Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Fostering the Quality of Teaching and Learning by Developing the "Neglected Half " of University Teachers' Competencies

Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Fostering the Quality of Teaching and Learning by Developing the "Neglected Half " of University Teachers' Competencies

Article excerpt

For too long, the quality of teaching and learning in universities has been undervalued in comparison to research. Current social, economic, ecological and other challenges require that more attention be given to measures to improve the situation. Academic staff should receive incentives, policy support and high-quality pedagogical training to develop key competencies for excellence in teaching. Examples of key competencies in this area in different countries are presented as well as some schemes of policy support and pedagogical training. The case study from the University of Ljubljana is based on experiences gathered from four groups of participants during a course on Improving University Teaching in 2013 and 2014. They gave their opinion on the relative importance of different competencies in teaching, to what extent have they developed them during the course and, finally, which activities and methods used have most contributed to their development. At the end, some measures to foster excellence in teaching at the level of policy are proposed, as well as areas for further research.

Keywords: teaching competencies in higher education, pedagogical training of academic staff, key competencies, quality of teaching and learning

Spodbujanje kakovosti poucevanja in ucenja s pomocjo razvijanja »spregledane polovice« kompetenc univerzitetnih uciteljev


Kakovost poucevanja in ucenja na univerzah je bila v primerjavi z raziskovalno dejavnostjo predolgo podcenjena. Zdajsnji izzivi na socialnem, ekonomskem in na ekoloskem podrocju ter drugih podrocjih terjajo vec pozornosti ukrepom, ki bi izboljsali situacijo. Da bi visokosolski ucitelji razvili kljucne kompetence za odlicnost poucevanja, bi morali biti delezni spodbud in politicne (sistemske) podpore pa tudi kakovostnega pedagoskega usposabljanja. Predstavljeni so nekateri primeri kljucnih kompetenc na tem podrocju pa tudi primeri politicne podpore in pedagoskega izpopolnjevanja v raznih drzavah. Studija primera z Univerze v Ljubljani sloni na izkusnjah, ki so bile pridobljene na seminarjih visokosolske didaktike s stirimi skupinami udelezencev v letih 2013 in 2014. Udelezenci so izrazili mnenje o sorazmerni pomembnosti razlicnih kompetenc v poucevanju, do koliksne mere so jih uspeli razviti na seminarju in tudi o tem, katere aktivnosti in metode so k temu najvec pripomogle. Na koncu so predlagani nekateri ukrepi na ravni visokosolske politike, ki bi spodbudili odlicnost v poucevanju pa tudi podrocja nadaljnjega raziskovanja.

Kljucne besede: kompetence poucevanja v visokosolskem izobrazevanju, pedagosko usposabljanje visokosolskih uciteljev in sodelavcev, kljucne kompetence, kakovost poucevanja in ucenja

Introduction: Increasing importance of quality in teaching in higher education

Universities have three main functions: to conduct research, to offer education, and to serve society. University teachers' career development is usually dependent heavily on the first function, i.e. the quality (and too often quantity) of research, while the quality of teaching remains undervalued and overshadowed by research achievements; teachers also enjoy a thorough training in research methodology and have numerous opportunities to perform and report research results, while competencies linked to quality teaching mostly remain "the neglected half ". The research results alone also count in official rankings of universities, such as the popular Shanghai ranking, because of the underlying, but unproven assumption that a good researcher is necessarily also a good teacher (Marentic Pozarnik, 2007). Only recently has the U-Multiranking initiative proposed to improve the situation by including broader criteria.3

The massification of studies, the increasing heterogeneity of students, rapid developments in different fields of science and technology, economic, ecological and social problems on one side and new research findings about human learning from psychology, cognitive and neuroscience on the other, as well as the globalization and internationalization of higher education: all these require that much more attention be paid to the quality of teaching and learning in universities. …

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