Benchmarking Enabling programs: A step towards a quality framework

Presentation


Davis, Charmaine, Syme, Suzi and Cook, Chris. 2017. "Benchmarking Enabling programs: A step towards a quality framework." NAEEA Conference 2017: Enabling teaching, Enabling learning. Gold Coast 29 Nov - 01 Dec 2017 Australia. National Association of Enabling Educators in Australia (NAEEA).
Paper/Presentation Title

Benchmarking Enabling programs: A step towards a quality framework

Presentation TypePresentation
AuthorsDavis, Charmaine, Syme, Suzi and Cook, Chris
Journal or Proceedings TitleProceedings of the 6th Biennial National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia conference
Year2017
PublisherNational Association of Enabling Educators in Australia (NAEEA)
Place of PublicationAustralia
Web Address (URL) of Paperhttps://enablingeducators.org/conferences/
Conference/EventNAEEA Conference 2017: Enabling teaching, Enabling learning
Event Details
NAEEA Conference 2017: Enabling teaching, Enabling learning
Parent
National Association of Enabling Educators of Australia: Enabling Education
Delivery
In person
Event Date
29 Nov 2017 to end of 01 Dec 2017
Event Location
Gold Coast
Event Venue
Southern Cross University
Abstract

This workshop will discuss the process used by three universities to benchmark key features of their enabling programs with a particular focus on addressing the issues of quality, equivalence and equitability. We hope to contribute to efforts to address the lack of a formal national standard in this area. By sharing the process we followed, participants will gain insights into how to conduct their own benchmarking processes to improve student and staff experiences, and advance learning outcomes.

The diversity of enabling programs in the higher education sector has been the focus of considerable attention in recent times, and drawing reliable comparisons between these programs has sometimes proved challenging. Enabling education has occupied a long standing place within the higher education sector in Australia, and the significance of enabling programs has only increased with moves to widen participation of underrepresented groups in tertiary education (Lisciandro & Gibbs, 2016). Enabling programs are not regulated by the Australian Qualifications Framework structure, and have been developed by a wide range of universities to meet the needs of their own student cohorts and university undergraduate admission requirements, resulting in considerable program diversity. Pitman et al (2016) conclude that there is a lack of transparency which makes comparisons between programs problematic and limits the mobility of enabling students across institutions.

There have been a limited number of projects which have set out to address this issue by developing frameworks to compare enabling programs across the sector. The 2013 report by Hodges et al included a comparative study of enabling programs across five participating institutions to examine the issues of student attrition and progression, while Baker and Irwin (2015) conducted an audit of how 27 universities approached academic language and literacies instruction within their enabling programs. A collaborative Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching project involving three universities is currently underway by Relf, Shah and Sharp and has as its focus the curriculum design principles underpinning enabling programs.

Our project benchmarks key features of the enabling programs offered by CQUniversity, Southern Cross University and the University of Southern Queensland. This workshop will present the process we used to approach this task that was undertaken in a systematic and collaborative way, underpinned by an ethical agreement (Morgan & Taylor, 2012).

Our workshop will include:
• a brainstorming activity about concepts and experiences of benchmarking
• a group activity on appropriate guidelines to set up a benchmarking project
• a group activity on what to benchmark
• a group activity on how to benchmark
• a reporting back activity as a group.

Preliminary findings of our benchmarking project will be presented. Ideas for a national framework will be discussed.

Discussion of an effective benchmarking framework will provide a useful means of comparing enabling programs, highlighting commonalities and differences in teaching practices, curriculum design, assessment, learning and teaching arrangements and student support processes at a national level. These benchmarking initiatives may contribute to the recognition of broadly accepted standards in enabling education to improve outcomes for students, staff and institutions, while also providing an effective mechanism to advocate for the ongoing success of our rich and diverse enabling programs in Australia.

KeywordsBenchmarking ; enabling programs
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
Public Notes

Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
Southern Cross University
Central Queensland University
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