Fresh from the AECT conference in Orlando, I find myself swimming in a sea of thoughts and questions surrounding the role of Quality Assurance (QA) frameworks in higher education, such as Quality Matters and OSCQR. We at CTL work with faculty and constantly strive to provide the best learning experience for our students. But as we navigate the complex waters of QA, we’re left wondering: Are these frameworks helping or hindering our efforts?
This was a hot topic at AECT this year, and one of the most pressing concerns that was surfaced is whether QA frameworks stifle faculty creativity. Educators value their ability to engage students in unique and imaginative ways. However, with QA frameworks, there’s a fear that creative freedom might be curtailed. Do QA frameworks create a one-size-fits-all approach? Or can we still find room to innovate within these frameworks?
Another issue raised is the potential for QA frameworks to create ‘cookie-cutter’ courses. The beauty of higher education lies in its diversity – every course, every subject, every class has its own flavor. But does adhering to a strict QA framework strip away this diversity? Do we risk producing monotonous, identical courses that fail to captivate our students?
And speaking of students, let’s not forget the most important stakeholders in the education process. Do students care about QA? Are they aware of the QA processes that go into their courses? And more importantly, do they see the value in it? Does a student notice when the objectives don’t align with the assessments?
The debate around QA frameworks is complex and multi-faceted. On the one hand, they provide a structured approach to delivering quality education. On the other hand, they may limit creativity and diversity. As we grapple with these issues, we must remember our goal: to provide the best possible education for our students and seek to serve them best.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you! Do you feel QA frameworks limit your creativity? Do you worry about creating ‘cookie-cutter’ courses? And what do your students think about QA? Let’s start a conversation and learn from each other. After all, we’re in this journey together, striving to shape the future of education.
(ChatGPT contributed to this blog post)