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Nature and Roles of Arts Degrees in Contemporary Society: Project Final Report

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NatureandRolesofArtsDegreesin
ContemporarySociety
AnationalscopingprojectofArtsprogramsacrossAustralia
PROJECTFINALREPORT
PRINCIPALINVESTIGATOR:DeanneGannaway,UniversityofQueensland
PROJECTDIRECTOR:ProfessorFaithTrent,FlindersUniversity
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20081
SupportforthisprojecthasbeenprovidedbytheAustralianLearningandTeachingCouncil,
aninitiativeoftheAustralianGovernmentDepartmentofEducation,Employmentand
WorkplaceRelations.Theviewsexpressedinthisreportdonotnecessarilyreflecttheviews
oftheAustralianLearningandTeachingCouncilLtd.
TheviewsexpressedinthisreportdonotnecessarilyreflecttheviewsoftheAustralian
LearningandTeachingCouncilLtd.
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LearningandTeachingCouncilLtd,POBox2375,StrawberryHillsNSW2012orthroughthe
website:www.altc.edu.au
August,2008
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20082
ADASSHfacilitatedprojectwithparticipationfromthefollowinginstitutions
AustralianCatholicUniversity
BondUniversity
CentralQueenslandUniversity
CharlesDarwinUniversity
CharlesSturtUniversity
CurtinUniversityofTechnology
DeakinUniversity
EdithCowanUniversity
GriffithUniversity
JamesCookUniversity
LaTrobeUniversity
MacquarieUniversity
MonashUniversity
MurdochUniversity
QueenslandUniversityofTechnology
RMITUniversity
SouthernCrossUniversity
SwinburneUniversityofTechnology
TheAustralianNationalUniversity
TheFlindersUniversityofSouthAustralia
TheUniversityofAdelaide
TheUniversityofMelbourne
TheUniversityofNewEngland
TheUniversityofNewSouthWales
TheUniversityofNewcastle
TheUniversityofNotreDameAustralia
TheUniversityofQueensland
TheUniversityofSydney
TheUniversityofWesternAustralia
UniversityofBallarat
UniversityofCanberra
UniversityofSouthAustralia
UniversityofSouthernQueensland
UniversityofTasmania
UniversityofTechnology,Sydney
UniversityoftheSunshineCoast
UniversityofWesternSydney
UniversityofWollongong
VictoriaUniversity
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20083
ProjectDirectorandContactDetails
ProfessorFaithTrentAM,FACE
ExecutiveDean,
FacultyofEducation,Humanities,Law&Theology
FlindersUniversity
GPOBox2100,
Adelaide5001
Phone:0882013169
Fax:0882013171
Faith.trent@flinders.edu.au
Projectteam
Principalinvestigator:DeanneGannaway,UniversityofQueensland
Researchassistant:HayleyUpton,FlindersUniversity
Researchassistant:SarahPrice,UniversityofQueensland
Steeringcommittee
RepresentingtheCouncilofDeansofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanities(DASSH)
Exofficio: ProfessorFaithTrent,PresidentofDASSH
ProfessorChristySlade,MacquarieUniversity
ProfessorKayFerres,GriffithUniversity
ProfessorDaviddeVaus,LatrobeUniversity
ProfessorRichardFotheringham,UniversityofQueensland
ProfessorStephenGarton,UniversityofSydney
ProfessorAndrewWells,UniversityofWollongong
ProfessorDavidWood,CurtinUniversityofTechnology
PROJECTREPORTDATE:1AUGUST2008
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20084
TABLE OFCONTENTS
TABLEOFCONTENTS ................................................................................................................. 5
EXECUTIVESUMMARY............................................................................................................... 7
ABOUTTHEBASCOPINGSTUDY ............................................................................................... 9
Background ............................................................................................................................ 9
DeansofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanities .................................................................. 9
DisciplineBasedInitiativeGrantScheme........................................................................... 9
ProjectTeam ...................................................................................................................... 9
Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................... 10
ProjectRationale.................................................................................................................. 10
ProjectObjectives ................................................................................................................ 11
ProjectAims ..................................................................................................................... 11
ProjectLimitations ............................................................................................................... 12
ProjectDeliverables ............................................................................................................. 13
SummaryReports............................................................................................................. 13
Casestudies...................................................................................................................... 14
Datasets .......................................................................................................................... 14
Institutionalprogramprofiles .......................................................................................... 14
ProjectDefinitions ............................................................................................................... 15
DefinitionofArtsprograms.............................................................................................. 15
DefinitionofBachelorofArtsprograms .......................................................................... 16
THEINVESTIGATIVEAPPROACH .............................................................................................. 17
ProjectMethod.................................................................................................................... 17
ProjectStages ...................................................................................................................... 17
Stage1:Exploration(DataCollection) ............................................................................. 17
Stage2:Explanation(Synthesisandanalysis) ................................................................. 19
Stage3:Verification(Authenticationandanalysis)......................................................... 19
Stage4:OutcomeDevelopment ...................................................................................... 21
ProjectEvaluation................................................................................................................ 21
Formativeevaluation ....................................................................................................... 21
Summativeevaluation ..................................................................................................... 22
ProjectDissemination.......................................................................................................... 22
FINDINGSANDOUTCOMES..................................................................................................... 24
ProjectFindings.................................................................................................................... 24
TheBachelorofArtsishighlycomplex............................................................................. 24
Declineinnumbersoffulltimestaff,increasingcasualisationandimplicationsfor
renewal............................................................................................................................. 24
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20085
Increaseinstudentnumbers ............................................................................................ 24
Increaserelianceinconvergenttechnologies .................................................................. 24
Artsprogramsareinastateofrenewalandreview........................................................ 24
Reductionofthenumberofprogramsonofferin2008 .................................................. 24
ProblemswiththeDEST/DEEWRdata ............................................................................. 25
Workintegratedlearning................................................................................................. 25
CurriculumLeadership...................................................................................................... 25
InclusionoftheStudentVoice.......................................................................................... 25
ProjectOutcomes ................................................................................................................ 26
Creationofacommonlanguage...................................................................................... 26
Keyfeaturesoftheprogram ............................................................................................ 26
Developmentofmodelstodescribecurriculumcurrentlyinuse ..................................... 26
BachelorofArtsProgramsCollection............................................................................... 26
TestingofanationalcommunicationstrategyacrossArtsprograms ............................. 26
MethodologyforFurtherStudies ..................................................................................... 27
FUTUREFUNDINGSUBMISSIONS ............................................................................................ 28
1. ValueoftheBAprogram........................................................................................ 28
2. Internationalisation................................................................................................ 29
3. Employability.......................................................................................................... 29
4. Curriculum.............................................................................................................. 30
Furtherexaminationandinvestigation ............................................................................... 30
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................ 32
GLOSSARY ................................................................................................................................ 37
APPENDICES............................................................................................................................. 39
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20086
EXECUTIVESUMMARY
TheBAScopingprojectwasdevelopedundertheauspicesofTheAustralasianCouncilof
DeansofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanities(DASSH).Theprojectproposalwasendorsed
bythegroupofDeansattheDASSH2007annualconferenceanditsprogressmonitoredbya
steeringcommitteecomprisingofmembersoftheDASSHexecutiveandDASSHmembership
body.ThisscopingexercisewasfundedviaaDisciplineBasedInitiativeGrant,agrant
schemeofTheCarrickInstituteofTeachingandLearning(sincerenamedtheAustralian
LearningandTeachingCouncilLtd.)Muchoftheconceptualframeworkandintellectual
inputwasprovidedbythePrincipalInvestigator,DeanneGannawayandthefinalreportwas
writtenbyher,withfinalsignoffbytheProjectDirector,ProfessorFaithTrent.
