Each partner has been making contact with colleagues teaching in a range of disciplines in order to collect views on quality from academics and to gain insights into whether the LanQua quality model is relevant to other disciplines. The course team meetings were particularly useful in exploring the ways in which academics did, or did not, feel engaged with the quality process and to gain insights into how they collected and responded to student feedback. A full list of questions is available from the SPEAQ website, some samples of which are listed below:
- What in your opinion are the elements of a good course?
- How do you feel you are supported in your teaching development? How do you think the institution supports teaching and learning?
- What do you think you do well in your department that other departments can learn from?
- Is quality a daily matter for you or something which occurs only sporadically?
Unsurprisingly the teachers comments were closely related to pedagogy, ensuring that courses were fit for purpose and teaching was engaging and up-to-date. There was concern relating to the perceived lack of reward for teaching (an overemphasis on research or administration) and lack of student motivation. The need for professional development in order to keep up with new developments in technology and pedagogy was mentioned, as well as the need for more discussion about quality of learning and teaching, such as in the sharing of good practice and peer-observation. The institutions involved are all engaging with international quality assurance requirements, so there was agreement on many of the issues recognised as important for the objective quality of a study programme, department or institution, e.g. student teacher ratios, number of qualified staff, structured and coherent programmes, adequate QA mechanisms, student involvement, employability rates, success and drop-out rates etc. There was also considerable commonality regarding teachers’ perceptions of what would ensure a better quality learning experience. This included:
- attracting better prepared and more motivated students
- providing structured learning environments tailored to the needs of groups of students
- giving value to teaching and teachers
- using feedback from quality assurance constructively
- organising resources in such a way as to enable teamwork, dialogue and discussion involving teachers and students