What's next? 

In order to sustain the outcomes of the capacity-building initiatives undertaken during this Fellowship a set of recommendations is provided.

  • The proposed Education Services Australia (ESA) clearing house be established and that it be organised around the ‘6 keys’ framework for assuring the quality of achievement standards and assessment in Australian higher education.
  • Higher education institutions review current Learning and Teaching leadership selection and promotion processes to confirm they are addressing the top ranking capabilities identified in the Learning Leaders in Times of Change study and endorsed during the Fellowship.
  • A ‘nested’ leadership system be established in each university or college to support coordinated action on the achievement standards and assessment quality agenda.
  • Key local Learning and Teaching leaders like A/Dean, Head of School and Progam give particular attention to the ‘how’ of change not just the ‘what’ and that their activities in this area be supported by each institution’s Learning and Teaching centre staff.
  • Local Learning and Teaching leaders responsible for this area engage with the assessment quality networks that are already underway.
  • Learning and Teaching leaders engage actively via these networks to influence the policy formation process for higher education, arguing that we need not just work ready graduates for today but work ready plus ones for tomorrow if Australia is to successfully negotiate the challenges of social, cultural, economic and environmental sustainability and the effects of ‘digital disruption’ that are rapidly unfolding around us. In doing this it is recommended that the ‘why bother’ case outlined in the Overview Section of the guide be prosecuted more vigorously.
  • More systematic use be made of successful early career graduate studies to confirm and validate the relevance of program level outcomes and to identify case studies for use in real-world dilemma-based learning and assessment.
  • This self-teaching guide be updated and used with future staff and local leaders to help them to effectively apply its key lessons and sharpen not only the new course development process but also the review of existing courses.
  • This process be supported using an evidence-based tracking and improvement system based on the Quality and Standards Framework for Learning and Teaching outlined in the Using the Guide and Getting Started Section 3.1 of the guide.
  • Each higher education institution seeks to align incentives, accountabilities, course development and review policies, procedures and systems to more directly track and support the sustained implementation of the above actions.
  • A culture of ‘collaborative work for competitive edge’ be adopted, using the lessons on effective staff learning and networking identified in the effective networking section of the guide (see the Making it Happen - Networked Learning section of the site).
  • The quality checkpoints proposed in each section of the guide be constantly reviewed, updated and enhanced.
  • A national stocktake of if/how this guide has been used and how its contents and use might best be enhanced be undertaken in approximately one year from its launch and that the results be shared across the sector.
  • A sessional staff capability framework for this area be developed and that this include inviting successful, experienced sessional staff in different fields of education to write a ‘lonely planet guide’ for new sessional staff on how best manage assessment.

The ‘key insights’ white paper which accompanies this guide identifies the recurring key issues raised during the Fellowship workshops can be used to provide key local and senior leaders with the underpinning rationale for these recommendations. This Fellowship discussion paper is available for download from the Resources & Further Reading drop down menu on the top bar of the site's Home page.

Importantly this ‘key insights’ paper also links directly to and provides an underpinning rationale for the majority of the priority commissioned grant areas set down for Office for Learning and Teaching Projects in 2016. It is anticipated that the projects awarded funding in each of these priority areas will give continuity to and further build on what has been achieved during the current National Senior Teaching Fellowship that generated this guide. They are:

  • Academic standards;
  • Assessing equivalence of qualifications and learning outcomes;
  • Assessment and promotion of student learning;
  • Designing learning for the future;
  • Employability skills for the future;
  • Improving institutional pathways across higher education;
  • Improving access to and outcomes in higher education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people;
  • The contemporary PhD.

In the age of digital disruption and volatility and a time when we need to shift Australia away from being reliant on resources and traditional manufacturing industries to being an agile, innovatory, socially robust, economically and environmentally sustainable country higher education has a central role to play. We hope that this guide will help us to act upon this call to action collaboratively, efficiently and effectively.