This review of literature on Quality Teaching aims to provide a theoretical background to the OECD-IMHE project on the quality of teaching in higher education. It highlights the main debates on the topic to date, hoping to present the different perspectives that exist on the topic of quality in teaching. The review of the literature is organized in three main parts as to address three major questions: 1) “What is Quality Teaching and why is it important in higher education?”Principals’ Perception
“How can teaching concretely be enhanced?” “How can one make sure Quality Teaching initiatives are effective?” 2. Quality teaching has become an issue of importance as the landscape of higher education has been facing continuous changes: increased international competition, increasing social and geographical diversity of the student body, increasing demands of value for money, introduction of information technologies, etc.
3. But quality teaching lacks a clear definition, because quality can be regarded as an outcome or a property, or even a process, and because conceptions of teaching quality happen to be stakeholder relative. The impact of research, of the “scholarship of teaching” and of learning communities on teaching quality is discussed here.
Quality teaching initiatives are very diverse both in nature and in function. The role of the professors, of the department, of the central university and of the state is analyzed, as well as the goals and the scope of these initiatives.Principals’ Perception
Choosing reliable and quantifiable indicators to assess the quality of one’s teaching and the efficiency of teaching initiatives remains challenging. Various methods and their efficiency are discussed here. The factors that determine whether appropriate use is made of the feedback provided are also brought into discussion.Principals’ Perception
Quality Teaching lacks of clear definitions and to some extent can’t be disconnected from debates on Quality or Quality culture in higher education that remain controversial terms. Some scholars regard quality primarily as an outcome, others as a property. Some consider teaching as the never ending process of reduction of defects and so Quality Teaching can never be totally grasped and appraised. In fact, conceptions of quality teaching happen to be stakeholder relative: students, teachers or evaluation agencies do not share the definition of what “good” teaching or “good” teachers is.Principals’ Perception
. The literature stresses that “good teachers” have empathy for students, they are generally experienced teachers and most of all they are organized and expressive. “Excellent teachers” are those who have passions: passions for learning, for their field, for teaching and for their students. But research also demonstrates that “good teaching” depends on what is being taught and on other situational factors.Principals’ Perception
. Research points out that quality teaching is necessarily student-centred; its aim is most and for all student learning.Principals’ Perception Thus, attention should be given not simply to the teacher’s pedagogical skills, but also to the learning environment that must address the students’ personal needs: students should know why they are working, should be able to relate to other students and to receive help if needed. Adequate support to staff and students (financial support, social and academic support, support to minority students, counseling services, etc) also improves learning outcomes. Learning communities – groups of students and/or teachers who learn collaboratively and build knowledge through intellectual interaction – are judged to enhance student learning by increasing students’ and teachers’ satisfaction.