Conducting Institutional Reviews of Quality teaching


Steps in the review processOutputs of the reviewLanguage usedTime span |

Parties invovled in the reviewQuestionnaire | Costs | 


Steps in the review process

The major elements of each review are:

1. Questionnaire (background information and quality initiative under focus) completed by the institution
2. Documentary analysis by IMHE/OECD
3. Interviews and direct observation by IMHE/OECD secretariat and expert representative
4. Drafting of the reflective paper
5. Dissemination organised by the institution with the support of the IMHE/OECD

Outputs of the review

The reviews will produce a range of outputs that will be disseminated via print and electronic means.

• Questionnaire completed by the institution (not to be publicly released);
• Reflective paper and related supporting material (e.g., powerpoint presentation);
• International comparative analysis on specific dimensions carried out by IMHE/OECD;
• Workshop/ Seminar (2011).


The reflective paper

The documentary analysis, the site visit, and the direct observation analysis will result in a reflective paper.

That paper is meant:
1. To depict the nature of the involvement of the institution into quality teaching;
2. To address the core questions, insofar as they are judged to be appropriate for the case study under scrutiny. Thus, the paper can highlight unexplored areas that go beyond the core questions and it may leave out some core questions for which there is insufficient material to conduct a meaningful analysis;
3. To provide recommendations where possible and if required by the institution.


The reflective paper is not meant to capture the entire situation within the institution and the responsibility of IMHE/OECD is not to be engaged in the overall activities of the institution. The paper is subjective and reflects the situation as interpreted by the IMHE Expert Representative and the IMHE Secretariat.


The reflective paper is to be structured in 2 parts: one reflecting the situation of the institution regarding the commitment on quality teaching and the second featuring judgmental conclusions,  recommendations or critical points as discerned by the IMHE Expert Representative and the IMHE Secretariat. The latter part is not meant to be necessarily shared with a general audience and it is up to the institution to decide whether or not the whole paper should be released.


The interaction with the local representative of the institution on the draft version of the reflective paper will allow fine-tuning and/or correction of missing facts. The institution (University local representative and/or leaders) will be invited to correct factual data or information and will have the right to respond to the reviewers. In this case, the response could be annexed.


The reflective paper will not include names and nominal data. Neither will it include transcripts of the interviews. Only anonymous excerpts from interviews could be inserted for illustration.


The reflective papers are is the property of IMHE. IMHE will not release the jugmental parts of the reflective papers, unless authorized by the institution. IMHE will, however, use the entire paper extensive version of the reflective paper as raw material to carry out a cross-analysis for the purposes of deriving global recommendations from the range of reviews.


International comparative analysis on specific dimensions carried out by IMHE/OECD

IMHE/OECD will carry out a cross-cut analysis of the various reviews, with a view to complement the report on quality teaching in higher education. The influence of the context and of national drivers, the teaching-learning interaction and the evaluation of the quality teaching are likely to be the major themes under scrutiny.

A dedicated conference for the participating institutions of the Phase 2

The overview of quality teaching in higher education has been extensively addressed at the Istanbul Technical University  on 12-13 October 2009 (What Works conference).


A conference on the management of teaching quality in higher education and/or on the impact of quality teaching and learning on students engagement and social impacts of learning might be held in 2011.


The language used

Great care will be taken regarding the language used for the interviews and the writing of the reflective paper. In order to benefit from an international perspective, non national experts will be proposed to serve as reviewers. In that case, either the interviews will be carried out in English and/or the institution will accommodate simultaneous interpretation. French might be an alternative.


Time span

The preparation of the review is likely to take some time, from the identification of the Quality Teaching initiatives by the institution to the release of the reflective paper. A typical timeline for the review will be the following:

• 2 months prior to the agreed date for the site visit for the institution to complete the questionnaire

• 3 months for information and data collection and documentary analysis

• 2 weeks to prepare the site visit
• 3 days for the site visit
• 1 week to draft the reflective paper
• 2 weeks for the interaction with the University local representative
• 2 weeks for the interaction with the IMHE/OECD Steering group on the quality teaching project

Please see the 2010 Calendar.