TheprojectfocusedspecificallyontheundergraduateawardprogramscalledBachelorof
Arts.Itaimedtoachievethefollowing:
TounderstandthenatureandroleofaBachelorofArtsdegreeincontemporary
Australia
TomapthediverseBachelorofArtsprogramsonofferinAustraliabetween2001
2008
Toidentifythemajorstrengths,difficulties,capabilitiesandcontributionsofthe
program
ToproviderichbaselinedataonthenatureandmodelsofBAstobeaccessiblefor
futurecurriculumplanningforArtsFaculties.
Theprojectgatheredevidencetobeusedbydecisionmakersacrossthesectortooptimize
futurecurriculumdevelopmentinthelightofthepotentialvalueoftheBA.Itaimedto
provideoptionsandguidancetothesectorforothercrucialprojectsandforfurtherworkin
implementationandresponsetofuturedemands.
Asmallprojectteam,guidedbyasteeringcommitteeconsistingofDASSHmembers,
conductedthescopingstudy.TheBAscopingprojectcommencedinMarch2007,andwas
duetoconcludeinFebruary2008.Astheprojecthasdeveloped,ithasbecomeapparent
thattherewasaneedtoengagestakeholderswiththeprojectfindings.Thisengagement
wasparticularlyimportantastheprojectwasdesignedtorecommendsubsequent
collaborativestudies.Further,giventhehighturnoverofkeyindividuals,theproject
identifiedaneedforengagementwithawidergroupotherthanjusttheCouncilofDeans.
AsaresultoftheinterimprojectreportsubmittedtoTheCarrickInstituteofTeachingand
LearninginNovember2007,additionalfundingallocatedtofacilitateaseriesofroundtable
meetingswassought,andreceived.Theadditionalfundingandprojectactivitystretchedthe
projectconclusiontothe31stofJuly,2008.
ThisreportprovidesanoverviewoftheBAscopingproject’sactivities,methodsand
outcomes.
Keyoutcomesoftheprojectincludethefollowing
CreationofadefinitionofArtsprograms
AnoutcomeoftheBAScopingProjectisaclearerdefinitionforArtsprograms.This
definitionhasbeenusedthroughouttheprojectdataanalysisprocessestoensure
consistency.Astheprojectprogressed,itbecameapparentthatthereisalackofa
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20087
common,sharedunderstandingofwhatismeantbytheterm“Arts”.Thereference
to“Arts”isfrequentlyilldefinedandoftenlimitedtotheDEST/DEEWRdefinitionof
SocietyandCulture.ThisrelianceisproblematicastheDEST/DEEWRSocietyand
CulturedefinitionencompassesprogramsthatincludeLaw,SocialWorkandPolice
Studies.ThereisalsoconfusionbetweenLiberalArtsandCreativeorVisualArts.
ThereisalsoevidencethattheDEST/DEEWRdefinitionhaschangedovertime.
IdentificationofthekeyfeaturesofanArtsprogram
TheprojectmapsandidentifiesthefeaturesthatmaketheBachelorofArtsdistinct
fromotherprogramswithinthebroaderArtsdefinition.Aclearerunderstandingof
thesefeaturesisasteptowardsthearticulationofthevalueoftheBachelorofArts
awardprograms
Developmentofmodelstodescribecurriculumcurrentlyinuse
Aseriesofmodelsthatdescribethecurriculumstructuresandeducational
philosophiesastheyarecurrentlyusedinArtsprogramshasbeenpostulated.These
arenotmutuallyexclusivebutdogiveatypology.
ThedevelopmentofanArtsprogramsdatabase
Acrucialoutcomeofthisprojectisacollectionofcentrallylocatedaccessibledata
thatcanbeusedacrossthesectorforbenchmarkingandasaresourceforfuture
development.Thiscanbeusedbyinstitutionsforqualityassuranceprocessessuch
aspreparingforAUQAauditsandinstitutionalcurriculumreviews.Ittakestheform
ofadatabaseofprogramprofiles,casestudies,datasetsandhighlightorsummary
reports.AllareavailableviatheDASSHwebsitehttp://www.dassh.edu.au.
TestingofanationalcommunicationstrategyacrossArtsprograms
Theprojectfacilitatedaseriesofroundtablemeetingsaspartoftheengagement
strategy.Thesemeetingsofferedanopportunityforpeopleengagedinthe
coordinationofBAprogramstomeetwitheachother.Regionaldiscussionsafforded
theopportunitytoaddressthekindsofissuesthatparticularlyaffectthesectorin
particularregions.Theyalsoofferedanopportunitytodisseminatefindingsacross
thesector.
Developmentofamethodologyforfurtherstudies
Aseriesoffurtherinvestigativeprojectsaresuggestedinordertoexamineareas
identifiedthroughthisprojectasrequiringfurtherinvestigationandtoexaminethe
longtermimpactoftheBA.Arecommendedapproachisofferedthatproposesthat
areasidentifiedbythesectorwillbeledandresearchedbyinstitutionsworking
collaboratively,beconductedsectorwideandfacilitatedthroughDASSH.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20088
ABOUTTHEBASCOPINGSTUDY
Background
TheBAScopingprojectwasdevelopedundertheauspicesofTheAustralasianCouncilof
DeansofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanities(DASSH).Theprojectproposalwasendorsed
bythegroupofDeansattheDASSHSeptember2007annualconferenceanditsprogress
monitoredbyasteeringcommitteecomprisingofmembersoftheDASSHexecutiveand
DASSHmembershipbody.
DeansofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanities
DASSHleadsandpromotesthearts,socialsciencesandhumanitiesnationallyand
internationally.ThelongestablishedDASSHorganisationisnowincorporatedasan
association.DASSHrepresentstheDeansofFacultiesofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanities
inUniversitiesacrossAustraliaandNewZealand.DASSHadvocatesfortheroleofteaching,
researchandscholarshipinthearts,socialsciencesandhumanitiesby:
sharinginformationanddisseminatingbestpracticebetweenmemberinstitutions
fosteringresearch
providingaforumfordiscussionofhighereducationmanagement
contributingtothedevelopmentofeducationpolicyandadministrationissueswith
aviewtoestablishingnationalpositionstatements
takingaleadroleinfosteringthearts,socialsciencesandhumanitiesinAustralasia
creatingallianceswithrelatedorganisationsandinstitutionsnationallyand
internationally,andidentifyingandrespondingwhereappropriatetoissuesrelevant
tothearts,socialsciencesandhumanities
DisciplineBasedInitiativeGrantScheme
ThisscopingexercisewasfundedviaaDisciplineBasedInitiativeGrant,agrantschemeof
TheCarrickInstituteofTeachingandLearning(sincerenamedtheAustralianLearningand
TeachingCouncilLtd.)
ProjectTeam
TheprojectteaminitiallyoperatedthroughFlindersUniversity.ItwasdirectedbyProfessor
FaithTrent,ExecutiveDeanoftheFacultyofEducation,Humanities,LawandTheologyand
PresidentofDASSHandconsistedofprincipalinvestigatorDeanneGannaway,andresearch
assistants,HayleyUptonandSarahPrice.
