Stop Press: Educational Quality Framework Released
In exciting news, the Educational Quality Framework (EQF) was recently approved by Academic Senate and is now live. This heralds a new era for Flinders University, as we roll out a coherent structure of policies, procedures and resources to support and assure Educational Quality at Flinders University.
Key features of the Framework
Central to the notion of Educational Quality at Flinders University is the student learning experience. We want students to benefit from curriculum that is relevant and well structured, teaching that is innovative and pedagogically sound, and assessment practices that are meaningful and timely. We therefore need mechanisms that both assure and improve the quality of our curriculum design and our teaching.
The EQF is intended to minimise excessive bureaucratisation and administrative burden, with a focus on continuous improvement. It acknowledges our institutional obligations to the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2015, while demonstrating a respect for academic autonomy and the centrality of the student experience. The EQF speaks to the purpose of university as a place of learning and that central to this are the two key facets of curriculum and teaching.
Acknowledging the centrality of student learning, the EQF gives definition to what is understood as Educational Quality at Flinders University: Quality in Curriculum Design, and Quality in Teaching. The achievement of quality within these two realms is supported by Educational Quality Assurance mechanisms and an Educational Quality Improvement approach that recognises that educational quality is not an end goal but an ongoing pursuit.
The EQF encompasses a suite of new and updated policies and procedures that reflect the assurance and improvement ethos. The Award Courses Policy and associated Award Course Approval Procedures and Award Course Improvement and Accreditation Procedures frame the design, development, management, improvement and accreditation of award courses. This in turn is supported by the incorporation of high quality assessment methods in accordance with the Assessment Policy and Student Academic Integrity Policy. Teaching quality is assured and improved through a range of evidence-based measures and is underpinned by a set of principles that retain students firmly at the centre.
The EQF is a transformational document which brings clarity to what Educational Quality means at Flinders and reminds us that “everyone in an organisation has a responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the quality of the product or service… The transformation requires time, effort, and willingness of everyone in the institution to change to a culture which is quality-driven and ever-improving.” (Tam, 2001, p. 49)
Maureen Tam (2001) Measuring Quality and Performance in Higher Education, Quality in Higher Education, 7:1, 47-54, DOI: 10.1080/13538320120045076