Elements of the Academic Audit

Elements of the Academic Audit: The elements of the Academic Audit (AA) are as follows:

  • The Self Study or Self-Evaluation
  • The Peer Review

A.        The Self Study
Departments examine the following five focal areas of the educational process by asking common sense questions: 
Determining Learning Objectives

  • Have we consciously considered what students who complete our courses/program should know and be able to do
  • To prepare them for further academic success?
  • To prepare them for employment in this field?
  • To meet their abilities/responsibilities as citizens?
  • In forming and revising learning objectives, how do we use the information gathered from
  • Employers?
  • Former students?
  • Senior institutions?
  • Do we identify and learn from best practices by evaluating student learning outcomes of comparable departments in other institutions?

Designing Curriculum and Co-curriculum

  • How do we determine what is taught, in what order, from what perspective?
  • How do we work collaboratively on curriculum design?
  • How do we decide what resources and resource materials will be used.
  • Do we consciously consider how the course design relates to other courses students will take as part of this program?
  • Do we consider out-of-classroom activities that could complement or be integrated into the curriculum?
  • Do we identify and learn from best practice and evaluate curricula of comparable departments in other institutions?

Designing Teaching and Learning Methods

  • How are teaching and learning organized for students?
  • How do we determine what methods will be used
  • To expose students to material for the first time?
  • To answer questions and provide interpretation?
  • To stimulate student involvement with the material?
  • To provide feedback on student work?
  •  Do we analyze teaching and learning processes on a regular basis?
  • Do we strive for coherence in the department’s curriculum and educational processes?
  • Do we work collaboratively on process design?
  • Do we identify and learn from best practice, evaluate teaching and learning methods of comparable departments in ours and ours and other institutions?

Developing Student Learning Assessment

  • What measures and indicators do we use to assess student learning?
  • Have we defined indicators or measures of achievement based upon our stated learning objectives?
  • Do we assess performance only at the end of the course/program or do we compare beginning and ending performance to ascertain value added?
  • Who is responsible for assessment?
  • Do we work collaboratively on assessment design, implementation, and analysis?
  • Do we base decisions on facts?
  • Do we identify and learn from best practice, evaluate assessment practices of comparable departments in ours and other institutions?

Assuring Implementation of Quality Education 

  • Are we organized to ensure that our mutual departmental objectives and priorities are implemented consistently?
  • How do we assure ourselves that content is delivered as intended, that teaching and learning processes are being implemented appropriately and consistently, that assessments are conducted as planned and the results used effectively?
  • Do we work collaboratively to implement improvement initiatives?
  • Do we identify and learn from best practice, evaluate quality assurance practices of comparable departments in ours and other institutions?

If there is a ‘no’ to any or some of the questions in a set, the department should consider it/them as area(s) for improvement and attention.