The Project Establishment Guide: probing the critical contexts for learning and teaching projects to enable their success

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 42: Next Generation, Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and Opportunities

March, 2020, 125 pages
Published by
Eva Heinrich & Roseanna Bourke

Taking strategic and operational contexts into account is critical for the success of higher education learning and teaching projects. Many projects are established with only a cursory look at the strategic priorities they need to deliver, neglecting to unpack the team’s assumptions and how these impact on project planning and execution. The Project Establishment Guide (PEG) was designed to ensure projects are strategically planned, operationally embedded and sustainable. PEG draws on four theoretical perspectives and incorporates five phases, each accompanied by critical questions. A participatory action research methodology was deployed in the reflective evaluation stages to investigate whether PEG assisted project success. Findings suggest that the PEG enables teams to interrogate their assumptions about their project’s strategic and operational contexts. However, it also needs to be fine-tuned before it can be incorporated as a standard approach for establishing informed, strategically aligned and embedded projects that are sustainable and maintained into the future.

Keywords: Higher education, learning and teaching projects