Final AgLTAS Statement Released

In August last year the AgLTAS project team set out to define the varied and complex discipline of agriculture and develop a set of learning outcomes that describe what a graduate in agriculture or a related discipline will know, understand and be able to do upon graduation.

Today we are delighted to announce the release of the full Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for Agriculture. Download your copy here. This final version includes an introduction to the project, explanatory notes, benchmarking against the Australian Qualifications Framework and acknowledgements.

The Statement is the result of an extensive consultation process between academics, students and industry across Australia. It will facilitate the implementation of academic standards by the agriculture discipline community, inform curriculum design and assist in identifying marketing opportunities for degrees.

The Statement includes five key Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) for bachelor
degrees in agriculture:

• Knowledge
• Understanding
• Inquiry and Problem Solving
• Communication
• Personal and Professional Responsibility

Higher education providers are encouraged to build on these TLOs as they design and deliver programs that reflect their particular strengths and priorities.

We hope that you find the document interesting, informative and most importantly, a valuable reference point for the review of course learning outcomes and assessment.

Hard copies of the Statement will be distributed in December. If you would like to receive a hard copy, please contact our Project Officer: 

Professor Holger Meinke, President, ACDA

Statement endorsed by ACDA

On Tuesday 4 November, Project Leader, Dr Tina Acuna presented the Statement to the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture (ACDA), who responded with the following endorsement:

The ACDA commends the project team on the consultative process used to develop the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for Agriculture. The Council endorses these standards as a high-level statement of bachelor-level Threshold Learning Outcomes for the discipline.

We are very pleased to have the endorsement of the ACDA. This endorsement comes after months of work and extensive collaboration with industry, students and academics.

Prof Peter Rathjen, Vice Chancellor, University of Tasmania and Dr Tina Acuna           

Project members awarded for learning and teaching

Please join us in congratulating Dr Tina Acuna and project team member, Dr Jo-Anne Kelder, who were both recipients of Vice Chancellor’s awards for teaching and learning at the University of Tasmania this year.

Dr Acuna was presented a Vice-Chancellor's Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Dr Acuna's work in the project was recognised for the outstanding commitment to learning and teaching practices she has demonstrated within her field of expertise along with her services to the university as a whole.

Dr Kelder received an amazing three team awards for her contribution to the Global Perspectives Program, Bachelor of Dementia Care and Understanding Dementia MOOC.  

Congratulations to both!

Curriculum mapping tool uptake

The Curriculum Mapping Tool was initially developed to map the Threshold Learning Outcomes against the curriculum in the four partner universities. We are pleased to report that the tool has since been picked up by a number of other areas within the partner universities and additional institutes.

Within the University of Tasmania, three faculties are using the tool to conduct curriculum mapping against the Australian Qualifications Framework that will inform learning and teaching. Click here to download the tool. 

Dr Jo-Anne Kelder

Project member receives OLT extension grant

Dr Jo-Anne Kelder was recently awarded an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) extension grant to adapt and extend the Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme (PATS) for varying contexts, needs and desired outcomes.

PATS aims to inform and equip academics with skills and strategies to reinvigorate their units. It also provides opportunities for teachers to share ideas, discuss improvements and develop future educational innovations.

A key deliverable of Dr Kelder’s project is the creation of a Guide to implementing PATS, which will feature case studies from all five of the project’s partner universities: University of Tasmania, Swinburne University, University of Newcastle, University of Sunshine Coast and Victoria University.

Statement to be officially launched in March 

We know that people are eager to get their hands on the final document, which is why the AgLTAS Statement is available now for people to start using. However, it is also important that we mark this achievement with an official event.

We are pleased to advise that the AgLTAS Statement will be officially launched at the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture's Autumn meeting in 2015. The details are still being finalised, but the event will include speeches from key individuals and media will be invited to attend. Stay tuned for more information in 2015.

Engagement activities

The project team have been very productive over the past few months. Key activities have included:

Project Team: Dr Yann Guisard, Assoc/Prof Amanda Able, Dr Tina Acuna, Dr Jo-Anne Kelder, Assoc/Prof Glenn McDonald, Prof Elizabeth Johnson, Mrs Phoebe Bobbi and Prof Bil Bellotti. Absent: Assoc/Prof Paul Wormell, Dr Richard Doyle and Professor Holger Meinke

Moving to the next phase of the project

With the development of the AgLTAS Statement now complete, the project team moves to implement the standards in internal review of curricula using the online mapping tool, and external peer review of assessment to ensure comparability of the standards across courses in each of the partner universities. The approaches used in the internal and external reviews and outcomes will be shared with the agriculture discipline community as case studies.

To date, the University of Tasmania and The University of Adelaide have completed mapping curricula and assessment for each unit/course, while Charles Sturt University and University of Western Sydney mapping is in progress. 

The project team, working together with Dr Sara Booth (University of Tasmania) and Assoc/Prof Mark Freeman (University of Sydney) of the Peer Review of Assessment Network project (funded by the Office for Learning and Teaching), will pilot external benchmarking of assessment against the agriculture TLOs in February. 

For more information

Visit our webpage: 
Contact the Project Officer: Phoebe Bobbi
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.