Learning and teaching from the edge to centre stage: Critical factors in embedding sustainable university-wide engagement in external awards and grants funding initiatives

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Research and Development in Higher Education Vol. 34: Higher Education on the Edge

July, 2011, 394 pages
Published by
K. Krause, M. Buckridge, C. Grimmer, & S. Purbrick-Illek
0 908557 85 X

Teaching awards, grants and fellowships are strategies used to recognise outstanding contributions to learning and teaching, encourage innovation, and to shift learning and teaching from the edge to centre stage. Examples range from school, faculty and institutional award and grant schemes to national schemes such as those offered by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the United States, and the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning in higher education in the United Kingdom.

The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has experienced outstanding success in all areas of the ALTC funding since the inception of the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in 2004. This paper reports on a study of the critical factors that have enabled sustainable and resilient institutional engagement with ALTC programs. As a lens for examining the QUT environment and practices, the study draws upon the five conditions of the framework for effective dissemination of innovation developed by Southwell, Gannaway, Orrell, Chalmers and Abraham (2005, 2010):

1. Effective, multi-level leadership and management
2. Climate of readiness for change
3. Availability of resources
4. Comprehensive systems in institutions and funding bodies 5. Funding design

The discussion on the critical factors and practical and strategic lessons learnt for successful university-wide engagement offer insights for university leaders and staff who are responsible for learning and teaching award, grant and associated internal and external funding schemes.

Keywords: education reform, learning and teaching, funding