This chapter explores the numerous considerations that an external examiner (EE) of an undergraduate degree within a further-education (FE) college must be mindful. There may be the perception that our academic experience of lecturing within a university equips us with the knowledge to collaborate with colleagues within an FE institution. However, this is valid only to a certain point. There is a spectrum of contrasts between the higher education (HE) and FE environments that are reflected within the comparisons that this chapter highlights between the teaching-and-learning experiences. If we think back to the original purpose of an EE (where Oxford scholars were invited by Durham University to provide external guidance in the nineteenth century), we can appreciate the key task of an EE and its aim: to assess the comparability of student achievement. The landscape of HE has changed considerably since then, and now undulates with numerous opportunities for learners to gain a HE qualification. It is this difficulty in assessing comparability that an EE of a HE course within an FE environment must be willing to acknowledge. The fact that the student-and-learning experience varies wildly in HE and FE muddies the waters for the EE: how can comparableness be assessed?
Cooper, S. and Pearman, S. (2021), "Is There Such a Thing as “Comparableness”? The Challenges Facing the EEs of Higher-Education Courses Delivered within Further-Education Institutions", Sengupta, E., Blessinger, P., Ssemwanga, A. and Cozza, B. (Ed.) The Role of External Examining in Higher Education: Challenges and Best Practices (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 38), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 61-74. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2055-364120210000038005
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