Quality Assurance

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is committed to providing quality teaching in an intellectual environment that is responsive to the learning needs of our students, and that respects and is inclusive of their diversity.

Achieving excellence in teaching standards is vital to the student experience at the University of Sydney and in our Faculty.

Ensuring the quality of our teaching involves:

  • Regularly evaluating our units of study and responding to improve the standards of our delivery where required.
  • Designing our curriculum effectively and continuously improving both course structure and content.
  • Providing a variety of learning contexts to meet student needs, including appropriate technology.
  • Evaluating the learning outcomes of our units of study to ensure that they contribute to students attaining the University’s Graduate Qualities of depth of disciplinary expertise; broader skills; cultural competence; interdisciplinary effectiveness; an integrated professional, ethical and personal identity; and influence.
  • Ensuring that staff have access to professional development opportunities which enable them to absorb the latest developments in pedagogy, teaching practice and applications of technology, including e-Learning.

Teaching Quality Standards Compact

Every year, the Faculty signs a Teaching Quality Standards Compact with the University as part of its commitment to provision of high-quality teaching. The Compact sets out targets for the results achieved in Unit of Study
Surveys (USSs), and the strategies proposed to achieve those targets.

USSs are surveys which gather and analyse students' responses to their learning experiences in a given unit of study. Questions cover issues such as experiences of assessment and feedback, the quality of online resources, and overall satisfaction with the content and approach of a given unit of study. The survey process also offers ample opportunity for students to comment individually and anonymously about the standard of their learning experiences. Coordinators of surveyed units now also 'Close the Loop' with students by responding online to their feedback at the conclusion of each survey.

While simple numerical student experience data should not by any means be considered the sole indicator of teaching excellence, it is a central element of the Commonwealth Government’s proposed national teaching performance indicator framework, and also of TEQSA’s approach to teaching standards. As such it provides a useful starting point for monitoring and continuously improving the quality of teaching and learning provided by the Faculty. The Faculty’s USS Compact will be reviewed and renewed each year with a view to refining our responses to students’ reported learning needs, and to implementing best practice in teaching delivery methods and technologies.