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HEAV Discussion

Page history last edited by readindexing@yahoo.co.uk 10 years, 11 months ago

4 September 2009


The information-gathering phase of the Vocabularies Review is now closed. The findings and proposals will be discussed at an all-day meeting at Academy York on 21 September 2009 - please contact Mike Clarke at Academy York to book a place if you wish to attend.


What is HEAV? 

HEAV (Higher Education Academy Vocabulary) is a hierarchical controlled vocabulary that is used to tag resources on the Academy's websites. It was created in January 2007 by merging the RDN/LTSN Pedagogic Terms Vocabulary with the RDN/LTSN Policy Themes Vocabulary and adding a number of new terms.


Why does HEAV need to be reviewed?

 Controlled vocabularies are most effective when the terms used to describe concepts are the same ones used by subject experts. Because language is constantly changing, controlled vocabularies need to be reviewed regularly to ensure that the terms approved for use are still current, and also to check for new terms required to describe new concepts.


How to contribute to the review 

Suggestions for amendments to existing terms and proposals for new ones may be made via the discussion on these wiki pages (key proposals will be summarised regularly on the synopsis page). The pages will be open from 1 June until 4 September: after 4 September they will be locked and the proposals will be collated into a discussion paper. This paper will be considered at an all-day meeting on 21 September at Academy York. The update to HEAV will be published on 12 October 2009.


The current version of HEAV is available on the Academy's website at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/detail/higher_education_academy_vocabulary


Suggestions for amendments to the thesaurus structure are being gathered separately, on the Thesaurus page.




New terms suggested so far (in no particular order), with comments:


Context based learning: is this the same concept as Situated learning, defined as 'A relational view of the person and learning ... learning as increasing participation in communities of practice ... learning is seen as a process of social participation...' If not, how can we define the difference? If it is the same concept, should Context based learning be the new preferred term, with Situated learning defined as a non-preferred term for it, or vice versa?


Evidence based practice: can be added as a narrower term for Teaching, with the following related terms: Evidence based policy, Practice based research, Theory practice relationship (any others?)


Induction: does this cover staff induction, student induction, or both? Should we add Staff induction and Student induction as well, as narrower terms? Where should it sit in the hierarchy? Possibilities include: Curriculum or Student recruitment (if it's only to be used for Student induction), Staff, Staff development or Staff recruitment (if it's to be used for Staff induction).


Motivation: where should this go in the hierarchy? Depending on how you see the concept, it could be added under Learning, Students or Teaching.


Dyslexia: can be added under Learning difficulties - with Dysgraphia, Hearing impairments (cf Auditory processing disorder) and Visual impairments (cf Irlen Syndrome) as related terms. NB dyslexia is officially classed as a learning disability, but according to the HEAV definition for Learning disabilities (q.v.) should be filed under Learning difficulties in this vocabulary.


Asperger's syndrome: in the last review it was decided that adding this term was unnecessary, as most of the people with autistic spectrum disorder in higher education will have Asperger's. If it is required, it should be added as a narrower term for Autistic spectrum disorder.


Attention deficit disorder: can be added under Learning difficulties.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: can be added under Learning difficulties.


Dysgraphia: can be added under Learning difficulties, with Dyslexia as a related term.


Teaching methods: add as a level 2 term under Teaching. Adding this term will involve revising the hierarchy under Teaching, as many of the current level 2 terms (eg Classroom management, Clinical teaching, Large group teaching, etc.) should be subordinate to it (Alignment and Teaching plans are the exceptions).


Assessment criteria: add as a level 3 term under Assessment.


Student centred learning: is already in HEAV as a non-preferred term for Student centred education. Do we need both terms?


Transition: is already in HEAV as a non-preferred term for Progression.


Action research: could be added as a level 3 term, under either Research methodology or Teaching and research. Or is it another way of saying Practice based research? If so, which should be the preferred term?


First year experience: add as a level 3 term under Student experience.


