Southern Cross University (SCU) College offers preparation and pathway programs to international students to prepare them for success in university and beyond. Creating a supportive language environment, the College empowers students to develop their language and academic skills, as well as their confidence. In June 2021, NEAS and SCU College worked together to conduct a quality assessment of the Centre’s online English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and General English (GE) programs, as part of a project funded by Trade Investment Queensland. As a result of the initiative, a dedicated NEAS Report was produced, noting areas of best practice alongside specific recommendations for ongoing improvements.
Twelve months later, a special Management Meeting was held, which served as a review mechanism to assess the updates and revisions that were applied to the College’s Learning Management Systems (LMS) and interactive resources, in alignment with the recommendations made in the earlier report. As with the Quality Assurance exercise in 2021, the recent review of 2022 measured the course enhancements against the Quality Principles in Area H: Online Delivery. These Quality Principles focus on: ensuring the design of the online environment supports a positive and engaging user experience; the appropriateness of learning and assessment strategies for virtual delivery; provision of learning resources and technology to facilitate learning; and the presence of an integrated reporting system to support the online courses.
NEAS acknowledges the improvements that have been methodically implemented, and commends the College for its adept use of the University’s LMS in acculturating pathway students to future systems. Also commendable was the creation of new learner-centred format of scaffolded online lessons featuring a combination of resources aligned to the learning outcomes and assessments for each weekly unit. The implementation of explicit learning outcomes into Blackboard Accordion menus across courses form part of an integrated reporting system, and changing from Blackboard Collaborate to a Blackboard integrated Zoom application improved further the learner experience.