Higher Education Standards Panel Research Fellow National consensus on higher education standards in a disaggregated learning environment

2014 OLT National Senior Teaching Fellowship

Keywords: ,

Emeritus Professor Christine Ewan

Fellowship years: 2014 - 2016

Abstract: The present international and national higher education landscape is characterised by a drive towards flexibility, diversity, accessibility, transportability, quality assurance and improvement, consistency and comparability. On the face of it some of these drivers could appear to be mutually contradictory; however, the common theme uniting all of them is the identification and operationalisation of standards, particularly for learning outcomes, and the development of ways to verify that those standards have been achieved. The definition of standards is itself a fraught task, largely because the term has many potential meanings, and the dialogue is therefore often hampered by ambiguity. The focus of this fellowship is on the implicaitons for standard setting in the emerging environment. These implicaitons will include the ways in which institutions can demonstrate to themselves and the regulator that their engagement in alternative disaggregated and distributed delivery methods for award courses is compliant with the Higher Education Standards Framework. Incorporating a review of the literature, site visits, interviews, consultations and workshops, it will provide a focus for sharing the considerable expertise that already exists in Australia and in established international networks. It will synthesise the various national and international as well as disciplinary and institutional perspectives, incorporating the views of private and non-self-accrediting higher education providers as well as universities, students, teachers and employers. An issues and possibilities paper will be iteratively refined and shared at a national forum, resulting in a report that will inform the setting and application of standards for higher education in the future.

Fellowship discipline: Academic Standards