Representation and Evaluation of Product Design in Research Assessment: A Case Study of the UK REF 2014.

Hadfield, M., Hutchings, M., de Eyto, A. and Maher, C., 2014. Representation and Evaluation of Product Design in Research Assessment: A Case Study of the UK REF 2014. In: 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2014), 4 - 5 September 2014, Enschede, The Netherlands, 437 - 442.

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REPRESENTATION AND EVALUATION OF PRODUCT DESIGN IN RESEARCH ASSESSMENT A CASE STUDY OF THE UK REF 2014 9 May 2016.pdf - Accepted Version
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Abstract

The social practice of design and design research is continually evolving to meet the needs of society. Its representation and evaluation in research assessment exercises, such as the UK (Research Excellence Framework) REF 2014[1] has a key role to play in its evolution. Higher education curriculum is affected by this type of representation due to the alignment of academic research inquiry. This paper examines through a documentary analysis of the REF 2014, the practice of funding evaluation exercises to discover and describe how they work and to provide a critique of those practices, using critical discourse analysis. By using Fairclough’s[2] three dimensional framework for examining discursive events, it is possible to explore the “relationships of causality and determination”[2] between discursive practices (the evaluation and subsequent funding of UK Higher Education research) and texts (REF 2014) and the wider social and cultural structures and processes which are influencing and being influenced by it. The analysis reveals the considerable influence of REF 2014 in the discourses of other stakeholders and the dominance within those discourses of market system structures where accountability, public relations and intense competition are fundamental to their operation. It raises questions about the nature of research assessment exercises, their ability to reward a diverse range of research in a fair and equitable manner and the impact of research assessment exercises on research inquiry, academic freedom and originality in universities.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:Published in: 'Design education & human technology relations: proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, 4th - 5th September 2014'.
Uncontrolled Keywords:Product Design Representation and Evaluation; Product Design Education; Higher Education Research Funding; UK REF 2014; Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA)
Subjects:UNSPECIFIED
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:23547
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:12 May 2016 08:32
Last Modified:26 Aug 2016 11:01

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