About the framework

What is it?

The framework is a practical, flexible guide to assist universities and their academic staff to clarify what constitutes quality teaching. The framework is underpinned by carefully researched definitions and principles of quality teaching that are expressed through seven criteria. The organising principle is alignment with academic appointment and promotional levels. For each criterion the framework suggests standards of achievement that might be applied to each promotional level, cross-referenced to examples of indicative evidence that could be used to demonstrate achievement. The framework was developed with the intention that these criteria, standards and indicative evidence be adapted by individual universities to suit their own context.

Why do we need it?

While there has been substantial research undertaken on what constitutes excellent teaching in higher education there remains a lack of a commonly understood framework describing criteria and standards for university teaching. Given significant changes in the Australian higher education environment, such as an increasingly diverse student and staff population, a new regulatory and accreditation framework and the growing imperative to demonstrate quality in teaching in the international marketplace, it is timely to address this omission. The framework was developed with the intention of stimulating discussion and provoking action.

How was it developed?

Selection of the criteria and indicative standards was informed by an extensive review of the literature, scans of the Australian, New Zealand and selected US teaching criteria, and reference to the UK Higher Education Authority (HEA) Professional Standards Framework. Examples of quality teaching were then sourced and linked to the framework to demonstrate ways in which evidence can be presented. The framework underwent several drafts. Each draft was trialled and feedback informed the next iteration. A reference group, consisting of national leaders in teaching and learning, also provided critical feedback on the project and framework development.

The framework has been trialled in five Western Australian universities and selected Australian universities. Each of these Universities applied the framework to their own teaching criteria to review their institution’s evidence and expectations. A number of senior university leaders and academics across Australia and NZ have provided feedback and comments.

Where is it?

The framework can be viewed on this website in two layouts; with the indicative standards arranged by criteria or by promotional level. The framework can also be downloaded in either layout as a pdf or modifiable word (follow the above links).