Laurie Taylor column

September 27, 2002

"The QAA will audit external examiners' reports" - THES, September 20 .

Cultural studies speaking.

Ah, Charles. Gordon here.

Gordon, old chap! Lovely to hear from you. Got rid of that hangover yet? My, we supped some Mo t at that external's dinner.

A pleasure as always. In fact, I wanted to have a word about your external examiner role.

You'd like an extra year? No problem. As long as you go on keeping the old scripts to an absolute minimum.

It's more about your examiner's report. You see, we now have to submit that to the QAA for auditing, and the feeling here was that it might benefit from a little elaboration.

Can't remember a word I wrote.

It's relatively concise: "Another successful year for cultural and media studies. An excellent crop of firsts and uppers. A jolly good set of results."

So, what did you have in mind?

I was wondering if instead of "jolly good set of results", we might say "the departmental examination results clearly indicated that the major strategic goals of the course had been successfully operationalised". And instead of "an excellent crop of firsts and uppers", we might say "the distribution of degree classes was normatively in line with national standards".

Anything else, old chap?

Maybe another paragraph or so about inputs, outputs, modular integration, curricular coherence and pedagogic outcomes.

All the usual TQA stuff?

Exactly. And one other thing. Could you add your full name at the bottom?

Didn't I sign the damned thing?

You did. But there was a slight feeling here that the QAA might welcome something a little more formal than: "All the best. Champagne Charlie."

I'll see what I can do. Take care, Gordon.

And you, Charles.

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