Manual of Policies and Procedures

C/7.1 High quality teaching

Contact Officer

Director, QUT Academy of Learning and Teaching

Approval Date


Approval Authority

University Academic Board

Date of Next Review


7.1.1 Policy principles
7.1.2 Policy outcomes
7.1.3 Approaches to high quality teaching
7.1.4 Support for high quality teaching
7.1.5 Continuous improvement of teaching
Related Documents
Modification History

7.1.1 Policy principles

QUT's vision to provide outstanding learning environments and programs that lead to excellent outcomes for graduates calls for teaching practice that demonstrates skill and knowledge in the disciplines and in tertiary pedagogy, and a learning-centred approach.

High quality teaching

  • engages all students as partners in learning in ways that develop curiosity-driven, research-proficient approaches, and maximise each individual's personal and professional development
  • influences, motivates and inspires students to learn so that they become independent lifelong learners
  • sets clear academic expectations and maintains high standards
  • draws on real-world practices so that students understand the application of knowledge
  • shows discipline expertise and a command of the field expressed through curriculum initiatives, learning resources, and technologies that reflect current research
  • capitalises on assessment and feedback as key components of learning and teaching
  • is built on effective organisation of the learning environment
  • engages individually and with peers in continuous improvement of teaching, through evaluative and reflective practices that are underpinned by the scholarship of teaching and learning
  • is underpinned by an institutional culture that recognises, values and rewards teaching excellence and fosters communities of practice that support and advance scholarly teaching.


7.1.2 Policy outcomes

This policy is designed to

  • document and promote the characteristics and obligations of high quality teaching
  • provide a framework through which the University can facilitate and support high quality teaching.


7.1.3 Approaches to high quality teaching

QUT's courses are designed to support student learning, embed real world learning pedagogies and reflect a whole of course design (C/4.1). Teaching approaches should reflect these key characteristics of curriculum design by focussing on teaching for learning, using assessment as a pedagogical strategy to support student learning, and the effective planning of learning environments. High quality teaching incorporates a leadership role which focuses on both personal learning and collaborating with peers to develop and implement innovations and improvements in teaching practice.

Teaching staff undertake various academic leadership responsibilities in the course design, curriculum development, implementation and review of learning and teaching. These are described in B/3.5.

a) Teaching for learning

To support student learning, teaching approaches need to foster active and deep learning.

High quality teaching relies on knowledge of

  • disciplinary specialisation in sufficient depth so that rather than staying with a predetermined 'script', the teacher can capitalise on opportunities to capture students' interest and extend students' understanding
  • new thinking and explorations occurring in current research in the discipline
  • the disciplinary content and skills that students need to master as learning outcomes
  • what students already know and can do (ie understanding how and where particular units fit within a whole course design)
  • the fundamentals of adult learning processes
  • the importance of student engagement in learning
  • what students are experiencing in their classes.

High quality teaching is exemplified by professional practice that

  • encourages students to find personal meaning in concepts so they build deep knowledge
  • embraces ways of communicating the importance and relevance of the content towards mastery of the field of knowledge and professional practice
  • shows clarity in communicating complex concepts and relationships
  • encompasses feedback loops that quickly alert the teacher when students have not yet grasped critical concepts or ideas
  • utilises a wide range of pedagogical strategies
  • provides positive role models for students
  • shares innovations and ideas to motivate peers to collaborate on teaching improvements
  • embodies an inspirational influence on teaching and student learning.

High quality teaching draws on human characteristics that value

  • commitment to student learning
  • the excitement of intellectual power of their discipline and what it offers students for the future
  • debate and collaboration in order to encourage positive ideas for improvement
  • curiosity about learning and teaching, so there can be systematic investigation of their students' learning and reflection on teaching
  • commitment to personal learning as teachers and enthusiasm about the opportunities provided by teaching practice.

b) Assessing for learning

Assessment serves multiple purposes. Assessment is valued as a pedagogical strategy that supports student learning, as well as being used to track individual student learning and provide data to inform judgements about how well the course is helping students master the desired learning outcomes (C/5.1).

