Performance data and metrics are increasingly being used to make decisions in postsecondary education. The new issue of Academic Matters – now available online – examines the significance of these developments and how they impact universities, faculty, research, and students.
Does a focus on metrics in higher education serve to optimize postsecondary education systems and make them more accountable? Do metrics distract from other considerations, undermining the integrity of the system? Do metrics compound systemic biases within institutions or help reveal them so they can be addressed?
For this issue of Academic Matters, we have assembled a group of experts to thoughtfully consider these questions, and contemplate the implications of making decisions based on metrics:
- Gavin Moodie explores the use of metrics in Ontario’s postsecondary education system, but notes that they are not always the best tool and often have unintended consequences.
- Tim Sibbald and Victoria Handford ask if there is a metric to evaluate tenure, and whether the different lived experiences of faculty should also be taken into consideration.
- Yves Gingras examines the effects of quantitative evaluation in research, arguing that the very foundations of this simplistic approach are flawed. This article is available in both English and French.
- Ruth Childs recounts her experience developing a student survey, and notes the importance of consulting those students beforehand, in order to determine the most useful data and the best way to collect it.
- Claire Polster and Sarah Amsler compare the higher education systems in Canada and the United Kingdom, noting important differences that faculty on both side of the Atlantic should be aware of and appreciate.
- Rob Copeland provides an overview of the UK’s new metrics-based teaching evaluation framework, and argues that it is both methodologically and politically flawed.
- In a web exclusive, Glenn Craney and Hugh Mackenzie discuss the history of provincial funding in Ontario and debate the province’s new performance-based funding formula.
All of the above articles are free to read online, and previous issues of Academic Matters are always available at academicmatters.ca in addition to web exclusives, blog posts, and more.