Teaching Quality Standards Project (2014) ITL Project Leader

Teaching Quality Standards Project (2014)
ITL Project Leader: Simon Barrie
Rationale & context
Strategy Seven in The University’s strategic plan focuses on the development of the capacity to identify and promulgate excellence in teaching. The first three
initiatives under this strategy seek to establish minimum standards for teaching, develop additional tools and strategies to identify and promulgate excellence, and
for Divisions to develop strategies to achieve teaching excellence. While most (but not all) faculties use well developed institutional and local systems to recognize
and respond to teaching quality there are only limited institutional accountability mechanisms in place to make teaching quality visible and to support faculty
responses. Nationally there are initiatives to develop new teaching and learning standards and accountability processes at institutional, course and individual levels
of teaching and there will be external as well as internal drivers for such standards. Sydney does not perform well on national course quality KPIs relative to the
G08. There is a need to address issues of quality in units of study and courses to improve ratings of overall degree quality. The first round of T&L compacts was
successfully negotiated with faculties in 2012 however these were based on only a single (USE) indicator. The second round of 2014 compacts were developed in
late 2013 incorporating more consistent institutional reporting processes and extending the coverage of the compacts to include other T&L targets in addition to the
SEG agreed USE overall satisfaction standard.
Correlation to University
strategic plan
Strategy 7: Develop our capacity to identify and promulgate excellence in teaching and learning
7.a Develop divisional teaching excellence strategies and negotiate compacts with SEG for endorsement, and, where necessary, support these strategies.
7.b Develop new tools for identifying teaching and learning strengths to inform divisional strategies and support the promulgation of best practice.
7.c Establish University-agreed minimum standards for teaching and learning support as appropriate to each faculty.
Objectives and Scope
Why is this important?
It will support the development of analytics-based university standards for teaching and learning.
It will develop processes to apply measures (analytics) in relation to those standards, to inform and support teaching and learning planning and enhancements.
It will provide a coherent institutional process to enhance and assure Teaching and Learning quality in units of study and courses, which is aligned with existing
institutional teaching quality standards, and proposed individual teacher standards
Teaching Quality Compacts: A coherent and comprehensive institutional process to enhance and assure Teaching and Learning quality in units of study and
courses which is aligned with individual and institutional teaching quality standards.
Mechanisms to gather and apply institutional analytics data and a reporting and recognition process for faculty performance in relation to excellence in quality.
Sustainable, embedded, faculty strategies to support enhancement of teaching and learning quality.
Agreed minimum standards to support accountability for achievement of strategic teaching and learning priorities.
A mechanism to link divisional and university teaching excellence strategies with other processes including infrastructure planning and curriculum renewal.
Mechanisms to share and promulgate local best practice
Sydney does not outperform the G08 for course quality indicators (CEQ). Improving poor quality units of study will improve CEQ performance.
Faculties are responsible for the quality of teaching and learning in courses and units of study, however no accountability mechanism exists to give visibility to
the high quality of T&L revealed by current measures of teaching and learning quality nor to faculty responses to any areas of poor quality. This strategy adds a
new element of high-level accountability.
There currently exists no mechanism (beyond proxies such as previous internal teaching and learning grant schemes) to negotiate and provide strategic
support and resources for faculties in relation to identified faculty teaching and learning enhancement and support priorities. This strategy provides a vehicle for
faculties to negotiate relevant resourcing and support for strategic improvements.
New institutional T&L priorities, and new external national priorities and indicators are likely to require the development of new internal data sources as well as
the further development and better strategic use of existing data. In the past, despite the provision of teaching quality data and the encouragement and support
for ADLT and individual staff to respond to it, some areas of consistently poor quality remained unaddressed and some area of excellence unacknowledged.
It has potential to enhance teaching and learning quality for significant numbers of staff and students at the university.
Accountability for teaching standards can directly address the perception of some staff that teaching does not matter at Sydney.