nhancing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Evaluation of a Scheme to Improve Teaching and Learning Through Action Research

July 24, 2007

This paper reports on evaluation of a scheme to improve University teaching through action research over a five-year period in the science, engineering, and technology division of a large Australian dual sector University. Between 2002 to 2006 this scheme directly committed approximately A$210,000 in grants and involved over 130 teaching and other staff in sponsoring projects of up to eight months’ duration, with a total of 34 projects completed. Evaluation was informed by the desire of the academic developers concerned with the scheme to engage more widely with staff in predominantly empirical disciplinary cultures, to be more accountable within a University business management paradigm, and to contribute to the scholarship of academic development. The paper provides evidence – in terms of quality, effectiveness, practicality, participation, and satisfaction – to show how this scheme enhanced the scholarship of teaching and learning in the University. The paper outlines issues encountered and further work to be done in undertaking evaluation of such a scheme.

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