Supporting the evaluation of academic practices

Reflections for institutional change and professional development.


  • Liz Austen Sheffield Hallam Univeristy Higher Education Corporation



evaluation, evaluative thinking, academic practice, institutional change, professional development


In this paper, ten principles for evaluating blended teaching and learning in an age of Covid-19 (Austen 2020) are discussed with specific suggestions for academic practice/practitioners; Evaluation Strategy, Student Involvement, Rationale for Change, Comparisons, Data Types, Standards of Evidence, Indicators of Success, Evaluation Research, Review, Resource and Capacity. The initial reflections (July 2020) focused on supporting the higher education sector with institution-wide evaluations, as this was the strategic and regulatory pressure at that time.  However, institutional evaluations are only possible if they are fed by a local evidence base.  In this opinion piece, the ten evaluative principles are reframed to encourage evaluative thinking by academic practitioners, and particularly those defined as early adopters. This piece encourages institutions and practitioners to reframe an emphasis on evaluation methods into a critical space of evaluative thinking whilst appreciating the contingent factors of their institution and its stakeholders.


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