The Higher Education Academy (HEA) Professional Standards Framework (PSF) underpins the ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme (EFS). In a nutshell, the framework consists of three dimensions of practice around which you will shape your application. Areas of Activity, known as As, are educational activities undertaken by university teachers and supporters of learning. Core Knowledge, known as Ks, is knowledge needed to carry out these activities. Professional Values, known as Vs, are values that all teachers and supporters of learning should embrace and exemplify when performing these activities.
Depending on the HEA Fellowship category you are applying for, you will be asked to address some or all of these As, Ks and Vs. For more information, click on Apply.
All the experience and evidence included in your application must relate to your experience in Higher Education, i.e. level 6 or above of the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Areas of Activity
The Areas of Activity, otherwise known as the “As”, constitute the educational activities undertaken by university teachers and supporters of learning. You will use them to structure your application. There are five Areas of Activity: Associate Fellows of the HEA (AFHEA) need to write to at least two of these Areas of Activity in their reflective narrative, while Fellows (FHEA), Senior Fellows (SFHEA) and Principal Fellows (PFHEA) need to write to all five.
It is rare that you can take the ideal teaching design for your teaching “off the rack”. Your students differ in many ways (undergraduate/postgraduate, year level, background knowledge, gender, culture and linguistic diversity, employment focus, etc). Perhaps your learners are actually your peers: staff or students. A1 is about the way in which you plan, develop and prepare learning activities, courses and curricula, whether face to face or in a virtual learning environment.
Educators have different approaches to learning design, based on factors such as the level at which you are teaching, the nature of your learning audience, the learning outcomes for a course or individual teaching activity. Don’t forget that your “learners” may be undergraduate, postgraduate, research students or even academics.
You may have a great deal of autonomy in the design process (e.g. as a course convenor) or you may have minimal opportunity (e.g. as a tutor). Your reflection could include discussion of the way you have designed or overhauled curriculum or individual learning activities for your learners. You could include examples of learning activities you have designed for a wider group, or even supplementary activities you have designed for individual learners who require additional support. Think about why you designed these things the way you did, what the impact was on your learners, and any lessons you learned along the way.
A1 encompasses the following aspects you could reflect on:
||Who are your learners?
|What’s your approach?
||What’s your design?
|What interactions are facilitated?
||What are you using?
Describe and reflect on the What? How? Why? And So What?
For many university educators, teaching and supporting learners is a key activity. The nature of that teaching may be very different: some teach in labs or hospitals, many teach in large or small classrooms, and some teach on the beach. Some teach hundreds while some teach one at a time. A2 is about your direct engagement and interaction with learners, whether in groups or individually, remotely or face to face. This may consist of formal, timetabled approaches or teaching contexts outside scheduled classes and more informal in nature, but nevertheless essential to student learning and taking place in a wide range of contexts. Your “teaching” activities might include a variety of things (see examples in the table below).
You need to describe and reflect on your current and ongoing use of discipline-appropriate and effective approaches and methods of teaching and supporting learning, as well as show how you are developing your skills and Core Knowledge (K1-K6, with K1 and K2 for AFHEA) and how that has helped you choose the most appropriate approach for the achievement of the learning/curriculum aims.
This is where you talk about the nuts and bolts of what you actually do as an educator. What teaching strategies do you implement? What is your teaching style? How do you structure your classes, workshops or labs? How do you support learners who need additional support and guidance?
Examples of how you may be teaching and/or supporting learning:
||Where are you teaching?
| What is your teaching activity?
|What interactions are facilitated?
||How is the teaching carried out?
Again, describe and reflect on the What? How? Why? And So What?
How do you access the work of your learners? Learning is more effective and faster when a knowledgeable person (a “teacher”) gives expert, timely feedback (“formative assessment”). In universities, assessment is also part of the certification that society requires of professionals, innovators, thinkers and leaders. A3 gives you the opportunity to reflect on why, how and when you assess and how you give useful feedback.
What kind of assessment methods do you use, and why? What is the literature that undermines these methods? How do you provide feedback to learners? What kind of feedback strategies do you use, and have these strategies evolved over time? How do you adapt your assessment and feedback to fit in with different learning styles and class structures? For example, providing feedback in a lab will likely have different requirements to providing feedback in a traditional classroom.
You need to describe and reflect on your experience of:
- the nature and importance of assessment and feedback in the context of your work with students;
- how you make informed, formative judgements about students’ work;
- how you develop and/or use assessment criteria;
- the role that assessment and feedback plays in the work you do to support learners;
- the appropriateness of the assessment approaches and feedback techniques that you use in a specific context
What was the context of your feedback?
