Performance funding: The burden of proof

Graeme Stewart, Mar 19, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As someone who has been a supporter of online learning for something like the last 25 years I can certainly attest that the burden of proof has been on those proposing the change. So it's reasonable to impose the same burden of proof on those who propose new business and funding models for learning. So this burden should fall on those arguing that "the public funding received by universities should be determined by the ability of a given institution to meet certain performance targets." This is important because, according to this article, the research thus far shows that performance funding (as the practice is called) has not met this burden. The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) for example found "little evidence that these policies are associated with improved student outcomes." So why do people keep advocating them?

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