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Lee Harvey

Quality in Higher Education was established in the early years of the quality revolution and has published 529 articles in the 21 annual volumes up to and including 2015. The journal was entitled Quality in Higher Education to enable a focus on all aspects of higher education quality rather than just quality assurance. The articles have ranged from conceptual and pragmatic enquiries into the nature of quality in higher education through explorations of quality assurance systems to the impact they have on student learning. This chapter explores what has been learned from these three million words.

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Harvey P. Weingarten and Martin Hicks

Assessing the value, performance and contribution of a public postsecondary system is important to government, students, institutions and the public. As part of its legislated mandate, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) evaluated the performance of the Ontario postsecondary system by comparing it to those in Canada’s other nine provinces. The primary purpose of this chapter is to describe the thinking that went into the design of that report, entitled Canadian Postsecondary Performance: Impact 2015. These design considerations resulted in a publication that was innovative in its analysis and data presentation, with 34 different indicators, focused largely on outcomes. It also provided a clear assessment of the role of funding levels in the performance of Canada’s postsecondary systems. We believe these design considerations are important, instructive and relevant to any jurisdiction seeking to assess the performance of its postsecondary system. The major findings were that: (1) postsecondary education is linked positively to labour market success, individual earnings, citizen engagement and contributions to the economy but every province had areas that could be improved, and (2) postsecondary system performance varies among Canada’s ten provinces but performance levels had no correlation with funding levels. The key contributions of this national performance report card were: (1) to identify specific areas where jurisdictions could focus to improve their postsecondary systems, (2) to highlight important data gaps where better and more meaningful measurements were needed, and (3) to reinforce that performance regimes should concentrate on outputs and outcomes, rather than inputs – particularly to refocus the discussion from how much institutions get to what outcomes are achieved.

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Marian Mahat and Martin Hanlon

Public universities in Australia have witnessed changes in performance assessment and accountability arrangements. The development of national performance assessment frameworks is seen as an essential step to ensure that universities have clarity and accountability around how their performance will be assessed, and how they can assess themselves in various dimensions of activities. This chapter provides two examples of contemporary national performance assessment frameworks in Australia: Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) and Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA). It presents some observations about the Australian experience, and discusses the impact of national performance assessments on universities and institutional research.

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Carol Scott, Suzanne C. de Janasz and Joy Schneer

Over the last 30 years, the workforce has become more demographically diverse, which reflects changes in jobs and careers. No longer does an individual (person) join an organization out of high school or college and stay until s/he retires. Organizational researchers also note that the current work environment demonstrates how the psychological contract between an organization and its employees has changed: Employment is at the whim of the organization in its increasingly competitive environment, and employees (who are responsible for navigating their advancement) are more loyal to their profession than to an organization. They change jobs more often, share jobs, and work virtually. While traditionally, the HR organization watched over employees’ careers, employees – and by extension HR professionals – must develop the ability to network, seek mentors, and balance competing work/family roles – especially as they change over the life cycle. The diverse exercises included in this chapter provide ample opportunities to start this process.

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Vicki R. Whiting, Maury Peiperl and Suzanne C. de Janasz

Whereas training is the focus of developing the skills of employees as individuals, organization development is all about helping an organization develop as it grows, matures, and even nears its end. A critical component of organizational development is leading and managing change – dealing with which is difficult for more humans. The first exercise focuses on change at the individual level; after all, if individuals can’t implement change on themselves, how can they model and lead change processes aimed at an organization full of people? The other exercises focus on organizational change and development.

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Edmund Chow, Julie Palmer, Phanikiran Radhakrishnan and Sunil Sookdeo

The new employees are hired, and they are working hard … but how effectively are they working? Perhaps one of the most important and difficult tasks of a manager is to give employees feedback on their performance. Much has been said about the fear of giving feedback, and this explains why it is delayed, done poorly, or avoided completely. Appraising performance requires great skill and can be used with a variety of approaches, some of which are the subject of the exercises which follow.

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Richard J. Shavelson, Olga Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia and Julián P. Mariño

A learning indicator may qualitatively describe a learning process, or, more often, quantitatively summarize an important aspect of learning with a single or composite statistic. A qualitative indicator might take the form of a flow chart generated from a ‘think aloud’ from a student explaining why there is a change of season, or a categorization of students’ explanations for why things sink and float. A quantitative indicator might be a measure of the change in a student’s performance over time or an estimate of a college’s value added to student learning. We sketch the broad field of learning performance indicators used internationally and quickly narrow our focus to indicators based on direct measures of learning as opposed to number of units completed, graduation rates, number of degrees earned, and students’ self-report. We include both direct behavioural indicators of performance from which learning is inferred (‘performance assessments’) as well as indicators of competencies predictive of real-world performance (‘competency assessments’). We argue that performance indicators of learning are delicate instruments, influenced by how learning is measured and modelled to produce the indicator and that a profile of multiple student learning indicators is needed to capture the complexity of measuring performance and learning.

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William F. Massy and Sandra Archer

Considerable progress has been made on higher education productivity measurement during the last few years. This chapter reviews the development of two kinds of indices: a ‘macro’ index that uses aggregate data to calculate a multifactor productivity index for the university as a whole, and a ‘micro’ productivity metric that uses course-level activity-based costing data which in turn can be aggregated to the level of the whole university. The macro index was developed by an expert panel of the (US) National Research Council; this chapter reports its application to data for substantially all two- and four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The micro measure is based on the ‘Enhanced ABC’ model currently being applied to data on individual courses at universities in Australia and to some extent in the United States. The chapter concludes with suggestions for further research on both types of metric, and proposes a long-term solution that would bring the two together to provide a comprehensive view of college and university productivity.

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Gama Perruci and Sadhana W. Hall

Excellent leadership programs are developed through rigorous attention to detail. Well-designed sessions convey the educator’s dedication to the material and respect for the learners’ time and effort. Put simply, by intentionally crafting and organizing each session, educators communicate a devotion to doing things right, which puts them well on their way to establishing trust, credibility, and respect as stepping-stones to leadership. This chapter begins with a general overview of the components of effective session design as follows: assessing audience maturity level and readiness; establishing SMART learning outcomes; identifying key concepts; incorporating leadership categories and competencies; outlining content and roles; and creating time for reflection. With a session design in place, the chapter focuses on logistical considerations for its implementation, including some tools used for organizing sessions within a program.

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Pedro Nuno Teixeira and Alberto Amaral

European higher education has been facing persistent pressures towards expansion, which have led in many countries to the emergence of a variety of private providers. The aim of this chapter is to present various challenges fostered by the growth of privatization in higher education, as well as to draw some major patterns of private higher education sectors in Europe. The analysis will reflect on the major legal and regulatory challenges faced by those systems regarding the potential contribution of private higher education. We start by sketching the historical forces shaping the development of private higher education. Then some of the main trends associated with that expansion of private and for-profit higher education are presented and discussed against the background of European higher education. We also discuss the main regulatory issues associated with the development of this sector, notably by focusing on legal changes, quality assurance and funding. We conclude by reflecting on the main future challenges that this sector may pose to higher education in Europe.