Continuing in this series of articles, PVC (Program and Pathways), Professor Sean Brawley provides an overview on the current program of renewal of our course and unit quality assurance processes.  In Part 4 he discusses the next steps given the approvals of the policy suite.

In Part 1 of this series I introduced you to the new MQ Curriculum Lifecycle Framework.  This Framework has been informed by our new approach to Quality Assurance, Enhancement and Improvement (QAE&I).  In Part 2, I introduced you to the work that is currently underway to build our Quality System and the new suite of policies that will support this work.  In Part 3 I introduced the policy suite driving our innovation.  Six of these policies were approved by Academic Senate on 31 August after endorsement by the Academic Standards and Quality Committee.  A seventh policy on New Product Development is under consideration by the Executive Group as the authority for this policy resides with the Vice-Chancellor.  A final policy on Thematic Review for our academic activities is being finalised and will require endorsement of the Executive Group and approval of Academic Senate.

On behalf of the Programs & Pathways team and ASQC and Operating Plan Board 2 Workstream 5 Chair, Taryn Jones, I want to acknowledge the efforts of many academic and professional staff colleagues who played crucial roles in the realisation of our new institutional vision.  As well as members of the original working party, the Workstream, the Program Board, our Policy Unit, ASQC, Academic Senate and Executive Group members, over 370 colleagues engaged with the process by attending workshops or visiting the resources in our dedicated Wiki.  In finalising the policy, members of ASQC and Senate made 68 unique visits to Policy Central to view and comment on drafts.  The result, in my humble opinion is an approach to QAE&I and a suite of policies that represent not simply national but international best practice — something for which we can all be very proud. 

The new policy suite to support our Curriculum Lifecycle Framework is now live on Policy Central. Refer to the below links for further information:

To revisit how this new policy suite maps against our Curriculum Lifecycle watch the video from the Senate presentation on 31 August where Taryn Jones provides this context.

Of course, turning policy into practice is the next challenge and, to borrow a well-used metaphor from the DVC(R), we would be misguided if we think we can see the summit when it comes to operationalisation.  This said we know the destination, we have a good map and we have the right equipment.

For the rest of this year our work in this Curriculum Lifecycle space will be mostly focussed on the following areas:

  1. Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification.
  2. Reaccreditation for 2022
  3. Unit Periodic Review for 2022

Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification

As discussed in Part 3. this will be the feature of the new lifecycle that will engage most colleagues most regularly.  Work on this process is well advanced. I remind colleagues of Cathy Rytmeister’s recent TECHE post on the new changes around LEUs which help to inform the revamped dashboards being finalised for S2.  It is expected that we will be able to commence training of colleagues on the new system in early November.

Course Reaccreditation

In the next few weeks we will commence working with those Course Authorities whose courses have been identified by faculties for reaccreditation in 2022.  Faculties are currently finalising who their Course Authorities for a given course are and whether courses might be bundled or reviewed individually. 

To assist Course Authorities, the appointment of three “Reaccreditation Coordinators” is well underway and it is our hope that this support will be on the ground by October   

Work on the dashboard, which will support both the Annual Health Check and the Reaccreditation system, is well advanced with tranche one of a three tranche process now complete.  Display of the tranche to a small number of colleagues for initial feedback has produced strong endorsement of the Dashboards and some useful fine tuning. 

Unit Periodic Review

As noted, Unit periodic review will commence in 2022 for courses that will be reviewed in 2023.

In 2022 our unit periodic review cycle will commence.  Units will be reviewed once in the accreditation cycle of the course for which they were designed.  The unit periodic review is an opportunity to take an in-depth look at all aspects of a unit, including content, design, delivery modes and assessment strategies. Harnessing collaborative practice and peer review practices, a unit will be reviewed by two colleagues not involved with the teaching of the unit.  They will share their thoughts with the Unit Convenor before finalising some recommendations to inform an “Action Plan”.  We will work with courses scheduled for re-accreditation in 2023 to start this work next year. In Part 5 I’ll provide a general update and more detail on Unit Monitoring and Grade Ratification.

For further information, please contact Maria D’Addiego-Kettle, maria.kettle@mq.edu.au

Other articles in this Series:

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Posted by Sean Brawley

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