Quality teaching: Means for its enhancement?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Universities Review, 2011, 53 (1), pp. 66 - 72
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The pursuit of enhancing quality in tertiary education and educators is noble. Increasingly, however, universities are resorting to stark, reductionist representations of educational quality, such as decontextualised mean figures generated by student surveys, to measure and report on this. This paper questions the validity and reliability of such mean scores. Universities are using these results for high-stakes ends, and disclose them to ever-broader audiences. This paper focuses on the broader publication of these mean scores pertaining to individual staff members. The paper investigates forces that drive such an approach and the attractions thereof, and enumerates its outcomes and effects, while investigating potential theory-method mismatches. The paper evaluates this evaluation method against four criteria: (measurement of) quality teaching; ethical practice; managerial relations; and research methodology and methods. The paper also proposes some alternative approaches to interrogate and enhance teacher quality.
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