TheteamwasguidedbyasteeringcommitteeofmembersofDASSHandoftheDASSH
executive.TheSteeringCommitteewasrepresentativeofallstatesinAustralia,thedifferent
institutionaltypes(G08,IRUA,ATN,andNGU),singlecampusinstitutionsandthosewith
multiplecampuses.TheSteeringCommitteeconsistedofProfessorChristySlade(Macquarie
DASSHBAScopingProject,August20089
University);ProfessorKayFerres(GriffithUniversity);ProfessorDaviddeVaus(Latrobe
University);ProfessorRichardFotheringham(UniversityofQueensland);ProfessorStephen
Garton(UniversityofSydney);ProfessorAndrewWells(UniversityofWollongong);and
ProfessorDavidWood(CurtinUniversityofTechnology).
TheSteeringCommitteemetwiththeprojectteamregularlyandprovidedguidanceand
feedbackastheprojectprogressed
Acknowledgements
TheprojectteamwouldliketogratefullyacknowledgethecontributionofalltheDeans,
AssociateDeans,ProgramCoordinatorsandadministrators,careerofficepersonnel,
administrativestaffandstudentswhoparticipatedinthisproject.Theprojectteamwould
liketoacknowledgetheircontributiontowardsthisproject’ssuccessfulconclusionandthank
themfortheirtime,insightandcommitmentinwillinglycompletingsurveys,interviews,
telephoneconversations,reviewingdraftdocuments,andparticipatinginroundtable
meetings.
Theprojectteamwouldalsoliketoacknowledgethesupportandassistancefromthe
followingpeople:
ProfessorFredD’Agostino,UniversityofQueensland,forhissupportandfeedback
acrossallaspectsofthisproject
MiaO’Brien,UniversityofQueensland,foreditorialandcurriculumtheoryadvice
LindyDodd,FlindersUniversity,forheradministrativeassistancethroughoutthe
project
Membersofthesteeringcommitteeforhostingandchairingtheroundtable
meetings
ThepersonalassistantsfortheSteeringCommitteemembers(GhadaDaher,Carlene
Kirvan,BevShaw,JennyYoung,KhylaEggert,RondaBentley,CarolButtonandLindy
Dodd)fororganisingthenationalroundtablemeetings
AssociateProfessorJaniceOrrell,DrElizabethMcDonald,andDBIstaffatALTCfor
theirsupportandguidanceinthedevelopmentofthisproject
ProjectRationale
ThisprojectbuildsonthepreviousAustralianUniversitiesTeachingCommittee(AUTC)
fundedprojectthatproducedthereportTheLetteredCountry(Pascoe,McIntyre,Ainley&
Williamson,2003).TheLetteredCountryreportoffersahistoricaloverviewofArtsrelated
programsfromthebeginningsofhighereducationinAustraliato2001.Thatreportexplored
theresilienceoftheBAdegree,oneoftheoldestdegreeprogramsinAustralia.
ThestatedpurposeofthecurrentALTCfundedprojectistoscopethenatureandrolesof
Artsdegreesincontemporarysociety.
Intheinitialprojectbriefingandproposaldocumentation,itwasnotedthat
BachelorofArtsdegrees(BAs)haveprovedthemostenduringandadaptableof
Universityawards.Theyattempttomeetarangeofneedsgeneralist,specialized
withdepthofdisciplinesandbreadthofpossibilities.Thismakesitimperativethatan
overallscopingstudyidentifiesthemajorstrengths,difficulties,capabilitiesand
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200810
contributionstothecommunityandconsidertheseinthelightofemergingneeds,
opportunitiesbothnationallyandinternationally.
Todate,theBAhasbeenabletosurviveexternallymotivatedpressuressuchasstrategic
andmarketingchanges,governmentfundingregimes,politicalimperativesand
administrativerearrangements.
However,atthe2006DASSHconferenceandinsubsequentDASSHexecutivemeetings,
DASSHmembersexpressedthattheywerefrequentlyrequiredtojustifythedegree
programsandtoarticulatethevalueoftheArtsprogramsonofferattheirinstitutions.
TheBAScopingprojectaimedtoproviderichbaselinedataonthenatureandmodelsof
BachelorofArtsprogramsofferedinAustraliabetween20012008andtorecordthetypes
ofcurriculumpracticesused.ThesedataareabletobeaccessedbyArtscurriculumleaders
asbenchmarkingevidenceforfuturecurriculumplanning.
Afundamentalrationaleforthisprojectistheacknowledgementthatdiversityisimportant.
Thisstudydoesnotintendtodevelopa“onesizefitsall”modelnorisitintendedto
prescribeanAustralianBA.Rather,theprojectfindingssupportthenotionthatanArts
programislikelytobedesignedtofittheneedsoftheinstitutionandofthecommunitythat
itdrawsonandfeedsinto.
ProjectObjectives
Thescopingstudyhadthefollowinginitialobjectives:
(a) Provideamapofthetypes,diversity,structuresanddisciplinedistributionwithin
theBA.
(b) Provideananalysisoftheconstraints,strengthsandweaknessesofthevarious
modelswithinthegeneralandthespecializedprofessionalBAs
(c) Identifytrendsindemand,studentprofile,andchoiceofdisciplines
(d) Identifyrelationshipsbetweendisciplinesandteachingandassessmentapproaches
(e) Identifywaysinwhichcurriculahavebeendevelopedandmodified
(f) Providearesourceofgoodpracticeexamplesincluding:interdisciplinarylearning
anddisciplinaryscholarship;learningandteachingmethods;effectiveuseof
technology;andeffectiveattentiontoglobalisationandtransculturalcurricula
(g) Identifythebroadscopeofrelationships,similaritiesanddifferencesbetween
HumanitiesandtheSocialSciencesinArtsdegreesandassociatedissuesfor
teachingandlearning
(h) Identifyopportunitieswhenlearningandteachingprovidealinkbetween
HumanitiesandtheSocialSciences
(i) IdentifyelementsoftheBAwhichhaveaffectedcareersofBAgraduatesoverthe
longterm
(j) DesignamethodologyforexaminingthelongtermimpactoftheBA
ProjectAims
TheprojectfocusedspecificallyontheundergraduateawardprogramscalledBachelorof
Arts.Itaimedtoachievethefollowing:
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200811
TounderstandthenatureandroleofaBachelorofArtsdegreeincontemporary
Australia
TomapthediverseBachelorofArtsprogramsonofferinAustraliabetween2001
2008
Toidentifythemajorstrengths,difficulties,capabilitiesandcontributionsofthe
program
ToproviderichbaselinedataonthenatureandmodelsofBAstobeaccessiblefor
futurecurriculumplanningforArtsFaculties.
ProjectLimitations
Theprojectwasinitiallya12monthprojectwithabudgetof$100,000.Anextensiontoan
18monthtimelinewithanadditionalbudgetof$32,000accommodatedtheroundtable
meetingengagement.Astheprojectprogressed,itbecameapparenttheamountofchange
inthesector,thedesiretoinvolveallAustralianUniversitiesandthecomplexitiesoftheBA
meantthatcertainrefinementsoftheinitialscopewererequiredinordertoaccommodate
budgetaryandtimeconstraints.Asaconsequence,thisprojecthasnotachievedtheinitially
intendedgoalsoriginallyarticulatedintheprojectproposal.Itisanticipatedthattheywillbe
addressedasseparateinvestigationswithadifferentbudgetandtimeline,astheyare
consideredanintegralpartoftheproject.
1. Gatheringinformationfromgraduates
Theinitialsubmissionfortheprojectstatedthat
Fromalumnilists,astratifiedrandomsamplewillbechosenofgraduateswhoare5,
10,15yearsoutfromgraduation.Stratificationwillbebyage,ageofentry,gender
andcurrentpositions.Usingamixofquestionnaireandfocusgroups,datawillbe
developedwhichidentifiesthoseaspectsoftheBA,itslearningpotentialandcareer
pathswhichhavebeenimportantforthealumni.
