AgLTAS Project - December Update

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

Welcome to the second edition of the AgLTAS Project Newsletter. It has been a very busy past three months for the project team. Since our last update in September numerous workshops have been held across the country. The workshops have generated valuable discussions, with some diverse opinions but also common themes arising.

We have identified themes around knowledge and understanding, along with skills in inquiry and problem solving to critically analyse and address problems in agriculture. Effective communication to a range of audiences and personal and professional responsibility are also considered important. Interestingly, industry would appear to regard vocational skills as being gained after graduation, during on-the job training specific to the task.

In November, the data collected from all consultation activities was collated into a report that informed discussion by the Reference Group to develop Version 1 of the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement, which includes a Statement on the Nature and Extent of Agriculture and associated Threshold Learning Outcomes. These are available to view on our website and we encourage you to provide your feedback through the online survey or by contacting the Project Officer directly.

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. Ongoing collaboration is the key to successfully developing a Statement and set of TLOs that will be owned by all stakeholders. Thank you for your interest and support.

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

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Engagement Activities Sept - Dec 2013

The project team held 17 successful workshops across the country with academics, students and industry in Tasmania, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland between September and December this year.

View the full schedule on the AgLTAS website.

In mid-November Project Leader, Dr Tina Acuna presented an update to the ACDA at their meeting in Canberra. 

Upcoming Workshops

Two workshops will be held in WA at the beginning of February at Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. Additional workshops are currently being organised at UWS for industry and University of Sydney staff.

View the workshop schedule here.

To register your interest in attending a workshop, please contact the relevant team member in the first instance, or the Project Officer, Phoebe Bobbi at or by phone on (03) 6226 6385.

Mapping Tool

In phase four of the project the partner universities will produce at least one case study to demonstrate how their Agriculture degree(s) meet the TLOs by a two-stage process that: i) maps their curricula and assessment for each unit/course; and ii) embeds the Statement into teaching practice.

The use of a single online curriculum mapping tool will facilitate continuity in benchmarking between degrees and enhance the sustainability of the case studies as a resource.

A mapping tool has been developed by Hobart IT company, Insight4 and is currently in the 'testing stage'. The tool will be editable, user-friendly and available to external universities to download and host. The tool should be fully developed in early 2014.

If you are interested in finding out more about the mapping tool, please contact the Project Officer, Phoebe Bobbi at

Next Steps

Data from the workshops and online survey will be used to develop the second version of the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement for Agriculture, which will be released with our next newsletter in February 2014.

The final version of the statement will be presented to the ACDA at their autumn meeting in March 2014 for their consideration and endorsement.


Reference Group Meeting

The first Reference Group meeting was held on Monday 25 November in Hobart.

The Reference Group is made up of representatives from industry, students and academics, including; Professor Sue Jones (University of Tasmania), Professor Roger Leigh (University of Adelaide), Dr Andrea Crampton (Charles Sturt University), Mr Ian Macleod (Peracto), Mr Geoff Thomas (Ag Institute, Thomas Project Services) and Ms Nysha Munro (PhD Candidate, University of Tasmania).

In a productive six hour meeting the Reference Group used the collated data from the workshops and the survey to develop Version 1 of the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards Statement.

The next meeting will be held in February, prior to the presentation of the final Statement and TLOs to the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture (ACDA).


Additional Opportunities for Engagement

If you are unable to attend a workshop, we encourage you to engage with the project by:
  • Promoting and completing our 10 minute survey
  • Contacting the Project Officer with a formal response to the AgLTAS Statement, either as an individual or as an organisational representative. Email:

Communications and Media

Ongoing engagement and communication with stakeholders is a key aspect of the project. Over the past three months the project team has generated media coverage across a variety of platforms, including online, broadcast and print. Some highlights include:
  • ABC Tasmanian Country Hour (local and national)
  • Radio Adelaide (and subsequently Radio National)
  • Tasmanian Country
View the full list of media coverage and links.

Posters, Presentations and Papers

More Information

Visit our webpage: 

Contact the Project Officer
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.