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Karl Donert, National Teaching Fellow HERODOT Project coordinator HERODOT: Benchmarking Geography.

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Presentation on theme: "Karl Donert, National Teaching Fellow HERODOT Project coordinator HERODOT: Benchmarking Geography."— Presentation transcript:

1 Karl Donert, National Teaching Fellow HERODOT Project coordinator HERODOT: Benchmarking Geography

2 Meeting Aims HERODOT funded to make the link between: Bologna Process (standardisation, transparency) and Lisbon Treaty (employability, quality, excellence) European Commission – national Ministries – institutions of higher education – academics How? create framework from which standards / benchmarks can be established against which new courses can be developed and qualifications compared and evaluated

3 Quality Assurance Two components: Internal quality Review, evaluation, analysis Done internally for internal consumption For what purpose? External quality Who? What? What purpose? League tables or ? Quality culture needed - How? European Commission - ENQA - National Agencies - Other stakeholders Role of the discipline

4 What is a benchmark? A benchmark statement provides a means for the academic community to describe the nature and characteristics of programmes in a specific subject. They are general expectations about the standards for the award of qualifications at a given level They present the attributes and capabilities that those possessing such qualifications should be able to demonstrate (QAA, 2000)

5 Why benchmark? an important external source of reference for higher education institutions for new courses general guidance for articulating the learning outcomes (what a student should be able to know, understand and do) NOT a specification of detailed curriculum allow variety and flexibility in the design of programmes encourage innovation within an agreed overall framework give support to institutions looking to monitor internal quality assurance help establish threshold standards

6 UK benchmark (2000) a framework for staff running Geography programmes, assist in the development of programme specifications; help external examiners to validate standards of student achievements; inform potential students and employers as to the nature of attainment that can be expected of graduates from Geography programmes provide academic reviewers with guidance for judging standards

7 UK benchmark (2000) Bachelors degree Process: 2 years Created by experts – geographers in universities Public consultation and review Adopted as guidance by university departments Evaluated Added to … special needs, distance learning etc. etc. Being revised / updated

8 UK benchmark (2000) Bachelors degree Consists of: Programme aims Knowledge and understanding Skills and abilities Processes and learning contexts Assessment Levels of achievement – threshold, typical

9 Impact of benchmarking Piddock (2006) benchmarking was not threatening perception of academics – did not lead to improvement Suggestions for the future: better assured through the adoption of quality enhancement process need subject-based connection problem of multidisciplinary and modular programmes Pidcock, S. (2006), What is the impact of subject benchmarking?, Active Learning in Higher Education, 7(2):

10 HERODOT Benchmarking Process 2 groups –Fieldwork –Citizenship Recruit experts Consider local, national, European situations Each create a document Present a statement to other group Other group – takes it apart Reconstruct statement Advertise for widespread discussion Form final statement Publish – revise – revisit Use to promote quality, excellence etc.

11 GIS benchmark GIS and Geography in Higher Education – What it is? What it means? A GIS component in an undergraduate programme prepares graduates who are: responsible, spatially aware digital world citizens, able to use a set of tools to augment their geographic capabilities, more employable and with diverse job prospects, and able to pursue further specialised studies. The objectives of a GIS component in a Geography post-graduate programme are to: specialise in applying GIS in a particular subject matter, increase GIS skills, and participate at a higher professional level in the workplace. The objectives of a post-graduate programme with a GIS specialisation are to: specialise in GI Science, develop advanced GIS skills, and participate at a higher professional level in the workplace.

12 GIS benchmark LEVEL DESCRIPTORS Undergraduate level This level of qualification should prepare students in ….. The essential knowledge and competences acquired should allow students to further their studies at post- graduate (specialised) levels. Students should display an ability to …... Finally, students at this level should be able to …... Graduate level (Masters in Geography) Graduate level (Masters in Geography with a specialisation in GIS/ Masters in GIS offered by a Geography Department)

13 GIS benchmark LEARNING OUTCOMES Undergraduate students should be able to ……. Students completing undergraduate geography study programmes with a XXXXX component should be able to: XXXXXX YYYYYY ZZZZZZZ etc Graduates completing postgraduate geography study programmes should be able to:

14 Standards of the Masters Bachelors = Preparing students for employment Bachelors = Preparing students for Masters level Key standards Critical reading – scholarly selective reading = understand and reflect on Critical evaluation in writing, analytical and creative critique of concepts = challenging scholarship Critical thinking linked to research skills Teaching, learning and assessment approaches to encourage academic debate

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