- Submitted written work and the assignment of marks
- Annotating students’ work
- formative assessment on submitted draft project/dissertation
- Informal assessment of learning within digital literacy sessions or information skills sessions
- Feedback on CVs for students seeking work
- Feedback to students working in practical laboratory or fieldwork sessions
- Judging students’ understanding during and following library induction sessions
- Feedback to colleagues during teaching observations
- Assessment and support to students during study skills/academic literacy sessions
- Providing feedback within online resource/training packages
- Preparing students for assessment through academic support
What type of feedback did you give?
How did you give feedback?
- One to one meetings in tutorials
- Teaching sessions
- Individual appraisals, mentoring and coaching sessions
- Research interviews
- practical work
- work placements
- Reflective diaries and journals
- Observations of practice
- Formal approaches: exams, essays and tests
- Conversations and dialogue: responding to student problems and enquiries
- practical and skills tests
- Presentations and/or group work
- Live performance
- Other electronic means, e.g. podcasts
University teaching may be face to face or online, and may occur in a physical or virtual space. In every case, the learning environment is what the educator makes it. Do you do anything in particular to create an inclusive, safe and productive environment within your classroom? Do you set up the room/lecture theatre/lab in a specific way? This can also translate to online learning, and the type of learning environments you create via your wattle page, or use of social media.
A4 is about how you effectively use both formal and informal learning environments to facilitate student learning, and how you meet the needs of your learners for educational support and guidance. The examples you might use will vary greatly depending on the physical and virtual environments in which you teach or support learners, the nature of the subject or discipline and the nature of the students. You need to evidence how you:
- Design, use and manage the range of physical or virtual learning environments available to you so that they are appropriate to your learners’ needs
- Work with learners, service providers and/or teaching staff to ensure that your learners can access and use a broad range of learning and support opportunities (including health, counselling and skills services)
You need to describe, and reflect on, your rationale and experiences in developing and using learning environments. The emphasis should be on your understanding of the importance of the learning environment/s, acknowledging the different styles of learning that take place in them. You are asked to reflect on how you create effective learning environments, and how you put in place, use and fine tune strong support mechanisms, academic, practical, pastoral, personal – to enhance learning. What strategies do you implement to help students who need additional support? Your examples can be for individual students, or groups of students.
You might describe physical or virtual learning spaces, and visual, written and practice-based learning. Learning support activities might refer to learning through tutoring, one-to-one advice, counselling, developing practice to meet the learning implications of widening access, or supporting learners with disabilities etc. You might particularly want to refer to the Professional Values (Vs) in connection with this Area of Activity.
You might find yourself reflecting on some of the following:
|What is the learning space?
||What did you consider in the design of the learning environment?
|Have you changed how students use the space?
||What services do you support?
What do you do to improve yourself as a teacher? Trial and error can only get you so far as an educator! Engaging with professional development and adopting evidence-based approaches can be much more effective. A5 asks you to think about the kind of formal and informal professional development and educational research that has influenced your practice as an educator. Have you attended workshops at CLT? Workshops within your College or at other institutions? You need to be able to talk about what you learned from your Professional Development activities, and how you then applied these learnings to your teaching.
You do not need to be directly involved in research on teaching but A5 should include your experience of scholarly and/or professional activity that contributes to your teaching and support of learners. Think about how Kreber describes this kind of work:
The scholarship of teaching is the intellectual, practical and critical work done by college and university teachers; that is, aimed at pursuing significant educational goals (Kreber 2005, p. 393)
Scholarship is enacted when we engage in purposeful and critical reflection on our own teaching (Kreber 2013, p. 81)
Scholarship of teaching and learning is evidenced differently for each level of application but even an AFHEA application should include a focus on pedagogy and your subject knowledge. Think about how you find out about teaching and engage with your peers operating at a variety of levels – this might be informal dialogue, conversations and classroom experiments; action research; conferences and seminars; exchanges; or the scholarly literature. All of these activities potentially provide evidence of good scholarly practice through critique and reflection.
Even if you are an early career educator, your experience described in A5 should relate to your work as a ‘scholarly’ educator, that is, an educator who uses evidence-based practice. Explain how you use other people’s work to inform your practice for teaching or student support, and give examples of activities which have resulted in the development of your understanding and practice, such as:
- Annual personal/professional development review discussion about your teaching development;
- Participating in staff development relating to teaching and learning, generally and/or in your discipline (such as Principals or Tutoring or Demonstrating or Foundations modules, College teaching & learning events, education-related conferences in your discipline), and how you have used the learning from those opportunities;
- Studying for a degree in higher education;
- Use of academic and/or professional practice resources;
- Oservation of teaching/student support in ways that have allowed you to improve your own practice;
- Inviting observation and feedback on your own practice;
- Making use of published educational research to inform your practice.
