Créer mon blog M'identifier

The teaching excellence framework can enhance academic careers

Le 23 novembre 2017, 09:08 dans 教育 0

It’s no secret that academics never really greeted the advent of the teaching excellence framework with open arms. Among the responses from university staff were concerns that it might undermine the public and educational benefits of universities and harm their working culture, collegiality and academic freedom. But a close read of the submissions to the exercise from gold medal-winning institutions suggests that academic communities may have been too quick to judge the teaching excellence juggernaut for its apparent faults.

I recently authored a report for the Higher Education Policy Institute, based on analysis of several universities’ provider submissions to the Tef assessment. The submissions I read were those that had enabled their institution to move a Tef award above the level initially suggested by their performance in the metrics-based section of the exercise.

All the predictable components of excellence are there, including research-led teaching, the co-creation of academic curricula and the provision of student support. Also apparent, however, are institutional behaviours that suggest that the Tef could empower, rather than constrain, academics as they progress in their careers.

Improving job security

The Tef shines a much-needed light on staff satisfaction levels and goes some way to addressing the erosion of job security increasingly characteristic of the sector. Within the successful submissions were frequent allusions to academic career frameworks, which enable staff to access development opportunities and support in enhancing their academic identities.

By forcing institutions to reflect on the entire academic ecosystem and its role in promoting excellent teaching, the Tef has encouraged many universities to recognise academics’ need for a more secure employment status. Several Tef provider submissions detail how institutions are developing distinct career pathways and teaching-focused appointment and promotion processes as a way of attracting and retaining excellent teaching staff.

Industry specialists

The Tef also rewards institutions that have adapted academic career frameworks to suit their specialist needs. Creative institutions effectively made their case for the use of more flexible staff employment contracts in their submissions. These enable teaching staff to continue to practice at the forefront of their industries while sharing their expertise with students in the classroom.

By openly encouraging institutions to reflect on their different operating models, the Tef ultimately ensures university teaching staff have the most suitable terms of employment not just for the continued success of their disciplines, but for their own success as professionals.

Career development opportunities

The importance of professional development for academics is also rising rapidly up universities’ agendas. Peer-to-peer mentoring schemes are no longer just an instrument to help students settle into their new university environments, but the Tef submissions show that they are being adopted by institutions to allow teaching staff to continue developing and enhancing their practice.

Similarly, robust reward mechanisms are becoming a central part of university infrastructures. All institutions in the study show in their Tef provider submissions that they recognise excellent teaching staff. Many host student-led teaching award schemes rely on students actively identifying their most inspiring lecturers.

The Tef can help the sector move away from academic nepotism, which unfairly rewards individuals for strengths external to teaching, and towards a more transparent culture that facilitates, recognises and rewards genuine examples of excellent teaching in our institutions.

University teaching staff have long been accustomed to receiving little recognition, prestige or support for their admirable work, so a framework which bolsters the academic teaching career and encourages professional development could prove a welcome addition to the fray. The public nature of the Tef submissions means they could spark a culture change within universities, as they come under pressure to ensure that training, career development and appropriate reward schemes are made available to all staff, not just those on permanent, full-time contracts.

Of course, the Tef is still in its early days, so unintended consequences within institutions remain to be seen. Further changes to the terms of the exercise also await as we move into the exercise’s third iteration and prepare for the subject-level assessment. Whatever happens, if academics can take any lessons from this year’s exercise for now though, it should be that the Tef is something that in the long run is purporting to benefit rather than burden them.

Join the higher education network for more comment, analysis and job opportunities, direct to your inbox. Follow us on Twitter @gdnhighered. And if you have an idea for a story, please read our guidelines and email your pitch to us at

Looking for a higher education job? Or perhaps you need to recruit university staff? Take a look at Guardian Jobs, the higher education specialist


Where Are We Heading

Le 25 janvier 2017, 03:58 dans Humeurs 0

    The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints; we spend more, but have less; we buy more but enjoy less.

    We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

    We drink too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

    We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

    We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space; we’ve done larger things, but not better things.

    We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less; we plan more, but accomplish less.

    We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait; we have higher incomes, but, lower morals.

    We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; we’ve become long on quantity, but short on quality.

    These are the days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but more broken homes.

    These are the days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw away morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. Where are we heading...?

    If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family we left behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

    And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family an unwise investment indeed.

    So what is the morale of the story???

    Don’t work too hard... and you know what’s the full word of family?

Give Yourself a Relaxing Day

Le 23 décembre 2016, 04:46 dans Humeurs 0

  The time you spend at the office may be the most stressful part of your day, but it doesn't have to be Property Management BSc. You have a greater ability to shape your office environment than you may realize.   Take breaks throughout the day. It will help clear your mind and relieve pressure. Something as simple as going to the water cooler for a drink may do the trick.   To help your workday go smoothly, try pacing your activities: Do more demanding work in the morning, when your energy level is higher, and easier work later in the day, when you may be tired.   Try listening to music recordings, such as a pounding surf or songbirds, to help you relax. Such tapes are sold commercially. Use headphones if you'll be listening to them in the middle of the workday Hair Course.   Get to work early or stay late once a week. You may be able to accomplish more when you vary your routine.   If your stress comes from job insecurity, take stock of yourself.Update your resume, and remind yourself of your skills and strengths. Also, make sure you keep up with new developments in your field. This will make you valuable to employers hotel management.   Don't let work rumors, which are usually false, cause you worry. A co-worker may just be thinking out loud about worst-case scenarios.

Voir la suite ≫