Quality - what are we measuring? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. Quality - what are we measuring? Jim Murdoch, University of Glasgow European Law Faculties Association

  2. I keep six honest serving men... • What? - measuring-rods • Why? - rationale • When? - change through time • How? - methodology • Where? • Who? - appointment of reviewers • Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

  3. Why not ?

  4. What is quality assurance? • ‘inspection, compliance, bureaucracy, report writing, form-filling, self-justification, standardisation, piles of unread [paper], and procedures of such baroque (even, on occasion, rococo) elaboration that they resemble the wilder architectural fantasies of the 18th century Tsars’ • Chief Executive, QAA [UK], October 2004

  5. What is quality assurance? • Stratification - competition between law schools • Academic life as ‘nasty, brutish and (for the non-productive) short’ - competition between individuals • Wasteful of academic time - detracting from teaching and research • Brownsword, [1994] 21 JoLaw &Soc 529-544

  6. Why?

  7. What is quality assurance? • ‘It is a way of defining and securing good learning through effective support for students. It is a chance to demonstrate… the transmission of knowledge and the development and transformation of individuals is recognised and discharged professionally’. • Chief Executive, QAA [UK], October 2004

  8. What is quality assurance? • Collective achievement • Responsiveness • Recognising success • Accountability to ‘stakeholders’ • Enhances mobility

  9. How?

  10. Methodology • QA is a means to an end, not an end in itself. • The more paper generated in the name of QA, the less is likely to be read or understood. Less should be more. • There is no justification for more ‘bureaucracy’. • Chief Executive, QAA [UK], October 2004

  11. Methodology • Development of agreed framework • length / intensity (credit scheme) • content : knowledge / skills (‘benchmarking’) • Self-assessment • Peer review • Peer assessment • accreditation / grading / consultancy / identification of ‘best practice’

  12. What?

  13. What are we measuring? • Subject provision and overall aims • Curriculum • Teaching and learning • Learning resources • Teaching quality enhancement • Assessment and achievement • Student support

  14. Subject provision and overall aims • Overall aims and intended learning outcomes of the programme? • Appropriateness of aims/ILOs in terms of developments in learning and teaching • Do staff and students understand aims and ILOs?

  15. Subject provision and overall aims • Aims are implicit, not explicit • ILOs are not stated, or fail to spell out development of knowledge / skills (generic and law-specific) / or the inculcation of attitudes and values • Staff and students do not know/understand

  16. Curriculum • Effectiveness of curricular content and design in achieving ILOs • Academic and intellectual progression within the curriculum • Inclusion of recent developments in the subject; and reflection of best practice in pedagogy

  17. Curriculum • Input-driven curriculum & student overload • No conceptualising (core; contextual; legal values; professional) [ACLEC Report] • No progression through the programme; and recent developments ignored/avoided

  18. Teaching and learning • Effectiveness of teaching and learning in relation to aims and curriculum • Range and appropriateness of teaching methods employed • Student participation & workload

  19. Teaching and learning • Traditional teaching methods (didactic) & not ‘student-centred learning’ • No proper link between T&L and assessment • Student workload not properly addressed

  20. Learning resources • Teaching and support resources (physical, human and material) • Effectiveness of utilisation (including induction, mentoring and staff development).

  21. Learning resources • Unfavourable staff-student ratios • Inadequate accommodation / support resources (library/IT/audio-visual) & support staff • Inappropriate academic staff deployment / lack of staff development

  22. Teaching quality enhancement • Effectiveness of evaluation and use of quantitative data and qualitative feedback • Commitment to enhancement and continuous improvement • Constant review / remedial action in respect of: curriculum, teaching and learning, resources and assessment.

  23. Teaching quality enhancement • No evidence of quality control and enhancement mechanisms such as: • course review through course questionnaires • staff-student liaison committees • procedure for scrutiny of new course procedures

  24. Assessment and achievement • Effectiveness of assessment in measuring achievement of ILOs • Discrimination between different categories of performance • Effectiveness of assessment in promoting student learning (& use of diagnostic and formative assessment)

  25. Assessment and achievement • ‘One size fits all’ assessment • Assessment driving surface-learning • Reliability and validity questionable

  26. Student support • Academic support strategies • Recruitment and induction • Overall academic guidance and supervision

  27. Student support • Poor drop-out / completion rates • Poor recruitment and induction processes • ‘One size fits all’ support

  28. BUT… does it work?

  29. Methodology • Fairness - consistency? • Reliability - methodology? • Utility - competing purposes (vfm / encouraging improvement / public info)? • Brownsword, [1994] 21 JoLaw &Soc 529-544

  30. What should be measured? - the next phase • Institutional audit • ‘Enhancement’ strategies • ‘Employability’ strategies