Kreber, C. (2005). Charting a critical course on the scholarship of university teaching movement. Studies in Higher Education Vol. 30, No. 4, August 2005, pp. 389–405.
Kreber, C. (2013). Authenticity in and through teaching in higher education: The transformative potential of the scholarship of teaching. Routledge.
Core Knowledge, known as the Ks, is the knowledge you need to carry about your teaching activities. There are six components of Core Knowledge (K1 – K6) and these are to be referenced throughout your reflective narrative through annotations. Associate Fellows of the HEA (AFHEA) need to ensure they evidence K1 and K2, while Fellows (FHEA), Senior Fellows (SFHEA) and Principal Fellows (PFHEA) need to reference all six Ks.
You will find it easiest to demonstrate your understanding of Core Knowledge as you talk about your experience of different Areas of Activity. For example, when you are reflecting on designing and planning a learning activity (A1), you would probably want to refer to the importance and relevance of your subject knowledge (K1) and your use of discipline-appropriate teaching and learning methods (K2). Similarly, when you are talking about your teaching activities (A2), you would probably be referring also to your understanding of how students learn differently and specifically in different contexts (K3) and the use of appropriate learning technologies (K4).
This relates to how well you know the material you are teaching as knowledge of the subject/discipline is important to the design and planning of learning activities and programmes of study, as well as the associated teaching, assessment and feedback strategies. For those in learning support areas, think about your “subject” as the nature of the “service” you provide, e.g. study skills support, information management, learning technologies etc.
K1 is not just about knowing your discipline, but understanding that it is relevant in the context of the kind of students you teach and where the learning, teaching activities and learning support happens. To show your K1 knowledge, you are expected to demonstrate:
- an up to date knowledge of the subject area to which you teach (which often comes form your previous study and professional experienced, linked to A5 and V3); and
- an awareness of scholarship, and possibly research (if appropriate to your role) relating to the particular subject, which in turn informs the curriculum/program of study.
How can you demonstrate this?
In discussing your practice, try to show how your subject knowledge links to the teaching methods, course design and assessment/feedback approaches. This may include discipline-specific contexts related to skills such as digital literacy, employability, specific learning needs or practical skills, such as health and safety within laboratories. Examples might include:
- applying knowledge from your professional practice, postgraduate studies or research;
- your awareness and implementation of up-to-date subject knowledge;
- your contribution to the development of subject resources;
- directing staff activities and development of discipline research;
- contributing to professional body accreditation.
K2 is about the distinctive methods for teaching or supporting learning in your subject area, acknowledging that some approaches are more appropriate than others given the nature of the learning desired, the level of the material being taught and the readiness and learning stage of students. For example:
How can you demonstrate this?
What is your rationale, underpinned by scholarship, for your approach to teaching in your discipline, and how do you show evidence of its effectiveness? For example, you might explain your rationale for the use of group work in tutorials in your subject, or why demonstrations are an important element of teaching your subject. K2 is often linked to both K1 and K3, specifically concerned with the strategies and approaches used to teach or support the learning of the subject. You should also refer to the challenges encountered by different groups or types of learners and indicate how you are able to adapt accordingly. Examples of K2 might include discussion of your experiences of appropriate use of group work; lab-based teaching; workshops; or problem-based learning.
K3 is related to your knowledge of how students learn, in general and within the context of their subject/discipline. You will need to demonstrate your understanding of the characteristics of different learners (such as mature students, recent school leavers or workplace learners) and how you meet their needs through the teaching and supporting learning approaches and the learning environment.
You will also need to show how you adapt and change your practices and approaches in response to the specific characteristics of your subject (related to K1). Reference could be made to different theories of, or approaches to, learning and how you use these to develop subject-specific strategies for teaching and supporting learning (also related to K2).
How can you demonstrate this?
You need to describe, and reflect on, the characteristics and diversity of the learner cohort with whom you are involved, ideally with reference to scholarship and inclusive teaching practices so that you demonstrate a scholarly understanding of the particular theoretical models which underpin your practice.
