Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement


There are increasing pressures on lecturers to teach better and smarter and to be more efficient and effective. Improvement in teaching requires intervention at several levels. It can be argued that professional teachers in higher education need to possess a broad range of specialist teaching skills and that they should understand that teaching is about making it possible for students to learn.

Recommended Reading

  1. Small group teaching by David Jaques
    Small group discussion fulfils several important goals of higher education. It encourages students to organise their thinking by comparing ideas and interpretations with each other and to give expression to their understanding of a subject. Jaques, on this Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD) website, argues that small group teaching is immensely important as a vehicle for learning and that small group discussion has extrinsic value too.

  2. Phil Race: Assessment, learning and teaching in higher education
    Race's work is about assessment, feedback, learning and teaching in higher education. Several of the pages on his website contain downloads (often as zip files) related to these themes, which he allows others to share. In particular, you might want to look at:

    • Smarter lectures
    • Small-group teaching
    • Workshops that work
    • Making learning happen
    • Archived downloads
    • Publications

Other Useful Documents and Sites

  1. Just-in-time teaching
    Just-in-time teaching is a pedagogical strategy that integrates web-based materials with classroom instruction for an optimized in-class out-of-class learning environment.

  2. Teaching large classes
    Actively engaging students in large classes is not easy. This document, from the Schreyer institute for teaching excellence at Penn State University, signposts you to sites and resources containing strategies that will allow you to break up your lecture, assess your students' understanding, and engage them in learning.