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Excellent/quality teaching

The problem

Gunn and Fisk (2013)

The need to revisit the CHERI report reflects the growing complexity and lack of consensus in attending to teaching excellence in the academy, particularly in terms of:

  • the relationships between teaching excellence and excellent learning in general;
  • the relationships between the criteria of teacher excellence and the changing nature/diversification of academic roles and profiles as well as across a career long span;
  • the relationships between, and efficacy of, reward and recognition systems for teaching and research.

Measuring teaching quality

James et al (2015)

The measures of teaching quality are under consideration. Who defines these measures of teaching quality and how are they validated? An interesting dilemma to emerge in discussions on measurements of teaching quality is a discourse which compares research and teaching. Gunn and Fisk17 shift the focus to recognise that researching and teaching are ‘equally important but different aspects’ of the educational environment. This discourse calls into question a discussion on quantitative and qualitative measures of quality in both research and teaching. The challenge for higher education institutions is the development of support structures to identify and evidence teaching quality.

Increasing importance of teaching quality

James et al (2015)

Possibly linked to this shift in costs, students have become more likely to choose courses that they determine as relevant and that will lead to future employment. This has led to an increase in the popularity of professionally oriented programs.3 Clearly this trend has implications for both the type of courses that students seek and that, as a consequence, higher education providers offer. As universities are serving a number of different stakeholders the issue of the value of higher education is a complex yet an important issue that needs confronting.


James, R., Baik, C., Millar, V., Naylor, R., Bexley, E., Kennedy, G., … Booth, C. (2015). Advancing the quality and status of teaching in Australian higher education. Sydney: Office for Learning and Teaching.