Astheprojecthasprogressed,itbecameapparentthatinstitutionalalumnioffices
rangegreatlyinfunctionandcapacityandthatdevelopingasampleofgraduates
throughthismeansisnotpossible.Requestingaccesstograduatecontactdetails
hasraisedconfidentialityissues.Therearealsoissuesregardingapplicationfor
ethicsapproval.Thisaspectoftheprojectwasconsidered,therefore,beyondthe
funding,capacityandtimescalesofthisproject.Consequentlythefollowinginitial
objectivehasnotbeenmet
(k)IdentifyelementsoftheBAwhichhaveaffectedcareersofBAgraduates
overthelongterm
AnaspectofthisprojectisaddressedintheACER“Graduatepathways”surveythat
hasrecentlybeenadministered.
2. Assessmentapproaches
Alackofavailablecrossinstitutionalinformationhasrestrictedaccesstodataon
assessmentmeantthatiswasnotpossibletoaddresstheoriginalobjectiveIdentify
relationshipsbetweendisciplinesandteachingandassessmentapproaches”.
3. Databaseofpractices
Aninitialobjectiveoftheprojectwasperceivedtobethedevelopmentofa
prototypedatabaseofgoodpractices,specifically
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200812
aresourceofgoodpracticeexamplesincluding:interdisciplinarylearning
anddisciplinaryscholarship;learningandteachingmethods;effectiveuseof
technology;andeffectiveattentiontoglobalisationandtranscultural
curricula
Astheprojectprogressed,itbecameapparentthat,notonlywasitextremely
problematictoelicitexamplesofwhatmightbeconsideredtobegoodpractice;itwasalso
somethingthatwasperceivedtobeoflimitedvalue.Thecasestudiesultimatelydeveloped
asanoutcomeoftheseprojectsemergedaccordingtowhatwasidentifiedbythesector
throughthesteeringcommitteesandroundtablemeetings.Thesediffertowhatwas
perceivedtobeimportantattheonsetoftheproject
ProjectDeliverables
Acrucialoutcomeofthisprojectisacollectionofcentrallylocatedaccessibledatathatcan
beusedacrossthesectorforbenchmarkingandasaresourceforfuturedevelopment.This
canbeusedbyinstitutionsforqualityassuranceprocessessuchaspreparingforAUQA
auditsandinstitutionalcurriculumreviews.Theytaketheformofadatabaseofprogram
profiles,casestudies,datasetsandhighlightorsummaryreports.Allareavailableviathe
DASSHwebsitehttp://www.dassh.edu.au
SummaryReports
ThesummaryreportsoftheScopingStudyareparticularlyintendedfordecisionmakersfor
theBachelorofArtsprograms:thoseresponsibleforcoordinatingandmanagingArts
programs.TheSummaryReportscanbereadindependentlyorasasetofinformation.The
setconsistsof:
1. TheBachelorofArtsScopingProject:ExecutiveSummary
2. WhatistheAustralianBA?DefiningandDescribingtheNatureandRoleoftheArts
inContemporaryAustralia
3. MappingtheTerrain:TrendsandsharedfeaturesinBAprogramsacrossAustralia
20012008
4. WhoisenrolledintheAustralianBA?StudentUptakeoftheAustralianBA2001
2006
5. WhoisdeliveringtheAustralianBA?TrendsinStaffProfilesintheBA20012006
6. FuturestudiesemergingfromtheBAScopingproject
Thesesummaryreportsaresupportedbyresourcesdevelopedaspartoftheproject.These
resourcesareavailablefromtheDASSHwebsitehttp://www.dassh.edu.au
Theformatofthesesummarysheetsprovidesanintroductiontothespecificissueand
articulatesthekeyfindingspertainingtothatissue.Thesummarysheetsalsoprovidelinks
tothedatasourcesforfurtherinvestigation.Thereportformatemergedinresponseto
requestsfromroundtablemeetingparticipantswhoindicatedthattheywouldprefer
informationsheetsthatprovidedbitesofinformationratherthandeepanalyses,with
salientpointshighlightedandblocktextonfactandfigures.Thesehavebeenprovidedas
hardcopiesissuedtoExecutiveDeansandasPDFversionsontheDASSHwebsite.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200813
Casestudies
Casestudiesdescribeexperiencesandcurrentpracticesinaddressingwithcommonissues.
Theseexperiences,practicesandissuesemergedduringtheinterviewsandroundtables
discussions.Casestudiesinclude
Retentionandrecruitmentstrategies
Advancedstudies
Administration
Workintegratedlearning
Linkstocommunity
TeachingQuality
Interdisciplinarylearning
Effectiveuseoftechnology
Transculturalcurriculum
Effectiveattentiontoglobalization
Waysinwhichcurriculahavebeenmodified
Graduateattributes
Employability
Datasets
ThedatasetsaredesignedtoenableDASSHmemberstointerrogatethedatainresponseto
theirownneeds.Theyareofferedinanexcelspreadsheetformatasbothrawdataandas
pivottables.Theyoffercurrentinformationrelatedto:
o BachelorofArtsarrangedbyinstitution
o GraduateattributesusedinArtsprograms
o WorkIntegratedLearninginArtsprograms
o StudentExchangeinArtsprograms
o DisciplinestaughtaspartoftheBachelorofArtsassequencesofstudy,including
corecourseswithinprograms
o BachelorofArtsStudentdemographics2001‐2006
o GraduatedestinationsofArtsstudents2001‐2006
o ArtsGraduatesatisfactionwithcourse2001‐2006
o AUQAreportspertainingtoArtsdegrees
o ProjectsdealingwithBachelorofArts
Institutionalprogramprofiles
Theprofilesareitemisedprogramdetailscollatedinauniformframeworktofacilitatea
comparisonofprogramsacrossastandardinstrument.TheInstitutionalProgramProfiles
focusontheBachelorofArtsaward.Theyaredesignedtoprovideabaselineofwhat
BachelorofArtsawardprogramslooklikeacrosstheAustralianHigherEducationSectorin
2008andtoenablebenchmarking.
ThefirstpartofeachprofiledescribesthedetailsoftheawardBachelorofArtsasofferedby
eachinstitutionin2008.ThisdescriptionisfortheBachelorofArtsawardonly.Itdoesnot
includetaggedornamedprogramssuchasBachelorofArts(InternationalStudies),double
degreesorhonours.ThesecondpartoftheprofiledescribestheBachelorofArtsawardin
contrasttootherArtsawardsofferedbyeachinstitutionfittingthedefinitiondescribed
earlier.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200814
Programdetails include:
Duration
CurrentProgramstructure(2008)
Majorchangesinstructure
Entryscore20012008
ArticulationintoBachelorofArtsProgram
HostFaculty
Campus
ModesofDelivery
Coordination/Management
SpecificRequirements/Limitations
WorkIntegratedLearningwithintheBachelorofArts
Industry
Community
LinkstoExternalOrganisations
GraduateAttributesShapingtheBachelorofArts
FieldsofStudyavailabletotheBachelorofArts
StudentNumbersenrolledintheBachelorofArts
Review
ContextualComment
ProjectDefinitions
DefininganArtsprogramisproblematicgiventhehugerangeoftypesofArtsprogramson
offer.TheBachelorofArtsisnotauniversallydefinedprogram.ABachelorofArtsinone
institutionactuallymightbedescribedasaBachelorofSocialSciencesinanother.Insome
cases,itisusedbynonArtsrelatedprogram.
