Collecting evidence

Guides to evaluating practice and collecting evidence

The following resources provide guidance on the use of student feedback and outcomes, peer review and reflective practice to evaluate and substantiate good practice. General guides on collecting practice and evaluating performance are also listed.

Student feedback and outcomes

Alkema, A. (2011). A tertiary practitioner’s guide to collecting evidence of learner benefit. Wellington, New Zealand: Ako Aoterearoa National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.
This is a guide to collecting data that supports professional reflective practice.  Different sources of data that can be used as evidence of student learning are discussed, including; with their relative strengths and weaknesses, how to select data that is fit for purpose, collection methods and how to critique and think about the data.

Brennan, J., & Williams, R. (2004). Collecting and using student feedback; a good practice guide. York, United Kingdom: Learning and Teaching Support Network.
This guide looks at how student feedback can be used to enhance teaching and learning in higher education. The experiences of the sector are drawn upon to highlight good practice and problems associated with the collection and use of student feedback. Topics covered include; the purpose of collecting and using student feedback, choice of collection mechanisms, acting on feedback, and the dissemination of action back to students. The implications, advantages and disadvantages of different collection mechanisms are discussed, with emphasis on the most commonly used mechanisms; student questionnaires and student representation. In depth discussion is complemented by practical summaries at the end of each section and illustrative examples from different institutions.

University of New South Wales (2013). Course and Teaching Evaluation and Improvement.
This website provides explanation of how student surveys can be used to collect feedback and evidence about the quality of courses and teaching. The strategies suggested for responding to feedback and communicating the outcomes of evaluation to students are particularly useful.

Peer review

Crisp, G., Sadler, R., Krause, K-L., Buckridge, M., Wills, S., Brown, C., et al. (2009). Peer review of teaching for promotion purposes; a project to develop and implement a pilot program of external peer review of teaching at four Australian universities: Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
This report provides protocols and tools for peer observation of classroom teaching and peer assessment of written documentation (non-classroom curriculum activity). The project aim was to create a robust summative peer review process for promotion purposes, but a formative peer observation protocol is also provided for the purpose of staff familiarisation and training. Nine dimensions of educational practice representing excellence and examples of indicative evidence are identified for each peer review process.

Buckridge, M. Peer review of teaching; using peer review to improve your teaching. Good Practice Guides: Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Griffith University.
A short and simple guide to the steps involved in organising and designing peer review, a good starting resource.

Reflective practice

Ballantyne, R., Bain, J., & Packer, J. (Eds.). (1997). Reflecting on university teaching; academics’ stories [Book]. Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Canberra, Australia.
This book features reflections from teaching academics across disciplines and numerous universities. The academics featured reflect on their teaching practice, beliefs about good practice within their teaching context, and experiences with colleagues within and across disciplines. The book is a useful example of reflective practice for teachers learning to reflect on their own practice, and the teaching activities and initiatives described also demonstrate good practice. The structure of the book is designed to give readers multiple points of access so that they can explore the chapters most relevant to them. The contents page includes short descriptions of each chapter, while additional appendices arrange chapters by teaching activity, discipline or university. Subtopics of interest within chapters provide another entry point.

Bain, J., Ballantyne, R., Mills, C. and Lester, N. (2002) Reflecting on practice: Student teachers’ perspectives [Book]. Flaxton, Queensland: Post Pressed.
This book provides a framework for reflecting on teaching practice. The 5R’s framework outlines 5 steps to reflection on practice; reporting, responding, relating, reasoning and reconstructing. Although the book is not focussed on higher education, the framework is applicable to university teaching.


National Tertiary Education Union. (2005). Preparing and Presenting a Teaching Portfolio: Philosophy, Practice and Performance.
This guide covers the uses and components of a teaching portfolio and provides examples of structure and evidence that may be used to demonstrate practice and performance.

Bowie, C. Evaluation; designing evaluation for improving teaching and student learning. Good Practice Guides: Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Griffith University.
This guide provides strategies for embedding evaluation into learning processes, questions/prompts for choosing an evaluation strategy aligned with the evaluation purpose, and tips on data collection and sampling procedures.

Krause, K. Documenting evidence of good teaching practice; strategies for academic staff. Good Practice Guides: Griffith Institute for Higher Education, Griffith University.
This is a guide to collecting evidence of good teaching practice for performance review and promotion purposes. The multifaceted nature of good teaching in higher education is discussed and strategies for starting to collect evidence of practice. A good starting resource.