/Teaching standards/role of TEQSA/role of universities Definition of Benchmarking is varied across sector Standards mean uniformity - one size fits all - national curriculum 5 sets of sector standards (DEEWR & TEQSA) for Provider Registration, Provider Category, Qualification (AQF), Information, Teaching and Learning, Research Sets of academic standards – a contested space including professional (e.g. teaching standards); quality assurance; minimum threshold (what is achieved); aspirational and student achievement standards (Carmichael, 2010) TEQSAs discussion paper on Teaching and Learning Standards (July, 2011) Learning/Teaching standards/role of TEQSA/role of universities Definition of Benchmarking is varied across sector Implicit Standards in universities are self-monitoring and self-regulating Explicit Standards means diversity, substance, accountability and transparency They are a basis for comparison and collaboration Universities need to become more explicit in comparison of standards To do this: -Make explicit definition of standards used -Make explicit definition of benchmarking used Implicit Standards in universities are self-monitoring and self-regulating Explicit Standards means diversity, substance, accountability and transparency They are a basis for comparison and collaboration Universities need to become more explicit in comparison of standards To do this: -Make explicit definition of standards used -Make explicit definition of benchmarking used Argument 1 ExplicitArgument 2 Implicit Explicit

4 Jackson and Lund (2000, cited in Stella & Woodhouse, 2007, p.14) define benchmarking as first and foremost, a learning process structured so as to enable those engaging in the process to compare their services/activities /products in order to identify their comparative strengths and weaknesses as a basis for self improvement and/or self regulation. Agreed points of comparison – Deakin, UOW, UTAS Three Cycle 1 AUQA Audits specified more benchmarking Comparable institutions - age, structure, regional presence, disciplines Benchmarking awareness and confidence at similar level

5 1.Early Implementation 2. Further Refinement and Alignment 3. Full Embedding Universities need to develop and implement a benchmarking framework, processes and partnerships as part of the Quality System UOW, Deakin and UTAS Universities have begun to implement benchmarking processes and partnerships but further refinement and alignment with other university processes is required We are currently here! Universities have established benchmarking frameworks, processes and partnerships across the sector and make extensive use of external reference points and benchmarking Key features university-wide approach aligned to strategic priorities, data strategy, data warehouse and risk framework applied at unit and course level mechanisms for selecting appropriate institutions; benchmarking reference groups (Booth, 2011)

6 Ms Heather Sainsbury Deakin University

7 Planning Establishing the benchmarking partnership Agreement on area and scope Planning for success Implementation Communicating with faculties Streamlining the process Putting it together

8 Success factors Shared understanding of benchmarking goals High level of trust Willingness to share information and discuss successes and failures

9 Success factors Similar enough to offer transferable strategies Similarities Differences All unaligned Compatible missions, values and goals Multi-campus structures Regional presence Comparable discipline areas Similar experience of AUQA audit cycles Size Student profiles Offshore presence Off campus delivery

10 Success factors Comparable commitment

11 Success factors Sustained commitment

12 Success factors Sustained commitment

13 Success factors The more partners there are the harder it gets Communication and flexibility the keys to success

14 What to benchmark? Catalyst for assessment project – 2009 AUQF in Alice Springs Paper by Linda Davies (Griffith Uni) on ALTC Teaching Quality Indicators Project – external reference point Shared commitment to review assessment practice in the lead up to our respective AUQA audits in 2011 Potential to deliver significant benefits to all three universities Support from relevant Executive and other leaders critical

15 Agreement on scope Careful scoping through collaborative process involving senior academic and quality leaders from each university Time period Coverage – undergraduate but excluding Honours Focus on standards – assessment design not covered Agreement on data to be shared Make sure that you are talking about the same thing – different terminology a potential barrier Take the time to get it right…

16 Agreement on scope Keep sight of the main objective

17 Agreement on methodology Derived from existing successful methodology - ACODE Benchmarking Framework (2007) Self-review by each partner Peer review Action plans (shared) Adapted indicators and measures developed through TQIP project Tested against literature on good practice, expert reviewers and academic leaders at each university Agreement reached on: – Performance indicators – Good practice statements – Performance measures – Trigger questions

18 Agreement on performance indicators and measures PI #1: Assessment purposes, processes and expected standards of performance are clearly communicated and supported by timely advice and feedback to students Good Practice Statement: Students receive clear and timely information on the aims and details of assessment tasks; marking and grading practices; expected standards of achievement; and requirements for academic integrity. They are provided with timely feedback on their performance and supported in making improvements. Performance measures: 1.1 Expectations are clearly communicated 1.2 Advice and feedback are provided Trigger questions under each measure

