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Learning and Teaching Plan 2009-2013


Learning and Teaching Plan 2009-2013

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									                  Learning and Teaching Plan 2009-2013

             Sponsor: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching Quality)

Changes in the strategic context within which QUT operates have given impetus to a renewed
focus on quality and outcomes from learning and teaching. QUT recognizes that excellent
learning outcomes will be highly dependent on a learning-centred approach, building a
capable teaching workforce, supportive learning environments and renewing real-world


QUT aims to provide outstanding learning environments and programs that lead to excellent
outcomes for graduates, enabling them to work in, and guide, a world characterised by
increasing change.

Over the life of the Plan, QUT’s major emphasis in learning and teaching will be on:

•   Improving the quality of student learning through enhanced curriculum design, quality
    monitoring, and excellent pedagogy;

•   Responding more systematically and strategically to student evaluations. For 2008-2009,
    the following five key issues have been identified from consolidated student feedback:

        1.   Commencing student retention;
        2.   Assessment (including group work and feedback);
        3.   Curriculum design;
        4.   Relevance (“Real World”);
        5.   Academic staff accessibility and helpfulness.

•   Enhancing the strategic consideration of the university suite of courses to better capture
    changing student demand, projected demographic trends, and anticipated workforce

•   Improving commencing student retention by strengthening the First Year Experience;

•   Renewing the ‘real world learning’ focus of QUT through providing enhanced
    opportunities for work-integrated learning and transitions into professional practice;

•   building the academic capacity of our teaching staff, including sessional staff, through
    targeted development programs and support options aligned to improvement and
    performance systems;

•   exploring ways to develop intercultural competence through internationalisation of the
    curriculum and actions that address the Reconciliation Statement in respect of Indigenous

•   exploring a range of delivery modes that incorporate both physical and virtual learning

•   developing stronger synergies between teaching and research.

Objective 1      To improve learning outcomes through critical reflection on and
                 strategic and systematic responses to teaching quality data and other
                 indicators of course quality.

Key indicators will be:
       • Improvements in CEQ and GDS outcomes (KPI LT7 & 8);
       • QUT’s relative performance in:
                    o the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund;
                    o University student retention rates (KPI LT6);
                    o Student Progression (KPI LT2);
       • QTAC First Preferences: Offers Ratios (KPI LT1);
       • LEX overall unit satisfaction;
       • LEX overall teaching satisfaction (KPI LT4).


1.1    Ensure that feedback provided from a range of sources (including LEX as the
       universal evaluation of teaching quality) is used to improve learning outcomes:

       •      Encourage academic staff to reflect on their own evaluation feedback and make
              continuous improvements in teaching quality;
       •      Encourage academic supervisors to utilize teaching quality data effectively in
              both the PPrAS process and in supporting nominations for award and recognition
       •      Consolidate the University’s student feedback data sets; analysing these
              effectively and using them to inform planned improvements;
       •      Report to students through LMS and various media, the improvements flowing
              from earlier feedback.

1.2    Support first year student success by strengthening the First Year Experience,
       identifying and case managing students at risk, and enhancing the
       development of academic study skills. [Addresses Key Issue: Commencing
       Student Retention].

As measured by:
      • Commencing student retention rates (KPT LT6);
      • Student satisfaction, reported in LEX and FYES.

1.3    Strengthen honors programs and undergraduate research pathways with a
       view to identifying, supporting and increasing the transition of high performing
       graduates to higher degree research.

As measured by:
      • Number of honors graduates progressing to higher degree by research (HDR)
      • Number of 4 year undergraduate degree graduates completing research pathway

Objective 2       To develop a robust strategic framework for ongoing curriculum
                  development and quality assurance. [Addresses Key Issue: Curriculum

Key indicators will be:
       • Interfaculty course load (KPI LT9);
       • Improvement in CEQ outcomes – educational experience (especially CEQuery
           qualitative information).


2.1    Further develop ‘real world learning’ approaches in curriculum and pedagogy.
       [Addresses Key Issues: Relevance (Real World) and Curriculum Design].

As measured by:
      • Proportion of undergraduates participating in work and community placements;
      • The range of strategies for involving professionals in university learning and
          assessment activities;
      • Graduate Destination Survey (GDS) results (KPI LT7);
      • Generic Skills (CEQ);
      • Improvement in responses to LEX Question U02 ‘The relevance of the unit
          activities was clear’.

