Twitter chat special: Teaching excellence and the Global Teaching Excellence Award

Using #HEAchat and #GTEA2017 we recently ran a special twitter chat exploring experiences and interpretations of teaching excellence through the lens of the HEA’s new Global Teaching Excellence Award.

As the closing date for this year’s Global Teaching Excellence Award nominations approaches on 2 May 2017, we wanted to invite you to share your thoughts on what teaching excellence looks and feels like within your particular context, wherever you are in the world, and what you think the future will bring. Read the storify of the twitter chat here.

The Global Teaching Excellence Award focuses on three aspects of teaching excellence: Excellence in the leadership of teaching and learning, Excellence in teaching and Excellence in student support. Our own descriptions of each of these three domains are below:

  1. Excellence in the leadership of teaching and learning – Corporate responsibility is critical to the provision of excellence in teaching and learning. That responsibility needs to be delivered by effective strategic leadership, which articulates the vision and embeds it throughout the institution’s policies and practices, setting targets for its realisation and monitoring performance against those targets.
  2. Excellence in teaching - This is perhaps best considered in terms of students’ learning. Excellent teaching motivates and inspires students to learn, encourages them to engage actively in their learning, and fosters independent learning and critical thinking. The curriculum design, delivery and assessment reflect a command of the latest developments in the field of study.
  3. Excellence in student support - Respect and support for the development of students as individuals is key to ensuring excellence in student support. Such support embraces flexible and inclusive approaches which respect diversity, remove barriers to participation, and consider the variety of learning needs and preferences. It also includes the provision of academic, pastoral and careers advice alongside physical and digital resources to support learning.

There are now many national schemes for teaching excellence but none, as far as we're aware, that come from the sector and seek to create a global benchmark showcasing the exceptional, the inspirational and the truly innovative. Strategic, institution-wide innovation can only be fully successful if there is a meaningful commitment to rewarding and recognising the efforts and contributions of the individuals involved with teaching at every level. We therefore want to hear from you to help bring this debate to life. Our questions which were open to debate in the Twitter Chat were:

  1. What do you see as the key challenges that the HE sector will face in the next decade in regards to teaching?
  2. How do you see HE staff being supported to meet these challenges?
  3. To what extent do you feel the HE sector will prioritise teaching excellence?
  4. How do you think teaching excellence in HE is best achieved?
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