High quality teaching demonstrates the ability to

  • design meaningful and challenging assessment tasks that are clearly aligned to learning outcomes
  • use assessment techniques that help students monitor their own learning progress and develop their own professional judgment
  • implement a range of assessment and feedback strategies to provide students with meaningful feedback on their learning progress
  • understand how particular assessment tasks and outcomes fit within a whole of course design
  • aggregate data from student assessment tasks to monitor student performance.

c) Managing for learning

Student learning is enhanced by the effective planning and organisation of learning environments, including the use of available human resources and the provision of physical and virtual resources. High quality university teaching requires a significant level of organisational and leadership capability.

High quality teaching displays expertise in

  • maintaining professional relationships with colleagues, and functioning as an effective team member
  • anticipating the practical requirements of teaching, including preparing materials and resources to ensure smooth organisation of teaching activities
  • planning a learning environment that optimally integrates physical and virtual resources to fit a diversity of student and content needs
  • making optimal use of QUT student systems to support student learning.


7.1.4 Support for high quality teaching

Teaching staff are encouraged to gain formal qualifications in teaching in higher education, and to maintain an academic teaching portfolio that includes reflections of teaching practice and changes made to practice in response to feedback. QUT provides professional development and grants for teachers across the career span, and fosters communities of practice to advance scholarly teaching (B/5.1).


7.1.5 Continuous improvement of teaching

QUT's framework for the evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience (C/4.7) emphasises the use of the evaluation framework to inform continuous improvement of learning and teaching.

QUT requires that all teaching staff develop an annual evaluation strategy for the continuous improvement of their teaching (C/4.7) and expects systematic reflection on their learning and teaching behaviours. This process of critical reflection may involve self-analysis or collegial processes and may involve different degrees of critical examination of teaching. The personal evaluation strategy informs discussions on teaching performance and leadership in PPR-AS.

High quality teaching is exemplified by

  • self assessment of current teaching performance through regular use of the University endorsed evaluation tools (C/4.7) together with additional data sources
  • appropriate analysis of data and critical reflection on the impact of current teaching approaches to achieve desired student learning outcomes
  • appropriate actions in response to feedback and reflection, to make improvements and provide feedback to students on these responses and their outcomes
  • evaluating assessment approaches to ensure they accurately assess the learning outcomes of the unit, meet the learning needs of students, and are defensible in terms of Australian academic standards
  • leadership in initiating and actively participating in professional dialogue with peers regarding teaching and learning approaches that engage learners
  • planning an appropriate personal professional development program, and
  • developing and maintaining a system for keeping a teaching portfolio of scholarly teaching activities and reflections.

Roles and responsibilities relating to analysing data and planning and monitoring appropriate actions are provided in the protocols associated with C/4.7.


Related Documents

MOPP B/3.5 Academic leadership roles in teaching and learning

MOPP B/5.1 Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence

MOPP C/4.1 Curriculum design, approval and accreditation

MOPP C/5.1 Assessment and feedback

MOPP C/4.7 Evaluation of courses, units, teaching and student experience

MOPP C/4.3 Graduate capabilities

MOPP C/4.6 Course quality assurance


Modification History

Date Sections Source Details
23.11.12 All Dean of Studies, Learning and Teaching Unit Editorial amendment to ensure alignment with policy revisions within C/4.7




Policy revised to include approved name change for Office of Teaching Quality to Learning and Teaching Unit

13.11.09 All University Academic Board New policy (replaces former C/7.1 Teaching Capabilities Framework)
14.11.08 All University Academic Board Policy renumbered to C/7.1 (formerly C/7.8)
14.11.03 All University Academic Board New policy (endorsed by Teaching and Learning Committee 09.09.2003)