15 ways to evidence your teaching achievements at university
Macquarie recently joined a growing number of universities worldwide in establishing a distinct promotion pathway via teaching excellence (Cashmore, Cane, & Cane, 2013).
It means that collecting, tagging, and organizing evidence of one’s teaching achievements is now more important than ever.
What can serve as evidence of my teaching achievements?
Evidence for teaching excellence can come from multiple sources and have different weight and validity (Subbaye & Vithal, 2017). The list below, while not ‘all-inclusive’, illustrates some potential sources you can use to evidence your teaching excellence. Ideally, your evidence will come from multiple sources to provide a breadth and depth of your teaching achievements.
|Evidence sources||More details/Examples|
|1. Teaching track record||A summary of your contributions to teaching-related activities, including, but not limited to:
unit co-ordination, curriculum design, lecturing, tutoring, student supervision, mentoring and supervising peers, teaching-related administrative activities, etc.
|2. Feedback from students||– Student survey feedback (e.g. LEUs & LETs)
– Longitudinal student feedback (e.g., briefly assessing student attitude towards a subject at different times)
– Other forms of student feedback, e.g., emails or award nominations from students
– Alumni feedback
Tips: Tag or save feedback emails from students in a separate folder. Back up if your work email is set to delete messages after 12 months.
|3. Feedback from peers||– Formal or informal peer review of one’s learning design, curriculum and/or delivery
– Testimonials from teaching teams
– A peer review from an award winner or an accomplished L&T colleague on a particular aspect of your teaching
Tip: Peer review can be done by colleagues at MQ, other institutions as well as industry partners.
|4. Self-reflection and self-evaluation||Record-keeping of teaching practice with a focus on critical reflection (identifying issues), e.g., a reflective journal, reflective course memo at the end of the semester|
|5. Improvements in teaching practice||Planning, implementing, and assessing/reflecting on improvements to your teaching practice.
Tips: Self-initiated improvements can be prompted by self-reflection, student or peer feedback or L&T innovations piloted/implemented. Improvement can be at the scope of an individual task/ a whole unit or may have had positive impact beyond one unit to the programme or beyond.
|6. Observable outcomes||– Learning outcome measures (e.g. pre- and post- learning measures; research student completions)
– Student engagement measures Increase in student enrolment due to pedagogical improvements
– Rates of attrition, failure, progression to honours/post-graduate studies
– Student achievements (employment, further study, awards & prizes)
Increased average grade after redesigning an assessment task Increased support for a diverse population of students, e.g., including indigenous perspectives or providing referrals or additional support to students with identified needs, etc.
Benchmarking against units in other universities Increased employability rates after liaising with industry partners
Student self-reported knowledge/skill gain at the end of the course
|7. Practice informed by research||– A clearly articulated teaching philosophy grounded in the scholarship of learning and teaching
– Grounding one’s curriculum and/or teaching decisions in L&T scholarship and best practice
|8. Teaching portfolio||A collection of artifacts (e.g., lesson plans; reflections; unit summaries; student feedback, etc.) that showcases your teaching achievements|
|9. Personal teaching blog||Posts about your L&T experiences, challenges and solutions, interviews with other educators, links to external resources, etc.|
|10. Professional development||– Engaging with the scholarship of learning and teaching
– Doing L&T professional development workshops and courses
– Joining L&T communities, attending conferences and presentations, etc.
|11. Aligning one’s practice to MQ context||– Incorporating MQ-supported approaches, like embedding sustainability, indigenous perspectives, employability, active learning approaches, etc.
– Adopting MQ-supported learning technologies, like Active Learning Platform, Learning Analytics, etc.
– Being aware of TEQSA requirements and applying them in one’s teaching practice
|12. Peer recognition||– Invitations to speak on L&T events (or participate in L&T projects)
– Advance HE Fellowship
– L&T Awards (MQ or elsewhere) (winning or nomination)
– Peer-reviewed or invited L&T publications
– Being invited to be an external examiner
– Contributions to discipline textbooks
|13. Impact on peers||– Providing peer feedback
– Sharing one’s L&T practice with colleagues, e.g., presentations in the department meetings, contributing to a TECHE blog or elsewhere
– Resources developed for colleagues/used at MQ and beyond
– Contributions to L&T committees
– Input into L&T policies
– Teaching across subject and disciplinary boundaries that contribute to interdisciplinary / professional education
|14. Projects to advance L&T at Mq or within a discipline||Supporting or leading L&T projects (e.g., curriculum mapping; learning innovations, etc) Grants focused on L&T)|
|15. Industry recognition||– Employer ratings
– Feedback on student performance from industry
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Cashmore, A., Cane, C., & Cane, R. (2013). Rebalancing promotion in the HE sector: Is teaching excellence being rewarded. York: Higher Education Academy.
Subbaye, R., & Vithal, R. (2017). Teaching criteria that matter in university academic promotions. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 42(1), 37-60.