AclearandtruedefinitionofArtsdegreesisanelusivething.Theforerunnerreport“The
LetteredCountry”,(Pascoe,McIntyre,Ainley,&Williamson,2003)tookasitsfocusArts,
HumanitiesandSocialSciencesanddefinedtheArtsdegreeas“allthosebachelorprograms
intheArts,HumanitiesandSocialSciences,variouslycalledaBA,BSocSci,orBA(specific
field)(Pascoe,McIntyre,Ainley,&Williamson,2003,p.7).ThatreportreferredtoDEST
datausingthecodesassociatedthedefinitionoftheBAisthefieldofstudydescribedby
governmentstatisticiansas‘Arts,HumanitiesandSocialSciences’,or,since2001,‘Culture
andSociety’”(Pascoe,McIntyre,Ainley,&Williamson,2003,p.10Section2)
Thechangeincodingfromfieldofstudycodetofieldofeducationcodingin2001meant
thatthenewSocietyandCulturecodenowalsoincludesLaw,Economics,andHuman
Servicesprograms.ItalsodoesnotincludedataonMediaandCommunicationprograms,as
thesearecategorisedunderthe‘CreativeArts’coding.ManyinstitutionsincludeMediaand
CommunicationprogramsaspartoftheirArtsofferings.
DuplicatingtheapproachusedforTheLetteredCountrywasthereforenotappropriatefor
thisscopingexercise.
DefinitionofArtsprograms
Forthepurposesofthisstudy,anArtsprogramistakenfromtheDEST“SocietyandCulture”
Codingthatincludes:
0901PoliticalScienceandPolicyStudies;
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200815
0903StudiesinHumanSociety;
elementswithin0911JusticeandLawEnforcement;
0913Librarianship,InformationManagementandCuratorialStudies;
0915LanguageandLiterature
0917PhilosophyandReligiousStudies;
0919EconomicsandEconometricsand
0999OtherSocietyandCulture.
ItalsoincludestheCreativeArts1007code:CommunicationandMediaStudies.
Artsprogramsdescribedinthisreportareprogramsthatare
humanitiesorsocialsciencesfocused;
aresingledegreeundergraduateprograms.
ItthereforeexcludesprogramslikeBachelorofArts(Psychology),aswellastheBachelorof
CreativeArts,PerformanceArts(includingMusic)andaccreditedprogramssuchasthe
BachelorofPoliceStudiesandSocialWork.
Asaworkingdefinitionforthisprojectandforthereport,theterm“Arts”thereforerefersto
thoseprogramsthatadheretothebroaderdefinitionofhumanitiesandsocialscience
programswiththedelimitersdescribedabove,andcouldincludeprofessional,vocational,or
technicalcurricula.
DefinitionofBachelorofArtsprograms
Theterm“BachelorofArts”referstoprogramsthatfollowtheabovecriteriaand,in
addition,adheretoa“liberalArtsnotion”i.e.atertiarycurriculumthatis
humanitiesorsocialsciencesfocused;
aresingledegreeundergraduateprograms;
notaccreditedordependentonaprofessionalbodyforbenchmarking;
allowsomelevelofflexibilityintermsofchoiceforstudents;and
areaimedatimpartingageneralknowledgeanddevelopingintellectualcapabilities
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200816
THEINVESTIGATIVEAPPROACH
ProjectMethod
Theprojectteamadoptedahistorical/comparativeanalysisapproach(Ruschemeyer&
Mahoney,2003).Asmuchofthedataonlycametolightduringtheinvestigation,an
iterativetheorybuildingprocesswasused.(KerssensvanDrongelen,2001).
Theprojectteamworkedwithexistentdatarelyingonprimarydataratherthansecond
handdata.
Primarysourcesincludedthefollowingquantitativeandqualitativesources:
DEST(nowrenamedDEEWR)data
DatadrawnfromtheGraduateDestinationsSurvey(GDS)andCourseExperience
Questionnaire(CEQ)
Courseoutlines,programstructuresanddetailsgatheredfrominstitutional‘course
finder’websitesandcalendars
Anonlinesurveyofthoseengagedintheteachingoftheseprograms
Semistructuredinterviewsconductedtelephonicallyor‘facetoface’with67people
fromarangeofroles
ApilotfocusgroupwithgraduateandlateryearSouthAustralianstudents
Secondarysourcesincludedthefollowing:
existinginstitutionalorcentrereportsofinvestigationsintoparticularareassuchas
attritionoremployability
institutionalstrategicplansandprogramreviewdocuments
facilityorschoolwebsites,programhandbooksandprogramflyersorpublicity
materials
literaturepertainingintohighereducationcurriculum,teachingandacademicwork
inArts,HumanitiesandSocialSciencesandgraduateemployability
mediaandpressreleasestodevelopanunderstandingofcontemporaryissues.
ProjectStages
Theprojectcollectedandanalysedthedataoverthelifeoftheprojectinastagedprocess.
Thisisdescribedbelow.
Stage1:Exploration(DataCollection)
Intotal,40institutionswereexaminedanddetaileddatawascollectedon390programs.
ThedatacollectionprocesswasconductedfromMarch2007toFebruary2008,in
accordancetoaprocessthatmetwithapprovalfromtheFlindersUniversity’sSocialand
BehaviouralResearchEthicsCommittee.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200817
Thedatacollectionprocessincludedthefollowingstrategies:
1. Interviews
Aninterviewwassoughtfromeachinstitution,initiallytargetingtheroleofthe
ExecutiveDeanofaFacultyofArtsorasimilarrole.Forthemostpart,Executive
Deansrequestedthattheinterviewbeconductedwithapersonwhohada
responsibilityforthecoordinationoroversightoftheBAprogram.Aseriesofsemi
structuredinterviewswereconductedtelephonicallyor‘facetoface’with67people
fromarangeofroles.AfulllistofthepeopleinterviewedisavailableinAppendix1.
Intervieweesincluded:
11ALTC/CarricknationalawardwinnersteachingintoanArtsaward
managersandcoordinatorsofArtsprogramsacrossthesector,including
o 9AssociateDeans(TeachingandLearning),
o 18BAcoordinators,
o 6Deans,
o 7HeadsofSchool
o 5Administrativeofficers
ThisrangereflectsthediversityofmeansbywhichtheBAawardprogramsare
managedandcoordinatedacrossthesector.Thesemistructuredphoneinterview
questionsareavailableinAppendix2and3
Interviewswerenotrecorded,butcomprehensivenotesweretakenandacase
studyofeachinterviewdrafted.Thisdraftwasreturnedtotheintervieweefor
amendmentandapproval.
2. CourseOutlinesandStudyPlans
CourseoutlinesthathadeitherBachelorofArtsorBachelorofSocialSciencesas
somepartoftheirnamewereidentifiedviaonlinecoursefindersearchengines.
Informationgatheredthroughthisprocesswascollatedintoanexcelspreadsheet
underthefollowinggeneralinformationheadings:
Degreetitle
Structure
Programoutline
URL
Campusoffered
Modeofdelivery
Disciplinesormajorsofferedaspartoftheprogram
Specificrequirements/restrictions
HostAOU(AcademicOrganisationalUnit)
EvidenceofWIL(WorkIntegratedLearning)
Articulationprocessesandprocedures
Anyinternationalexchangeorcrossinstitutionalopportunities
3. OnlineSurvey
Anonlinesurvey,hostedbySurveymonkey.com,waslinkedviatheDASSHwebsite.
