Making a difference: Comparing the impact of a unit improvement strategy on two Accounting and Finance Units

Kara Mariann Gilbert, Lorraine Bennett

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    Abstract

    While most universities in Australia have unit (subject) student evaluation systems and processes in place, the implementation of routine strategies for responding to and acting on the date to make a difference to learning and teaching programs is less evident. This paper discusses the approach that is being taken at Monash University to work with this data in a strategic and targeted way. Specifically, the paper describes the methodology which was employed to address two underperforming accounting and finance units. Detailed investigation of the unit data, supplemented by discussions with faculty staff involved in the units, indicated that greatest concern with the units centred on feedback, tutor support and student engagement. Intervention activities undertaken included: (1) the integration in the unit programmes of two additional formative assessments, and (2) teaching observations and feedback. The next round of unit evaluations revealed that student satisfaction increased much more significantly (>50 ) in one of the units compared to the other unit (>5 ). Further, examination of factors that may have impacted on student perceptions of the units suggested that different levels of experience and confidence demonstrated by the staff delivering the units may have contributed to the improvement differences. Thus, further recommendations for intervention include professional development and mentoring of staff in the underperforming unit, focusing particularly on: (1) building pedagogy skills, and (2) strategy for improving the alignment of learning objective with teaching and assessment. Continued monitoring of student evaluation data and other key indicators will help determine if the recommended strategies do, indeed, make a difference .
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAustralian Universities Quality Agency Occasional Publications [P]
    Place of PublicationMelbourne
    PublisherAustralian Universities Quality Agency
    Pages39 - 46
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)1446-4268
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventAustralian Universities Quality Forum (AUQF) 2008: Quality and standards in higher educations: making a difference - Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 9 Jul 200811 Jul 2009

    Conference

    ConferenceAustralian Universities Quality Forum (AUQF) 2008
    Abbreviated titleAUQF 2008
    CountryAustralia
    CityCanberra
    Period9/07/0811/07/09

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