Assurance of Learning process and cycle

The Process

The AOL process in the Faculty of Business and Economics comprises both direct and indirect measures. Indirect measures include employment data, the national Course Experience Questionnaire, Quality of Teaching and employer surveys. Direct measurement of the achievement of program learning goals and objectives started in 2009, following the development of learning goals and objectives at both the subject level and the program level.

Prior to the start of each semester, the AOL team identifies a selection of program learning objectives to commence the AOL process based on the overall AOL plan (Step 1). The plan identifies all program learning goals and objectives and the subjects that have been identified as those most suited to an AOL process. The plan outlines a five year process that began in 2009 and will roll though all learning goals and objectives up to the end of 2013 when the process will start again. This is in addition to regular degree reviews which include external reviewers of each degree program as part of the quality assurance processes that exist in the faculty to ensure programs are appropriately targeted and aligned with the strategic direction of the Faculty. The curriculum mapping database is used to identify which subjects map with the selected program learning objectives and goals. Initial discussions are arranged with lecturers to engage them in the process (Steps 2-3). How the AOL can be best conducted in their subjects is discussed.

Once assessment information is collected, arrangements will be made to assess the pieces of assessment against the rubric developed in consultation with the lecturer (Step 4). Student work and records are stored either electronically or in paper-based format depending on the nature of the assessment task that has been used (Step 5). Once the student responses to the assessment task have been analysed, a brief report is sent to lecturers and program directors to solicit their reflection and response. Lecturers are asked to respond to several questions related to action they may decide to take as a result of the AOL process or reasons why no action is appropriate (Steps 6-8). The AOL results and subsequent actions for the year are summarised in an annual report which is sent to the Bachelor of Commerce Course Standing Committee and the Graduate Studies and Research Training Committee. Results also form one part of the material provided for regular degree reviews (Step 9).

The figure below shows the nine-step AOL process within the Faculty.

AOL Process

The Cycle

The figure below illustrates the Assurance of Learning cycle of the Faculty of Business and Economics. Assurance of Learning is an ongoing activity carried out every semester with the first cycle being 2009-2013.