Development of an Academic Standards Framework (ASF) and online evaluation and reporting tool at the University of Tasmania
Saunders, C and Booth, S, Development of an Academic Standards Framework (ASF) and online evaluation and reporting tool at the University of Tasmania, 2012 Australasian Association for Institutional Research Annual Forum, 12-14 November, Terrigal, pp. 1-12. (2012) [Refereed Conference Paper]
Copyright 2012 the Authors -The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).
The Australian government, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and
universities are currently engaged in conversations on key performance indicators and measures.
The period from 2008-2009 saw the national discussion focus on the development of performance
indicators for a range of purposes. In 2010, the discussion shifted to identifying performance
indicators within a national Higher Education Standards Framework. Indicators are most powerful
when they are located in a multidimensional framework (Coates, 2010). A clear message is that
universities need to be more explicit in their use and measurement of performance indicators for
funding, regulatory and quality assurance purposes.
Universities, in response, are developing their own institutional frameworks (Charles Sturt, Curtin,
Macquarie, RMIT, Canberra, South Australia and Western Sydney). The University of Tasmania
(UTAS) has developed its own University Standards Framework (USF). The UTAS USF
encompasses 6 key dimensions: Teaching, Learning, Curriculum, Student Experience, Research and
Research Training. Indicators and performance measures for each standard have been developed
based on their capacity to measure and improve practice. The USF project also includes the
development of an online evaluation and reporting tool. The framework and online tool is currently at
the trial phase across one faculty (Student Experience Dimension) and campus (Teaching
Dimension). This paper will report on the findings and utilisation of the performance indicators to
measure quality. What has emerged during the project is the realisation that ‘developing indicators to
measure complex phenomena is a complex task’ (Coates, 2010).