External Review: a communications perspective


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The presentation, delivered at the NAKVIS seminar in Ljubljana, looks at the role of the external reviewer in a review process, and offers advice for communicating with the review team, the institution being reviewed and the quality assurance agency.
The presentation is mainly focused on higher education quality reviews.

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External Review: a communications perspective

  1. 1. External Review... a communications perspective NAKVIS SeminarAnthony F. Camilleri 24th November 2011 www.kic-malta.com
  2. 2. What‘s in a Name? Audit Expert-Review objective Subjective Precise standards Broad guidelines verifies account of client Interprets account of client standards-based review www.kic-malta.com
  3. 3. A reviewer is a communicator UniversityReview Team Agency www.kic-malta.com
  4. 4. Communicating with your team www.kic-malta.com
  5. 5. What‘s in a name? review team a group of independent experts vs a unitary entity with its own mind www.kic-malta.com
  6. 6. Inter-subjectivity• different subjective perceptions, taken from different viewpoints, give an objective view of reality• the quality basis of an external review• requires consensus consensus is not a diplomatic nicety but an essential pre-requisite of quality www.kic-malta.com
  7. 7. Requirements• Know your team • Know their profiles • Know their inputs• Discuss everything • Do not divide responsibility for thought • Form a consensus • Before • During • After www.kic-malta.com
  8. 8. Practical Actions• Leave sufficient time for meetings at each stage• Actively ask for team members‘ concerns• Ensure each team member gets equal say www.kic-malta.com
  9. 9. Communicating with the institution www.kic-malta.com
  10. 10. Communication starts with self-assessment!• This is not a one-way exercise! – Has the institution told you enough to allow a successful review? – What don‘t you understand, and who can answer your questions? • Be active in schedule-design www.kic-malta.com
  11. 11. Planning a Conversation• ‚Get to know each-other‘• General discussion of role in quality culture• Specific questions based on report• Clarify all doubts www.kic-malta.com
  12. 12. NEVER• get into conflict with your interviewee• confuse the interviewee with the institution• Issue judgments or opinions• leave the room with questions unanswered• breach confidentiality www.kic-malta.com
  13. 13. Demand RESPECT• Self-assessment should be complete• All interviewees promised must attend – even if review schedule changes• All questions must be answered in full• Any and all documents should be provided• Logistical support should be provided www.kic-malta.com
  14. 14. Communicating with the agency www.kic-malta.com
  15. 15. „I dont know anything about art, but I know what I like― Gelett Burgess www.kic-malta.com
  16. 16. „I dont know anything about the standards, but I know quality when I see it― Unnamed reviewer www.kic-malta.com
  17. 17. Standards of Proof• Some credible evidence• Preponderance of evidence• Clear and convincing evidence• Beyond reasonable doubt www.kic-malta.com
  18. 18. In your Report• Be yourselfBad: The institution showed....Good: The review team saw / found /observed.... www.kic-malta.com
  19. 19. In your Report• Be specificGood: The institution showed....Better: The review team found multiple andconsistent examples of www.kic-malta.com
  20. 20. In your Report• Say what you knowBad: The institution lied....Good: The review team foundinconsistencies between evidence (x) andinterview (y) www.kic-malta.com
  21. 21. In your Report• Give your opinion (where relevant)Bad: The institution is... / or NOTHINGGood: We suspect, It seems likely that,Given the evidence available, etc... www.kic-malta.com
  22. 22. In your Report• Give your reasoningBad: There is no quality.Good: When we consider (X), (Y) and (Z),we find it impossible to say there is quality www.kic-malta.com
  23. 23. In your Report• Link Effect with CauseBad: Quality systems are in place, but thereis no evidence of iterative improvement.Good: Quality systems are not effective, dueto lack of iterative improvement procedures. www.kic-malta.com
  24. 24. In your Report• Be CLEARBad: The physical conditions of classrooms arein need of improvement.Good: Classrooms are in a dismal state – noheating, broken desks and no boards make itimpossible to learn www.kic-malta.com
  25. 25. Hvala! Thank-you for your attention Questions? Anthony F. Camilleri (anthony@kic-malta.com) Presentation available from: http://www.slideshare.net/anthonycamilleri/Released under a Creative Commons Under the following conditions:Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Slovenia License Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (butYou are free: not in any way that suggests that they endorse• to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit you or your use of the work). the work Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build• to Remix — to adapt the work upon this work, you may distribute the resulting www.kic-malta.com work only under the same or similar license to this one.