Supporting the next generation academic: Strategies to evidence quality teaching practices institutionally
Thursday 4 July: Conference day two, 10:30am – 11:00am parallel session
Room 8 – 303 B09 Sem
Charles Sturt University
The challenges we faced in the last decade remain (Gibbs, 2013). We grapple with new mandates and pressures: How might we as academic developers change with the times and appropriately support the needs of our next generation academics?
Issues we continue to face are the increasing casualisation of the workforce with fewer ongoing academic jobs and insufficient resources to prepare academics to teach and support student learning. The roles and identities of our teaching staff are also changing. The trend has been to increase teaching-only roles, with oftentimes unclear expectations and with no clear career pathway for progression. Institutionally, there are other pressures to meet quality learning and teaching performance standards.
The practice of one university to provide, at scale, whole of institution support is showcased. The following academic support challenges are explored:
- What is the evidence that demonstrates good teaching?
- Supporting academics to gather evidence for good teaching practice
Engaging staff in peer review (both formative and summative) of their educational practice (Hendry, et al 2013; Grainger, et al. 2016) and the advocacy of scholarship of teaching and learning (Mårtensson et al. 2011) is highly recommended for professional learning and as evidence to be used in promotion applications.
The University’s support policies are evaluated, for example what the expectations are for induction, teaching and professional development and for promotion, against the outcome and impact measures of academic support and professional learning.
How do we know that what we do is meeting our goals and is preparing our next generation academic? Where’s the evidence that good teaching matters? We present data and case examples of the support provided as we evaluate our effectiveness in endorsing peer review as a valid form of teaching excellence evidence. However, teaching excellence can be a very subjective measure as highlighted by Wood and Su (2017).
Graham Gibbs (2013) Reflections on the changing nature of educational development, International Journal for Academic Development, 18:1, 4-14, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2013.751691
Grainger, P., Crimmins, G., Burton, K., & Oprescu, F. (2016). Peer review of teaching (PRoT) in higher education–a practitioner’s reflection. Reflective Practice, 17(5), 523-534.
Hendry, G. D., Bell, A., & Thomson, K. (2014). Learning by observing a peer’s teaching situation. International Journal for Academic Development, 19(4), 318-329.
Mårtensson, K., Roxå, T., & Olsson, T. (2011). Developing a quality culture through the scholarship of teaching and learning. Higher Education Research & Development, 30(1), 51-62.
Tam, M. (2001). Measuring quality and performance in higher education. Quality in higher Education, 7(1), 47-54.
Wood, M., & Su, F. (2017). What makes an excellent lecturer? Academics’ perspectives on the discourse of ‘teaching excellence’in higher education. Teaching in higher education, 22(4), 451-466.
Academics – Academic Development