The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) published by the department for Business, Innovation and Skills aims to ensure that teaching standards are maintained at a consistently high level in HE. The TEF has been criticised for the metrics based approach (NSS scores, employability statistics and continuation rates) to defining teaching excellence, and even though those criticisms have been acknowledged by introducing human elements into the process they will only serve to “soften the edges” (Gill, 2016) of the approach.
The TEF isn’t explicit about how institutions and individuals make improvements to teaching, but in response to the initial government Green Paper, the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) has requested that intelligent use of Learning Technology and an understanding of the issues by senior managers is explicitly incorporated into all framework iterations from now on (Deepwell, 2015).
One response to the TEF is to encourage teaching staff to undertake a formal teaching qualification if not already obtained, this is something particularly supported at Falmouth. This might include completion of a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education or awarded Fellowship to the Higher Education Academy. Both qualifications require submission of an evidence based portfolio to achieve accreditation. Within our department we are actively involved in the PGCHE course, informing sessions around technology enhanced learning and delivering content making the team crucial to supporting any TEF metrics that are put in place.
Like many other educational practitioners we await further developments with the framework and will be keeping an eye on how other Universities are adapting to support the TEF.
Deepwell M. (2015) ALT responds to inquiry into assessing quality in higher education [online] Available at <https://www.alt.ac.uk/news/all_news/alt-responds-inquiry-assessing-quality-higher-education> [Accessed: 20 March 2016]
Gill, J., 2016. HE White Paper: Five key talking points, Times Higher Education [online] Available at <https://www.timeshighereducation.com/blog/he-white-paper-five-key-talking-points> [Accessed 13 June 2016]