The importance of quality teaching in higher education is unquestionably a significant and public issue across the sector. Quality outcomes for students are recognised as important for personal gain, but also as key to the long-term knowledge creation, sustainability and growth of economies. There is, therefore, a vested interest for governments, the community, institutions and individuals to understand what constitutes quality teaching and how it can be enabled so that improved outcomes can be realised. This paper proposes and tests a competing values approach to identify and prioritise enabling factors for quality teaching. Firstly, the key factors that enable quality teaching are identified and defined. Then, the competing values approach is applied to assist in the articulation, interrogation and analysis of the enabling factors. An understanding of these factors and an ability to prioritise them in terms of current and future degrees of importance is critical if management is to be successful with initiatives to improve teaching performance and student outcomes. The synthesis of the literature reveals eight key factors that are enablers of quality teaching. Each of these factors has been empirically shown to, individually or collectively, influence or enable quality teaching outcomes. These factors affect either the teacher, the organisational unit within which the teacher operates, the systems and processes employed within the organisation, or the prevailing culture of the organisation. The notion of competing values suggests that all of these eight factors might be in play at the same time but, in reality, some will be more dominant than others. This paper provides a framework for determining the diversity in the relative intensity of each factor, and such insights can inform and drive change and improvement.
|Keywords:||Innovation, Change, Enabling Factors, Quality Teaching, Improvement, Competition, University Management|
Director - Courses and Pathways Services, Learning and Teaching, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia