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Standards in Action Applying Performance Management Principles to a Learning Environment for Undergraduate Dissertations.

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Presentation on theme: "Standards in Action Applying Performance Management Principles to a Learning Environment for Undergraduate Dissertations."— Presentation transcript:

1 Standards in Action Applying Performance Management Principles to a Learning Environment for Undergraduate Dissertations Dr. Jacqueline Day and Dr. Milena Bobeva Applying Performance Management Principles

2 Standards in Action A Learning Environment (LE) specifically designed to manage dissertations A ‘dissertation’, is a common requirement of undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees in business, law and humanities subjects. The case study discussed in the paper explains how for a HE provider the performance management regime was designed and then examines how it will be used in the longer term to nurture a community of practice for all involved in dissertations. Applying Performance Management Principles

3 Standards in Action Business Performance Management (BPM) A well accepted discipline that enables strategy to be executed in ways to meet organisational objectives. Conventional View Evaluation enables targets to be set, against which the work of individuals or groups will be judged and so will positively influence the behaviour of individuals or functions to meet these targets. (Athiyaman, 1997). Applying Performance Management Principles

4 Standards in Action What is a Dissertation? An individual piece of work demonstrating understanding of the research process and critical understanding of a substantive knowledge domain Usually the most rewarding part of an undergraduate degree course Can be a factor in encouraging the individual to subsequently enrol for a higher degree Applying Performance Management Principles

5 Standards in Action Challenges for the Student From To Interaction within the institution External communication General knowledge Knowledge in-depth Knowledge consumer Knowledge provider Single truth Multiple/provisional truth Structured time allocation Self management of time Delivery to a student group One-to-one with supervisor Directed Autonomous learning Pupil Academic collaborator Applying Performance Management Principles

6 Standards in Action Challenges for Educational Institutions The limited studies of sub-doctoral research carried out to date directed toward specific pedagogical issues and problems What has not really been looked at is a LE for dissertations that enables students to deliver improved quality outcomes reflecting higher levels of expectations about their learning experience and degree grades Applying Performance Management Principles

7 Standards in Action Challenges for Educational Institutions Students increasingly consider themselves as ‘clients’ of an educational service and demand higher levels of value-for- money from the ‘provider’ Vision for the LE - to develop something that supports the strategic objectives of the institution, including the need to improve the student learning experience and to better realise the research potential of the academic staff Applying Performance Management Principles

8 Standards in Action The General Design of the LE Took into consideration 1.The Existing Situation 2.The Design of the LE Applying Performance Management Principles

9 Standards in Action Student AspirationsInstitutional Aspirations Sustain a high level of motivation for studentsInteraction between students and academic staff within a ‘community of scholars’ Good previous experience of research, such as dissertations, assignments and case studies. The existence of a visible and accepted organisational strategy for undergraduate units to build up a knowledge base of investigations done by students. Willingness to seek advice and guidanceAvailability of a group of lecturers as a shared resource A supportive and nurturing relationship with the supervisor Good fit between the supervisor’s personal interpretation of the dissertations and the organisation. A degree of self-awareness of learning stylesProvision of lecturer-led seminars using a panel of domain experts to guide the development of the conceptual framework. Self-organisation and methodical approach to matters such as documentation. The degree of flexibility in the organisational understanding of what constitutes a dissertation The Existing Situation Applying Performance Management Principles

10 Standards in Action The Existing Situation Student AspirationsInstitutional Aspirations A positive attitude toward critical inquiry in relation to the topic Knowledge of the supervision arrangements and process A willingness to engage in informal peer assessment The active use of code of practice for defining expectations and responsibilities of the parties. Ability to self-direct their learning based on feedback and guidelines More accurate and transparent feedback and assessment Awareness of the purposes and limitations of different communication channels Ability to use consistently different communication channels A realistic understanding of time- scheduling and workloads An accessible and responsive supervisor team, able to manage effectively students expectations Applying Performance Management Principles

11 Standards in Action The Design of the LE Conceived as being constitute from several interlinked elements: –Student context – student knowledge, motivation, understanding and skills –Learning context – the mode, content, scope of a dissertation and its learning objectives –Supervisory context – the knowledge, motivation understanding and skills of the tutor –Management context – the protocols, procedures and methods for dissertations Applying Performance Management Principles

