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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2000

Burton R. Clark

Places of Inquiry identifies basic conditions and trends in modern systems of higher education that link or dissociate research, teaching, and student learning (“study”)…

Abstract

Places of Inquiry identifies basic conditions and trends in modern systems of higher education that link or dissociate research, teaching, and student learning (“study”). The book is structured in two major parts. Part I, “Distinctive National Configurations of Advanced Education and Research Organization”, in five chapters organized by country, contrasts the national arrangements of the basic elements in the five major nations of Germany, Britain, France, United States, and Japan. These chapters give play to historical determination of national peculiarities and unique arrangements. Chapter 1 particularly highlights the preeminent role played in the construction of the modern research university by nineteenthcentury developments in the German system. Emerging disciplinarians learned by trial and error to use the laboratory and the seminar in a framework of university institutes. In “the institute university”, the academic research group was born, with Humboldtian thought serving as a useful covering ideology.Chapter 2 portrays English universities, in contrast, to be focused historically on elite preparation of undergraduates—a “thin stream of excellence”—in the small worlds of Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Here, in this model, against the grain of the structure, research-centered academics learned to use the apprenticeship model for a very limited number of “research students” who were supported for advanced study toward a late-developing Ph.D. “The collegiate university” has been very different from the German configuration.Chapter 3 presents the highly unusual historical arrangements in the French setting where the universities became in effect the party of the third part, caught between the elite nature of the grandes ecoles and the domination in research of a nonuniversity research establishment. An outside set of research institutes has provided the main research base, and university research-oriented activities had to be brought into alignment with it. The genetic imprints of the system, in contrast to both the German and the British, have been one of subordination of the university, with much broad structural separation of research activity from university teaching and the university education of students. A picture of historic subordination is also found in the case of Japan (Chapter 5), where much displacement to industry has taken place. Students graduating from first-degree study have been snapped up by industry and offered better opportunity, including in research, than what the university could offer. Advanced education at universities became severely constrained. In Japanese terms, Japanese graduate schools, although formally modeled after the American structure, became “empty show windows.”The chapter on the United States traces the development of a highly competitive system of higher education in which a graduate level, separately organized within universities from undergraduate programs, provided a broad foundation for small-group laboratories and seminars in which research activity could be a means of teaching and a mode of study. Peculiar American conditions of weak secondary schooling and generous admission to higher education left much general or liberal education to be accomplished in the undergraduate years, preempting specialization. Emerging disciplinarians tried repeatedly in the mid- and late-nineteenth century to build their new research interests into the undergraduate realm. It did not work. The emergent solution was a vertical one, to add a formal graduate school on top, with its arms in the graduate programs of the departments making it “the home of science.”This major internal differentiation, in comparison to the other four major international models, made the American university a “graduate department university,” with extensive provision developing in the last half of the twentieth century for research-based teaching and learning. What the German system had been able to do on a small scale in the nineteenth century, in the context of elite higher education, the American system developed systematically the capacity to do on a much larger scale, in the context of mass higher education on the road to universal higher education.Part II of the volume, entitled “The Research-Teaching-Study Nexus,” offers a conceptual framework for understanding how modern systems of higher education do or do not effectively bring research into alignment with advanced university teaching and advanced student training. The concept of a research-teaching-study nexus serves as leitmotiv. In Chapter 6, devoted to “forces of fragmentation,” adverse conditions for this nexus are largely subsumed under the twin concepts of research drift and teaching drift, with certain interests of government and industry strengthening inherent tendencies, already stimulated by mass enrollments and great growth in knowledge, for research on the one side and teaching and learning on the other to drift apart.But the nexus survives, often with great resilience and strength, and, in Chapter 7, the central part of the conceptual analysis takes the form of an explanation of how a modern integration is most strongly effected. Supporting conditions and processes are identified at three levels: whole national system, where differentiation, decentralization, and competition serve as broad enabling elements; the individual university, where diversified funding and deliberate organization of advanced education play an increasingly large determining role; and the basic unit (departmental) level within universities, where the activities of research, teaching, and study are located. At the base, operational conditions are captured in the twin concepts of research group and teaching group, each dependent on the other and closely intertwined in a veritable double helix of linkage and interaction. These twin settings for professors and students permit the linked transmission of tacit and tangible knowledge.As both the tacit and the tangible components of specialized knowledge bulk ever larger, they cannot be suitably conveyed by undergraduate or first-degree teaching programs alone, or by historic mentor-apprentice relationships alone. The research-teaching-study nexus is increasingly enacted by operational units of universities that bring together an advanced teaching program and the learning-by-doing of research activity. In this organizational nexus we find the heart of the graduate school phenomenon.The concluding chapter (Chapter 8) goes beyond analysis of the research-teaching-study nexus by offering three broad conclusions for the understanding of modern higher education: first, that inquiry remains the central activity, the dynamic element, in the university complex; second, that complexity and contradiction in university activities are inevitable and will continue to grow, ruling out simple solutions to long-term problems and placing a premium on how individual universities go about organizing themselves; and third, that research and teaching have an “essential compatibility.” Research activity itself is a compelling and rich basis for teaching and learning, primarily in graduate education in the arts and sciences but also secondarily in both advanced professional education and undergraduate or pre-advanced education. The much-voiced view that research and teaching are incompatible is short-sighted and regressive. The incompatibility thesis should give way to a more fundamental understanding in which research activity is seen both as a compelling form of teaching and as a necessary method of learning.For all modern and modernizing systems of higher education, the book emphasizes the great importance of organizing master's and especially doctoral work so that the activities of specialized research groups interact with structured teaching programs.In sum: Places of Inquiry concentrates on graduate (advanced) education, a level of higher education that has been rarely studied. It depicts distinctive configurations of academic research and advanced training in the five major national systems of higher education of the late twentieth century. It highlights research activity as a basic for teaching and learning. And it identifies generic conditions that pull research, teaching, and study apart from each other, and conversely and most important, focuses attention on the structures and processes that work to keep these central university activities closely linked.