       •      Reconceptualize a distinctive approach to supporting real world learning at QUT;
       •      Incorporate work-integrated and community-integrated learning as key
              components of undergraduate curricula;
       •      Promote university learning environments that reflect the evolving nature of
              business, industry, and the professions, through innovative forms of engagement
              by practicing professionals;
       •      Develop and consolidate active partnerships and collaborations within and
              beyond the University;
       •      Investigate feasibility of introducing an Employer Survey;
       •      Assist final year students’ seamless transition to professional practice through
              embedding of career development modules and e-portfolio developments through
              the development of capstone units.

2.2    Strengthen strategic thinking about curriculum, enhance curriculum design and
       streamline the approvals policy. [Addresses Key Issue: Curriculum Design].

As measured by:
      • Interfaculty Course Load (KPI LT9);
      • Increased offerings of customized education programs.

       •      Revise the Curriculum Development and Approvals process;
       •      Enhance strategic consideration of course offerings with regard to local, state,
              national and international priorities and skill shortages (KPI LT7);
       •      Develop effective resources and services to assist in curriculum and pedagogical
       •      Seek opportunities to leverage research strengths and Australian Learning and
              Teaching Council (ALTC) activity in enriching academic programs;
       •      Encourage interdisciplinary and cross faculty initiatives (eg Joint degrees across
       •      Seek opportunities to develop customised courses utilizing existing collaborative
              research relationships.

2.3    Redesign course reporting policies and practices, to ensure ongoing
       monitoring and improvement of course quality. [Addresses Key Issues:
       Curriculum Design and Relevance (Real World)].

As measured by:
      • MOPP C policies reviewed;
      • Course Performance Reporting revised.

       •   Revise MOPP C and associated review practices of Learning and Teaching
           Committee and UAB;
       •   Consolidate quality data from all sources to identify key areas for improvement in
           courses and follow through to improve outcomes.

2.4    Ensure curriculum design is outcomes-focused, and associated assessment
       practices are robust. [Addresses Key Issues:     Curriculum Design and

As measured by:
      • Improvement in assessment scores on LEX U04 ‘I received helpful feedback on
          my learning’ and Satisfaction questions (a) Assessment – Workload; (b)
          Assessment – Difficulty; and (c) Assessment – Relevance to Topic and relevant
          FYES questions.

       •   Develop curriculum maps that clearly show the relationship between units and
           desired learning outcomes at the degree level;
       •   Clearly align assessment strategies with learning outcomes through use of
           criterion-referenced assessment;
       •   Ensure good practice in assessment so that students are engaged, understand
           the relevance of the assessment task, and receive feedback that is both
           meaningful and timely;
       •   Continue development of the student e-Portfolio tools to track development of
           graduate capabilities;
       •   Review existing Graduate Capabilities Framework and Postgraduate Capabilities

2.5    Integrate cross-cultural and international dimensions into curriculum design
       and learning environments. [Addresses Key Issue: Curriculum Design].

As measured by:
      • Number of dual degrees with high quality international partner universities;
      • Increased number of students participating in outbound mobility programs;
      • Track number of students undertaking a second language in their degree

       •   Encourage an inclusive, dialogic teaching and learning environment for the
           development of students’ understanding of the cultural, Indigenous, and
           international contexts;
       •   Incorporate specific reference to contemporary international and local content
           and context;
       •   Implement the outcomes of the “Internationalising the Curriculum” project mutatis
           mutandis across the University;
       •   Increase in the number of international visiting scholars;
       •   Develop dual degrees with high quality international partner universities;
       •   Increase number of students participating in outbound mobility programs;
       •   Examine ways to further support development of English language proficiency
           within courses;
       •   Explore uses of virtual learning environments in international collaborations;
       •   Auditing and evaluating current curricula for appropriate Indigenous knowledge,
           content and pedagogy;
       •      Developing quality assurance indicators that relate to embedding Indigenous
              perspectives and knowledge;
       •      Encourage students to undertake a second language in their studies.

Objective 3       To provide high quality learning environments that capitalise on both
                  physical and virtual innovations.

Key Indicators will be:
               • Student access to technology (KPI FI7);
               • Usable floor area per EFTSL (KPI FI6);
               • Student staff ratios (KPI LT3).


