Spheres of impact

The framework is structured around four progressive levels of teaching achievement, from the threshold for acceptable university teaching – an effective teacher – through to an individual with influence and impact on an international stage – a national and/or global leader in teaching and learning. Each can be characterised in terms of the academic's sphere of impact in teaching and learning, which expands as they progress through each level.
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Cumulative 'spheres of impact' for each level of the Framework
  • 1. Effective teacher
    The primary sphere of impact for the effective teacher is the students they teach and tutor.
  • 2. Skilled and collegial teacher
    The sphere of impact of the skilled and collegial teacher encompasses their academic colleagues (as well as their impact on students).
  • 3a. Institutional leader in teaching and learning
    The sphere of impact of the institutional leader in teaching and learning encompasses the educational environment at their school/university (as well as their impact on academics peers and students);
  • 3b. Scholarly teacher
    The sphere of impact of the scholarly teacher encompasses ‘educational knowledge’, including the national and global pedagogical community within their disciplinary area and/or specific pedagogical fields of interest (as well as their impact on academic peers and students).
  • 4. National/global leader in teaching and learning
    The sphere of impact of the national/global leader in teaching and learning encompasses the national/global education community (as well as relevant spheres from the levels below)
Further information
Further information is provided about the framework structure and the evidence that guided its design, such as best practice from universities across the world.
Mapping to university grades
Information and examples are provided about how a university might map the framework grades onto their academic grade profiles.
Case study example
Outlined below is an illustrative example of how the framework might be used in practice, by mapping the levels, promotion criteria and evidence sources onto an existing promotion case, taken from the Uniervsity of Queensland.
Dr Greg Birkett, University of Queensland, Australia
In 2014, Dr Greg Birkett was promoted to a Senior Lectureship on the basis of a balanced portfolio, built around his contributions to research, in the field of molecular modelling and surface chemistry, and to education. He successfully demonstrated his educational contribution in two key domains:
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  • a high quality and evidence-informed approach to teaching that demonstrated clear improvements in approach over time and yielded positive student learning outcomes
  • leadership and legacy at School level in driving curricular reform, improving student engagement and providing educational support and mentorship to academic staff
The information and evidence included in Dr Birkett’s promotion application have been mapped onto the framework structure, and are outlined below:
  • Level of achievement: Dr Birkett’s institutional contribution to education, supported by the quality of his teaching delivery, indicates that his achievements correspond to the ‘institutional leader in teaching and learning’ level defined in the framework.
  • Promotion criteria: Dr Birkett appears to fulfil most criteria for ‘institutional leader in teaching and learning’, particularly those relating to educational and cultural change.
  • Evidence: The evidence included in Dr Birkett’s promotion case can be mapped onto four evidence domains in the framework – with his direct impact on students and his educational leadership considered as two separate themes. He particularly underlined the role played by the Head of School’s reference in his promotion case: “when it comes to teaching, there are so many things that are not easy to measure …but the Head of School is in a position to recognise the difference I have made”.
It should be noted that, although Dr Birkett held the position of Chair of the School’s Teaching and Learning Committee, his promotion case was based upon his impact rather than his managerial responsibilities. As he observed, “the promotion was not about meeting a ‘service’ requirement [by chairing the committee], it was about what I did. It is the change that should be recognised, not the position”.
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