Quality assurance: HEAV already has a term 'Quality enhancement' under Policy - Educational policy - Excellence. Does Quality assurance cover the same concept? If not, how does it differ? Do any of the existing terms under Evaluation (e.g. Benchmarking) or Standards cover it?


Peer learning: is this already covered by Cooperative learning or Collaborative learning? If not, how does it differ? Should it be subordinate to either of these terms or added as a broader term for one of them? If it is the same concept as either Cooperative or Collaborative learning, should it be the new preferred term?


Peer review: is this the same concept as Peer assessment? The current HEAV definition for Peer assessment includes assessment by a fellow professional. If it is the same concept, which should be the preferred term?


Reflective practice: add as a level 2 term under Teaching.


Student feedback: Feedback is already in HEAV (level 4 term under Formative assessment), but is mainly used for teacher feedback to students. However, this concept is already covered by Student evaluation of teachers (level 4 under Staff appraisal). Should Student feedback be added as a non-preferred term for Student evaluation of teachers, or should it be the new preferred term? Or does it cover a slightly different concept - do we need both terms, and if so which is the broader one?


Laboratory work: this term is already in HEAV as a non-preferred term for Practical work.


Group-based assessment: Group assessment is already in HEAV: add as a non-preferred term?


Virtual learning: add as a narrower term for either E-learning or Online learning.


Postgraduate Research Experience Survey / Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey: these are names of specific projects and not suitable as HEAV terms. We could add Postgraduate Experience as a narrower term for Student Experience (with Postgraduate Research Experience and Postgraduate Taught Experience as narrower terms, if required).


Group work: is already in HEAV (level 3 term under Small group teaching).


Capability: definition needed for this term before we can assign it a place in the hierarchy.


Learning threshold/threshold concept: are these the same concept? If so, which should be the preferred term? If not, what's the difference?




No additional suggestions were received during July.


August (WB 10/8)


Curriculum design has been suggested as an additional term. If adopted, it could sit under either 'Curriculum' or 'Curriculum development.'  This term is in the British Education Thesaurus, where it has the definition 'Arrangement of component parts of the curriculum;' the current HEAV definition for 'Curriculum development' (closely based on the BET definition) is 'Activities that are intended to produce new curricula or improve existing ones.' Alternatively, 'Design' could be introduced as a new top-level term, with 'Curriculum design' and 'Research design' (for example) as subordinate terms. A new definition for the term may be required as the BET definition seems too narrow; for example, the University of Manchester definition is this: 'Curriculum design includes consideration of aims, intended learning outcomes, syllabus, learning and teaching methods, and assessment.'  (from the website for the Teaching and Learning Support Office at http://www.campus.manchester.ac.uk/tlso/map/teachinglearningassessment/teaching/curriculumdesign/) This definition overlaps with the one for 'Curriculum development'; however if it reflects modern usage of the term more accurately than BET, it will be necessary to decide exactly how (or whether) to differentiate between the two.


August (WB 24/8)


International staff has been suggested as an additional term. If adopted it would go under Staff.


Bologna Process has been suggested. It could go under Internationalisation in the Policy area of the hierarchy. Is it sufficiently 'abstract' to qualify as a HEAV term, or is it a proper noun (name)?


Careers (or Careers advice?) has been suggested as an additional term, under Employability.


Technology enhanced learning has been suggested. Is this the new accepted term for (what used to be) e-learning? If not, is it broader or narrower? How should it be defined?


The following additional terms have been suggested: Wiki, Repository, Observatory, Taxonomy, Classification [Scheme], Learning Object. If added to HEAV they would be used to describe resources ABOUT these subjects; some may also be required as HEART terms.


WIMBA classroom has been suggested as a narrower term for Learning Environments.

Comments (15)

Paul Kleiman said

at 12:49 pm on Aug 17, 2009

re: Curriculum Design / Development

The Univ. of Manchester definition is a better, clearer, more relevant definition.