For example, you might describe your experiences in relation to:
- using dedicated group study spaces to enhance learning;
- using simulations in your teaching;
- how increasing the level of interaction and participation in teaching sessions impacts on learning;
- your sensitivity to the varied learning styles of students.
K4 explains your knowledge and use of learning technologies. These are many and varied, and typically you are expected to go beyond describing a basic use of PowerPoint and a virtual learning environment. In many instances the use of learning technologies will be highly subject or context specific, so your rationale for using specific learning technologies needs to be clearly articulated.
How can you demonstrate this?
Your evidence for K4 should demonstrate your experience around aspects such as:
- how and why you use technologies to support learning;
- exactly how you use these technologies (including assistive technologies and/or related reasonable adjustments);
- how the needs of learners with disabilities are accommodated in light of the institution’s responsibilities;
- relevance of the technologies you use in the context of the subject or discipline;
- the impact on student learning; and
- how you have evaluated the impact on learning that occurs because you are using technologies.
Specific examples might include:
- your use of social media to support students;
- how you design and provide online tutorials;
- your use of video capture software;
- how you support online learning and information management.
You might also like to read the digital lens on the PSF.
An essential part of higher education is ensuring the effectiveness of teaching practices, so K5 is concerned with the ways you gather information about the success of your teaching, assessment and feedback in enabling students to meet the intended outcomes. Your evidence for K5 should focus on the ways you use different approaches (formal and/or informal) to gather information and data about the impact of teaching, and how this is used to enhance and develop teaching and learning support practice.
How can you demonstrate this?
You should consider the different ways you gain feedback about your teaching, both formally and informally. This will usually be from students but can also be from peers/colleagues and other sources, and can include formal evaluation processes, such as information gathered at the end of a course (SELT). There may also be examples of where you have used other sources of information to analyse and, as a consequence, change your approaches/practices. This might include:
- student performance;
- responses to student feedback;
- learning gained from peer review/observation;
- changes made on the basis of your personal reflections on practice;
- using information from external evaluation or review to critically analyse your practice and make desired changes.
Evaluation is a continuous cycle, and you should show this in your narrative, by describing how your process of reflection on practice has led to changes and enhancement. For example, you might describe evaluation based on:
- peer observation of teaching;
- using Wattle data to enhance your learning and teaching practice;
- involvement in validation, course approval, external benchmarking or professional accreditation mechanisms; or
- formalising feedback mechanisms and analysis of results.
K6 is about demonstrating awareness of the implications of providing high quality teaching. While this is possibly one of the hardest kinds of Core Knowledge to articulate, you should try to demonstrate that as a teacher or supporter of learning you do not ‘exist in a bubble’ and that you are responsible to external imperatives (for example, institutional quality assurance, professional bodies) and that you can demonstrate that you work towards improving practice in this context.
Quality assurance and quality enhancement are deeply embedded in higher education through procedures such as program (degree) and course validation, monitoring, review, benchmarking and examiner boards. These processes shape academic practice and are implicit in what you do as a teacher or in your support of learning. Critical to K6 is your awareness of formal quality assurance and quality enhancement processes and requirements, such as the need to work within institutional frameworks and professional and statutory body requirements. Foundations module F1 would be a good starting point if you don’t know much about the higher education infrastructure of Australia or ANU.
How can you demonstrate that you have this knowledge?
There are many ways in which you can do this. Keep in mind that Senior Fellow applicants are expected to know a lot more about this than Associate Fellow applicants. You should consider:
- how you are encouraged to use feedback from quality assurance and enhancement activities or processes to improve your practice and the student learning experience;
- how you seek opportunities to obtain feedback, other than relying on the institutional procedures already in place, to develop your teaching and support activities;
- how you understand and respond to the higher education regulations and the need to continually enhance the student learning experience;
- how you use national evidence frameworks (such as the Australian Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching – QILT – to understand how ANU teaching in your discipline is rated nationally.
You may also think about evidencing your personal interest in, understanding of, and commitment to quality assurance and enhancement procedures, and how these are established and embedded within your practice. This would typically include evidence of a knowledge and understanding of the quality assurance frameworks at a national level and how these are manifested (at the appropriate level and context) in your work.
Quality assurance and enhancement is implicit within the academic infrastructure and links directly to:
- A1: Design and plan learning activities and/or programmes of study.
- A2: Teach and/or support learning.
- A3: Assess and give feedback to learners.
Adherence to policy and practice in ensuring equality and transparency/fairness links to:
- V1: Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities.
- V2: Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners.
- V4: Acknowledge the wider context in which higher education operates recognising the implications for professional practice.
