Pecha Kucha Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

A university’s competitive edge: Developing graduate capabilities using 360QP quality enhancement (#328)

Anthony Bill 1 , Rose Nash 1 , Jo-Anne Kelder 1 , Anne-Marie Williams 1
  1. Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, TAS, Australia

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

 To develop graduate capabilities effectively and sustainably, an approach that comprehensively addresses all aspects of student learning and meets the needs of stakeholders is needed. 360QP, a six element teaching and learning quality enhancement (QE) process, can be applied from unit through to faculty level, and is a semi-formal approach that facilitates coordinated QE activities. The 360QP program was developed using a bi-directional approach, and both are reported here.  The first was a philosophical approach embedded in a CoP of social learning that successfully accumulated skills, knowledge and members as it evolved into an inter-institutional project team. The second, a literature review, examined higher education (HE) quality and OLT projects to identify tools and resources and successful implementation strategies, to inform an approach focussed on student learning. Key findings were: 

• the highly fragmented nature of existing HE quality improvement processes, and

• the significant cultural change issues involved in successfully implementing a quality enhancement system. 

The literature also informed key principles used in 360QP, which include: 

• adopting a “light-touch” approach of quality enhancement rather than regulatory driven assurance, 

• promoting a collegial culture of discussion and quality in course design and management, and 

• providing mechanisms to incorporate an efficient process into the institution’s administrative and student management systems. 

The literature highlighted that, in an environment of scarce resources with increased competition for students, funding and institutional status, continuing with the current fragmented approach or relying on an improvement process driven largely by regulatory compliance is thought insufficient to provide significant improvement in education and relevant graduate capabilities.

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

The sub-theme of Assessing, Evidencing and Evaluating Graduate Capabilities is addressed through a description of the 360QP teaching and learning quality enhancement process, and its development and application. We propose that 360QP can ensure that our students’ learning experiences contribute to the development of their graduate capabilities by using a strategy of quality enhancement that ensures the quality and relevance of student learning for the duration of their educational experience. The cyclical ‘reflect, review and renew’ process envisioned by 360QP allows courses to meet the current and future needs of key internal and external stakeholders, including accrediting bodies. In addition to assessment and evaluation, 360QP formally identifies learning outcomes, maps the curriculum, includes benchmarking and review, and provides mechanisms to implement improvement and renewal. An approach that emphasises the importance of developing an enduring culture of quality is central: 360QP adopts the “light touch” of semi-formal enhancement driven principally by improving teaching and learning and supporting efficient learning, not regulatory compliance; is collegial and focuses on cultural change and leadership development; uses a coordinated and holistic institutional approach that efficiently addresses the needs of all stakeholders; and provides a plan to facilitate incorporation into the institution’s course management information systems.

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