Bond University

Article Title

Evaluating and Improving Teaching in Higher Education


There are three main issues to consider in any consideration of the evaluation or assessment of teaching in higher education: the nature of good teaching; its measurement; and its promotion. It is a poignant commentary on the mood of higher education in Australia and the United Kingdom that few discussions of educational quality, accountability, and the appraisal of academic staff have engaged with these issues at other than the most superficial level. Policies have been formed and are being implemented in apparent ignorance of the accumulated educational knowledge that enables these key questions to be rationally addressed. This article is an attempt to redress the balance by providing a perspective on evaluating and improving teaching performance which brings educational principles into the foreground. The first part deals with the characteristics of effective teaching in higher education and critically reviews the related issues of appraisal, the use of student ratings, and the measurement of teaching performance. The second part examines how we might use evaluation to improve the quality of teaching.