Assurance of learning: Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet?

Romy Lawsom, Tracey Taylor, James Herbert, Eveline Fallshaw, Erica French, Cathy Hall, Shelley Kinash, Jane Summers

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Assurance of learning (AoL) is an important process in quality education, designed to measure the accomplishment of educational aims at the core of an institution's programs, whilst encouraging faculty to continuously develop and improve the programs and courses. This paper reports on a study of Australian business schools to investigate current AoL practices through semi structured interviews with senior faculty leaders followed by focus group interviews with groups of senior program leaders and groups of academic teaching staff. Initial findings indicate there are significant challenges in encouraging academic staff to commit to the process and recognise the benefits of assuring learning. The differences in understanding between the various leaders and the academics were highlighted through the different focus groups. Leaders' stressed strategic issues such as staff engagement and change, while academics focussed on process issues such as teaching graduate attributes and external accreditation.
    Understanding the differences in the perspectives of leaders and faculty is important, as without a shared understanding between the two groups, there is likely to be limited engagement, which creates difficulties in developing effective assurance of learning processes. Findings indicate that successful strategies developed to foster shared values on assurance of learning include: strong senior leaders commitment; developing champions among program and unit level staff; providing professional development opportunities; promoting and celebrating success and effectiveness; and ensuring an inclusive process with academics of all levels collaborating in the development and implementation of the process.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEDULearn 12, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
    Place of PublicationSpain
    PublisherInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development
    Pages4584-4594
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Print)9788469534915
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    Event4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies - Barcelona, Spain
    Duration: 2 Jul 2015 → …

    Conference

    Conference4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
    CountrySpain
    CityBarcelona
    Period2/07/15 → …

    Fingerprint

    singing
    leader
    learning
    staff
    Group
    senior program
    business school
    interview
    accreditation
    learning process
    graduate
    commitment
    Teaching
    Values
    education

    Cite this

    Lawsom, R., Taylor, T., Herbert, J., Fallshaw, E., French, E., Hall, C., ... Summers, J. (2012). Assurance of learning: Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet? In EDULearn 12, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (pp. 4584-4594). Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development.
    Lawsom, Romy ; Taylor, Tracey ; Herbert, James ; Fallshaw, Eveline ; French, Erica ; Hall, Cathy ; Kinash, Shelley ; Summers, Jane. / Assurance of learning : Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet?. EDULearn 12, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. Spain : International Association of Technology, Education and Development, 2012. pp. 4584-4594
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    title = "Assurance of learning: Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet?",
    abstract = "Assurance of learning (AoL) is an important process in quality education, designed to measure the accomplishment of educational aims at the core of an institution's programs, whilst encouraging faculty to continuously develop and improve the programs and courses. This paper reports on a study of Australian business schools to investigate current AoL practices through semi structured interviews with senior faculty leaders followed by focus group interviews with groups of senior program leaders and groups of academic teaching staff. Initial findings indicate there are significant challenges in encouraging academic staff to commit to the process and recognise the benefits of assuring learning. The differences in understanding between the various leaders and the academics were highlighted through the different focus groups. Leaders' stressed strategic issues such as staff engagement and change, while academics focussed on process issues such as teaching graduate attributes and external accreditation.Understanding the differences in the perspectives of leaders and faculty is important, as without a shared understanding between the two groups, there is likely to be limited engagement, which creates difficulties in developing effective assurance of learning processes. Findings indicate that successful strategies developed to foster shared values on assurance of learning include: strong senior leaders commitment; developing champions among program and unit level staff; providing professional development opportunities; promoting and celebrating success and effectiveness; and ensuring an inclusive process with academics of all levels collaborating in the development and implementation of the process.",
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    year = "2012",
    language = "English",
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    Lawsom, R, Taylor, T, Herbert, J, Fallshaw, E, French, E, Hall, C, Kinash, S & Summers, J 2012, Assurance of learning: Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet? in EDULearn 12, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. International Association of Technology, Education and Development, Spain, pp. 4584-4594, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, Barcelona, Spain, 2/07/15.

    Assurance of learning : Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet? / Lawsom, Romy; Taylor, Tracey; Herbert, James; Fallshaw, Eveline; French, Erica; Hall, Cathy; Kinash, Shelley; Summers, Jane.

    EDULearn 12, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. Spain : International Association of Technology, Education and Development, 2012. p. 4584-4594.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

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    AU - Taylor, Tracey

    AU - Herbert, James

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    AU - French, Erica

    AU - Hall, Cathy

    AU - Kinash, Shelley

    AU - Summers, Jane

    PY - 2012

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    N2 - Assurance of learning (AoL) is an important process in quality education, designed to measure the accomplishment of educational aims at the core of an institution's programs, whilst encouraging faculty to continuously develop and improve the programs and courses. This paper reports on a study of Australian business schools to investigate current AoL practices through semi structured interviews with senior faculty leaders followed by focus group interviews with groups of senior program leaders and groups of academic teaching staff. Initial findings indicate there are significant challenges in encouraging academic staff to commit to the process and recognise the benefits of assuring learning. The differences in understanding between the various leaders and the academics were highlighted through the different focus groups. Leaders' stressed strategic issues such as staff engagement and change, while academics focussed on process issues such as teaching graduate attributes and external accreditation.Understanding the differences in the perspectives of leaders and faculty is important, as without a shared understanding between the two groups, there is likely to be limited engagement, which creates difficulties in developing effective assurance of learning processes. Findings indicate that successful strategies developed to foster shared values on assurance of learning include: strong senior leaders commitment; developing champions among program and unit level staff; providing professional development opportunities; promoting and celebrating success and effectiveness; and ensuring an inclusive process with academics of all levels collaborating in the development and implementation of the process.

    AB - Assurance of learning (AoL) is an important process in quality education, designed to measure the accomplishment of educational aims at the core of an institution's programs, whilst encouraging faculty to continuously develop and improve the programs and courses. This paper reports on a study of Australian business schools to investigate current AoL practices through semi structured interviews with senior faculty leaders followed by focus group interviews with groups of senior program leaders and groups of academic teaching staff. Initial findings indicate there are significant challenges in encouraging academic staff to commit to the process and recognise the benefits of assuring learning. The differences in understanding between the various leaders and the academics were highlighted through the different focus groups. Leaders' stressed strategic issues such as staff engagement and change, while academics focussed on process issues such as teaching graduate attributes and external accreditation.Understanding the differences in the perspectives of leaders and faculty is important, as without a shared understanding between the two groups, there is likely to be limited engagement, which creates difficulties in developing effective assurance of learning processes. Findings indicate that successful strategies developed to foster shared values on assurance of learning include: strong senior leaders commitment; developing champions among program and unit level staff; providing professional development opportunities; promoting and celebrating success and effectiveness; and ensuring an inclusive process with academics of all levels collaborating in the development and implementation of the process.

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    Lawsom R, Taylor T, Herbert J, Fallshaw E, French E, Hall C et al. Assurance of learning: Are academics and senior leaders singing from the same hymn sheet? In EDULearn 12, 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies. Spain: International Association of Technology, Education and Development. 2012. p. 4584-4594