Quality Management

The approach to Quality Management at UNE is based on a commitment to continuous improvement enacted through the four-stage quality cycle of Plan, Act, Evaluate, Improve.Plan, Act, Evaluate, Improve lifecycle

Plan: denotes formal planning at all levels including university level strategic planning, and planning by organisational units.

Act: includes all the intentional activities that are undertaken to meet objectives, implement plans and produce outcomes.

Evaluate: incorporates two aspects: monitoring and review. Monitoring is a short and medium term activity mainly for management, formative and developmental purposes. Review is a longer term and more formal process that has both formative and summative purposes.

Improve: identifies the process by which the results of evaluation, both monitoring and review, are fed back in order to generate improvement. This may cause modification to an existing plan or development of a new plan, and thus the cycle commences once more.

Monitoring and managing academic policy and procedure ensures UNE’s compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) and our registration as a tertiary education provider with the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) Act. Academic Quality informs and supports quality assurance throughout the University by providing information, analysis and reports in support of UNE’s academic quality processes, including:

  • School Reviews
  • Course Reviews
  • Unit Monitoring
  • Unit Reviews
  • Student Progress and Success.

School Reviews:
School reviews are conducted to ensure that schools are functioning effectively, have the resources needed to implement the strategy of the University, and is delivering quality outcomes in teaching and learning, research, community engagement, and student and staff performance.

Course Reviews:
A course review evaluates the academic program of an award, including the course structure, learning outcomes, graduate attributes, assessment, quality of teaching and learning, external benchmarking, threshold standards, student feedback, accrediting and professional feedback.

Unit Monitoring:
Unit Monitoring is a key component of Academic Quality at UNE, allowing the monitoring, evaluation, review of units of study delivered, based on mode of delivery, using agreed performance indicators. Unit Monitoring provides the opportunity to address any identified deficiencies of a unit mode through the development of action plans, and the subsequent improvement of units, as well as to recognize unit modes with high levels of student satisfaction.

Unit Review:
Unit Reviews allow the evaluation and peer review of content and learning outcomes of a unit, relevancy for the course/s it relates to, pedagogy and assessment, assessment, and benchmarking of the assessment and curriculum to external units. Accreditation requirements and legislative requirements may cause a unit to be reviewed outside of its normal review cycle.

Student Progress and Success:
Monitoring student progress and success allows UNE to evaluate and review that all students, regardless of their background or mode of study, are given the best chance to succeed at UNE. This analysis allows UNE to evaluate student group performance in areas of grade point average, pass rates, retention, and completion, and interpret findings to devise improvement strategies. The resulting analysis allows UNE to inform and improve activity across key academic and business functions, including admission criteria, advanced standing, teaching, delivery and support strategies.

Unit Monitoring Performance Metrics

METRIC

EXPLANATION

Unit Mode

  • A Unit Mode refers to the internal or external offering of a particular unit, e.g. UNIT123 internal and UNIT123 external count as 2 unit modes.
  • The total number of unit modes being delivered in the year being monitored provides a broad indication of the volume of teaching and learning activity that is occurring in each academic area of the university within that particular reporting period;
  • While Unit Monitoring attempts to monitor all unit modes every time they are taught, there are sets of unit modes that are excluded from the Unit Monitoring Process, such as research units and honours units.

Unit Mode Enrolment

  • Unit Mode Enrolment is defined as the number of students enrolled in a unit mode at the trimester census date, or in other words, it is the number of instances of enrolments in unit modes during the reporting period;
  • Unit Enrolment is not equivalent to the total number of students enrolled at UNE (as not all units are monitored)
  • The average number of enrolments per unit mode reports the average class size for each unit mode, with each individual unit potentially having separate classes for  each of its separate unit modes (i.e. external and internal)
  • Unit modes are identified as having low enrolment numbers when they have less than or equal to 5 students enrolled at the census date. Unit evaluation data is only reported at the unit mode level when survey data is provided by 5 or more respondents, hence, these unit modes do not record an overall satisfaction value in the period.

Unit Mode EFTSL

  • Equivalent Full Time Student Load (EFTSL) is calculated as the sum of load for all students enrolled in a unit mode at the trimester census date
  • EFTSL figures provide the total load for those unit modes reported upon in unit monitoring;
  • A student undertaking full-time study for a year generates 1.0 EFTSL.