Thesurveywasentirelyvoluntaryandanonymous.AllDeanswereaskedtocirculate
aninvitationto“allstaffteachingintotheBA”toparticipateinthesurvey.The
surveydrew248respondentsfrom28participatinginstitutions.Questionswerea
mixtureofsetresponseandshortwordanswer.Questionswereasoutlinedin
Appendix4andalistofinstitutionsfromwhichrespondentswererecordedis
availableinAppendix5
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200818
4. DEST/DEEWRData
DatasetswererequestedfromDESTthatdrawontheSTUDENTLOAD,
ENROLMENTS,andCOMPLETIONSdatagatheredbetweentheperiod20012006.
Atthetimeoftheanalysis,2007datawasnotyetavailable.DatafromtheSTAFF
datasetsforthesametimeperiodwasalsocollected
5. GCAdata
DatafromtheGraduateDestinationsSurvey(GDS)andtheCourseExperience
Questionnaire(CEQ)wasrequestedfromGraduateCareersAustraliathatmatched
withtheDESTSocietyandCulturecode.
6. ProgramReviews
Institutionalinternalandexternalreviewsofprogramswererequestedfromall
participatinginstitutions.Bytheanalysisstageoftheproject,21institutionshad
submittedreviewdocumentationforinclusionintheproject.Oftheremainder,the
programsfor3institutionswereunderreviewatthetime,3institutionsindicated
thatreviewdocumentswerenotabletobereleasedpublicly,4institutionsindicated
thattherewasnotastructureinplaceforprogramreviewand3institutionswere
undergoingamajororganisationalrestructure.Foralistofreviewssubmittedsee
Appendix6.
7. WebsiteandPublicityMaterials
Promotionmaterialwasgathered.Thisincludedgraduatetestimonialsandmaterials
illustratingfuturepossibleemploymentfromcareeroffices.Foralistofcareer
officescontributorsseeAppendix7
Stage2:Explanation(Synthesisandanalysis)
1. Institutionalprogramprofiles
AnawardprogramthatrepresentedaBachelorofArtsforeachinstitutionwas
identified.Alldatagatheredwasanalysedthroughastandardframeworkdocument,
whichbecametheinstitutional‘profile’andmanifestedasa12pagedocument.The
frameworkswereusedtodeveloptrendsacrosstheprograms.
2. Datasets
Datagatheredfromtheinterviews,theprogramoutlinesandprofiles,DESTandGCA
dataandpublicitymaterialsascollatedintoaseriesofdatasetsthatcouldbe
analysed
3. AustralianUniversitiesQualityAgency(AUQA)reports
ReportsfromthefirstroundoftheAUQAwereexaminedandanycomments,
recommendationsandcommendationsforanyfeaturesthatmightbeidentifiedas
relatedtoArtsprogramswerenotedandcollatedintoadataset.
4. ALTCandinstitutionalteachingandlearninginvestigations
ExistingprojectsthatarefundedeitherunderALTCfundingorviainstitutionalfunds
thatmayhavesomeimpactonArtsprogramswerecollatedintoadataset.
Stage3:Verification(Authenticationandanalysis)
Asmuchofthedataanddocumentationusedinthisresearchwerenotinitiallycreatedfor
thepurposesofthisproject,butratherforotherpurposesoradministrativefunction,in
ordertoreducetheinherentbiasordistortion,datacollectedwerecriticallyevaluatedand
authenticityandaccuracyestablishedpriortoanalysis.Inkeepingwiththeiterativetheory
buildingprocess,asconceptswereinitiallydeveloped,theywereverifiedincomparisonwith
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200819
therawdataacrosstherangeofsourcesandliteratureandthenvalidatedthrough
consultationwiththesteeringcommittee
1. ScanofLiterature
ThereislittleintheliteraturethatspecificallydealswithArtsinthedefinitionused
inthisstudy.Theliteratureprimarilyfocusesonthedisciplinaryexperiencesthat
collectivelycontributetothedevelopmentofanArtsprogram.Theliteraturescan
focusedonhighereducationcurriculum,attritionandretention,employabilityof
ArtsgraduatesandteachingpracticeasrelatedtoArtsdisciplines,fromboth
researchandpractitionerbasedsources.Theliteraturewasusedtoinformthe
summaryreportswhererelevant.
2. Alternatepossiblesourcesofdatainvestigated
TheLongitudinalSurveysofAustralianYouth(LSAY)wasdrawnonheavilyinthe
precedingstudybyPascoeetal(TheLetteredCountry,2003).Withtherefined
definitionofthisstudy,thedataemergingfromLSAYinthestandardreportsproved
tobetoobroadtocontributemeaningfully,asdataisnotgatheredspecificallyon
theBachelorofArtsprogram,butratherwithinthebroadercategoryoftheSociety
andCulturecoding.AsimilarproblememergedwiththeAustralianBureauof
Statisticsdata.AsdatanotcollectedinthegeneralCensusSurveydoesnotspecify
theprogramsstudied,thedatafromtheABSwasdeemedtobetoobroadto
meaningfullycontributetothisspecificscopingexercise.
3. Studentpilotfocusgroups
Averysmallfocusgroupofrecentgraduatesandlateryearstudentsfromthe3
SouthAustralianuniversitieswasconducted.Thefocusgroup’spurposewastotest
emergingperceptionsandpossiblequestionsforfuturestudentfocusgroups
emergingasaresultoftheprojectprogression.Asthiswasanunrepresentative
smallsampleandtheresultsofthefocusgroupswerenotusedaspartofthe
analysis,butwillinformlaterprojects.Thequestionsandfocusofthefocusgroupsis
availableinAppendix8
4. SteeringCommitteemeetings
Regularfacetofacemeetingsandteleconferencemeetingswithmembersofthe
steeringcommitteeallowedforcontinuedrefinementoftheprojectoutline.The
SteeringCommitteealsosecondedadditionalparticipantsforadviceandalternate
viewpoints.
5. Roundtablemeetings
AseriesofroundtablemeetingswereheldthroughoutAustralia.Invitationswere
extendedthroughtheExecutiveDeanstothreerepresentativeswithresponsibility
formanagementandcurriculumcoordinationoftheBA.Ninemeetingswereheld
acrossthecountrychairedbyamemberoftheSteeringCommitteeandwiththe
PrincipalInvestigatorDeannaGannawayleadingthemall.Atleastonewasheldin
eachState,with103representativesinvitedand99participantsinattendance.
Duringthesemeetings,programprofileswereexamined,andprojectfindings
gatheredtodateweresharedanddiscussed.Thesemeetingsalsoprovidedan
opportunityforparticipantstodiscussrelevantissuesrelatedtoregional
experiences.AfulllistofparticipantsisavailableatAppendix9.Thesemeetings
wererecordedandactionsminuted
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200820
Stage4:OutcomeDevelopment
Thecomponentsofthedatabaseofprogramprofiles,casestudies,datasetsandhighlightor
summaryreportsweredeveloped.AllareavailableviatheDASSHwebsite
http://www.dassh.edu.au
1. Findingswereconsolidatedintoaseriesofsummaryreportswiththefollowing
headings.
a. WhatistheAustralianBA?DefiningandDescribingtheNatureandRoleof
theArtsinContemporaryAustralia
b. MappingtheTerrain:TrendsandsharedfeaturesinBAprogramsacross
Australia20012008
c. WhoisenrolledintheAustralianBA?StudentuptakeoftheAustralianBA
20012006
d. WhoisdeliveringtheAustralianBA?TrendsinStaffProfilesintheBA2001
2006
e. FuturestudiesemergingfromtheBAScopingproject
2. InstitutionalProgramProfileswerefinalisedandreturnedtoinstitutionalcontacts
forfinalapprovalandpublicationpermission
ProjectEvaluation
Formativeevaluation
1. Steeringcommitteemeetings
TheSteeringcommitteemeetingsprovidedanopportunityforgatheringfeedback
fromarepresentativeDASSHmembership.Theformativeevaluationenabledthe
refinementofresearchquestionsfortheprojectteaminordertogatherdatathat
wouldhavethemaximumbenefitforthesector.Inaddition,thesemeetings
ensuredperiodicreviewsofprogressagainstthetimelinewithprojectdirectorand
projectteam.
