National grant to study quality of university teaching

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



A research team, comprising academic staff from all five universities across Western Australia, has been awarded funding by the Australian Government's Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT) for a strategic project to investigate what it means to deliver 'quality university teaching'.

Associate Professor Sofia Elliott, Director of the Quality Management and Academic Development office at The University of Notre Dame Australia's Fremantle Campus, is part of this collaboration which will work on a project titled;Professionalisation of the Academic Workforce.

She joins project leaders Professor Rick Cummings (Murdoch University) and Winthrop Professor Denise Chalmers (The University of Western Australia), as well as Associate Professor Tony Herrington (Curtin University) and Professor Sue Stoney (Edith Cowan University) in the team.

The initiative will explore the issues surrounding the conceptualisation of 'quality university teaching' to develop a new framework integrating principles and evidence of good practice.

There has been substantial research on the concept of 'good teaching'. The majority of the research highlights an annual shift in what a 'good teacher' should know and what a 'good teacher' should be able to do ethically and professionally in the educational environment.

"The value of this project lies in its examination of quality teaching and how it might be defined and evidenced with performance standards; and how innovative teaching practices can best be utilised to support changing student learning needs," Assoc. Prof. Elliott said.

"It will also investigate how universities could induct, develop, support and reward their teaching academics in ways which are responsive to both the shifting educational setting and different university cultures.

"This is a time of major transformation within the Australian higher education sector. One of the driving forces is diversification of the student population and its impact on the nature of academic work.

"I am delighted to be working with colleagues from the other WA universities on this significant research."

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