Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Hilliger I., Celis S., Pérez-Sanagustín M. (2020)

Engaged versus disengaged teaching staff: A case study of continuous curriculum improvement in higher education

Revista : Higher Education Policy
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Over the past two decades, external influences over continuous curriculum improvement have increased, so universities have implemented centralized approaches to respond to external accountability demands, such as national and international accreditations. These approaches have diminished teaching staff engagement with continuous curriculum improvement, without necessarily improving student outcome attainment. To illustrate mechanisms that engage and disengage teaching staff, we present a case study of a 3-year continuous improvement process implemented in a selective university in Chile. Throughout the process, 61 teaching staff members were involved in outcome assessment tasks and curriculum discussions. By triangulating three sources of evidence (97 assessment plans, 27 meeting minutes and 11 interviews), we identified engagement mechanisms that were related to staff members’ motivation to improve student outcomes, and disengagement mechanisms that were related to their reticence towards misaligned and externally imposed policies. Teaching staff’s perspectives on continuous improvement were discussed for further generalization of these mechanisms.