Unit Mode Commendation

  • Unit modes become eligible for a commendation when both the overall satisfaction value (OS) and the attrition rate are above benchmark quality standards.
  • In addition, unit modes with smaller class sizes are required to achieve relatively higher satisfaction levels. Internal unit modes are also required to achieve lower attrition rates than external unit modes.
  • The benchmarks that need to be met to be eligible for a commendation are as follows:
  1. High Overall Satisfaction (OS) value
    1. OS value >= 4.5 (where enrolments < 50), or
    2. OS value >= 4.3 (where   enrolments >= 50 and < 100), or
    3. OS value >= 4.1 (where   enrolments > = 100 and < 150), or
    4. OS value >= 4.0 (where   enrolments >= 150

    AND

    2. Low Attrition rate

    1. Attrition rate <= 10% (for internal mode), or
    2. Attrition rate <= 12% (for external mode).

Unit Mode Action Plans

  • Action plans for improvement are triggered in the period on those unit modes that record a low overall satisfaction value of 3.0 or less, and attrition values of greater than or equal to 18% for internal unit modes, or greater than or equal to 20% for external unit modes;
  • The benchmarks that need to be met to trigger a required action plan are as follows
  1. Low Overall Satisfaction (OS) value
    • OS value <= 3.0 (regardless of class size)

    AND

  2. High Attrition rate
    • Attrition rate >= 18% (for internal mode) or
    • Attrition rate >= 20% (for external mode).
  • Unit modes that are triggered on low overall satisfaction values of 3.0 or less but with attrition values below those described above are flagged as recommended for improvement through the unit monitoring process, and a recommended action plan is triggered.
  • Action plans should be developed by the Unit Coordinator in conjunction with the Head of School. Completed Action Plans should be submitted to the Director, Academic Quality for approval, with notification to the Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor.

Unit Mode Evaluations

  • Student unit evaluations are routinely administered toward the end of a teaching period to each student enrolled in a unit mode at the trimester census date. This excludes units based on research, special or advanced topics, dissertations or theses, field studies, and work placements or practical experience.
  • The evaluation instrument was first introduced in Semester 1 2009 and comprises eight (8) items as follows:
    • The learning outcomes of this unit were made clear to me (CLO)
    • The unit enabled me to achieve the learning outcomes (LOA)
    • The unit was intellectually stimulating (IS)
    • I found the resources provided for the unit (e.g. online, print) to be helpful (HRP)
    • I  received constructive feedback on my work (CFR)
    • The feedback I received was provided in time to help me improve (TFP)
    • The overall amount of work required of me for this unit was appropriate (AAW)
    • Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this unit (OS)
  • Students are asked to score the item on a 5 point Likert-type scale and are also given the opportunity to provide comments relating to two open-ended questions about the best aspects of the unit mode and those aspects most in need of improvement. It is also important to note here that all responses are anonymous and are not able to be attributed to any particular student
  • The Student Unit Evaluation instrument at UNE aligns with other similar surveys in the sector and  is designed to provide feedback on the range of experiences which are known to be important in assessing student satisfaction. (It is also important to recognise that unit mode evaluation is differentiated from teacher evaluation, which is but another element of the unit experience for students)
  • In terms of sample sizes and response rates, data are not reported for a unit mode where the number of responses to the evaluation survey is fewer than five. Data for unit modes which failed to meet the reporting threshold are not reported
  • The feedback uses the percentage of students who responded to the unit mode surveys as compared to the total number of surveys administered for the unit mode
  • Overall Satisfaction is one of the measures considered when determining whether a unit is eligible for a commendation or should produce an improvement action plan. Unit modes without reported overall satisfaction values are unable to be eligible for commendations and cannot be assessed as requiring (or being recommended for) an action plan for improvement. A threshold result of 3.0 or less on the Overall Satisfaction scale is considered a relatively low result and a score of 4.0 or greater   (depending on class size) is considered relatively high.

Unit Mode Survey Response Rate

  • The Unit Mode Survey Response Rate is the number of unit evaluation survey responses received as a proportion of the number of unit mode student enrolments at the census date.
  • The response rate is an important metric that strongly influences the statistical validity of the unit evaluation survey results overall, and for individual unit modes.

Unit Mode Pass Rate

  • The Unit Mode Pass Rate is the number of unit mode enrolments with a Pass result, or better, expressed as a percentage of the total number of completed unit mode enrolments which have a valid result outcome.

Unit Mode Grade Point Average

  • The Unit Mode Grade Point Average (GPA) is a numerical score that summarises academic performance in a course over the duration of the enrolment in the course, expressed as a mean.
  • A GPA score of 4 equates to a ‘Pass’ result, while a GPA of 5 equates to a ‘Credit’ and so on.

Unit Mode Grade Distribution

  • The Unit Mode Grade Distribution is derived by a count of the number of results at each of the six grade points expressed as a percentage of the total number of results for the unit mode.
  • The six grade points are Fail Incomplete (NI), Fail (N), Pass (P), Credit (C), Distinction (D), High Distinction (HD)

Unit Mode Attrition

  • Unit Mode Attrition is the percentage of students who have withdrawn from the unit mode between the end of the first day of the second week of teaching and the trimester census date.
  • A unit mode is flagged as having high attrition when the attrition rate of greater than or equal to 20% is reached.
  • Unit Mode Attrition is one of the measures used to determine whether a unit mode is eligible for commendation or flagged for an action plan for improvement.
  • The University recognises the importance of retaining students and aims to minimise the rate of unit attrition.