This was a big week. Not just in events or workload (although it was) but also ideas. Quality is not black and white, it is full of subtleties and nuances all depending on your world perspective. This was my realisation this week (bit slow on the uptake sometimes).
I have created an email list of more than 100 people to help implementation. I did this because I believe that success in quality will come from the ground up. I have this belief because my world view is based on the assumption of perverse incentives. Currently the incentives for the university are not on quality courses but on research and financial aspects. This doesn’t mean the university is not interested in course quality, it just has incentives schemes encouraging different business needs. So, my chances of improving course quality comes from two possible positions:
- Change the incentives (yes, well, Buckley’s and none there I’m afraid)
- Provide intrinsic incentives for academics to come together on course quality
Number two is possible as academics already want to provide quality education (on the whole). The question is how to create an environment where this is possible for them to do and they are not coming up against barriers all the time.
All this leads me to my email list. Today it is an email list, I’m hoping tomorrow it will be a network of motivated, supported individuals working towards quality course outcomes for students. I want to understand the world through their eyes and enable them to meet their objectives. Now, if only I could change the extrinsic incentives I might be onto something!