12 Standards in Action General Design of the LE Student ContextLearning Context Supervisory Context Management Context Integration services Performance Management Individually controlledUniversity controlled Indirect intervention Direct intervention Applying Performance Management Principles

13 Standards in Action Developing the Performance Management Framework Three perspectives were considered: 1)The TQM philosophy 2)The best-practice adoption ideas of the European Foundation for Quality Management 3)The strategy-focused Balanced Score Card (BSC) Applying Performance Management Principles

14 Standards in Action Developing the Performance Management Framework Step 1 - Select the Performance Framework Step 2 - Customise the Performance Framework Step 3 – Identify Stakeholders Step 4 – Identify Critical Success Factors Step 5 – Develop Performance Measures Step 6 - Specify Performance Metrics Step 7 - Implement Measurements of LE Performance Applying Performance Management Principles

15 Standards in Action The Balanced Scorecard It is not –A ‘balance’ in the traditional accounting sense of a balance sheet –It will not give a quantitative indicator ‘score’ at the end It is –A live document Applying Performance Management Principles

16 Standards in Action The Balanced Scorecard Perspectives – Vision and Strategy VISION and STRATEGY Internal Business Process Financial Customer Learning and Growth Source: Kaplan and Norton 1996 Applying Performance Management Principles

17 Standards in Action Translate the strategy to operational terms THE STRATEGY Financial perspective If we succeed, how will we look to our shareholders Customer Perspective To achieve my vision how must I look to my customers Organisational Learning To achieve my vision how must my organisation learn and improve Internal Perspective To satisfy my customer at which process must I excel Applying Performance Management Principles

18 Standards in Action The BSC for the LE: Adapted from Kaplan & Norton (1996) 1. Student context 4. Management context 4. Management context 5. Integration Balanced Scorecard – Vision and Strategy 3. Supervisory context 2. Learning context Financial Perspective (B) To succeed financially how should we appear to senior management Processes Perspective (C) To satisfy our s takeholders what administrative processes must we excel at? Learning & Growth Perspective (D) To achieve our vision, how will we sustain our ability to change and improve our academic quality? Customer Perspective (A) To achieve our vision, how should we appear to our students ? Applying Performance Management Principles

19 Standards in Action Interpretation of the four perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard Customer Perspective - > Student Perspective Financial Perspective - > Institutional Perspective Processes Perspective - >Administrative Perspective Learning and Growth Perspective - > Faculty Perspective Applying Performance Management Principles

20 Standards in Action Implement Measurements of LE Performance Integration of LE with general information infrastructure Including university-wide content management and future multi-media package ‘Blackboard.’ Links to personal web pages for supervisors and those students with a common interest in a particular subject area essential. Dissertation event calendars, FAQs, examples, contacts, issues lists, announcements. Applying Performance Management Principles

21 Standards in Action Implement Measurements of LE Performance Automated production of a balanced scorecard and appropriate ‘dashboard’ summaries Ability to provide a common view of all the KPIs and appropriate information ‘drill down’ A feedback messaging facility - Enabling communication of commentaries and observations about the performance measurement issue and problem Applying Performance Management Principles

22 Standards in Action Conclusions and Reflections The BSC has proved its worth as a guide for managing improvements to a LE –Some limitations in the context of this project –Developed for business shareholders, the financial element fails to translate well in not-for- profit organisations, such as Higher Education Institutions –Operationalisation of business strategy is not as easy to do as for a commercial organisation where corporate and departmental profit or turnover feature Applying Performance Management Principles

23 Standards in Action Conclusions and Reflections BSC underplays the value of human interactions, morale, motivations and relationships within a HEI –Best to shift the focus from financial capital to something that complements the Learning and Growth perspective by fully recognising social capital Co-operation and collaboration enabled through the LE, leads to better acquisition and utilisation knowledge of research methods and management –Is supportive of the growth within the University of cross- disciplinary sub-groups with an interest in research methods, the psychology of supervision or assessment strategies Applying Performance Management Principles

24 Standards in Action Conclusions and Reflections The longer-term significance of the performance system should be apparent in helping to improve the dissertation management, by linking back outcomes directly to actions Encouragement of a common sense of identity between the dissertation tutors and the tutees Should lead to better acquisition and utilisation knowledge of research methods and dissertation management Could also retain organisational memory of good ideas and help to avoid mistakes from any losses Applying Performance Management Principles

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