Associate Professor Zofia Pawlaczek
Ms. Heidi Macklin
Curriculum leadership is fraught with tensions including disciplinary challenges, accreditation, institutional priorities, curriculum team differences, learner feedback and industry expectations. Curriculum development requires strong understanding of the forces making up a course or program. The Australian regulator for Higher Education, TEQSA, take a pragmatic approach to overseeing quality assurance. The entity trusts higher education providers to describe quality assurance mechanisms and implement optimum academic governance across this. The complexities of curriculum leadership, and TEQSA’s HESF, have informed the development of the program quality assurance process in this case-study. This paper reports the first year of design, implementation and evaluation that occurred with a new quality assurance process in one of Australia’s largest universities. We examine the role of learning and teaching leadership and the critical junctures supporting this practice. Five distinctive and influential phenomena have been identified: 1) The program manager as curriculum leader. 2) Faculty quality managers/teams as context-specific leaders; 3) The program quality assurance team as capacity-building leaders; 4) The panel review chairs as collegiality leaders; and 5) Faculty L&T heads as academic and business leaders. The pertinent learnings from this project have been understanding the distributed leadership roles, providing extraordinary opportunity to nuance communication and capability development.