Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework FAQs

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In 2014, ACU completed a major restructure and early implementation of a research intensification strategy. Many staff were identified as on teaching only pathways, so the Teaching Criteria and Standards Framework was developed as a practical guide to assist academic staff clarify what constitutes quality teaching.

The Framework is evidence-based and builds on a framework originally created by the Universities of Western Australia, Murdoch, Curtin, Edith Cowan and Notre Dame through funding from the Office of Learning and Teaching.

The Framework helps academics articulate their own examples of excellence in teaching. It helps develop an academic's teaching story and can be used in a PRP; in evidence for a promotion; in applying for awards and grants; and to help academics critically reflect on their own teaching practice.

No. You only need to draw upon the criteria that are appropriate in any given circumstances. For example, if you are telling a story about your excellence in teaching for a PRP process, there will be some criteria that will be useful and valid; and depending on your pathway, others that will not.

No. Many of the standards are indicative and some may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may also have other standards not mentioned in the Framework that are more appropriate for you. The Framework provides ideas and words that you can tap into, but it is up to you to tell your own story using the Framework as a guide.

No. The indicative evidence are suggestions for possible ways for you to demonstrate your excellent teaching. Not all of the evidence listed will be relevant to you and there are many other ways to show that you are achieving quality teaching. The Framework is not a box-ticking exercise, but it can guide you to telling your own story.

Most definitely, yes. That is what we are really seeking. There are examples of excellent teaching that cannot be predicted and put into a framework. Use whatever real-world examples you feel appropriate to demonstrate your quality teaching.

HDR supervision is a very important type of teaching. At ACU however, HDR is considered to be part of the research agenda, so was not considered by the many people who were consulted during the development of the Framework. This may change over time but right now, HDR is not part of the Framework.

Yes. The promotions committee is using the Framework; plus, it is also being utilised in policies; by other committees; and in other Frameworks around ACU. This makes it incredibly useful and important for academics to align their own narratives with those that are being used in the university.

Most definitely yes, it will help with a promotion application; with your PRP; with your application for a grant; or with your application for an award. There are many ways it will help you, but it must be emphasised it cannot be used as the sole reference point for any of these things. It is to provide us with a common language and a common set of understanding in general terms of what is considered to be excellence in teaching. We want people to be able to tailor the Framework to develop their own narratives.

I remember many years ago and right up to very recently, I have collected evidence of my own practice in teaching research and service by gathering up all the little bits of emails and letters and copies of lectures that I have given. All sorts of information. And I remember that when I first started teaching, I had three boxes: one for research; one for teaching; one for service; and I used to throw things into these boxes. Eventually I ended up with three garbage bins full of all these hard copy evidence.

These days I've got an ePortfolio and it's full of all sorts of stuff. On its own it's all about me and about my students and their ability to have used me to achieve their learning goals.

But it's very difficult to organise these things into a coherent story for the users that I want to put them to. When I want to talk about a particular example of my effectiveness for PRP for example, I often can't find what it is that I'm looking for without an enormous amount of mining. The framework provides me with cues for being able to remember. It's a tool for critical self-reflection to help me to think about things that I might have otherwise just filed in backblocks of my ePortfolio.

It provides triggers for me to remember that in fact I haven't just spent my semester chasing my tail and worrying about details. I have always had a plan and I did once articulate what that plan way. So It provides me with an artful way of putting my stories together whenever I need them.