Dimensions of quality
This UK report identifies a range of dimensions of quality and examines the extent to which each could be considered a valid indicator, with reference to the available research evidence. It attempts to identify which kinds of data we should take seriously and which we should be cautious of placing weight on.
Some of these dimensions we might be wise to pay attention to currently lack a solid evidence base, especially in relation to research carried out in the UK context, and so the report also identifies priorities for research and for data collection and analysis.
The report identifies which dimensions of educational quality can reasonably be used to compare educational settings. It adapts Biggs’s ‘3P’ model (Biggs, 1993) of ‘presage’, ‘process’ and ‘product’ to categorise the variables under consideration. The report examines a wide range of potential indicators. Presage variables define the context before students start learning, process variables describe what goes on as students learn, and product variables relate to the outcomes of that learning. For presage and process variables the available evidence is examined concerning the validity of the variable: the extent to which it predicts student learning outcomes and educational gains. Each product variable is examined for its ability to indicate comparative quality.
Author - Graham Gibbs
Publisher - The [UK] Higher Education Academy
Date - September 2010