19 Agreement on self-review templates Performance measureRatingRationaleEvidence State measure as agreed, with trigger questions to focus self- review 4-level scale: 1 Yes 2 Yes, but 3 No, but 4 No Dot points identifying practices that support the rating Including references to policies, documents, web references, data sources (including student feedback)

20 Agreement on timelines Build in flexibility for partners to move at slightly different speeds at different times, while still all meeting critical common dates: Finalising templates Completion of self-reviews and sharing of self-review reports Peer review workshops Contributions to shared reports Accommodate internal deadlines of partners wherever possible (key committee dates, AUQA deadlines)

21 Ms Anne Melano University of Wollongong

22 Communicate with faculties Prepare a communication plan Consider the culture – eg UOW is very consultative, very engaged faculty T&L chairs Hold a high level briefing – establishes importance, brings faculty leaders together Hold informal one-on-one meetings – answers questions and address concerns Dont rush – do invite comments on documents and processes – builds ownership Send out updates as project progresses Thank/acknowledge along the way

23 Provide support Appoint a project coordinator Encourage faculties to identify a person to support faculty leader Offer funding or admin assistance if possible Provide a clear guide to the process Provide data packs Offer draft s, information sheets etc that faculties can send to staff Attend faculty self-reviews – helpful as questions of interpretations do arise

24 Streamline the process Faculties are time poor - risk of backlash if time contributed not rewarded by benefits Clear, realistic timeline and expectations ONE self-review meeting in each faculty – if put together the right people, most questions can be answered ONE template to work through – all questions clearly set out Simple rating scale As much as possible of the template completed in that meeting A rating on each measure MUST be agreed by the group. Otherwise there is no clear result A similarly streamlined process for institutional reviews and for the peer review across three universities

25 But it does need rigour… Question design based on: – Griffith ALTC project, additional work by Boud, advice from Joughin, testing in a faculty Evidence: – has to be provided to support each rationale/rating – collecting this is a major effort by faculty leaders and their admin assistant – survey conducted at UTAS – valuable and can be done centrally – all evidence checked centrally

26 Sharing At each level, encourage the conversations – these can be just as important as the project outcomes. Good practice sharing, questioning and problem solving naturally occurs – let it Faculties arent mediaeval castles – encourage interaction UOW – each faculty leader sat in on anothers self review Deakin – four Associate Deans (T&L), very collegial Avoid the black hole of benchmarking. Reward evidence- gathering by selecting and disseminating good practice

27 Putting it together – the institutional self-review Faculty reports combined into an institutional report All leaders brought together Agreement on institutional rating, good practice and gaps/issues Discussion of each measure with top issues agreed – these form the basis of an action plan for the future

28 Putting it together – the three-university peer review Face-to-face if possible Selection of leaders brought together Icebreakers, time to mingle Template provided to work through – each institutions results and ratings on each measure Review of institutional ratings Discussion of good practice and gaps/issues Expect surprises! You may be doing better than you think … OR your best practice may be just ho-hum thats what everyone is doing!

29 Ms Lynn Woodley University of Wollongong

30 Using and sharpening the tools: What works and what doesnt The broad indicators of the Griffith TQIP project (Davies, 2009) The ACODE Benchmarking Framework Templates – the Pollard Rating Index "No but yeah but no but yeah but no but... Killing two birds : making the most of the project Benchmarking logistics: checking the steps and the flight plan Escaping the black hole –the action plan Becoming a toolmaker

31 Collegial partnerships Institutional: self-review activity; cross faculty bonds Cross- university: co-ordinators, executive and academic staff A mutual learning process for all involved

32 Assessment - Standards at work: The academic standards trinity: Learning Outcomes, Assessment, Graduate Qualities An academic exercise in definition or a real world definition - how academics set, monitor and review standards? Uniformity Vs Quality and Good Practice

33 Assessment - Good Practice and Quality Improvement: Insights and ideas from the practices of others Good practice and areas for improvement for each faculty and each university What we do well: For example: Deakin - Online Unit Guide; UTAS - Criterion-referenced assessment (CRA) supported by faculty champions; UOW - educative focus of Academic Integrity Policy What we needed to do better: Connecting learning outcomes, Graduate Attributes/Qualities and Assessment (the crux of academic standards) Staff development (incl. sessional staff) Marking practices for group work Use of best practice models Benchmarking at the course/program level (Oliver, 2009)

34 first and foremost, a learning process structured so as to enable those engaging in the process to compare their services/activities /products in order to identify their comparative strengths and weaknesses as a basis for self improvement and/or self regulation.


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