From Compliance to Quality Improvement

Andrew Leader of QED Associates led a workshop at the recent NZATD conference which was held in Auckland. The title of the workshop ˜From Compliance to Quality Improvement", reflects a change in the paradigm of review and audit for training providers with a move away from the compliance focus of old to a provider-driven process of self evaluation to guide continuous improvement.

Part of the workshop examined measures that providers can use as evidence of the quality of training they offer and which can provide the basis for ongoing quality improvement.

When asked about the things that have a direct impact on the quality of students' learning, participants identified a good learning environment (including effective support systems) and the achievement of student learning outcomes. Participants were then asked what they could do specifically to monitor and improve the quality of their learning environments and student learning outcomes. Here are some of the ideas they came up with:

Learning Environment

  • Regular tutorial staff training in active learning delivery techniques and giving assessment feedback
  • Staff swapping ideas on teaching
  • Review of tutor lesson plans by managers/supervisors
  • Peer observation of teaching practice
  • Benchmarking staff performance against best performing tutors
  • Following up on negative feedback from students on matters relating to the quality of training
  • Checking relevance of content to the subject and students and updating where necessary

Support Systems

  • Undertaking initial analysis of students' learning needs
  • Early checking if students 'fit' in chosen course
  • Undertaking individual learning/training plans with students
  • Early identification of any problems
  • Making time for regular review of student progress
  • Celebrating student success

Student learning outcomes

  • Regular tracking of student performance while training
  • Using surveys to track post course student destinations and the contexts in which students are applying their learnt skills
  • Employer feedback on the student's performance at work
  • Carrying out surveys?

The draft tertiary evaluation indicators issued by NZQA are currently being trialled in the broader trial of the new self assessment and external evaluation model. Many of the ideas identified by the workshop participants are repeated in the draft indicators. It will be interesting to see the results of the trial. We will report any further developments in this area during the course of this year. Watch this space!