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Quality after the Cuts? Dr. Anna Feigenbaum Richmond the American International University in London w/ Mehita Iqani.

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Presentation on theme: "Quality after the Cuts? Dr. Anna Feigenbaum Richmond the American International University in London w/ Mehita Iqani."— Presentation transcript:

1 Quality after the Cuts? Dr. Anna Feigenbaum Richmond the American International University in London w/ Mehita Iqani

2 What are your concerns about teaching quality in a post- cuts, tuition-hike HE climate? (In 140 characters or less) #QAAcuts

3 Quality Enhancement and Prospective Quality Assurance through Teaching Exchange Workshops in Media and Communications Anna Feigenbaum (Richmond University) Mehita Iqani (King’s College London)

4 Why TE Workshops? Problems with QE & QA approaches Ways the Teaching Exchange (TE) can respond - Quantitative - Retrospective - External standards - Top-down - Only looks at one element of quality - Individual feedback to teachers (surveys) - Focus on individual teachers - Can alienate new teachers - Only acknowledges academic teaching - Qualitative - Prospective - Internal standards - Bottom-up - Systematic approach to teaching as part of institutional life - Collectively defined ‘feedback loops’ - Focus on teaching in general - Inclusive of new teachers - Inclusive of a variety of types of teaching experience, not only academic

5 Overview of TE Workshops WORKSHOP PROGRAMME (summary) The half-day workshop is divided into two main sections. It runs for three hours, inclusive of a 15 minute tea and coffee break. Introduction (15 minutes) PART I: Insights Exchange (75 minutes) A panel presentation by members of the host department that provides insights into pedagogical challenges in our field. Break (15 minutes) Tea, coffee and biscuits. PART II: Teaching Practice Workshop (75 minutes) Participants take part in interactive exercises designed by educational professionals, focused on the student experience, classroom environment and how to work constructively with feedback.

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7 TE Workshop Hosts InstitutionDescriptionNo. Participants A Prestigious research led institution, teaching multidisciplinary postgraduate programme. 7 B Teaching institution offering a variety of vocational and theory‐driven courses to primarily undergraduates. 12 C Teaching institution offering a variety of vocational and theory‐driven courses to primarily undergraduates. 7 D Prestigious research led institution, teaching multidisciplinary postgraduate programme. 12 E Well‐respected research and teaching institution teaching critical and applied media courses to both undergraduates and postgraduates. 5

8 Findings from Workshops Teaching Loads & Expectations Marketisation of Degrees Internationalisation

9 Teaching Loads & Expectations

10 Based on full-time equivalents * All tertiary education: includes Type A 3+ year mainly theoretical degrees & advanced research programmes, and Type B shorter more practical courses Source: OECD Education at a Glance, series, Table D2.2

11 “The tip is all that we see of the student. All the other bits we can't get in touch with. For example, one day I was talking in class to a student from India who had been a national speedway champion. Our eyes lit up, none of us knew anything about him until then. Only through having a space for encounter could he and others see all that he could be. That's the bit that is the magic.” “One of the major challenges is getting to know students. We teach best when we know students a bit better…it is now even harder as it’s difficult to get to know them.” ‘Tip of the Iceberg’

12 “The more students we have, the more we will have to team teach, as it is a way to dilute the workload. It’s easy to parachute into a module when team teaching – but how can we work as an actual team?” “There are so many methods in media and communications, that our methods modules is nearly always made of 16 different people teaching one method each, and the students don't get any overview of how the methods are used in different contexts to illuminate different things...It’s a brutal way to teach – dropping in and teaching one method each.” Increases in Team Teaching

13 Marketisation of Degrees

14 “Students have to see in an obvious way that their learning experience will help their career or getting where they want to be.” “How can you fail someone who is paying £9,000 per year? … What if all of a sudden the courses that we teach cost three times as much, how will three times as much value be delivered? Should it be delivered?” Degrees for Sale

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16 “Underlying the rhetoric of the theory/practice divide are the political realities of what is going in the HE sector at the moment, i.e., massive public sector cuts. The value of critical thinking is being downplayed by the system as a whole, as industry does not want graduates with questioning attitudes.” “Our course is not vocational but some students seem determined to want it to be. This has been consistent across many institutions I’ve been part of. This seems particular to media studies (not necessarily other humanities disciplines like history).” Vocationalisation

17 Internationalisation

18 “There is the difficulty of using international comparisons – rules, policies are very country specific so simple comparisons cannot exist. We need to do real research for real comparisons, but we are lacking time and resources.” “Most of our issues relate to international elements across things and the numbers that we have, the sheer volume. Our department is a cash cow.” Resourcing for Diversity

19 “We can structure the postgraduate classroom [to] … force people from different cultures and genders to work with each other. There is always discomfort and tension at first. To help ease this you can point out their similarities. We can talk about ‘othering’ in a real context, create an environment in which students can have personal transformations. “ “Is there another way of thinking about how we model our teaching around diversity? Rather than including diverse needs and requirements of students, can we see diversity as a learning opportunity?” Modelling Classrooms for Diversity

20 Re-imagining Quality

21 “Everything we teach is based on a programme specification that is measured against QAA and HEFCE achievements. With QAA coming in the next 24 months, we need to be able to track our module handbooks, which is what they will assess, which is why the university has a formula for them. But how much is this related to good teaching, rather than useful running of the university?” Top-down QA & QE Controls “Does the administrative dog wag the education tail?”

22 Bottom-Up QA & QE Controls

23 What are your concerns about teaching quality in a post- cuts, tuition-hike HE climate? (In 140 characters or less) #QAAcuts

24 Quality after the Cuts? Dr. Anna Feigenbaum Richmond the American International University in London w/ Dr. Mehita Iqani


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