About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4707-4714
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1260

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

FROM ACCREDITATION COMPLIANCE TO IMPROVING REPORTING ON LEARNING OUTCOMES: THE USE OF A LMS

A. Botha, C. De Villiers

University of Pretoria (SOUTH AFRICA)
This paper reports on the design of a framework for Programme review and the use of the Blackboard Learn Goals Tool (BbLGT) to create evidence for accreditation compliance. The framework, informed by the theory of Diffusion of Innovation of Rogers (2003), where implemented for the BCom (Informatics: Information Systems) Programme offered at the University of Pretoria (UP).

As accreditation becomes more important in higher education in South Africa, tertiary institutions are re-thinking their educational approach towards assurance of learning (AoL). The UP adopted an hybrid approach towards teaching, learning and assessment. This affords, especially professional programmes, to shift from only complying to accreditation requirements based on assessment results, to providing hard evidence that student learning outcomes are covered and that students are achieving the learning outcomes as the basis of their curriculum.

The Department of Informatics at the UP established mechanisms for periodic review and assessment of programme outcomes for accreditation purposes over the last decade. The department wants to improve on the current programme review process and reporting through the use of existing tools within Blackboard Learn (BbL), official Learning Management System (LMS) of UP.

We offered a two-day curriculum navigation workshop to all lecturing staff in November 2016. We documented all the activities using photos, online participation data and afterwards we surveyed the attendees.

Retrospectively the first semester of 3 modules of Informatics content, student activities, assessment and grade centre columns in BbL were aligned to the imported Accreditation Goal Set. The LMS created four reports.

The workshop assisted lecturers to ‘demystify’ curriculum concepts and construct module outcomes according to accreditation and higher education standards. The LMS reports were analysed and presented by the head of department during the programme and module review meeting. From the data gathered, lecturers were able to identify gaps in the curriculum and start discussions around strategies for module improvement and action plans for ensuring AoL.

The proposed framework addresses the four main elements in the diffusion of a new idea: The Innovation; Communication channels; Time and the Social System (Context).

In the design and implementation of the framework, it became clear that there must be continuous consultation and collaboration between curriculum support, LMS support and the lecturers. Joint workshops and training opportunities related to curriculum matters and LMS implementation are essential. Another key aspect for successfully connecting the curriculum landscape with the online learning environment are working sheets/documents that is in alignment with programme review requirements. Finally, the lecturer needs to manage this partnership towards achieving AoL through utilizing a LMS.

As far as could be ascertained, this proposed framework approach for programme review as part of a broader framework for programme assessment and assurance of learning using BbLGT has not yet been introduced, apart from UP, in the South African higher education context, and might, therefore, if successful, be considered to become a prototype for such.
@InProceedings{BOTHA2017FRO,
author = {Botha, A. and De Villiers, C.},
title = {FROM ACCREDITATION COMPLIANCE TO IMPROVING REPORTING ON LEARNING OUTCOMES: THE USE OF A LMS},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1260},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1260},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4707-4714}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Botha AU - C. De Villiers
TI - FROM ACCREDITATION COMPLIANCE TO IMPROVING REPORTING ON LEARNING OUTCOMES: THE USE OF A LMS
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1260
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 4707
EP - 4714
ER -
A. Botha, C. De Villiers (2017) FROM ACCREDITATION COMPLIANCE TO IMPROVING REPORTING ON LEARNING OUTCOMES: THE USE OF A LMS, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 4707-4714.
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