Toronto, October 15, 2008 – The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) is pleased to announce the release of two commissioned research papers. The first, by the University of Toronto’s Pamela Gravestock and Emily Gregor-Greenleaf, explores the use of student course evaluations as a measure of teaching quality. The second, by Janet Halliwell, is a high-level overview of current research on the relationship between research and postsecondary teaching. Together, these papers represent an important contribution to HEQCO’s ongoing research on the education quality of Ontario’s higher education system.
“Today’s release is further evidence of HEQCO’s leadership in the scholarship of teaching and learning in postsecondary education,” said Dr. Ken Norrie, vice-president of research for the Council. “These papers enhance our knowledge of how scholarly research relates to an instructor’s performance in the classroom, and how student course evaluations can be used to improve teaching.”
The papers released today are:
- Student Course Evaluations: Research, Models and Trends is a review and summary—the first of its kind from a Canadian perspective—of existing research on student course evaluations. The study aims to capture and synthesize the key issues and findings regarding the validity and utility of student course evaluations from the substantial body of research in this area.
- The Nexus of Teaching and Research: Evidence and Insights from the Literature provides a high-level review of theexisting literature on the connection between teaching and research and provides recommendations for next steps and future research options for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).
“The classroom experience of students and their teachers is an essential piece of the overall quality puzzle,” said Dr. James Downey, president and CEO of the Council. “These papers assist us to understand better the forces and factors that influence teaching, learning, and the research that informs both.”
In the coming months, HEQCO will continue its research into teaching and learning quality, with important projects in student engagement, retention, and strategies for promoting student success. The Council will also be initiating a pilot project to develop an online network that allows Ontario’s exceptional faculty to share their teaching expertise.
About the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario
The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario is an arm’s length agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to ensuring the continued improvement of the postsecondary education system in Ontario. The Council was created through the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario Act, 2005. It is mandated to conduct research, evaluate the postsecondary education system, and provide policy recommendations to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities with a view to enhance the quality, access, and accountability of Ontario’s higher education system.
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