Publication Details

Latukefu, L., O'Donnell, M. & Ellmers, G. N.. Heightened potentials: assisting students to work independently and collaboratively in the creative and performing arts disciplines. Guildhall School and Barbican Centre. 17 March. 2012.


Australian universities are currently engaged in a number of important intersecting curriculum review and quality assurance process. These include development of university-based Graduate Qualities and development of national, discipline-based Standards. It is increasingly apparent that identifying, clarifying, measuring and promoting these markers of quality will play a vital role in the evolution of rigorous curriculum standards in the next few years. The aims of the current research project are to identify how learning and assessment are organised in music, theatre, graphic design and journalism programs in a Faculty of Creative Arts to assist students to work independently and collaboratively in the creative and performing arts discipline in response to project demands.

The following questions have been developed as guiding objectives for the project:

1. How and where is learning and assessment organised to assist students to develop skills to work independently and collaboratively?

2. What strategies motivate meaningful engagement of staff and students with collaborative learning?

Methods include:

• Identification of discipline stakeholders including participating lecturers, students and other scholars in the field prior to the commencement of the project.

• Focus groups held with stakeholders to conceptualise what it is understood by the terms standards and graduate qualities in relation to discipline and course specific outcomes.

• Workshops with staff to develop activities and assessments that encourage collaborative work.

• Strategies developed for developing meaningful engagement of students with collaborative learning.

Expected Key Outcomes: The project will produce a developed matrix in which threshold learning outcomes (such as students working independently and collaboratively) are mapped with the curriculum being taught. The development of this matrix engages staff and students in a participative process to ensure the detailed and common understanding of curriculum processes, standards and outcomes. An articulated framework for methods to implement graduate qualities and threshold learning outcomes into curricula and assessment is another expected outcome of the project. A carefully documented process will show methods and strategies the researchers found useful to deal with multiple perspectives and goals from the different people contributing to the process

Envisaged format: This paper will be presented with a series of slides that outline the progress of the project and illustrate the web-based matrix that is being developed. There will be some discussion about the information mapping and inter-face design that took place in the making of the matrix.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Guildhall School of Music & Drama