HEA Chief Executive Stephanie Marshall told a record number of Times Higher (THE) webinar listeners that the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) metrics outlined in the government White Paper would evolve in future years and that they “should start preparing now for the discipline level TEF (TEF 3) which will take place in three years’ time.”
Professor Marshall continued: “In the medium and longer-term, the key element in judging teaching excellence will be the institution’s ‘wrap-around’ narrative. This will show how institutions and, perhaps more importantly, the discipline areas within faculties are taking a dynamic approach to their teaching strategies and best practice. To do this effectively, institutions will increasingly be far more focused on student engagement and working with undergraduates in partnership.
“I am encouraged to see, for example, that as institutions sign up for their new HEA subscription for next year, by far the majority are opting for the UK Engagement Survey alongside their package. This is a clear indication that institutions want to know what students think about their teaching experience, and that means teaching and courses may be developed accordingly”
The 30 minute ‘web chat’ hosted by Chris Havergal from THE looked at the recently published White Paper, but focused particularly on the TEF. Professor Marshall was joined in the discussion by Professor Julie McLeod, Pro Vice-Chancellor for student experience at Oxford Brookes University, and Steven Isherwood, Chief Executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
Commenting on the value of measures of student engagement Julie McLeod said: “I do agree with Stephanie – Oxford Brookes has used this (UKES), and the aspects that have been most powerful for me was the students coming back and saying that the questions made them reflect on their learning patterns.”
As the THE reports, Professor McLeod “argued that the Government’s decision to phase in the TEF more slowly was welcome because proposed metrics such as satisfaction and graduate employment were ‘poor proxies’ for teaching standards”. She argued that strong weight would need to be placed on the written evidence that institutions will be able to submit alongside core metrics.
“Metrics can over time lead to a herd mentality and chasing numerical scores,” said Professor McLeod. “Therefore the contextual element of the TEF will be critical in ensuring different missions are best recognised.”
The HEA is currently running a special “Are you TEF ready?” web page including observations on TEF from a range of academics. To discover more, click here.
Find out more about the UKES survey and frameworks which help address key sector challenges such as retention, assessment and employability at www.heacademy.ac.uk . Read the THE report about this webinar here