The Curriculum Evaluation and Research (CER) framework

Jul 17
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In the academic workplace, academics are increasingly expected to provide robust evidence of the quality, effectiveness and impact of their work. Academic work typically flows in four broad streams of activity: disciplinary research, teaching, institutional service and community service. Increasingly, each of these areas involves a commitment of time and effort that is devoted to documenting the evidence in terms of impact, effectiveness and relevance to national and institutional priorities.

The Australian Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority (TEQSA) places strict obligations on Australian higher education providers. Thus, academics are expected to have, or acquire, appropriate qualifications and develop expertise in design and delivery of curriculum. Additionally, providers are expected to have evidence of the quality of curriculum and teaching.

This focus on standards and compliance means planned evidence collection and analysis of a range of educational data are critical for demonstrating impact and effectiveness, relevance, and value of education. We advise a multi-dimensional approach to understanding impact and effectiveness and draw on Brookfield’s[i] four lenses (self, peer, student, and literature) to ensure a scholarly approach to curriculum design and delivery.

Multiple, competing expectations of academics

The CER framework is a response to multiple, often competing, expectations of academics regarding the teaching component of academic work. This framework is presented as a conceptual guide for teaching teams to help them link the evidence-base that underpins their quality improvement and quality assurance activities and leverage that evidence as data for scholarship of teaching and learning.

It provides a compelling value-proposition to academics: that a collaborative, teaching team approach to planned evaluation of curricula is an efficient and effective approach to organising and using data as evidence that feeds institutional monitoring and reporting functions, as well as underpinning scholarship.

Dr Jo-Anne Kelder and Associate Professor Andrea Carr will be facilitating a Workshop on ‘How to embed evaluation & research into curriculum design & delivery’ at the Measuring & Improving Quality in Learning & Teaching conference in Sydney this September. Book soon to secure early bird rates!

Teaching and Learning

[i] Brookfield, S. (1995). Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Submitted by Associate Professor Andrea Carr and Dr Jo-Anne Kelder

Associate Professor Andrea Carr is the Deputy Principal of the University College at the University of Tasmania. Dr Jo-Anne Kelder is Senior Lecturer in the Quality Evaluation Learning and Teaching unit, in the Faculty of Health.

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