AgLTAS Project - April Update

AgLTAS: “A consensus approach to defining standards for learning outcomes and informing curricula design for agriculture.”

Welcome to the April edition of the AgLTAS Project Newsletter.

We are delighted to announce that the Statement on the Nature and Extent of Agriculture and Threshold Learning Outcomes has received support from the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture (ACDA).

You can read more details on this project milestone in the article below.

With the first three phases of the project now complete we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken part in a workshop, completed the online survey or provided direct feedback to the project team. We appreciate your support and look forward to sharing further developments with you as we move into the final phase of the project.

We encourage you to forward this email to people who might be interested in the project.

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Statement and TLOs Supported by ACDA

We are delighted to announce that the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture (ACDA) have supported the Statement on the Nature and Extent of Agriculture and Threshold Learning Outcomes.

On Wednesday 9 April, Project Leader, Dr Tina Acuna delivered a successful presentation to the ACDA to secure their support.

The ACDA commended the consultative process and outcomes of the project. 

The Statement is the result of an extensive seven month consultation process with academics, students and industry across Australia. The team gathered qualitative and quantitative data from 19 workshops, three surveys and one submission. In total, 291 participants have been engaged in these activities, with 606 items of qualitative feedback. 

The full version of the document, which includes an introduction, explanatory notes, benchmarking against the AQF and acknowledgements will be submitted to the ACDA at the 2014 spring meeting.

Communications and Media

Ongoing engagement and communication with stakeholders is a key aspect of the project. Over the past few months the project has been featured in a number of publications, including:
  • Good Fruit and Vegetables 
  • APPS Newsletter 
  • UTAS Alumni News 
  • Peracto Newsletter 
View a full list of media coverage and links.

Curriculum Mapping Tool Update

The online Curriculum Mapping Tool has been developed to enable the mapping of curriculum against a set of user-defined statements. The tool is designed so that users can set up an instance of the tool to map a grouping of Units or Courses comprising a Major or Degree against a set of Criterion Statements (for example TLO statements against which the curriculum is to be evaluated).

Design features
  • Most of the elements in the tool are editable in order to maximise ability to use it for mapping against different kinds of standards statements.
  • The Report function produces a ‘traffic light’ report that provides a visual representation for each group of Units, indicating where standards are reached or not achieved.
The current version of the tool was developed by software development company Insight4 (

The tool will be available for other users to host, if you are interested in using the tool please contact the Project Officer, Phoebe Bobbi. 

Engagement Activities January - March 2014

The project team held the final five workshops with academics and industry from January to March this year. Workshops were held at Curtin University, University of Western Australia, University of Western Sydney, University of Sydney and with industry members in NSW.

The full list of completed workshops is available to view on the AgLTAS website.

On 27 March, the Project Leader, Dr Tina Acuna presented an update on the project at the Ag Institute Australia Workshop for Consultants and Farm Systems Groups at Bungaree Station in SA. 

The session, led by Geoff Thomas, focussed on ‘Skills required of the consultant and farmer groups’ during which Dr Acuna presented a 15 minute update on AgLTAS project outcomes and participated in the one-hour discussion session with the approx. 60 delegates.

Snapshot from Consultation Process

The consultation process was a crucial aspect of developing the Statement and TLOs.

Some of the key themes that were identified were around agricultural production, sustainability, business, training and skills, the scientific method, national and international perspectives of agriculture, multidisciplinary, innovation, and personal characteristics of people who are employed in the discipline.

View a sample of some of the valuable feedback we received.

The Next Phase of the Project

The project team now moves into phase four of the project. This involves developing case studies to demonstrate benchmarking of the TLOs for Agriculture that will form the basis of future Good Practice Guides.

Each partner University will map curricula and assessment for each unit/course, using the curriculum mapping tool, which is a fully editable, online resource.

The next project meeting will be held at the beginning of May.

More Information

Visit our webpage: 

Project Leader: Dr Tina Acuna
Post: Box 54  Hobart  TAS   7001
Project Officer: Phoebe Bobbi
Post: Private Bag 98  Hobart  TAS 7001  

     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.