Evaluation of teaching (pp. 25-55)

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HERDSA Review of Higher Education Vol. 3

July, 2016, 72 pages
Published by
Peter Kandlbinder
2652-6328 (Online)

This review focuses on evaluating university teaching from the perspective of teachers and the context of their teaching, arguing that evaluation of university teaching should be part of a reflective cycle, informed by evidence that leads to: improved opportunities for students’ learning; enhanced curricula; and career development. It reviews four broad sources of evidence that provide robust and valid information that enables teachers to develop their skills and practices to support their students’ learning and to demonstrate their professional practice to the wider academic community. The underlying premise of this review is that all sources of evidence should be used holistically to provide the richest possible picture to capture the different aspects of university teaching including the context, the processes and the outcomes. It raises questions about: what should be evaluated; the reliability of tools and information; and the potential for teachers to be de-professionalised if they do not take ownership of their evaluation. It concludes that we cannot keep locking our doors saying that teaching is all an alchemy or mystery.  We know what good teaching looks like and, in the interests of our students and our own careers and professionalism as teachers, we can reasonably ask if we are doing it.

Keywords: University teaching evaluation; Sources of evidence; professionalising university teaching

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