3.1    Explore a range of blended learning options to better meet emerging student
       learning needs by utilizing new technologies, learning spaces and timetabling

As measured by:
      • Student satisfaction with the range of and access to virtual resources: library
          databases and online course materials (Survey of TILS services);
      • Uptake and accessing of online resources;
      • Improvement in responses to LEX Satisfaction Questions (h) Unit Website and (i)
          Unit Online Activities.

       •      Encourage early adopters of new technologies in pedagogy and provide support
              for dissemination of technological enhancements that have wide application;
       •      Develop learning and teaching strategies that make full use of the advanced
              capabilities of the Learning Management System (Blackboard);
       •      Explore use of intensive teaching periods for selected units;
       •      Develop differentiated approaches to the design and allocation of learning spaces
              appropriate to the nature of the unit and the pedagogy.

Objective 4       To nurture a dynamic community of scholarly teachers with the skill
                  and disposition to inspire excellent student learning. [Addresses Key
                  Issue: Academic Staff Accessibility and Helpfulness].

Key Indicators will be:
           • QUT share of ATLC awards, grants and fellowships (KPI LT5);
           • Student:staff ratio (KPI LT3);
           • Qualifications of staff (academic staff with PhD qualifications) (KPI PC5).
           • Academic staff teaching qualifications (eg Graduate Certificate in Higher
           • Number of academic staff that have completed ECARD or MCAD programs
               (KPI PC4).


4.1    Reward and recognise excellence in teaching and teaching leadership.
       [Addresses Key Issue: Academic Staff Accessibility and Helpfulness].

As measured by:
      • Number of staff recognised for their contribution to teaching at QUT.

       •      Refine the roles and responsibilities of teaching leadership positions, including
              Assistant Deans (T&L) and course and unit coordinators;
       •      Champion excellence in teaching through the Vice-Chancellor’s Performance
              Fund and through ATLC awards, grants and fellowships.

4.2    Extend the intellectual community of scholarly teachers.
       • Maximize ALTC awardees’ contributions to the teaching culture through an ALTC
          lecture series, showcases, periodic discussion groups and mentoring;
       • Link ALTC grant activity to research outcomes;
       • Promote personal reflection of teaching practices, including consideration of
          teaching quality data.

4.3    Ensure that our research strengths inform and enhance teaching and learning.
       [Addresses Key Issue: Curriculum Design].

       •   Ensure students are exposed to research information and culture by requiring
           researchers to undertake some teaching activities;
       •   Encourage all staff to use current research-generated information to inform their
       •   Encourage teaching staff to utilize their research expertise to systematically
           examine their own teaching practices and explore ways to provide undergraduate
           students with first hand experiences of investigation and analysis;
       •   Employ HDR students as academic interns/sessional teachers and encourage
           sessional staff to enrol in postgraduate/HDR study.

4.4    Build QUT’s academic capacity through the support of enabling systems such
       as staffing profile, academic workload allocation and promotion policies.
       [Addresses Key Issue: Academic Staff Accessibility and Helpfulness].

As measured by:
      • Academic staffing profile, workload, and promotion data comparisons with
          national and competitor universities.

       •   Develop a position on the preferred profile mix of full time and sessional staff;
       •   Achieve an appropriate balance of the teaching contribution made by sessional
           academic staff and full time staff;
       •   Continue to build the proportion of academic staff with doctoral qualifications.

4.5    Continue to refine teaching professional development programs for sessional,
       early career academics, mid-career academics and re-entering teaching
       academics, as well as those moving into teaching leadership roles. [Addresses
       Key Issue: Academic Staff Accessibility and Helpfulness].

As measured by:
      • Participation rates of new sessional staff in staff development programs;
      • Participation rates in professional development programs related to teaching;
      • Completion rates in Graduate Certificate (Higher Education).

       •   Provide professional development opportunities that match identified priorities
           emerging from teaching quality data;
       •   Provide tailored staff development programs for sessional staff;
       •   All new academic staff to undertake a developmental review of their teaching
           capabilities by the completion of their probation;
       •   Promote personal reflection of teaching practices, including consideration of
           teaching quality data and the development and maintenance of Academic
       •   Provide tailored staff development programs for staff with teaching and teaching
           leadership responsibilities.


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