There is a growing research literature on managing change in higher education and the processes on which departments and institutions develop their capacity to innovate, to evaluate and to adapt their academic practices.Evaluation offers a means of understanding the organisational factors involved in innovation and of supporting the processes by which people (and groups of people) make judgements about value and worth of new developments.
Central to this view is the belief that evaluation is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself, and should provide a pragmatic focus for departmental learning. Managing innovation and change requires a culture of reflective practice and strategies for building and communicating new knowledge and understanding.Departments are constantly reviewing and refining their courses and learning support. 'Evaluation' (probably termed in a variety of ways) is a key component, for example, in:
- Curriculum review (including for professional bodies)
- Development of new modules or programmes
- Analysing needs relating to recruitment and retention
- Ensuring student satisfaction of the learning experience
As part of the L&T strategy evaluation work, the design and use of student evaluation questionnaires was reviewed across departments.