Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario releases two new research papers on teaching and learning quality

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - 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

    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 the existing 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
    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.

For further information:

For further information: Ainsley Matthews, Events and Communications
Coordinator, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, (416) 212-5248,
amatthews@heqco.ca, www.heqco.ca

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