Driving Organisational Change by Rewarding Quality Teaching
Since the introduction in 2006 of the Learning and Teaching Performance Fund (LTPF) the Australian Government has provided around $220 million to reward universities for excellence in learning and teaching. This has stimulated in Australian universities a renewed focus on the quality of teaching and learning and the establishment of institution wide performance indicators to measure and reward teaching excellence. This paper reports on the pilot of an on-line scheme designed to reward quality teaching, foster scholarship in teaching and improve the external profile of a large multi-campus Australian university. The scheme rewarded high scores on student evaluations of teaching, course review and benchmarking activities, scholarship in teaching and the design of high quality teaching resources. An evaluation of the scheme highlighted the complexities involved in measuring teaching quality and the difficulties of gauging the potential for the scheme to achieve its stated aims. Nevertheless, the funds were welcomed by staff and there were indications that the scheme had impacted on teacher behaviours and was driving organisational change. There was also an increased focus on the quality of teaching and a robust dialogue about how the quality of teaching and learning can best be measured and improved.
Keywords: Organisational Change, Higher Education, Teaching Performance, Evaluation
Dr. Rosemary Kerr
Research Fellow, Office of Teaching and Learning, Curtin University of Technology
A/Prof Martijntje M. Kulski
Associate Professor, Office of Teaching and Learning, Curtin University of Technology