However there may be a (useful?) difference between design and development.

If one uses the analogy of property development, then clearly the design (i.e. the rolel of the architect, engineer, surveyor , builder etc) is a subset of the notion of development.

If there is a degree of overlap, could one use the term 'Curriculum Design/Development' to cover it?

readindexing@yahoo.co.uk said

at 2:30 pm on Aug 17, 2009

I've been thinking along the same lines: I think there is a useful distinction to be made between design and development, even if we can't define it precisely. However, we will have to carve out our own definitions; usage of 'Curriculum design' has obviously changed since the BET definition was written!

Paul Kleiman said

at 3:15 pm on Aug 17, 2009

The distinction and possible overlap may lie in the notion that 'development' is essentially process-focused i.e. something is 'in development', whilst design (and I write this as a designer) is both process - focused but also very much product-focused i.e. something is produced - a curriculum, a set of assessment criteria, etc.

A similar problem/challenge may surround the terms used in relation to Assessment. I'm the chair of the Academy's Assessment Facilitation Group, and until HEAV came along, we were working on our own set of tags for assessment. The main challenge lies in separating the various and many TYPES of assessment (Habeshaw, Gibbs and Habershaw (1993) list 48 discrete types of assessments) from the other aspects of assessment e.g. assessment policy, assessment strategies, assessment design, writing assessment criteria, formative/summative assessment, etc.

readindexing@yahoo.co.uk said

at 10:40 am on Aug 18, 2009

Yes, that's a very helpful way of looking at it.

Do you think we've got the structure of the Evaluation/Assessment terms about right, or do we need to throw all of that into the melting pot as well? Though actually, if you want a term for assessment policies I'd be inclined to put it subordinate to Policy (as they're a type of policy) with Assessment as a related term...

Paul Kleiman said

at 10:42 am on Aug 18, 2009

While we're on Assessment.....

I noticed, looking at the main table, that assessment appears to be a second level term under Evaluation.

If the vocabulary is supposed to reflect actual and common usage and importance, and given that there is an increasingly obsessional focus on assessment in higher education, what is the rationale for not having Assessment is a top level term?

Paul Kleiman said

at 11:09 am on Aug 18, 2009

Some terms that don't seem to appear anywhere (there may be very good reasons for that!)

Induction (might relate to New Academic Staff)
Journals (i.e. a written record rather than a publishing outlet for academic research!)
Reflective journals (similar to above, might relate to Reflective Learning)
Practice as Research
Practice-based research


readindexing@yahoo.co.uk said

at 11:47 am on Aug 18, 2009

I'm going to wish I hadn't asked about Assessment now, aren't I...

We had long, impassioned discussions about Assessment/Evaluation last time, if you remember (it's all coming back to me now). We eventually ended up with something approaching a consensus, that there's a lot of overlap between the way the terms are used but that the tendency is for Assessment to be used for assessment/evaluation of students, whereas Evaluation has a broader application and tends to be used for evaluation/assessment of courses, staff, institutions... as well. So Evaluation was chosen as the top-level term and Assessment sits underneath it as a second-level one.The alternative is to give up trying to separate them, as in BET where Assessment/Evaluation are treated as synonyms; this would reflect usage more exactly but would mean we lose a useful distinction between assessments of students and assessments of everything else.

The hierarchical position of a term is supposed to reflect its relationship with the other concepts in the thesaurus, not its relative importance in current educational thinking. Otherwise we'd have to change HEAV every time the government introduces a new fad ;-) How the hierarchy is presented on a website is a separate issue; if you want to have an area on your website dedicated to assessment you can display Assessment and its subordinate terms on their own, for example.

And we do 'ignore' usage if there's a good reason for doing so - for example Dyslexia is officially classed as a learning disability, but if we adopt it for HEAV it will have to go under Learning difficulties because of the distinction drawn in HEAV (following BET) between 'Problems encountered in the process of learning' and 'Intellectual functioning that is two or more standard deviations below the mean.'

readindexing@yahoo.co.uk said

at 12:00 pm on Aug 18, 2009

And furthermore...

