Engaging Students in Quality Assurance Processes
A project of the COED Curriculum Working Group. Written by Sally Heath, Wilfrid Laurier University; Mary Wilson, Wilfrid Laurier University; Jovan Groen, University of Ottawa; and Paola Borin, Ryerson University. May 2021.
This report is the result of a research project investigating ways in which Ontario post-secondary students and alumni are being engaged in quality assurance (QA) processes. The project developed from a Curriculum Working Group Meeting of the Council of Ontario Educational Developers (COED) in 2017 and included a survey administered to QA staff at Ontario colleges and universities accompanied by follow-up interviews. Survey questions sought to understand how current students and alumni were being engaged in quality assurance processes, the effectiveness of those practices, the ways in which universities attempted to obtain diverse representation in student feedback, and the degree to which student feedback was both acted upon and shared back to the students themselves. Our findings were consistent with the existing literature on student involvement in quality assurance, which frequently positions their opportunities for engagement along a spectrum, with the most common forms of participation limiting the role of the student to information provider rather than actor or partner in the process. Using our project findings in the context of existing research in this area, we offer a set of principles of strong practice for more robust and sustained engagement of students in quality assurance processes.