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The Society for Research into Higher Education

Ian Kinchin


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Student evaluation of teaching: are we reaching for the wrong type of excellence?

By Ian Kinchin

Over twenty years ago Carr (1994: 49) wrote:

 ‘It is a shallow and false view of education and teaching which takes it to be a matter of the technical transmission of pre-packaged knowledge and skills in the context of efficient management’

However, it seems that this false view is still able obscure a more contemporary and research-informed views of teaching. The on-going drive for ‘teaching excellence’ still seems to focus on actions of the teacher that promote Carr’s ‘shallow view’. That is not to say that the student voice is not important, but we need to ensure that students are asked the right questions so that we do not promote student passivity as learners and do not subvert the student voice for purely political ends.

Fitzgerald et al (2002) wrote Continue reading

Ian Mc Nay


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Teaching Excellence Framework

By Ian McNay

This contribution is adapted from a paper first written to brief the trustees of Coventry Students’ Union, and just before a THE feature on senior staff from Coventry. So, it emphasises the need for a student involvement in assessing teaching excellence, but the messages have resonance for the rest of us, I hope. There are four basic questions to ask:

  • How do we define excellence/s? (The plural is important; excellence is contingent, it varies by purpose)
  • How do we measure it? Output and outcomes may be easy; process less so
  • How do we encourage and develop it?
  • How do we reward it?

None have yet been answered, even at a basic level.

Jo Johnson’s speeches to UUK had some good points, but Continue reading