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Comparative Perspectives on Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-679-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1998

Erika Martens and Michael Prosser

The evaluation and continuous improvement of the quality of teaching and learning in higher education is an issue of sustained concern. While most universities are…

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Abstract

The evaluation and continuous improvement of the quality of teaching and learning in higher education is an issue of sustained concern. While most universities are implementing systems of quality assurance, there is substantial variation in the principles underlying these systems. La Trobe University has developed and implemented a university‐wide system of quality assurance that ensures that each subject is systematically reviewed and enhanced by those teaching in the subject. While it incorporates compulsory student evaluation of teaching of each subject the result of this student evaluation is not the focus of the quality assurance system. The focus is on ensuring that those teaching the subject, reflect on and make recommendations for further improvement of the subject. Outlines the quality assurance system, the principles on which it is based and describes and analyses the processes engaged in during its development.

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Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Darwish Abdulrahman Yousef

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in terms of…

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331

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of production and operations management (P/OM) teaching in universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in terms of course characteristics, objectives, content, adopted textbooks, didactic materials, teaching faculty, teaching methods, assessment tools, and course requisites.

Design/methodology/approach

Due to the exploratory nature of this study and the small population surveyed, the author employed descriptive statistical analysis such as frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations.

Findings

The results show that in the majority of UAE universities offering P/OM as a college‐requirement course, it is being taught by highly qualified and well‐trained teaching faculty. The main objectives of P/OM courses are: teaching students how to analyse and understand situations from an operations perspective; understanding the links between strategy, production, capacity and core competencies; and preparing students to be able to understand how supply chains work, including the ability to forecast production levels. More emphasis is placed upon operational and tactical issues rather than on strategic issues. The most common assessment methods used in P/OM courses were found to be theoretical examinations with questions, student projects, practical examinations, and class participation. The most frequently covered topics in P/OM courses in UAE universities include competitiveness, strategy, productivity, strategic capacity planning for products and services, supply chain management, forecasting, introduction to operations management, product and service design, and management of quality. Lecturing is the main teaching method used in P/OM courses. The main didactic materials used were found to be textbooks, manuals of problems/solution and case studies, class notes taken by students, and externally produced software.

