Applying Performance Management Principles to a Learning Environment for Undergraduate Dissertations: A Case Study

Authors: Day, J. and Bobeva, M.

Journal: International Journal of Quality and Standards

Volume: 9

Pages: 217-239

ISSN: 1753-9439


In the UK an individual research work, often known as a 'dissertation', is a common requirement of undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees in business, law and humanities subjects. However, changes in the business environment have placed heavy demands of dissertation students, their supervisors and academic departments. Amongst these challenges are increasing cohort sizes, individual supervision mode, coordination of many stakeholders and increasingly stringent quality regulations to be met within tight financial and resource budgets.

This research presents a response to these problems, by demonstrating how one Higher Education institution developed a Learning Environment (LE) specifically designed to manage dissertations. Implementation of this LE has lead, over several years, to apparent improvements to the student dissertation experience and achievement and also seemed to have enhanced the consistency and effectiveness of research supervisors. However, to justify further investment of time and money and to further develop operational management it became necessary to properly assess the performance and impact of the LE. The case study discussed in the paper explains how the performance management regime was designed and then examines how it will be used in the longer term to nurture a community of practice for all involved in dissertations.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Milena Bobeva