QUALITY TEACHING AND LEARNING AT CHIE

 

A FRAMEWORK

 

As a new higher education institution, CIHE needs to ensure that it contributes to higher education in Australia with integrity by maintaining its commitment to student success. Educational integrity and student success will emerge from the same source: quality teaching and learning.

 

There now exists a very extensive literature on quality teaching and learning in higher education and there are many models of quality teaching and learning that have been developed and mobilised in higher education institutions across the globe. The framework here has been developed to drive, support, monitor and report on quality teaching and learning at CIHE in pursuit of our strategic goals and with a view to developing educational integrity and ensuring student success.

 

This framework is not definitive or exhaustive. It is a contained and, hopefully, manageable set of processes and tools that we can use at CIHE to ensure quality teaching and learning. [1] It will be subject to review and improvement along with all academic quality assurance processes at CIHE.

 

Student success needs to be ensured at the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, student success is about engaged learning – one of our key terms here at CIHE – whereby a student is actively engaged in the pedagogical processes that will support their learning, whether that be reading, listening, discussing, debating, planning, taking notes or any other range of tasks. To be actively engaged in any of these component parts of the learning process, a student needs to be aware of and committed to how it is that what is happening at the micro level will help them build macro level learning outcomes and attributes. It is at a macro level that student success is typically understood – “Have students achieved unit and course learning outcomes and the graduate attributes?” We seek to ensure this level of success at CIHE but we do this by ensuring that the component parts of our teaching and learning ensure micro level student success that will ensure their macro level success.

 

Educational integrity emerges from the coherence produced through the well designed and executed delivery of pedagogy that ensures micro level student success and thereby ensures macro level student success. This coherence is CIHE’s responsibility. Our courses, units and teaching must remain oriented to this pedagogical coherence. Integrity, then, refers to this coherence – whereby parts work together to form a cohesive, consistent whole. However, integrity also means that we conduct our educational work – planning, development, delivery, monitoring and reporting – collaboratively with openness and honestly so that we can develop a reflexively engaged community of practice –  an educational ecosystem with student success as its core goal.

 

To support staff in our collaborative pursuit of quality teaching and learning, this framework and its component parts draw from the existing literature but do this selectively and with an eye to the practical application of theories and techniques. The framework is designed to be useful and supportive of shared goals. It will be reviewed and redeveloped on an annual basis using feedback from staff, committees and boards at CIHE.

 

The approach outlined here and the processes and mechanisms described are designed to ensure that CIHE meets its strategic goals and key aspects of its Teaching and Learning Plan. It is useful at this point to revisit these:

 

Strategic Goal 4: Build CIHE’s capability and capacity

4.2 Establish high quality teaching and learning

4.2.1 Develop recruitment and professional development policy and procedure

4.2.2 Develop and support a scholarly culture of teaching, learning and research

4.2.3 Establish links with industry for input into culture of professional/industry readiness.

 

T&L focuses:

Quality curriculum and course design

•  Enhance student engagement and learning through curriculum design, assessment strategies, and an orientation to work-readiness – work oriented learning

•  Support student learning competencies through explicit assessment design involving criteria and standards

Quality teaching

•  Support staff to continually develop their educational practice through professional development

•  Promote and support research into the scholarship of teaching and learning

 

 

Some of these strategic, and teaching and learning goals are achieved, in part, by broader quality assurance mechanisms at CIHE. The orientation is slightly different here: All of the processes and mechanisms outlined here have been developed for practical use by staff and for the quality assurance of teaching and learning at CIHE. However, they are designed to work alongside and in conjunction with the CIHE Quality Assurance Framework and a range of policies and procedures, including: Course Development and Approval Policy and Procedure, Course Review and Improvement Policy and Procedure, Staff Recruitment, Induction, Professional Development, Appraisal and Promotion Policy and Procedure, Scholarly Activity Policy and Procedure, Academic Freedom, Integrity and Free Intellectual Enquiry Policy, Student Study Support and Welfare Plan, Student Consultation Policy, Student Assessment Policy, Student Progression and Exclusion Policy and Procedure, as well as CIHE’s current Strategic Plan and Teaching and Learning Plan.

 

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This quality teaching and Learning at CIHE framework includes the 7 mechanisms and processes. The first four directly target delivery, providing mechanisms for developing and monitoring different aspects of quality teaching and learning:

 

1. A constructive alignment toolkit for staff

The constructive alignment of units at CIHE is a requirement of their design, delivery, monitoring and continued improvement. This toolkit provides an explanation of the principles of CA, its application to unit development and delivery at CIHE and the monitoring and continual improvement of CA as a quality assurance process. At CIHE we are compelled by the TEQSA accreditation process to use a model of constructive alignment. However, it is by far and away the best way to assure quality in the delivery of explicit, student oriented and outcomes-based undergraduate education.

 

2. A series of Assessment at CIHE papers

These papers will discuss and guide how, at CIHE, we will operationalise policy, enhance student learning experience and success, drive our pedagogy with the current scholarship of teaching and learning and facilitate academic quality assurance in our use of assessment within a constructively aligned, student-centred approach to teaching and learning.

 

3. A discussion/guidance note on student-centred learning at CIHE

As Schweisfurth (2013: 20) explains, student-centred learning involves, ‘… a pedagogical approach which gives learners, and demands from them, a relatively high level of active control over the content and process of learning. What is learnt, and how, are therefore shaped by learners’ needs, capacities and interests.’  This discussion and guidance note clarifies how we approach student-centred learning at CIHE, taking into account the various contextual factors that impact our teaching and learning, including the regulatory context, the demands of accreditation bodies and the anticipated profile of our student cohorts.

 

4. Peer review of teaching tool

This tool is designed for the collaborative peer review of teaching at CIHE. It aims to assist staff to develop a ‘reflexive practice’ to support the continued development of their teaching and the quality of educational delivery at CIHE.

 

The remaining 3 are less direct and are designed to impact the organisational culture of CIHE both for students and staff.

 

1. DEFT seminar series

This series will provide a scholarly-oriented forum for the discussion and development of approaches to undergraduate entrepreneurial education, maximising input from current scholarship and current higher education practice, and facilitate professional liaison with other educators involved in entrepreneurial education, scholars and entrepreneurs. For more information, visit the DEFT website here.

 

2. CROWN professional development seminars

Provisionally titled ‘Join the conversation at Crown,’ this seminar series is designed to provide a forum for input and critical, scholarly discussion of key issues in teaching and learning, particularly those that form part of the quality teaching and learning at CIHE framework. A draft schedule of seminar topics has been developed for 2018.

 

3. Student Portfolio project

It is intended to develop an ‘op-in,’ supervised and supported portfolio process for students. The aspects of quality assured teaching outlined here and those driven by policy will be harnessed by students in a collaborative and supported process of developing a portfolio. The portfolio will draw on the explication of the constructive alignment and the educational integrity of CIHE’s courses to enable students to develop an evidenced-based portfolio for future employers or clients articulated to course learning outcomes and CIHE graduate attributes.

 

 

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Each of these components of the quality teaching and learning at CIHE framework is explained in more detail in the sections of the framework. In the explication of each component, it should become clear how each will, alongside and in conjunction with CIHE policies and procedures, enable CIHE to develop and sustain a community of practice for CIHE’s academic staff, supporting them to work as reflexive practitioners.

 

 

 

[1] The development of this framework to date (3 August 2017) has drawn heavily on discussion with Dr Bronwyn James, a member of the CIHE Academic Board and Head of Academic Enrichment at The University of Sydney. We are very grateful for her input and guidance.

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