Teaching Matters

Curriculum Evaluation Research framework and building SOTL capability

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Teaching Matters 2017 | Presentation Details | 28 NovemberNov 2017


Curriculum Evaluation Research framework and building SOTL capability


Jo-Anne Kelder, Faculty of Health
Andrea Carr, University College


Advancing the Scholarship of Learning and Teaching

Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Social Sciences 209




This paper presents the Curriculum Evaluation Research (CER) Framework, providing a way of thinking with supporting resources. The CER framework facilitates teaching teams to organise routine data collection so that it is used to evidence activities that enhance curriculum and learning and promote effective teaching practices, and is also available for research purposes. The showcase describes the method for adopting and adapting the CER framework, and developing a course-wide ethics application to enable analysis of data and publishing findings in research publications. Philosophical and methodological underpinnings draw on work by Phillips, Kennedy & McNaught (2012) and Laurillard (2012).

The CER framework was developed using a design-based methodology, similar to action research. The iterative approach to designing and implementing the evaluation and research included regular review of resources developed and critical reflection on the philosophy and approach. The outcomes included conceptualisation of the CER framework and development of generic resources shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licence. Enabling features of the CER framework are philosophical and social. That is, philosophy of shared leadership (Pearce, 2004) and commitment to an ethical and scholarly approach to curriculum and teaching quality is critical for successful collaborative activity by academics. The method to establish a CER framework for a course curriculum is to develop an evaluation research plan for a course with an underpinning ethics application that includes undertakings for ethical management of the research.

The CER framework provides a structure and processes that can guide teaching teams to use a scholarly approach to routine quality improvement and assurance activities focused on course curriculum, and also deliver scholarship outcomes (peer reviewed publications; awards and grants). To date, the CER framework has been taken up by several units and courses across the University of Tasmania, with varying outcomes. Additionally, five higher education institutions across Victoria and South Australia are collaborating with the authors to explore how to embed the CER framework in specific courses. Most recently, the West Australian Network for Dissemination (WAND) are exploring how to introduce, implement and embed it across the five Western Australia universities (Curtain University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch, University of Notre Dame, and University of Western Australia).

Barriers to successful adoption of the CER framework include leadership required to develop a collegial teaching team culture with a distributed leadership model. Barriers to successful adaptation of the generic resources include ability to allocate time and resources to develop an evaluation and research plan, complete and obtain ethics approval for ongoing, course-wide data collection from students and staff members, establish the MyLO ‘Research Room’ that enables informed consent, and ability to have an independent third party to manage re-identifiable data (enabling data matched analysis).

This showcase presentation is relevant to academics wishing to embed scholarship into the activities they undertake when designing, delivering and assuring the quality of course and unit curriculum.


Anderson, T. & Shattuck, J. (2011). Design-Based Research: A Decade of Progress in Education Research? Educational Research, 41r(1) pp. 16-25 DOI: 10.3102/0013189X11428813

Higher Education Standards Framework (2015). Retrieved from http://www.teqsa.gov.au/ 5/1/2017

Kelder, J-A. & Carr, A.R. (2016). Embedding evaluation and research into teaching practice, curriculum design and delivery. Higher Education Compliance and Quality Forum, Melbourne, 2016.

Kelder, J-A., Carr, A.R.C & Walls, J. (2017). Evidence-based Transformation of Curriculum: a Research and Evaluation Framework. HERDSA 2017. 28-39 June, Sydney.

Laurillard, D. (2012). Teaching as a Design Science: Building Pedagogical Patterns for Learning and Technology. Routledge: New York.

National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research. (2007). The National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee. (Updated May 2015). Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Pearce, C.L. (2004). The future of leadership: Combining vertical and shared leadership to transform knowledge work. Academy of Management Executive, 18(1) pp. 47-57.

Phillips, R., McNaught, C. & Kennedy, G. (2012). Evaluating e-learning: guiding research and practice. New York: Routledge.

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