This Spotlight A highlight of people and programs that contribute to teaching excellence at UQ
How does it fit in the Student Strategy?

Initiative 4: Staff professional development and recognition provisions

What's in it for students? Understand how UQ supports your teachers to provide the best learning possible
What's in it for staff? Enhance your professional development by participating in the many programs and opportunities available to you

UQ Tutors like Tracy Schultz (pictured) ensure their teaching is relevant and innovative by participating in professional development programs.   


UQ offers a variety of programs to encourage and facilitate staff professional development including courses from The Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation (ITaLI), ITS and the University Staff Development program. From peer observation programs to workshops on teaching technologies, these development opportunities provide UQ teachers with the tools and techniques they need to ensure continued engagement, innovation and inspiration in their courses. Read on for stories of current staff who have been involved in some of UQ’s key development programs. 

What a time to be a teacher

New-to-UQ contract law lecturer Ryan Catterwell moved cross-country to teach at UQ. What inspired him to make the move, and how did the Teaching@UQ program help him settle in? Read on to find out.

The Teaching@UQ program provides academics new to teaching at UQ an orientation and induction to the Teaching and Learning culture of the University. Listen to participants testimonials here.

To be or not to be a UQ Tutor

Tracy Schultz was nervous about becoming a tutor until she completed the Tutors@UQ program. Find out how she overcame her fear of public speaking to create engaging classrooms here.

Tutors@UQ is a University-wide program for new tutors and casual academic sessional staff, which focuses on introducing tutors to the teaching and learning environment at UQ.

Making learning meaningful in music and beyond

As a musician and artist, Dr Eve Klein is passionate about empowering students to make meaningful learning connections in music technology. Her ITaLI Teaching Fellowship aims to find new opportunities for meaningful learning and knowledge transfer across disciplines in the Arts. Listen on to hear more.

UQ’s Teaching Fellowship Scheme promotes excellence in teaching and learning through supporting innovative, relatively short-term projects that will improve teaching and learning practices both within the recipient’s Faculty, School or discipline and more widely across the institution.

A journey to excellence in teaching

The move from graduate tutor to lecturer presented a range of challenges in Dr Greg Birkett’s teaching journey. Now, he is recognised as one of UQ’s teaching leaders and coordinates large group courses. How did he improve his teaching along the way? As a participant in the Open Course Scheme you can visit one of his lectures to see him in action, or listen in for his story here.

The Open Course Scheme (OCS) is a way to encourage more people to see and share the excellent teaching happening at UQ through peer observation. A selection of UQ courses from recognised teaching leaders are made "open" each semester. UQ staff are invited to observe classes that are part of these courses.

The College of Peer Observers is comprised of academics who have been recognised for their expertise in teaching and have contributed to enhancing teaching and learning at UQ. Members of the College commit to engaging in observations of teaching during the academic year to develop and enhance the processes of peer observation at UQ.

Looking for an easy way to engage in Peer Observation with a colleague?  Through her 2016 ITaLI Teaching Fellowship Dr Michaela Kelly has created Partnerships in Virtual Observation of Teaching and Learning (PIVOTAL), a flexible process of peer observation of teaching particularly suited to small group teaching in clinical and case-based learning settings.


Testimonials from Open Course Scheme teachers

I believe the Open Course Scheme provides a unique opportunity for the university’s academics to share their teaching and learning experiences with each other so that they can identify opportunities to enhance their teaching strategies and foster students’ engagement and learning. - Dr Saiied Aminossadati

To me, The Open Course Scheme addresses a well-known barrier to improving the quality of Teaching and Learning, best described as “lack of visible examples”. Being able to witness your peers in action, engaging their students in learning, elicits more than just the intellect that might be engaged through reading a book or even watching a video. Knowing that someone is coming to witness my teaching also encourages me to reflect on my role as a mentor and leader motivating me to consider opportunities for improvements. - Associate Professor Carl Reidsema

I see the Open Course Scheme as being a great way for UQ academics to share innovative ways of conveying information and sparking student interest.  Because a variety of disciplines are involved in the Scheme, staff have the chance to see how different types of course content can be conveyed in an interesting and engaging way.  The Open Course Scheme gives staff the opportunity to reflect upon their own teaching style and to incorporate some of the different approaches they have encountered through the Scheme into their own teaching. - Dr Glenys McGowan

By allowing my teaching to be viewed by others the Open Course Scheme has enabled me to obtain feedback on what works and what does not work from different perspectives. These perspectives have forced me to think about how I present materials and run activities with my class and have been fundamental in enabling change. - Professor Stuart Phinn

Supporting teachers for international accreditation

Higher Education Academy Fellowship Scheme (Pilot)

As part of the Student Strategy goal to reward and recognise excellent teaching and enhance professional learning (goal 3) ITaLI has supported a pilot accreditation process for academics interested in a Fellowship qualification with the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

The HEA Fellowship scheme is a professional recognition scheme for university educators that allows their teaching portfolio to be formally peer reviewed against external benchmarks by internationally accredited assessors. The HEA Fellowship is gaining recognition globally as it provides an international benchmark for teaching quality. It provides comprehensive professional development opportunities for continued reward, recognition and career progression. Associate Professor Tim McIntyre participated in the pilot. Read about his experience here.

Pilot participants, including Associate Professor Tim McIntyre, were awarded Fellowships in July 2017. See the full list of Fellows, and read the news story here.

Teaching excellence on show

If you’re looking for more teaching inspiration, take a look at past winners of the UQ Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards.

Say thanks to a great teacher

Ever wanted a way to informally acknowledge your teacher or colleague? ITaLI has established a simple way for students and staff to acknowledge great teachers and tutors through a button on their website.

The Acknowledge a Great Teacher button is aimed at providing a quick, easy, anonymous (if desired) way for people to acknowledge and support great UQ teachers and tutors.

It’s just another way UQ is building a supportive teaching and learning community for all UQ teachers.

Get involved

For Students

  • If you’re interested in becoming a tutor, contact your School administration directly.

For Staff

  • Check the University Staff Development Program for professional development opportunities in teaching and learning here
  • Participate in peer observation through the Open Course Scheme -  you can sign up for lectures here