Induction has been proposed as a new term; if it's staff induction we are talking about it will definitely be a related term for New Academic Staff, but I think it should go under 'Staff development' (as being a particular type of staff development programme).

Journals (i.e. a written record rather than a publishing outlet for academic research!) Hmm. We've already got Diaries in (under Learning resources, which may or may not be the best place for it). Is Journals (in this sense) an exact synonym? If so, we should pick one as the preferred term.

Reflective journals (similar to above, might relate to Reflective Learning) Presumably this is a narrower term for Journals/Diaries...? Or are all journals/diaries an attempt at reflective writing?

Practice as Research / Practice-based research - I see the distinction between the two terms... are you saying we need both? Practice based research is already in HEAV (without the hyphen - we can add that if the term is usually spelt that way now).

Suzanne Hardy said

at 10:03 am on Aug 20, 2009

Practice as research and practice-based research - yes we definitely need both terms.

Suzanne Hardy said

at 10:20 am on Aug 20, 2009

I would strongly recommend looking at the very detailed assessment branch of METRO2, developed to complement and extend MeSH by a group of academics and librarians. It is excellently structured and has detailed scope notes. See http://metro2.blogspot.com/

Suzanne Hardy said

at 11:00 am on Aug 20, 2009

readindexing@yahoo.co.uk said

at 1:34 pm on Aug 21, 2009

Thanks Suzanne, this is very helpful. I'm not sure how many additional terms for Ethics should be in HEAV - does anyone want to develop this area? HEAV is going to be used to tag resources for EvidenceNet, so you'll need terms to describe ethical issues in research.

Anyone feel like writing a definition for 'Practice as research'? At the moment I'm thinking of having it subordinate to Teaching with Practice-based research (OK, I'll add the hyphen) as a related term, on the grounds that it seems to be a mindset (the way you approach teaching) rather than a formal research project with the aim of producing results at the end (and having your name in lights, or at least in a leading peer-reviewed journal). But perhaps I'm wrong and it should be under Research... what do you think?

readindexing@yahoo.co.uk said

at 1:41 pm on Aug 21, 2009

Oh, and someone - not sure who - from Health Sciences and Practice has challenged the hierarchical position of Assessment (I think). The comment received was 'The use of evaluation for assessment of learning. This is the North American habit but less common in the UK where evaluation is taken as enquiry into an education intervention.'

Paul, you also queried the position of Assessment. I am still inclined to support having Assessment subordinate to Evaluation for the reasons given above, but am becoming less sure of my position. After all, you're the subject experts and HEAV is supposed to reflect UK usage of the terms. So do you have any further comments?

Paul Kleiman said

at 6:03 pm on Aug 21, 2009

re: problems of definition re Practice as research, practice-based research

this from the PARIP website:

Practice as research (PAR) and practice-based research (PBR) — and 'research through practice', 'research by practice', 'performance as research' — are contested terms that resist close definition. Practice as research and practice-based research are frequently used interchangeably to suggest a relationship of research between theory and practice.

Broadly speaking, practice as research is an attempt to see and understand performance media practices and processes as arenas in which knowledges might be opened. The institutional acceptance of practice as research in the higher education sector acknowledges fundamental epistemological issues that can only be addressed in and through theatre, dance, film, TV and video practices.

Paul Kleiman said

at 6:21 pm on Aug 21, 2009

re: assessment and evaluation

This doesn't really help ......but it seems, looking the various definitions of assessment and evaluation that the terms are virtually interchangeable;

assessment = the classification of someone or something with respect to its worth
evaluation = act of ascertaining or fixing the value or worth of

So my (uncertain) view is that the top level term ought to be Assessment/Evaluation or Assessment & Evaluation, which would then allow all the other various realted terms e.g. formative assessment, to become second or third order terms.

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