Enhancing frameworks for assuring the quality of learning and teaching in university offshore education programs
The specific purpose of the project was to contribute to the enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning in offshore education programs of Australian universities by addressing the following three objectives.
- Objective No.1: To compile a database of international and national policy documents, empirical studies and quality assurance frameworks relating to such programs.
- Objective No.2: To conduct an empirically-based qualitative study of the perspectives of key academic stakeholders on the delivery of such programs across the range of models which operate.
Ten case studies were undertaken to investigate the perspectives of key academic stakeholders on the delivery of offshore education programs of Australian universities across a range of models. They provide rich portrayals of the findings at each of the sites investigated. Particular emphasis is placed on ‘giving voice’ to the stakeholders interviewed. A set of principles was developed from each case study to guide those concerned with quality assurance for transnational teaching and conducting professional development programs for those working transnationally.
- Objective No.3: To develop a framework to guide those concerned with:
- quality assurance for transnational teaching by Australian universities;
- conducting professional development programs for those working transnationally.
The framework addresses three main areas: ‘welfare’, ‘curriculum’ and ‘pedagogy’.
Furthermore, it is directed at four specific groups: ‘policy makers’, ‘administrators’, ‘teachers travelling from Australia’ and ‘locally-based tutors’.
Strategies and approaches to teaching and learning cross cultures
This project intends to identify the influence of the trend towards increasing numbers of cross-cultural students on teaching and learning approaches in an Australian educational environment. It aims to improve the understanding of Asian students' cultural backgrounds, their previous learning approaches and their perspectives on Australian culture and modes of education, with the objective of helping international students to overcome the difficulties of cross-cultural study. The project team conducted a student questionnaire survey at the University of Technology, Sydney, Curtin University of Technology, The University of Sydney, Edith Cowan University and Southern Cross University. As Business and Information Technology attract the majority of Asian international students, we selected these two schools/faculties in the five universities within which to conduct the survey. Following the survey, they conducted 50 interviews in the five universities to obtain more detailed information about teaching and learning issues in a cross-cultural education environment and to further understand the needs of students of Asian background in depth. The interview participants included 10 lecturing staff, 25 students of Asian background, seven Australian local students and eight graduates of Asian background. The interview data was analysed by word-based text mining and other qualitative approaches.