8 Matching Annotations
  1. Jul 2017
    1. Chris Husbands is obviously right to say that an Ofsted-style TEF would be awful, but I think he’s dead wrong to say that you can’t legitimately criticise the validity of a measure without proposing a better alternative. My reading of the education literature is that no one has successfully developed a way of evaluating teaching quality with high levels of validity and reliability. If I’m right about this (happy to receive pointers to counter evidence), then Husbands’s argument falls apart. If we don’t know how to do something properly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we should do it badly. Maybe we simply shouldn’t do it at all, or at least not until we’ve worked out how to.

      Having been through the farcical Ofsted process whilst teaching in FE, I would agree that we don't want a similar process. Also that not having a viable alternative solution shouldn't mean we cannot question or oppose implementation of an equally poor one.

    2. We may need to refine and to develop the metric basis, but the metrics do focus on aspects which – time and again, as Edward Peck from Nottingham Trent has argued – reflect student concerns: whether the degree programme prepares students well for graduate employment, retention and completion rates, assessment and feedback, learning resources.

      See...."I have written previously about the fiction that the TEF was developed in response to demand by students. Unfortunately, the true reason for reducing teaching evaluation to this drastically clumsy and gross 3-item scale is to have a means of exerting control by using it to determine fee levels. We have to ask ourselves whether the vice-chancellors of our universities are guilty of neglect for taking that bait and going along with a scheme that poses such risks to the reputation of our higher education system."

    3. One of the most important lessons of the TEF for me, which has not yet been picked up sufficiently, is that whilst universities have been impressive at widening participation they have been less assiduous in combatting the impact of disadvantage after students enroll.

      This is an area we really need to focus on if we are to retain the hugely diverse and international student cohorts we currently have. Staff will need more specialist support in understanding the often unintentional barriers to student development and achievement they create for students of a variety of disadvantaged profiles.

    4. If critics argue that metrics for the TEF are wrong, then there is some obligation on them to suggest alternative proxies. As yet, no-one has suggested alternatives.

      See "Another argument that keeps popping up is a version of put up or shut up: if academics can’t think of better metrics for TEF, then they can’t argue against it. Well, here’s a suggestion. We are told that we desperately need TEF because students want to have information that is reflected in the metrics. Well, why not provide the raw information? In fact, most of it, such as the National Student Survey results, is already publicly available – and indeed in a more relevant subject-specific form. It’s already established that higher education institutions should make available online information about details such as their course content, entry requirements, and drop-out rates. They could also be invited to include on their websites the kind of detailed narrative account of their teaching practices that was submitted to the TEF. All of this could be done without any need to convene a committee to sit down and ponder how to condense all this rich multifactorial information into three categories – applied not to the teaching of a specific subject, but to the entire institution.

    5. There is still a line of criticism of the TEF which begins by arguing that it is not a measure of teaching and that the metric bases are inappropriate. In an obvious sense this is true: it is not a direct measure of teaching, being underpinned by a range of survey data. But neither I, nor, I think, anyone else has ever argued that the TEF is a direct measure of teaching. It is a measure based on some of the outcomes of teaching.

      See "..In other sections of the media, and in government, those who raise objections to TEF are accused of underhand motives. We don’t value teaching, or we are arrogant, complacent, and unable to take criticism. That may be true for some, but the majority of academics worth their salt will reject TEF because it is everything good academic research should not be: simplistic, arbitrary and inadequately tested. As Helen Czerski noted on Twitter: “It is the tombstone of irony in higher education that ability of universities to teach nuance, subtle judgement and critical thinking is branded gold, silver, or bronze.” And Neuroneurotic wrote in a blogpost: “The one lesson I would take from this for UK Universities, is that we are clearly failing to educate politicians and policy makers to think carefully about evidence based policy.“

  2. May 2017
    1. Out goes 'strong and stable leadership': Tories reboot online campaign

      Thank god for small mercies I couldn't take much more of the robotic repetition, incessantly out of context!!

    2. after TV leaders’ interviews with PM and Corbyn

      Well she did perform rather poorly considering how both Neill & Paxman took it so easy on her, even the audience seemed loathe to add to her rather obvious stress and discomfort when questioned. Doesn't bode well for her ability in long, tedious, detailed and highly complex negotiations necessary for Brexit!

  3. Apr 2017
    1. Really useful session well worth your time! All the longed for teacher, student, researcher, creator & user annotation desires for the web, at long last on the way to fulfilment!