Research limitations/implications

This study has a number of limitations. For example, it is based mainly on a questionnaire as a tool of data collection. Questionnaires have a number of drawbacks which might affect the results of the study. In addition, the study is based only on the viewpoint of teaching faculty rather than students. Nevertheless, the implications of the study for course developers, instructors, and managers are discussed.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to assess P/OM teaching in UAE universities.

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Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-7983

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Moses Waithanji Ngware and Mwangi Ndirangu

To report study findings on teaching effectiveness and feedback mechanisms in Kenyan universities, which can guide management in developing a comprehensive quality control policy.

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Abstract

Purpose

To report study findings on teaching effectiveness and feedback mechanisms in Kenyan universities, which can guide management in developing a comprehensive quality control policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted an exploratory descriptive design. Three public and two private universities were randomly selected to participate in the study. A random sampling procedure was also used to select 79 respondents to participate in the research. A questionnaire administered in all participating universities was the main instrument for data collection.

Findings

There was no clear university policy on the evaluation of teaching effectiveness, despite its importance in quality control. Student evaluation of teaching effectiveness (SETE) was found to be unreliable, although widely used where evaluation existed, without other evaluation support systems. Feedback from the evaluation, though crucial in professional improvement, was not made available to the respondents.

Research limitations/implications

The study examined the evaluation of teaching effectiveness from the lecturers' perspectives. Further research may provide insights into the contribution of SETE to teaching effectiveness from the students' standpoint.

Practical implications

Use of a variety of evaluation tools (e.g. self, peer) rather than relying solely on SETE is necessary. Comprehensive and usable information may be provided for effective teaching. Universities should provide clear policy guidelines on quality control for faculties to develop multiple teaching effectiveness evaluation instruments.

Originality/value

Teaching evaluation is important in order to bring about an improvement in areas such as student achievement, and use of public funds or educational materials. The findings provide critical information for management decision making to assist universities to translate the resources at their disposal into learning outcomes.

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Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Aidan Davison, Paul Brown, Emma Pharo, Kristin Warr, Helen McGregor, Sarah Terkes, Davina Boyd and Pamela Abuodha

Interdisciplinary approaches to climate change teaching are well justified and arise from the complexity of climate change challenges and the integrated problem-solving…

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Abstract

Purpose

Interdisciplinary approaches to climate change teaching are well justified and arise from the complexity of climate change challenges and the integrated problem-solving responses they demand. These approaches require academic teachers to collaborate across disciplines. Yet, the fragmentation typical of universities impedes collaborative teaching practice. This paper aims to report on the outcomes of a distributed leadership project in four Australian universities aimed at enhancing interdisciplinary climate change teaching.

Design/methodology/approach

Communities of teaching practice were established at four Australian universities with participants drawn from a wide range of disciplines. The establishment and operation of these communities relied on a distributed leadership methodology which facilitates acts of initiative, innovation, vision and courage through group interaction rather than through designated hierarchical roles.

Findings

Each community of practice found the distributed leadership approach overcame barriers to interdisciplinary climate change teaching. Cultivating distributed leadership enabled community members to engage in peer-led professional learning, collaborative curriculum and pedagogical development, and to facilitate wider institutional change. The detailed outcomes achieved by each community were tailored to their specific institutional context. They included the transformation of climate change curriculum, professional development in interdisciplinary pedagogy, innovation in student-led learning activities, and participation in institutional decision-making related to curriculum reform.

Originality/value

Collaborative, non-traditional leadership practices have attracted little attention in research about sustainability education in university curricula. This paper demonstrates that the distributed leadership model for sustainability education reported here is effective in building capacity for interdisciplinary climate change teaching within disciplines. The model is flexible enough for a variety of institutional settings.

