The practice of quality in assuring learning in higher education
There remains a lack of published empirical data on the substantive outcomes of higher learning and the establishment of quality processes for determining them. Studies that do exist are nationally focused with available rankings of institutions reflecting neither the quality of teaching and learning nor the diversity of institutions. This article describes two studies in which associate deans from Australian higher education institutions and focus groups of management and academics identify current issues and practices in the design, development and implementation of processes for assuring the quality of learning and teaching. Results indicate that developing graduate attributes and mapping assessments to measure outcomes across an entire programme necessitates knowledge creation strategies and systems as well as inclusive decision processes. Common elements supporting consistently superior outcomes include inclusivity of a range of teaching and support academics; embedded graduate attributes; consistent and appropriate assessment; digital collection mechanisms; and systematic analysis of outcomes used in programme review.