It’s not what gets taught, or how well it may be taught, but who is doing the teaching: Can student evaluations ever deliver a fair assessment on teaching excellence in higher education?

French, Amanda (2020) It’s not what gets taught, or how well it may be taught, but who is doing the teaching: Can student evaluations ever deliver a fair assessment on teaching excellence in higher education? In: Teaching Excellence and Diversity Deficits. Emerald. (In Press)

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Abstract

Foregrounding the importance of ‘teaching excellence’ to students in the naming of the TEF is deliberate, just as in its choice of matrixes the TEF makes an unproblematic causal link between teaching excellence, student outcomes and earning. This foregrounding works because for decades now, UK education policy has been characterised by Ball’s (2003) persuasive concept of ‘performativity’ in teaching, which has increasingly required:
…the re-invention of [teaching] professionals themselves as units of resource whose performance and productivity must constantly be audited so that it can be enhanced’ (Shore & Wright 1999, 559).
In order to audit teaching in higher education a commodified concept of ‘student satisfaction’ has been operationalised through student evaluations of one type of another and used in a number of ways in the current global higher education environment. For example, in addition to their much vaunted promise to deliver valuable ‘big data’ to inform and improve provision and facilities for students in universities, national student evaluations, like other education effectiveness matrixes, are increasingly used for commercial purposes, such as the ranking of HEIs in various national and international league tables such as the World University Rankings as well as the English Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) (Gunn, 2018, McCaig, 2018, McGettigan, 2013).

Item Type: Book Section
Date: July 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Student evaluations, TEF, equality, staff
Subjects: X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE) > Re-thinking Higher Education Pedagogies and Practice
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 13:46
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 13:58
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9250

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