AgLTAS Project Reaches Completion

The AgLTAS project is now officially complete, with the final and external evaluator’s reports submitted to the Office for Learning and Teaching. The report, along with the one-page achievement statement, will be published online in due course.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the project team, reference group and everyone else who contributed to the success of the project! 

A link to the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for Agriculture is available here.


Call for Expressions of Interest – Good Practice Guides for Agriculture

We wish to commission the preparation of Good Practice Guides for each overarching Threshold Learning Outcome (TLO): Understanding Agriculture; Knowledge of Agriculture; Inquiry and Problem Solving; Communication; and Personal and Professional Responsibility.
Good Practice Guides provide academics/teachers with case studies of assessment and student learning outcomes that embed each TLO in the curriculum.

Funding has been provided by the Office for Learning and Teaching with the project needing to be completed by May 2016. Each guide will receive modest support of $5000 for authors to fund teaching relief and/or research assistance. Further details are available here.

Expressions of Interest (EoI) to prepare the Guides should be sent to by 14 September 2015. Joint applications are welcome. EoIs should outline in 1 – 2 A4 pages: the Good Practice Guide to which the EoI relates; qualifications and experience of the applicant, including a paragraph demonstrating the applicant’s scholarship and teaching expertise in the topic area.

External Benchmarking 

A small but enthusiastic group of academics from the University of Tasmania, Charles Sturt University, The University of Adelaide and Deakin University met in Melbourne on 2 February 2015 to undertake external benchmarking of student assessment in units/courses in their agriculture degrees. All agreed that the opportunity to take a look and provide feedback on assessment at other universities was a valuable experience.

A random sample of units was also evaluated blindly and confirmed the alignment of assessment with the TLOs. The response of academics to the pre- and post-workshop questionnaires suggested an improved understanding of the TLOs and their link with assessment, as well as an increased opportunity to improve student learning outcomes.

This data will be presented in a paper currently in preparation for publication, which also provides a reflective commentary on what we believe are the next steps and implications of the AgLTAS for curriculum development, industry engagement and graduate employability in the agriculture discipline.

Uptake of the AgLTAS Statement  

Tertiary providers were surveyed on their uptake of the AgLTAS Statement between April and July in 2015. Of the eight responses, six confirmed their institutions were using the Statement for curriculum development, to map curriculum to improve courses, for a whole of curriculum review and as a reference document to develop and review courses. 

Engagement Activities   

Project Leader, Dr Tina Acuna featured in an ABC radio interview with Michael Cavanagh following the official launch of the AgLTAS statement at the ABARES conference in Canberra on 4 March 2015. The interview was broadcast in Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Another 13 media outlets reported the story either online or in print.

Posters and Presentations
Able, A.J. (2015) A consensus approach to defining standards for learning outcomes and informing curricula design for Agriculture. Poster presentation to the Innovative Teaching @ Waite Exhibition, 23 April 2015, Adelaide, Australia.

Able, A.J. (2015) Curriculum mapping, assessment strategies and calibration. Presentation to Innovative Teaching @ Waite Forum, 8 May 2015, Adelaide, Australia. 

Botwright Acuña, T. (2015). A consensus approach to defining standards for learning outcomes and informing curricula design for Agriculture. Presentation to the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture Spring Meeting, 10 March 2015, Canberra, Australia.

Botwright Acuña, T., Able, A.J., & Bobbi, P. (2015). New standards to align agriculture education with industry expectations. Agricultural Science Journal, 27, 71-73. 

More Information

Visit our webpage: 
Contact Project Leader: Dr Tina Acuna
Email Address:
Postal Address: Private Bag 98, Hobart, 7001, TASMANIA



     Support for the production of this newsletter has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.