Learning and Action Research
DOI link for Learning and Action Research
Learning and Action Research book
Achieving the conditions for high quality learning is a complex task not only for dedicated teachers but also for all of the stakeholders in the system which comprises higher education. In our review of government documents on quality we have seen many proposals. Despite the rhetoric emphasizing quality in learning and accepting that extramural stakeholders have roles to play, most of the proposals appear to assume that the responsibility for improving learning lies solely with the universities and primarily with the academic staff, thus ignoring the responsibilities of the other stakeholders. Middlehurst (1992) discusses the possibility that quality might become an 'organizing principle' for all aspects of an institution's activities. In surveying some examples of quality enhancement projects in universities, she notes that most focus on the domain of teaching (which is apparently what the extramural stakeholders would prefer), but that 'the way in which academic areas are related to quality elsewhere in the institution, or how different quality assurance or improvement mechanisms and procedures mesh together is not obvious' (p.34). Weil (1992), too, regrets that many RSA Capability projects remain at the margins of programmes or institutions. The case study in this chapter details a project which involves a number of groups from within one university, and the case study in the following chapter describes an even more ambitious approach. Nevertheless, to date most quality projects seem to have been somewhat limited in scope, with some notable exceptions (for examples, see Badley, 1992; Ellis, 1993b; Higher Education, 1993).