Wonkfest 18: can teaching be measured? Professor Debbie Holley contributes to the debate…

Our debate created intense media comment:

“TEF is a busted flush” – no punches being pulled at #Wonkfest18 #EvershedsSutherland #EducationTeam

WonkFest18 and wonk extraordinaire David Kernohan introduced our session:

Learning and teaching might feel like the hardest university missions to measure, but it has been one of the most measured in recent times. A key figure in the implementation of both TEF and the national student survey, Graeme Rosenburg from OfS joins an all-star panel of educational developers – James Wisdom of SEDA, Debbie Holley from Bournemouth, and Jisc’s Sarah Knight – to discuss the impact of these measures on what happens in the lecture theatre, seminar room, lab, and workshop.

the live blog summarised the debate…

The panel was clear we need to ask students about their learning and listen to their answers. Metrics will always be a part of the picture, but a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the needs and aspirations of undergraduates is an essential first step in improving teaching and the student experience.

The dual role of TEF (enhancement and information) is becoming more confused with many institutions hiring data scientists and not educational developers. It was noted that we sit at an important part of the life of the TEF, with the statutory review just round the corner – which again needs to involve the student voice as a fundamental point.

But, following the Augar review, the role of the OfS may change again – perhaps returning to a funding role?

It provoked quite a debate online too:

Interested to hear Graeme Rosenburg from OfS say that TEF creates an incentive in the Mon PM framework debate at #Wonkfest18? Surely if anything if introduces a penalty?

The panel are quoting from OfS paperwork – the purpose stated as “to unleash greatness”. Qn: Does the framework for teaching excellence deliver this? #wonkfest18



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