2. Informalfeedback
FeedbackwasalsoelicitedthroughinterviewsandemailcorrespondencewithDeans
ofArts,SocialSciencesandHumanitiesandBAprogramcoordinators
3. DASSHConference2007
ApresentationreportattheDASSHsectorwideconferenceheldbetween26‐28
September,2007wasmetwithwholescalesupportfromthesector.Ingeneral,
feedbackfromtheconferenceparticipantsincludedsupportfortheprojectasan
importantpartoftheCouncil’scorebusiness.
4. Roundtablemeetings
Theroundtablemeetingformatprovidedanopportunityforformativeevaluationof
theproject.Thisprocesswasusedtoensurethatoutcomeswouldbeeffectiveand
relevant;toenablerepresentativesfromthesectortheopportunitytoprovideinput
intotheproposedmethodologyforfurtherstudy;tosetthedirectionfortheformat
oftheproject’soutcomesthatwouldbeofgreatestusetoindividualinstitutions;
andtoallowdiscussionwithpeersaboutthestructuresanddesignofthecurriculain
useacrossthesector.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200821
5. ALTCliaison
Theproject’sinitialdirectionandscopewasdevelopedthroughconsultationwith
thethenDirector,DBI,CarrickInstitute:AssociateProfessorJaniceOrrellandata
laterstagewithDirectorDrElizabethMcDonald.ParticipationinthenationalDBI
foraandworkshopsalloweddiscussionabouttheprojectandprojectprocesseswith
projectmanagers,investigatorsanddirectorsengagedinsimilarprojects.This
engagementencouragedprojectprocessrefinement.
Theinterimreportandresultantincreaseinfundingforadditionalactivitiesreceived
inNovember2007providedamoreformalopportunityforevaluationfromALTC.In
addition,ongoingmeetingsandcorrespondencebetweentheProjectDirector,
ProfessorFaithTrentandtheALTCDirector‐ProgramsandNetworksDrElizabeth
McDonaldmonitoredprojectprogressandoutcomes.
Summativeevaluation
1. RoundtablesOnlineSurvey
Apostroundtablemeetingonlinesurveyofrespondentsattractedaresponserate
of42%.Mostofthefeedbackwaspositivewiththemainnegativeresponsescentred
aroundthefactthattheroundtablemeetingsdidnotallowenoughtimefor
detaileddiscussionofmattersbeyondtheproject.Asummaryoftheresultswillbe
madeavailableattheDASSHconferencetoguidefutureactivities.
2. DASSHConference2008
InputfromDASSHmemberswillbesoughtattheannualconferencetobeheldin
October2008.Memberswillbeencouragedtojoininsmallergroupstotake
ownershipofidentifiedPriorityProjectsforsubmissiontoALTC,undertheauspices
ofDASSH.
ProjectDissemination
Inkeepingwiththenotionthateffectivedisseminationofprojectoutcomesrequiresthe
engagementofleaders(Southwell,Gannaway,Orrell,Chalmers&Abraham,2005)the
sustainabilityofthisprojectisguaranteedthroughitspatronagebyDASSH.
1. Roundtables
Asmentionedearlier,theroundtablemeetingsheldnationally,facilitatedalevelof
engagementwiththeprojectfrompeoplerepresentingawiderangeofprogramand
institutionalleadershippositions.
2. DASSHConference2008
TheofficiallaunchofthisprojectwilltakeplaceattheDASSHConference2008tobe
heldinMelbournebetween1to3October2008.ThisconferencehasSenatorthe
HonKimCarr(MinisterforInnovation,Industry,ScienceandResearch),Emeritus
ProfessorDeniseBradleyAC(Chair,HigherEducationReviewExpertPanel)and
ProfessorMargaretSheil,(CEO,AustralianResearchCouncil)askeynotespeakers.A
keyoutcomeoftheconferencewillbethedevelopmentoftheexpressionsof
interestapplicationsforfundingforthefutureprojectsemergingfromthisscoping
exercisetobelodgedwithALTCinthenewyear.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200822
3. DASSHwebsite
TheprojectdeliverablesaremadeavailableviatheDASSHwebsite.Certainareasare
passwordprotected.AccesstotheseareasisthroughapasswordsentviatheDASSH
officetoDASSHmembers.Thewebsiteandanemailannouncingtheavailabilityof
theprojectresourceswillbesentinitiallytoprojectcontributorsandtotheDASSH
membersasasoftlaunchoftheprojectoutcomes.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200823
FINDINGSANDOUTCOMES
ProjectFindings
TheBachelorofArtsishighlycomplex
Thereisalittleinthewayofacommonunderstandingintermsofdefinitions,scopeand
pedagogyacrossthevariousArtsdegreesacrossthesector.Onceaworkingdefinitionof
Artsprogramshadbeenestablished,only35of390programsexploredcouldbecalled
BachelorofArtsaccordingtotheprojectdefinition,suggestingthattheArtsareservinga
rangeoffunctions,yetarecommonlyreferredtoasasingleentity.
Declineinnumbersoffulltimestaff,increasingcasualisationand
implicationsforrenewal
Despitethesteadyincreaseinstudentnumbersacrossthealloftheprogramsdefinedby
thisprojectasArtsprograms,therehasbeenasteadydeclineinthenumbersoffulltime
staffteachingintotheArtsprogramsoverthelast6years.Projectinformantsreporta
concernintheincreaseofcasualisationoftheworkforceanditseffectsonlearningand
teachingintheArts,HumanitiesandSocialSciences.Thisissupportedbyreviewingthe
DEST/DEEWRdata.Acombinedpictureindicatesthatthereareloomingissuesastohow
Artsdegreeswillbestaffedinthefutureandhowthetrendtowardscasualisationwillbe
curbedatatimewhenArtsisservingarangeoffunctionsinthecommunity.
Increaseinstudentnumbers
Althoughtherehasbeenasteadyincreaseinthenumberofstudentsacrossthebroader
Artsprograms,therehasbeenasteadydeclineinthenumberofstudentsengagedin
BachelorofArtsprograms.
Increaserelianceinconvergenttechnologies
Projectparticipantsreportamovementawayfromtalkandchalkmodesofdeliveryandthe
increasingrelianceonconvergenttechnologiesatatimeofdecreasedfunding.
Artsprogramsareinastateofrenewalandreview
MostoftheBachelorofArtsprogramsexaminedwereeitherunderrevieworemergingfrom
areview.Artsprogramsareinastateofflux.Mostoftheprogramsinvestigatedreported
thattheywerecurrentlyunderrevieworofferinganewiterationasaresultofinstitutional
restructuring.TheBAprogramsappeartobeconstantlyadaptingandadjusting.
Reductionofthenumberofprogramsonofferin2008
Ofthe390Artsprogramsthatwereinitiallyexplored,therewere214onofferin2008,and
anadditional10newprogramsmadeavailable.Thismeansthatthereisareductionof176
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200824
programsacrossthecountry.Atthesametime,insomeinstitutionsthathadclosed
BachelorofArtsprogramsbecausetheyhadnichedegreesarenowreinstatingBachelorof
Artsprogramsinfavourofnichedegrees.
