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Teaching In Engineering , Science, And Computing: A Collaborative Process To Improve Quality

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1184.1 - 9.1184.9



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Paper Authors

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Marjan Zadnik

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Teaching in Engineering, Science and Computing: A Collaborative Process to Improve Quality Marjan G. Zadnik, Joan Gribble, Shelley R. Yeo†, Peter L. Lee.

Division of Engineering, Science and Computing, † Learning Support Network, Curtin University of Technology, PO Box U1987, Perth, Western Australia, 6845.


This paper outlines a process encouraging the involvement of all academic staff in the Division of Engineering, Science and Computing at Curtin University of Technology to improve the quality of their teaching and students’ learning. The Teaching Quality Improvement Process (TQIP), designed as an accountability framework, has been implemented to ensure that all Departments in the Division demonstrate their teaching effectiveness and provide courses that remain competitive in the national higher education market place. The TQIP extends a program developed by the University's central Learning Support Network of using student-derived, national and local data on course evaluations as an impetus for improving teaching and learning. Currently, analyses of data from sources such as the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) and the Curtin Assessment of Student Satisfaction survey, indicate that improvement in teaching and learning in many courses is desirable and in some, essential.

Data from the CEQ provides evidence of students’ perceptions of the quality of learning and teaching and the development of generic skills 1,2. It has been used since 1993 to survey all graduates (approximately 170 000) from all 38 Australian universities soon after graduation. It is thus considered a useful instrument for the purpose of benchmarking and improving the quality of teaching in universities and also for informing student choice, managing institutional performance and promoting accountability of the higher education sector 3. This information base is funded by the Federal Department of Education, Science and Training and supported by the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. The Curtin Assessment of Student Satisfaction is an internal, annual Curtin University online evaluation instrument available to the whole student body. Its purpose is to collect data on students’ perceptions of all areas of campus life, including learning and teaching, and learning spaces.

The Divisional Executive Dean has taken the position that the CEQ data are "part of the basis for informed choice" and can be used "to help staff make professional judgements about how to improve student learning outcomes" as suggested by Wilson, Lizzio, and Ramsden 2. Resources (people, time and operational budgets) have been invested in the CEQ so that this measure of perceived teaching and learning quality can provide direction for the Division's TQIP which is ultimately directed to improving quality of teaching.

McInnis and Devlin 4 offer practical approaches to creating planned change in tertiary institutions: "identify the need for change, recognise the everyday realities of obstacles to change, raise awareness of the issues and generate discussion, promote change on multiple fronts, provide expertise and support, and connect [the change] to accountability and rewards

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Zadnik, M. (2004, June), Teaching In Engineering , Science, And Computing: A Collaborative Process To Improve Quality Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12759

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