Scholarship in Teaching
By the end of 2017 universities in Australia will have created more than 800 positions for a new type of academic, the ‘Scholarly Teaching Fellow’ (STF). This project investigates the impact on teaching and learning of this ground-breaking development in the nature of academic work, and aims to build a consensus on how they may develop.
New ‘Scholarly Teaching Fellows’
The experience so far
With casualisation in the sector continuing to grow, the STF roles offer the potential for a full reassessment of the insecurity-quality nexus in Australian university teaching. The OLT project will critically assess STFs and make recommendations on how they may develop. It will investigate how best to meet required standards on scholarship, job security and quality in university teaching, while addressing university and sector priorities. We are gathering perspectives from appointed STFs, from casual and continuing academics, and from university managers and various other stakeholders.
Ensuring scholarship in teaching?
The introduction of Scholarly Teaching Fellows (STFs) is one response to dramatic changes in teaching delivery. How far can they strengthen scholarship in university teaching?
Student numbers have more than tripled 1990-2013, from 441,000 to 1.4 million in 2013
Dramatic workforce change
The number of casually employed teachers has risen 221% 1990-2013, while continuing teaching-research positions rose 43%
Student : Academic ratio
The number of students for each academic (full-time equivalent, including casual academics) has risen from 14 students per FTE academic in 1990 to 23 in 2013
Breaking the nexus
Casual academics are not paid to engage in research or scholarship. The link between teaching and disciplinary knowledge is undermined.
Scholarly Teaching Fellows
Universities have more than 800 new teaching-intensive positions, mostly continuing and some fixed-term, to replace casual positions and deepen engagement with scholarship.
Scholarship & Quality
The Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency requires all academic staff to be ‘active in scholarship that informs their teaching’. To what extent do the STFs achieve this?
Publication in NTEU Connect: 10(1), March 2017.
Workshop at the National Council of the NTEU, October 2016 by Dr James Goodman.
Broadbent: Scholarly teaching fellows (STFs) as a new category of employment in Australian universities: impacts and prospects
Presentation to the Learning & Teaching Workshop, Australian Business Deans Council, Cairns June 2016 by Dr Kaye Broadbent.
Presentation to the UTS Teaching and Learning Forum, November 2016 by Dr James Goodman.