Learning to surf the (new) quality wave

  • Howe, R. (Speaker)
  • Rachel Maxwell (Speaker)

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationTeaching


The introduction of fees and additional pressures faced by learners and institutions brought about by the global recession means that the traditional model of higher education is coming to a time of significant change. Modern learners demand a product that delivers graduate attributes such as employability within a subject-specific context but that also provides a quality return on their investment. While notions of delivery of a quality product within the HE agenda are not new, the changing demands of students in the international HE market has concentrated institutional attention on the need to respond to learner demand for increased value for money. Definitions of quality within HE range from this notion of meeting customers’ needs through fitness for purpose to quality as excellence (Oliver et al, 2001). Existing models such as those provided by JISC QA/QE SIG (2011) and Edinburgh Napier’s 3 E framework (Smyth et al, 2011) can provide a good starting point. However, the response must necessarily be an individual one that informs the design of curriculum - including the VLE; is contextualised within the specific institutional framework; and shaped by student needs. At the heart of the drive for delivery of high quality programmes at Northampton are a focus on the need to enhance both our quality irrespective of mode of study and the learner experience including their expectations of quality contact with tutors; together with a need to deploy low cost, high value academic and support activities. In substantial part, this is driven by a need to align our portfolio more with market needs, rationalise our offering and re-evaluate appropriate modes of study. There are a number of ways in which quality is being addressed and the purpose of this presentation is to explore how we are learning to surf the quality wave, avoid wipeout and ride with style! Our interactive presentation will enable the audience to: gain an awareness of the evolving Northampton quality framework and how this has built on existing models; understand how it has impacted on design and delivery within our VLE; and appreciate how the student voice is shaping institutional quality design (15 mins). By the end of our presentation, the audience will be able to engage and reflect more fully on the art of quality surfing at Northampton including: The core components of our quality cycle and underpinning documentation Creating and introducing the foundation quality template to the academic community Driving higher levels of quality, irrespective of delivery mode (15 mins). So, bring your wetsuit and learn how to surf the quality wave with confidence and style!
Period1 Sep 20143 Sep 2014
Event titlealt-c2014 Riding Giants: How to Innovate and Educate Ahead of the Wave: The 21st Annual Conference of the Association for Learning Technology
Event typeConference
LocationCoventry, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • VLE
  • quality assurance
  • blended learning
  • NILE