Academics are afraid to give negative student references or put candid remarks on exam scripts because of an overbearing risk-management culture in universities, according to a researcher who has undertaken a two-year study of the issue.
Kim Soin, reader in accounting at the University of Greenwich, said academics needed to engage with the concept of risk management to ensure their concerns were heard, or risk losing “control of what they do and how they do it”.
Dr Soin, who conducted the research with Sharon Wheatley, a lecturer at BPP Business School, said that the growth of risk-management systems in universities had made some academics “quite fearful” and risk averse.
The introduction of Freedom of Information and data protection legislation meant students now had greater access to what academics wrote about them, which had led to fears of legal action.
Read full story… and I wonder what you do? I still mark ‘old-school’ .. I’m interested in seeing the students learn, and mark from a coaching perspective … what help can I give the students to improve, what have they done well, and what can they improve upon (not that I get this right always, of course!).
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.