Quality Assurance and Quality Enhancement relationships and perspectives Nick Harris Director – QAA Development and Enhancement Group
UK contexts for QA and QE: the hefce principles (and for Northern Ireland?): assurance/standards (before?) enhancement within a QA Framework a jigsaw of enhancement activities [ or crazy paving ? ] the Scottish Funding Council approach: ELIR* [framework] encompasses assurance focussed enhancement themes students built in from early planning Wales: currently under evaluation / development
Quality enhancement – the new hope?*: what is it? what is it becoming? danger of being bureaucratised to form of QA and / or form of educational busy-ness ? (e.g. new interactive e-learning; establishing work experience) new forms of imposed frameworks that cabin and confine institutions [and academics] ? the potential may go unrealised Question: Can QE encourage HEIs to engage with: fundamental problems of student development, curriculum innovation, and pedagogical transformation? … and think the impossible? * from Prof Ron Barnetts talk to QAA : 4 June 2008
a QAA perspective: In Scotland – ELIR mk2 agreed upon In England and NI institutional audit includes a definition – this is for audit purposes.. it is NOT regarded as the definition There is NO expectation that HEIs should follow some real or perceived best practice model for QE strategy and implementation
a QAA perspective: sees a diverse (differentiating?) sector improvement / doing things better will take different forms from HEI to HEI QA methods must (be able to) : take account of plurality collate / disseminate the good stuff without it becoming the must do [or appear to do] stuff enhancement as a late extra or an integral part ? how do we avoid a new [mechanistic] orthodoxy ? deal with Heisenberg ?
a personal perspective: 1 enhancing excellence in [HE] learning and teaching is this really possible in the current context? do we know / agree what higher education is / should be.. now ? and if we dont know / agree – do we just set a minimum.... but can we really then talk about enhancement? resources matter but enhancement within a diminishing unit of resource? it [should] take time – thinking / planning / doing takes time – but is there enough time?.. a value for money student experience what is enhancement in this context? or should enhancement (like a good 2i) just be something we know when we see it ?
Barrys questions is continuous improvement the same as quality enhancement? to what extent is there, or can there be, shared understanding of good practice? how can dissemination move beyond getting the word out to getting the word used? what is the relationship of QA to QE? what implications do different understandings of the relationship have for structures and processes? to what extent does QE involve risk, and how might it be mitigated? how broad are the aspects of the student experience that are addressed by QE? to what extent can enhancement be part of institutional strategy, or does that run the risk of demotivating innovative staff?
Ron Bs questions: is QE the new hope? can it encourage HEIs [and their staff] to engage with: fundamental problems of student development, curriculum innovation, and pedagogical transformation.. and think the impossible? Nicks question: … is enhancement the [new] stairway to heaven ? [ … show us what its like ! ]
and just a reminder.. ….. Call some place paradise.. Kiss it goodbye.. last lines of last track on the Eagles Hotel California album a song of hope !? enhanced !!??
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