Judging university teaching
In this paper two recent ideas are used to describe an approach to judging the teaching of individuals or small teams of university teachers. The first idea builds on research which shows that good teaching is oriented towards, and is related to, high quality student learning. The second is that good teaching is scholarly. These ideas are at the heart of what might constitute a description of competence in teaching, and both are underpinned by the realization that teaching involves much more than what happens in a classroom or on-line: it includes planning, compatibility with the context, content knowledge, being a learner, and above all, reflection and a way of thinking about teaching and learning. It is argued that judging good teaching involves the effective application of a combination of these qualitative elements in the teaching approach and the quantitative dimension – about how well the teacher is carrying out this approach. It is also argued that unless the criteria being used to judge university teaching are consistent with the criteria being used to develop teaching (for example through formal teaching in higher education courses) little will be achieved through such activities.