The Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA) is a professional association for those involved in research and development on post-secondary education and for those staff of tertiary institutions who are committed to the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning. HERDSA has been at the forefront of initiatives to promote professional development for academic staff and to improve evaluation activities
Currently major changes are underway in higher education. In the process of institutional reorganisation there is a danger that the basic mission of higher education institutions gets lost. The major role of higher education is to promote learning and learning is mediated by academic staff, one of whose roles is that of teaching. Whatever else institutions might value, they must value teaching.
Excellence in teaching is not incompatible with excellence in research. It is particularly important at a time when funds for research are becoming more keenly sought, that research is not emphasised at the expense of teaching.
The Society is aware that many institutions are seeking to improve the quality of teaching and student learning and are seeking specific advice on ways of improving teaching, recognising good teaching, and of assessing teaching. HERDSA has assembled the attached checklist, based on what is regarded as good practice in higher education.
The aim of the checklist is to draw attention to issues which the Society considers central to the promotion of good teaching and to prompt institutions to reflect on their own practices in this area. The list is not intended to be exhaustive or prescriptive, but to indicate those matters on which institutions might focus if they wish to give greater emphasis to their teaching function.
Institutions and departments are encouraged to use this checklist as a means of evaluating the priority they give to the teaching role of staff. Academic boards or education committees might wish to use the list as a starting point for an appraisal of the teaching role in their institution.
HERDSA welcome comments and debates on the issues raised by the checklist. Correspondence should be addressed to:
HERDSA Office, PO Box 27, Milperra, NSW, AUSTRALIA
1All material in this appendix is © Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Inc.