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Using a distributive leadership strategy to improve the quality of assessment across a university: initial results of the project


Cordiner, MC and Brown, NR, Using a distributive leadership strategy to improve the quality of assessment across a university: initial results of the project, ATN Assessment Conference 2009: Assessment in Different Dimensions, Conference Proceedings, 19-20 November 2009, Melbourne, pp. 104-110. ISBN 978-0-646-52421-4 (2009) [Refereed Conference Paper]


To improve the quality and consistency of assessment processes, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) revised its assessment policy in 2007 to include explicit principles built around criterion-referenced assessment (CRA). Distributive leadership was chosen as one way of underpinning the implementation strategy to encourage a ‘bottom up’ approach to complement the ‘top down’ policy imperative. Thirty-one School Champions (across 7 Faculties) were appointed to be part of the distributive leadership team. Dedicated support has been provided for two years by a newly-appointed academic with expertise in CRA based in the academic development unit. This paper reports initial (mostly positive) results of the implementation project one year into a three year plan. Quantitative and qualitative data about how well the School Champions thought they were functioning as part of the team have been collected via online point-in-time snapshot surveys and the types of support requested have also been reviewed. In terms of the overall project, the number of distributive leaders has expanded; extensive discipline-specific resources have been developed and trialled in Schools; expertise and confidence with CRA has grown in some discipline areas; and the variety of consultations and workshops requested of the assessment academic has increased. Limitations of the data are discussed and recommendations made about how to build and sustain momentum. Keywords: criterion-referenced assessment, quality, distributive leadership

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:criterion-referenced assessment, quality, distributive leadership
Research Division:Chemical Sciences
Research Group:Macromolecular and materials chemistry
Research Field:Physical properties of materials
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Policies and development
UTAS Author:Cordiner, MC (Mrs Moira Cordiner)
UTAS Author:Brown, NR (Professor Natalie Brown)
ID Code:61457
Year Published:2009
Deposited By:Curriculum and Academic Development
Deposited On:2010-03-03
Last Modified:2014-12-21

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