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Assurance of Learning (AoL)

Assurance of Learning (AoL) refers to the systematic process of collecting data about student learning outcomes, reviewing and using it to continuously develop and improve the School's degree programs. AoL ensures our graduates achieve the goals and outcomes we say they will achieve when we advertise our degree programs. It is a means of holding ourselves accountable to delivering what we say we will deliver to students and other stakeholders, as well as a way of supporting the continuous improvement of our degree programs.

What is the Business School doing about AoL?

While accountability for AoL rests with the respective portfolio holders, responsibility for following the AoL process for each degree program and documenting evidence of it rests with each program director, with the exception of Accounting which, due to its separate accreditation, rests with the Chair of Discipline. As the single point of collection of AoL data, coordinators of capstone units of study work closely with program directors in this process. Support is overseen by the Director Accreditation.

Undergraduate Graduate Business Graduate Management Accounting Doctoral Studies

Associate Dean Undergraduate - Associate Professor Rae Cooper

Associate Dean Graduate Business - Associate Professor Geoff Frost

Associate Dean Graduate Management - Associate Professor Philip Seltsikas

Professor John Roberts

Professor Stephen Greaves

A list of Program Directors for Business School postgraduate coursework programs

The business AoL process

Being guided in part by the AACSB International White Paper on Assurance of Learning Standards: An Interpretation (2013), the Business School process follows the 'five steps':

  • DEFINE student learning goals and outcomes for program (and majors/specialisations)
    Program learning goals and program learning outcomes are defined for each program by the Program Director, in collaboration with colleagues, to align with a common set for each suite of programs. The latter include the undergraduate coursework suite (BCom), specialist postgraduate coursework suite (MCom, MPAcc, MHRM&IR, MIB, ML&SCM, MTM, MMktg), pre-experience management postgraduate coursework suite (MMgt, MMgt CEMS), post-experience general management postgraduate coursework suite (Global Executive MBA, MBA) and research higher degrees (MPhil, PhD). These are available on the Program learning goals and outcomes webpage. This process is currently being rolled out for BCom majors and MCom specialisations. It has been mandatory in the case of Accounting because of the Business School's unique Australian achievement of Accounting AACSB accreditation.
  • ALIGN goals and outcomes with curricula
    Program Directors collaborate with program teams (and coordinators of majors/specialisations with academics teaching into the latter) to align the defined goals and outcomes with the curricula, mapping the introduction, practice and assessment of learning outcomes in units of study throughout the program (or majors/specialisation). Once developed, program directors submit these maps via the relevant Associate Dean for approval by the Quality and Accreditation Committee. Unit learning outcomes are defined for each unit of study by Unit Coordinators and/or teaching team based on what learning outcomes for the program (major/specialisation) are or could be addressed in their unit of study. This information will be incorporated into unit of study outlines.
  • MEASURE student achievement of goals and outcomes
    Program Directors collaborate with program teams (and coordinators of majors/specialisations with academics teaching into the latter), and particularly with the capstone unit coordinator to identify instruments and measures to assess learning in a final capstone unit of study where mastery is expected of the learning outcomes for the program (or major/specialisation). The assessment protocol for the program (or major/specialisation) includes a description of achievement performance that meets the standard specified in the learning outcomes for the program (or major/specialisation), as well as one for performance that exceeds (i.e. equivalent to 75% or above) achievement of the learning outcome and one for achievement performance that does not meet (i.e. equivalent to less than 50%) the learning outcome. Once developed, program directors submit these assessment protocols via the relevant Associate Dean for approval by the Quality and Accreditation Committee.  Capstone coordinators use the approved assessment instruments for making judgements for each individual student about learning outcome achievement and enter the results into Blackboard Gradecenter as E (Exceeding), M (Meeting) or N (Not meeting).
  • ANALYSE outcomes assessment information
    Judgements about learning outcome achievement provided by capstone unit coordinators is  downloaded from Gradecenter, aggregated and analysed into a draft AoL report that is provided to program directors to disseminate to teaching teams (and coordinators of majors/specialisations). Program directors (or coordinators of majors/specialisations) lead a discussion with teaching teams to further analyse the assessment data, noting limitations in interpretation, previous improvement actions and areas of success or requiring improvement.
  • USE outcomes assessment information for continuous improvement
    Program Directors (or coordinators of majors/specialisations) lead a discussion with teaching teams  using the outcomes assessment information to inform and agree changes to the program (or major/specialisation). The latter could relate to a wide range of actions from revising assessment instruments in capstone units of study to changing curricula, support structures, pedagogies or assessments in units of study that introduce or develop learning outcomes for the program (or major/specialisation) or even reviewing admissions criteria, Outcomes from this informal close-the-loop meeting are documented in the draft AoL report and form the basis for a formal close-the-loop meeting with the relevant Associate Dean. Once finalised, program directors submit these AoL reports via the relevant Associate Dean for approval by the Quality and Accreditation Committee.

Documentation and evidence of our assurance of learning process is critical to maintain as it will be needed for audits by one of many possible stakeholders (e.g., AACSB, the Academic Board, TEQSA, the G08 etc.).

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