ProblemswiththeDEST/DEEWRdata
TheexperiencesofusingnationaldatacollectionssuchastheDEST/DEEWRcollectionsand
theGCAcollectionsshowthatinterrogatingthedataonaprogramlevelisparticularly
challenging.
Thedataiscollectedinmannersuniquetoinstitutions.DASSHiswellplacedtoliaisewith
theseorganisationstorequestchangesinthewaysdataiscollectedanddistributed.In
addition,thereareinconsistenciesbetweenthestudentnumbersandsessionalteachers
datacollectedanddistributedbyDEST/DEEWRandthatmaintainedbyinstitutions.
Dataiscollectedfrominstitutionsinauniquemanner.Eachinstitutionrecordsprogram
namesinanuniqueandidiosyncraticmanneraccordingtointernalpolicies,makingprogram
namesanunreliablemechanismforexaminingawardsacrossthesector.Theonlyreliable
mechanismfordistinguishingprogramswasusingtheSocietyandCulture,whichstillleads
inaccuracies.
Workintegratedlearning
Theprojectidentifiedthedifferenttypesofworkintegratedlearningthatformpartofthe
Artsprograms.Thereisasuggestionthroughtheinterviewsandtheanalysisofprograms,
thatthereareincreasingopportunitiesforworkintegratedlearningwithinArtsprograms.
However,thereisadiscrepancyintheactualWILEFTSLrecordedbyDEST/DEEWRasbeing
involvedintheseprograms.Thisisbecausetosomeextentdefinitionskeepchanginginthe
DEST/DEEWRworld,makingcomparisonsdifficult.
CurriculumLeadership
TheprojectidentifiedthatthemanagementofaprogramofthenatureoftheBAisahighly
complexactivity.Itrequiresnegotiationandmanagementacrossarangeofdisciplinary
pedagogiesandorganisationalstructuressuchasschoolsandFaculties.Manyindividuals
withresponsibilityfortheseactivitiesexpressedaconcernabouttheircapacityandtheir
knowledgeofcurriculum.
Curriculum
OneclearfeaturewhichemergesisthenotionofcurriculumintheBAisilldefinedand
probablyillunderstood.TheBAisfrequentlya“Lego”degreewhichmayhavecoherencein
itsdisciplineareasiftherehasbeenagreeddiscussionandconsistentexpertisebutthe
overarchingcurriculumisrarelyreferredtoordescribed,exceptinprofessionalBAs.The
flexibilityofthedegreeiscitedasavirtuebutoftenthisislostinissuesofavailability,
timetablingandstudentexternalpressures.Howeverstructurescanbedescribed.
InclusionoftheStudentVoice
FuturestudiesintotheArtsprogramsneedtoincludeinputfromstudents,particularlywith
respecttomotivationforenrolment,expectationsforcareerprogressionandexperiencesof
engagingwiththeprogram.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200825
ProjectOutcomes
Creationofacommonlanguage
AnoutcomeoftheBAScopingProjectisaclearerdefinitionforArtsprograms.This
definitionhasbeenusedthroughouttheprojectdataanalysisprocessestoensure
consistency.Astheprojectprogressed,itbecameapparentthatthereisalackofacommon,
sharedunderstandingofwhatismeantbytheterm“Arts”.Thereferenceto“Arts”is
frequentlyilldefinedandoftenlimitedtotheDEST/DEEWRdefinitionofSocietyand
Culture.ThisrelianceisproblematicastheDEST/DEEWRSocietyandCulturedefinition
encompassesprogramsthatincludeLaw,SocialWorkandPoliceStudies.Thereisalso
confusionbetweenliberalArtsandcreativeorvisualArts.
Keyfeaturesoftheprogram
TheprojectmapsandidentifiesthefeaturesthatmaketheBachelorofArtsdistinctfrom
otherprogramswithinthebroaderArtsdefinition.Aclearerunderstandingofthesefeatures
isasteptowardsthearticulationofthevalueoftheBachelorofArtsawardprograms
Developmentofmodelstodescribecurriculumcurrentlyinuse
Aseriesofmodelsthatdescribethecurriculumstructuresandeducationalphilosophieshas
beendeveloped.
BachelorofArtsProgramsCollection
Acrucialoutcomeofthisprojectisacollectionofcentrallylocatedaccessibledatathatcan
beusedacrossthesectorforbenchmarkingandasaresourceforfuturedevelopment.This
canbeusedbyinstitutionsforqualityassuranceprocessessuchaspreparingforAUQA
auditsandinstitutionalcurriculumreviews.Theytaketheformofadatabaseofprogram
profiles,casestudies,datasetsandhighlightorsummaryreports.Allareavailableviathe
DASSHwebsitehttp://www.dassh.edu.au.
TheprojecthasdevelopedacollectionofresourcesanddatadescribingtheAustralian
BachelorofArtsawardsin2008asnapshotintime.Theoutcomesofthisprojectprovidea
baselineandsnapshotoftheAustralianArtsprograms.Theoutcomesareavailableviathe
DASSHwebsite.Theycanbeusedbyinstitutionsforbenchmarkingpurposesiftheyare
maintained.Amechanismtoensurethedatacollectedremainsusefulbeyondthelifeofthis
projectwillberequired.
Acrucialoutcomeofthisprojectisthatthereisnowacollectionofaccessibledatacentrally
locatedthatcanbeusedacrossthesectorforbenchmarkingandasaresourceforfuture
development.Thiscanbeusedbyinstitutionsforqualityassuranceprocessessuchas
preparingforAUQAauditsandinstitutionalcurriculumreviews
TestingofanationalcommunicationstrategyacrossArtsprograms
Theprojectfacilitatedaseriesofroundtablemeetingsaspartoftheengagementstrategy.
ThesemeetingsofferedanopportunityforpeopleengagedinthecoordinationofBA
programstomeetwitheachother.Regionaldiscussionsaffordtheopportunitytoaddress
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200826
thekindsofissuesthatparticularlyaffectthesectorinparticularregions.Theyalsooffered
anopportunitytodisseminatefindingsacrossthesector.
MethodologyforFurtherStudies
Aseriesoffurtherinvestigativeprojectsaresuggestedinordertoexamineareasidentified
throughthisprojectasrequiringfurtherinvestigationandtoexaminethelongtermimpact
oftheBA.Arecommendedapproachisofferedthatproposesthatareasidentifiedbythe
sectorwillbeledandresearchedbyinstitutionsworkingcollaboratively,beconducted
sectorwideandfacilitatedthroughDASSH.Thesearedescribedingreaterdetailinthenext
section.
DASSHBAScopingProject,August200827
FUTUREFUNDINGSUBMISSIONS
AnoutcomeoftheBAScopingprojectwastheidentificationofareasthatrequiredfurther
investigation.Itisrecommendedthataseriesoffurtherinvestigativeprojectsbeconducted
toexaminethelongtermimpactoftheBA.Therecommendedapproachisthatthe
followingkeyareas(asidentifiedbythesector)willbeledandresearchedbyinstitutions
workingcollaboratively,beconductedsectorwideandfacilitatedthroughDASSH.
TheroleofDASSHwithintheproposedapproachisto
Coordinateandorchestrateprojectstoensurethatprojectsarenotduplicating
activitieswiththesamegroupofstakeholders
Facilitatecollaborationandcommunicationacrosstheprojects
Developandmaintain