Who will be involved in the review?

As the review is designed to stimulate dialogue and exchange of viewpoints, the review results primarily from the collaboration of 3 main actors: the IMHE Expert Representative, the IMHE Secretariat and the University Local Representative

The IMHE Expert Representative

• Is acquainted with institution-wide policies and quality teaching especially at international level
• Is suggested by IMHE to the institution (the final choice is made based on the agreement with the institution)
• Is assisted by staff from IMHE Secretariat.


The IMHE Secretariat

• A person from IMHE Secretariat will interact with the institution, prepare the visit, carry out the documentary analysis;
• He/she will take care of the quality of the whole process and might be assigned to conduct some interviews;
• He/she will participate in the writing of the report;
• He/she will assist the IMHE Expert Reprentative in his/her mission and will closely collaborate with the University Local Representative: clarify questions pertaining to definitions in the questionnaires, definition of groups/types of people to be interviewed, assistance on practicalities.


The Observer

Participation is also open to an observer, who could accompany the IMHE Expert and Secretariat and is an excellent opportunity for professional development and training. The costs of the observer’s visit (two days accommodation and travel costs) will be the responsibility of the sending institution. Although no input is required from the observer for the reflective paper, he/she is likely to take part in the interviews and discussion with the institution. Strict confidentiality will be required.


The institution which volunteers to appoint an observer should contact the IMHE Secretariat, who will propose opportunities according to availability. An agreement with the sending institution ahead of the site visit will be required.


The University Local Representative

• Is a person or team in charge of quality issues in the institution or involved in academic development or institution-wide strategies on quality teaching issues in the institution;
• Is a representative person or team appointed by the institution (Typically the the head of a Center for Teaching and Learning, a director of quality affairs…);
• Is the institution’s voice and interacts with the IMHE Representative while the review is in progress;
• She/he helps the smooth organisation of the review (data access, target interviewees and organization of the site visit);
• She/he comments on the preliminary draft of the report provided by IMHE.

The interviews and the report are undertaken by the IMHE Representative and IMHE Staff. The University Local Reprentative is neither involved in the conduct of the interviews, nor in the writing of the report so as to keep the review independent and free of any influence.


The Steering group on quality teaching project

The  Steering group oversees the whole quality of the project. It ensures the coherence of the various individual reviews, advises the IMHE Secretariat on the methodology. Its members are invited to become IMHE Expert Representative and to help find appropriate experts.
The group is composed of:

• George GORDON, Emeritus Professor and research professor at the Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement at the University of Strathclyde.
• Alenoush SAROYAN, Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational and Couselling Psychology,  McGill University.
• Outi KALLIOINEN, Development Director at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences.
• Gülsün SAGLAMER, Professor, former Rector of the Istanbul Technical University
• Gábor HALÁSZ, Professor of education at the Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, Head of the Centre for Higher Educational Management of the University Eötvös Loránd in Budapest,.

• Fernando Leon GARCIA, President, CETYS University System (Center for Higher and Technical Education), Mexico

• Stanislav STECH, Professor, Head of Department of Educational and School Psychology of the Faculty of Education and Vice-rector for development of the Charles University, Prague.


The participating institution will be invited to complete the questionnaire before the documentary analysis by IMHE.
[Link to Questionnaire]



IMHE and the institution will collaborate to find the most cost-effective model:

• The project fee is of 5,000 EUROS for non IMHE Members, and free for the IMHE Members;
• The institution is required to cover the travel expenses (airfair, terminal charges, accommodation, meals) of the IMHE Expert Representative and IMHE Secretariat (2 people);
• The IMHE Expert Representative might be remunerated a lump sum on the basis of 5 days of work (1 day preparation, 3-day visit, 2-day drafting).

The IMHE Expert Representative and Secretariat will be invited to use economy fares and any alternatives might be considered within the limits of the budget. Should the review to be prohibitively expensive for some institution due to long travelling distances or organisational constraints, IMHE is open to alternative models (e.g., video-conferencing, telephone exchanges and SKYPE interviews).

Grouping of reviews within one country or one region may be possible for cost cutting purposes.
Detailed estimates are available on request.