Strategies to engage academics in assuring graduate attributes
Lawson, R., Taylor, T., Herbert, J., Fallshaw, E., French, E.L., Hall, C., Kinash, S. and Summers, J. (2012) Strategies to engage academics in assuring graduate attributes. In: 8th International Conference on Education (ICE) 2012, 5 - 7 July 2012, Samos, Greece
Assurance of learning (AoL) is a predominant feature in both quality assurance and quality enhancement in higher education. The process may be used for program development, and to inform external accreditation and evaluation bodies. However, there is an obvious challenge in trying to get academic staff to buy into the benefits of the AoL process. This project conducted an audit across 25 Australian Business Schools. The majority of those interviewed stated that academic staff considered AoL to be extra work and viewed the process as a box ticking exercise for external bodies rather than sound educational practice. A change management process is required to promote the necessary cultural change to embed AoL into practice. This paper showcases some of the educational leadership strategies that have been successfully implemented across Australia to foster staff engagement in the AoL process. These include: strong senior management commitment and leadership demonstrating a constant and high level drive for staff engagement until AoL becomes an institutional norm; developing leadership and champions among unit and program level staff, to share practices and promote the benefits that come from engaging in the process; providing professional development opportunities to discuss and resolve difficulties and tensions around AoL; demonstrating success and effectiveness by selling staff on the evidence that AoL makes a difference; and making the process inclusive with academics collaborating in the development and implementation of the process.
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