Standardising Mediocrity: The Use of Student Evaluations to Measure Quality Assurance in Australian Universities

By Jennifer May Rindfleish.

Published by Management Education: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Unsophisticated Likert scale type data collected from students at the end of each unit in their degree program is being used inappropriately by senior managers in Australian universities to measure the "quality" of academic programs. Data such as this has the potential to undermine academic standards and the rigour of curriculum design and assessment tasks by entrenching standards based on the fact that designing and delivering "likeable" and "easy" teaching content to students is a measure of the quality of unit content. Using such data as a way in which senior managers and heads of schools in universities then censure or reward individual academics further reinforces mediocrity in an industry sector that is already buried in bureaucratic processes forced upon it by both state and federal governments.

Keywords: Higher Education, Quality Assurance, Student Evaluations

Management Education: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 430.742KB).

Dr. Jennifer May Rindfleish

Senior Lecturer, New England Business School, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Jennifer is currently the Deputy Head of the UNE Business School at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW, Australia where she has been an academic for the last 16 years. Her expertise in Higher Education pedagogy covers Consumer Behaviour, Integrated Marketing Communications, Marketing Management, Services Marketing, Marketing Strategy and Planning, Sociology and Gender in Organisations. Jennifer also has 30 years experience in conducting social scientific research in the corporate division of QANTAS Airways and in academia. She has published widely in the areas of consumption and self-identity, gender in organisations, and knowledge management in higher education.