Applying stakeholder strategies and policies

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Before you can apply organisational strategies and policies to your curriculum design work, you need to develop a good understanding of:

  • quality assurance requirements (compliance) - specific to the organisation and to the tertiary sector (NZQA); and
  • how to utilize the continuous improvement model using a PDSA cycle (Plan, Do, Study, Act) - also called Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA).


Case Study: Emilia

For Emilia's Public Health Policy course to be approved by Academic Board, she needs to demonstrate how the strategic priorities of her organisation, and the quality assurance processes are incorporated.

She is aware that Otago Polytechnic's Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework 2013‐2015 has five objectives. One of these, is particularly relevant since she needs to design for both on-campus and off-campus (distance) learners and intends to use digital portfolio assessments.

Strategic Objective Five: Our physical and virtual learning environments will be inclusive and optimize learner success.

To this end, in the programme document she intends to include a variety of strategies for blended learning and assessment that will facilitate the development of flexible and seamless learning environments. Learners need to be able to:

  • access learning anytime and anywhere;
  • participate in classrooms that are flexible, contemporary, creative, learner-centered and reflective of learner and programme diversity and culture.

She also knows that she will need to gather data in preparation for the Annual Programme Review to demonstrate that this strategic objective has been met.


Case Study: Brett

Brett coordinates a Certificate in Carpentry (Level 4), a qualification that is designed to prepare participants for a career in the construction industry either as apprentices or laborers. It is NZQA-approved, and offers theoretical components from the National Certificate in Carpentry, the practical components of which must be completed on the job once they leave Otago Polytechnic and enter the workforce.

Brett must ensure his revised programme is consistent with the NZQA framework. To meet the requirements for NZQA, students must complete designated unit standards to a total of 136 credits. They will learn:

  • to use hand tools and builder's equipment
  • to undertake building works as an apprentice
  • theoretical aspects of construction
  • about on-site safety
  • to interpret and carry out instructions.

Successful completion of the qualification prepares them to work as carpenters in the construction industry. This also meets part of Strategic Objective One: Graduates are developed to be capable, work ready, future focused, sustainable practitioners (Otago Polytechnic Learning and Teaching Strategic Framework 2013‐2015).

However, Brett realises that to develop his students' knowledge about practicing sustainability, he must include resources and activities on this subject. This will also meet Objective 1: To Develop Sustainable Practitioners (Otago Polytechnic's Sustainable Practice Strategic Framework 2013 – 2015).

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Practice applying the PDSA cycle.
  • Work with one case study, and using the PDSA cycle devise a way forward for either Emilia or Brett so that they can demonstrate how they are using a continuous improvement approach in their work.
  • Refer to the PDSA resources.
  • Search for more information about PDSA or PDCA.
  • Outline how you might use this cycle in your context.