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International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Masood A. Badri and Mohammed H. Abdulla

This paper examines how institutions of higher education might operationalize faculty performance evaluation in terms of research, teaching, and university and community…

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2905

Abstract

This paper examines how institutions of higher education might operationalize faculty performance evaluation in terms of research, teaching, and university and community service. An analytic hierarchy process model is developed and presented, allowing decision makers to couple performance evaluation and academic reward/awards and recognitions offered by institutions of higher education, and provides an objective way to compare faculty members. Weights are provided for each of the criteria in the evaluation process for a more objective outcome. Reward/award systems might include promotion decisions, merit pay, tenure, long‐term contracts, and annual reward/awards of excellence in research, teaching or service. The model might be used to make judgment on the qualification of candidates for such systems, and could be used on the department level, college level, or university‐wide level. In addition, the model could rank faculty members within each discipline or major. An illustrative example is provided of the model at the United Arab Emirates University.

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International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2021

Norman Rudhumbu, Wilson Parawira, Crispen Bhukuvhani, Jacob Nezandoyi, Cuthbert Majoni, Felix Chikosha, Kwashirai Zvokuomba and Bernard Chingwanangwana

This study aims to establish the online teaching behaviour of university lecturers as well as examine issues and challenges for online teaching in universities in Zimbabwe…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to establish the online teaching behaviour of university lecturers as well as examine issues and challenges for online teaching in universities in Zimbabwe during the COVID-19 era and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

The study assumed a quantitative approach that employed a structured questionnaire for data collection. Structural equation modelling using AMOS version 22 and independent samples t-test were used for data analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis was used for data purification.

Findings

The results of the study showed that organisational factors, technological factors, pedagogical factors, student factors and the gender of lecturers have a significant influence on the behavioural intentions of lecturers to teach online. The results also showed that the behavioural intentions of lecturers to teach online has a significant influence on the actual online teaching behaviour of the lecturers. The results also showed that lecturers mostly used the WhatsApp platform for teaching. Issues and challenges affecting the online teaching behaviour of lecturers in universities in Zimbabwe were also identified.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study have implications for policy and practice with regard to online teaching and learning during periods of pandemics and beyond.

Practical implications

The results showed that for effective teaching to be done in universities, universities should not continue focusing on single platforms such as blackboard, Moodle and others, but should allow for a multimedia approach that factors in platforms such as WhatsApp, Google Classroom and others. This will ensure that even universities with limited technology infrastructure will be able to have online teaching occurring.

Social implications

The study demonstrated the influence of gender in online teaching by showing that there are gender differences in the way university lecturers conduct online teaching. This also has implication on teaching and policy as these results demonstrate a need for universities to come up with strategies and policies that ensure despite gender differences, university lecturers should be able to effective teach online.

Originality/value

While the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology has been widely used in research, the current study represents the first opportunity that the theory has been used to establish the online teaching behaviour of university lecturers in the context of Zimbabwe.

Details

The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4880

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Jana Poláchová Vašt'atková and Miroslav Dopita

The article explores the current as well as the future concepts of university teaching by the academics/the “leaders of educational sciences” in the context of the changes…

Abstract

Purpose

The article explores the current as well as the future concepts of university teaching by the academics/the “leaders of educational sciences” in the context of the changes of the academia that have affected the academic professionalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The Delphi method was implemented to answer a research question dealing with the possible change in academics' concept of teaching as part of their current and future work. In this study, the experienced academics in the area of educational science are seen as the “leaders” since through their intensive teaching activities on all three levels (bachelor, master and doctoral) as well as through the high-quality research, they “lead” the concept of a particular science as well as the educational policy. Four rounds were used for consensus building among “leaders” based on a multiple interaction in an anonymous setting.

Findings

The research points out that academic professionalization in research is at its maximum. The currently perceived concept of teaching is content-oriented. However, the results also indicate the need for a gradual change in training Czech academics, should they accept their role also as university teachers in the future and be able to highlight the predicted change of teaching to support learning. Whether the strategy of a particular university will or will not accept all the academics' diverse roles seems to become the crucial factor.

