Section 6.4.4 Institutional

Section 6.4.4 Institutional

Section 6.4.4 Institutional

While the growing emphasis on quality can be viewed as a welcome development, there are concerns that the pressure of public naming and blaming of Third-level institutions (Blackmore, 2009) could have negative repercussions for the quality of the college’s offerings. Gielen, Dochy, and Dierick (2003) posit that with increased emphasis on quality ratings instruction becomes narrow and less cognitively-demanding.

Given the list of factors known to impact on the validity of student feedback (see Section 8) as well as methodological issues such as sample bias, non-response, low participation rates, and students’ growing cynicism with the process (see Section 6.4.1), there is much that could negatively impact upon the reputation of a university regardless of the quality of its programmes.

Blackmore (2009) claims that for many academics the external demands to perform audits which distract from ‘real improvement’ leads to a struggle between the competing agendas of accountability and improvement, between system-wide concerns for performance, efficiency and academic achievement, and an educator’s sense of care and investment in broader cognitive, social, emotional and moral development (Meadmore 1998).

Activity 6.4.4

If you haven’t already, read Blackmore’s (2009) paper on professionalism and performativity and then look at the UCD SFM survey process. How many of his concerns are potentially valid within UCD?

Submit your answers


Blackmore, J. (2009). Academic pedagogies, quality logics and performative universities: evaluating teaching and what students want. Studies in Higher Education, 34(8), 857–872

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