Accountability as a tripartite construct in the quality debate

Dawn Story, Annie Mccartney, Clare Kell

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    This short, conceptual paper builds upon previous empirical mixed methods action research conducted between 2017 and 2020. The paper will spotlight accountability and its contemporary place in the quality and policy narrative of a post pandemic and potentially new and litigious UK Higher Education environment.
    Further, the paper will critically assess the extent to which EdTech tools routinely used in the new classroom 'normal' can transparently track educational provision fairly across the disciplines and whether the digital fingerprint they leave can be usefully deployed in avoiding disputes with students over the quality of provision received during the pandemic.
    The paper will present a forensic analysis of the accountability duties and obligations of three key stakeholders (HEI, academic and student) responsible for discharging the ‘Student Contract to Educate’ (SCTE) and delivering a high-quality academic experience for all students however they are learning. The empirical data concentrates and tracks the extent to which liability as split between the three stakeholders can be captured with the use of EdTech tools at the ‘classroom coalface’ where it is argued that accountability and quality of provision matters most to fee paying students. Tracking performance of each stakeholder’s duties and responsibilities and the extent to which they can or cannot be held accountable for performance has arguably been facilitated in the post pandemic era by widespread use of these ‘accountability’ EdTech tools and the transparent digital fingerprint they leave.
    Viewing accountability through these distinct stakeholder lenses should generate thought provoking discussions across the discipline mix. Further the authors wish to widen the debate by questioning how the transition to a more transparent and arguably more accountable online delivery model is being received. Additionally, the authors are keen to facilitate an honest exchange with participants on the extent to which EdTech tools can be relied upon as transparent tools to capture and fairly track accountability at the HE classroom coalface across the disciplines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2021
    EventSHRE International Conference on Reesarch in Higher Education. 22nd-23rd June 2021: Qualifying the Debate on Quality - on-line, United Kingdom
    Duration: 22 Jun 202123 Jun 2021


    ConferenceSHRE International Conference on Reesarch in Higher Education. 22nd-23rd June 2021
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • SCTE - accountability – high-quality –– EdTech Tools - evidence- amicable dispute resolution


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