Project Details

A project to develop a framework for thinking about projects in tertiary education and using research to drive change for the benefit of learners. A collaboration between Heathrose Research and Ako Aotearoa.


The primary aim of the project was to help readers reflect, gather evidence and use a project to support ongoing improvement and improved outcomes for learners.


The methodology of the project included the development of a framework for thinking about the before, during and after phases of action-focused projects designed to improve teaching and learning.



Anne Alkema

Heathrose Research Ltd




$25,000.00 (excl GST)

$25,000.00 Ako Aotearoa Contribution

Key Findings

What has become clear to us is that although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all approach,’ there certainly are some key ingredients:

  • a committed and engaged project team, who are both well positioned to make changes themselves and influence other key groups
  • a well planned and executed project, that is kept on track with the benefits for learners at the forefront
  • a willingness to work with others in a meaningful partnership for the benefit of learners
  • a plan in place to share the work strategically.

Key Recommendations

  • Projects should develop a professional learning community.
  • Project leaders should communicate about their work within and beyond their organisations.
  • They should use a framework for thinking about achieving sustainable change that takes their organisational context into account and that features initiation, implementation and institutionalisation phases.
  • It is important to be realistic about the sort of change and outcomes project teams can expect over time
  • Assessing and measuring outcomes using appropriate data is also important.
  • Project teams should use Ako Aotearoa rubrics to develop and evaluate high impact projects.


Creating Sustainable Change to Improve Outcomes for Tertiary Learners

This report details a framework for developing research projects in tertiary education that support improved outcomes for learners. 

(PDF, 1.7 MB, 28-pages).

  • 1 August 2012
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