Why develop a Scholarship Framework?
The TEQSA Higher Education Standards Framework requires HE institutions to engage in scholarly activity, and we needed an overarching document that articulates our approach to scholarship. When we set out to develop our own framework, we looked at some examples from other institutions, but these were mainly focused on the more research-centred university model. Our challenge was therefore to design a framework that suited the pathway context.
What kind of scholarly activity can a pathway college engage in?
Our scholarly activity is concentrated around three broad areas that mostly align with the TEQSA Standards: Scholarship of teaching and learning, scholarship informing course and unit content, design, or review, and scholarship to support our students’ social and academic success.
What is the Scholarly Activity Plan?
If the framework is a broad and more static document that articulates the College’s direction in this area, the Activity Plan is a more detailed ‘to do’ list. It is developed annually and is periodically reviewed and monitored through our academic governance structure.
One example of a scholarly activity that the college is currently engaged in is a research project to define and address student readiness for online learning. This project has a practical application as we prepare our students for Flexible Learning. Whilst readiness for online learning has been studied previously, we are so far finding that Covid has brought about some unique challenges that require new and innovative solutions.
What have been the benefits of implementing the Scholarship Framework and Plan at ECC?
One major benefit of introducing the Scholarship Framework is that it promotes a culture of scholarship where our approach to decision making is guided by evidence, particularly in the academic space. It also enables us to recognise and celebrate the work of teachers who engage in scholarship both within our college and outside. Finally, it encourages a reflective, collaborative community of practice amongst our academic staff and with our external networks including Navitas, our partner university, and other peer groups.
One major benefit of introducing the Scholarship Framework is that it promotes a culture of scholarship where our approach to decision making is guided by evidence, particularly in the academic space.