Research limitations/implications

Several rounds with the same group of experts, which is the principle of Delphi method, is at the same time a limitation of the study, as in most of the research based on this method. The participation in the expert panel dropped throughout the rounds; however, geographic (in terms of university) dispersion of participating experts remained. The final fourth round confirmed the collective judgments of academics.

Practical implications

The article broadens the understanding of changes in the content of academics' professionalization with respect to changes in the academia. It emphasizes the role of an academic as an educator and concludes with the need of institutional reform in the context of a single university in a decentralized system.

Social implications

The article questions the trends of (national) educational policy in the sense that academics at universities are not only scientists but also teachers. However, the study also shows that the acceptance of their teaching abilities remains mainly on the organizational level.

Originality/value

A less common method of data collection among rather rarely involved group of experts in educational sciences brings a different view of the profession of academics, who (not only in the Czech context) are seen mainly as researchers and not as teachers. Humboldt's ideal regarding the unity of diverse roles is, thus, threatened due to narrower focus on academics' professionalization.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2021

Wei Wu, Rui Yao and Zuoxu Xie

This paper aims to take Chinese university teachers as the research objects to examine their self-evaluation of online teaching and analyze the main factors influencing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to take Chinese university teachers as the research objects to examine their self-evaluation of online teaching and analyze the main factors influencing their evaluation during COVID-19.

Design/methodology/approach

According to the theory of educational ecology, the factors influencing teachers' self-evaluation of online teaching in this paper include university background, courses background and teachers' personal background from the macro- to micro-levels. Through exploratory factor analysis, independent sample T-test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), the self-evaluation of online teaching of 13,997 teachers from 334 universities and their relationship with teachers' background have been subject to data statistics and analysis.

Findings

Teachers' self-evaluation of online teaching mainly includes three dimensions: online teaching methods, online teacher–student interaction and online teaching techniques. There are significant differences in these three dimensions among teachers with different background characteristics, including regions, the types of universities, the nature of universities in macro background levels, the types and numbers of online courses in meso background levels, and the gender, years of teaching, professional titles and disciplines in micro background levels.

Practical implications

To improve teachers' self-evaluation of online teaching, it is suggested to build an online teaching self-evaluation system for teachers, strengthen university support and guarantee, strengthen online teaching training and improve the information accomplishments of teachers.

Originality/value

This large-scale empirical survey of online teaching evaluation of Chinese teachers can provide scholars with a deeper understanding of the implementation of online teaching in China and the self-evaluation of online teaching by teachers.

Details

Asian Education and Development Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-3162

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2019

Margaret Wood and Feng Su

The purpose of this paper is to explore parents as “stakeholders” in higher education in England and how they perceive teaching excellence.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore parents as “stakeholders” in higher education in England and how they perceive teaching excellence.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a qualitative research design using an interpretative approach through which the authors aimed to develop understandings of parents’ perspectives as higher education “stakeholders”. The empirical data were gathered via focus group interviews and an online survey with 24 participants in the UK.

Findings

This study found that the majority of parents wished to be treated as an important stakeholder group in higher education. Parent participants perceived that teaching excellence could be evidenced through indicators and measures, for example, the design and delivery of the courses, progress measures, contact hours, speed of return of marked work, graduate employability and so on. They also saw value and significance in the students’ exposure to ideas and perspectives not previously experienced, in zeal and passion in the teaching, and in an academically nurturing, understanding and supportive pedagogical relationship between academic and student.

Originality/value

This study uncovered some apparent tensions, contradictions and challenges for parents as stakeholders in higher education, for example, in reconciling the co-existence of their desire to be involved and engaged with scope for students to be formed as independent young adults. Parents’ desire to measure teaching excellence is also compounded by their concern that excellent teaching is thereby reduced to a box-ticking exercise. This study has implications for higher education institutions wishing to engage parents as a stakeholder group in a meaningful way.

Details

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2396-7404

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