B. Saunders, C. Mewes, T. Ambler, P. Vlachopoulos

Macquarie University (AUSTRALIA)
Engaging students in high quality learning requires a strategic and effective holistic approach to teaching, particularly for programs taught using a learning management system (LMS). To ensure the approach delivers high quality learning and meets Australian tertiary education quality and standards, higher education providers are required to periodically evaluate the units of study and programs. This article reports on the consultative process that was taken by staff in the Faculty of Arts in an Australian University to create a framework for reviewing and monitoring the quality of the learning experiences offered to students through the LMS. The framework known as the “Peer Review Process: Online (External) units (iLearn) 2014” has been developed to afford academic staff an opportunity to primarily reflect on the practice of online learning and teaching and improve the student learning experience. Secondarily the reflection provides a chance for the Faculty to share innovation and experiences in a collegial and collaborative manner. In order to develop the framework, consideration was given to professional experience and the current range of e-learning theories that support online teaching and contribute to the student learning experience. The framework consists of two parts; a 'Reflective Statement' focused around key pedagogical, administrative and technological principles and; an 'Action Plan' to facilitate any further development of the online units. To implement the framework, training and support is provided to Academic staff to both assist with the process of the peer review and further develop quality online education using available e-learning tools and resources. High quality learning is vital for all University students and the framework discussed is designed to make a difference to learning for those students who study through an online mode of education.