University Of Tasmania

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Using a distributive leadership strategy to improve the quality of assessment across a university: initial results of the project

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 04:43 authored by Cordiner, MC, Natalie BrownNatalie Brown
To improve the quality and consistency of assessment processes, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) revised its assessment policy in 2007 to include explicit principles built around criterion-referenced assessment (CRA). Distributive leadership was chosen as one way of underpinning the implementation strategy to encourage a ‘bottom up’ approach to complement the ‘top down’ policy imperative. Thirty-one School Champions (across 7 Faculties) were appointed to be part of the distributive leadership team. Dedicated support has been provided for two years by a newly-appointed academic with expertise in CRA based in the academic development unit. This paper reports initial (mostly positive) results of the implementation project one year into a three year plan. Quantitative and qualitative data about how well the School Champions thought they were functioning as part of the team have been collected via online point-in-time snapshot surveys and the types of support requested have also been reviewed. In terms of the overall project, the number of distributive leaders has expanded; extensive discipline-specific resources have been developed and trialled in Schools; expertise and confidence with CRA has grown in some discipline areas; and the variety of consultations and workshops requested of the assessment academic has increased. Limitations of the data are discussed and recommendations made about how to build and sustain momentum. Keywords: criterion-referenced assessment, quality, distributive leadership


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ATN Assessment Conference 2009: Assessment in Different Dimensions, Conference Proceedings


John Milton, Cathy Hall, Josephine Lang, Garry Allan and Milton Nomikoudis






DVC - Education



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ATN Assessment Conference

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Policies and development

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    University Of Tasmania