The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – have your say

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

As we write, we’re still waiting for the much-trailed Green Paper from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which, alongside other issues which we’re led to believe will “shake up the HE sector”, will include details of the Teaching Excellence Framework, signalled by Jo Johnson in his July speech “Teaching at the heart of the system”.  On the invitation of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), we understand that the Higher Education Academy (HEA) has offered some advice on how the TEF could be configured, the underpinning elements of which are:

  • A primary objective of excellent teaching is to engender high quality learning and educational success for students. Any ‘Teaching Excellence Framework’ must be holistic (to include teaching and learning) and to be clearly geared towards facilitating, supporting and understanding successful educational interventions and outcomes in diverse settings.
  • Excellent teaching is not a destination but a dynamic and developmental process at any level: institutional, subject, profession or individual practitioner.
  • Students, employers, professions and wider society all require learning and educational outcomes that are diverse and fit-for-the present, as well as the future. Any approach to teaching excellence must promote and support creativity and innovation as well as continuous quality improvement.

The HEA has proposed a developmental model for the TEF which is built around submission of ‘a case for excellence’. Each submission would be peer reviewed with panels drawn from academia, students and employers. Success would lead to an award at different levels (bronze, silver and gold,) and would allow display of an associated kite-mark. To encourage and promote improvements in teaching quality, detailed feedback should be given to enable re-submission or to assist in building the evidence for submission of a case for the next level of award.

The EPC is planning to hold two workshops in November with a view to setting out its position on a Teaching Excellence Framework.  Members from across the sector, and at varying career stages will participate and we will be inviting the complete membership to comment virtually on the draft proposals.  This will form the basis of our submission to the consultation on the Green Paper when it is published.

Read more about the HEA approach

Read our response to the BIS inquiry on quality assessment in higher education

Comments

  1. The approach outlined by HEA is rather simplistic in thinking that submission of ‘case studies’ would be accurate, reliable and reproducible in determining Teaching Excellence. Whilst teaching is by its very nature a reflective practice, a key aspect for the TEF needs to be a provision which is formulaic in providing evidence that the ‘hygiene’ factors are in place, e.g. number of staff that have teaching qualifications, accreditation, employer feedback on success of graduates, graduate starting salaries, low number of complaints received by OFFA, etc. In terms of motivators, this is very hard to judge and ensure a level playing field.

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