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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?

Challenging the Teaching Excellence Framework

ISBN: 978-1-78769-536-8, eISBN: 978-1-78769-533-7

Publication date: 6 August 2020

Abstract

This chapter offers a discussion of the increasingly widespread use of student evaluations in higher education. It critiques the extent to which these student evaluations are now regarded by governments and higher education management as an authoritative source of information on all aspects of HE provision, with a particular focus on their use to rank and evaluate teaching excellence through the Teaching Excellence Framework. It provides an overview of research looking into how student perceptions of teachers' teaching excellence, or otherwise, play out very differently depending on the gender, age and social class of the lecturers doing the teaching. This chapter argues that these differences make it difficult to ensure that students' assessment of higher education teaching are fair and/or consistent with regard to the teaching they are experiencing across different courses, disciplines and institutions. It concludes that acknowledging how inequalities will inevitably play a part in any evaluative processes is a more productive way of thinking about how more informed indices of teaching quality might be more usefully understood and operationalised in higher education. This approach, however, requires HEI's to recognise the ways in which existing racialised, sexualised and gendered patterns reoccur and sustain inequalities currently in the UK higher education sector. (199)

Keywords

Citation

French, A. (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?", Thomas, K.C. and French, A. (Ed.) Challenging the Teaching Excellence Framework (Great Debates in Higher Education), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 151-178. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-533-720201007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020 Amanda French. Published under an exclusive licence Emerald Publishing Limited.