Some engagement with formal processes and commentary on how these have shaped practice will demonstrate that you are not merely adopting a tick box approach but show your understanding of how assurance and enhancement is applied, its impact and why it is important to the student experience and wider context.
For staff in support roles, quality assurance and quality enhancement might relate to the development of in-house quality processes relating to relevant professional practice. You might be acquiring K6 knowledge when you are involved in:
- periodic curriculum or course review teams;
- working with aligned professional bodies;
- quality assurance of learning resources to ensure they support teaching effectively;
- staff development;
- development of College/School assessment policies;
- conducting reviews for a professional body;
- sitting on validation panel(s) to provide information of how learning resources and student support contribute to the quality of the student experience;
- peer-observation to enhance teaching quality;
- obtaining feedback from external examining, moderation into practice.
Professional Values, known as the Vs, are values that all teachers and supporters of learning should embrace and exemplify when performing their teaching activities. All four levels of fellowship must evidence all four Professional Values. However, the focus of Professional Values is associated with the integrity of you as an individual educator, so how you are able to demonstrate commitment will depend on the role(s) you have.
Demonstrating your values may be somewhat more difficult to evidence than, for example, some areas of knowledge. Your EFS mentor will help you think about this.
Of course, your Professional Values (Vs) will also impact on your Core Knowledge (Ks) and your Areas of Activity (As), by shaping the activity, your understanding and knowledge.
Your work also takes place in a setting which reflects the values of the University’s mission and culture, which may shift in emphasis over time. Individuals may also place different emphases and importance on values in their professional practice.
In an application, Professional Values usually emerge most clearly in the way that you are able to describe and reflect on examples from your practice with appropriate context, rationale, and evidence of impact, such as your adoption and communication of positive attitudes and behaviours.
V1 is related to the way teaching and supporting learning incorporates activities, actions and approaches that pay due consideration to the individual needs of learners and learning communities. This is what you do to cater for a diverse range of learning styles and backgrounds, and ensure all learners feel valued.
How can you demonstrate your commitment to this Value?
You could describe experiences that show how you:
- design flexible learning activities that are accessible to all students;
- tailor delivery for specific students, for example parents with young children, non-native speakers, first year undergraduates, first -in-family students;
- develop accessible online resources for students with specific learning needs.
Learning communities may be groups of students who are campus-based, online or work-based: how have you valued and worked effectively with such diverse learning communities? For example, you could describe experiences about:
- developing accessible online resources for staff or students;
- delivering webinars for off-campus students; or
- creating video inductions, including language support, for new, off-campus or international students.
V2 is about commitment to participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners. This is what you do to ensure your learners receive equal learning opportunities, regardless of background or circumstance.
How can you demonstrate your commitment to this Value?
Evidence of this value should show how it underpins your practice, by showing that you are amenable to wide and pervasive approaches to ensuring equality of opportunity, and that you personally have experience of inclusive and accessible practice, addressing areas such as.
- admissions processes;
- induction activities;
- outreach work;
- alternative formats for different cohorts;
- digitisation of resources to increase accessibility;
- involvement in widening participation and access strategies, including gender equity;
- commitment to extended opening hours for library and IT services;
- adjusting procedures to ensure they are fair and equitable for all students;
- inclusive curriculum design;
- reviewing assessment patterns to be responsive to student needs, such as employment, family and other commitments.
V3 is about the use of evidence-informed approaches in your work as an educator and includes your ability to draw on and contribute to a range of sources of evidence and to use them to inform your teaching and learning practice.
You could use the outcomes from relevant research, scholarship and professional development to show how you make principled, informed and considered judgements that enhance practice and the learning experience. This value advocates the importance of direct involvement in enquiry (in teaching and learning) to support your own professional development and to enhance your teaching or learning support activities. V3 closely links to A5: “Engage in continuing professional development in subjects/disciplines and their pedagogy, incorporating research, scholarship and the evaluation of professional practices”.
How can you demonstrate your commitment to this Value?
Think about your activity as an educator in the same way you think about yourself as a researcher and/or evidence-based practitioner in another professional field. You might include evidence such as:
- consideration and application of the findings from the literature or local studies (your own or that of others), either related to teaching in general, or to teaching your discipline in particular;
- personal enquiry of (for example) teaching, learning, learners, the subject, the environment, support approaches, in order to enhance practice and the student learning experience;
- conducting and using your own (action) research to enhance the curriculum, for example curriculum design, the nature of the subject and the learners, and to provide a rationale for the design of the curriculum and its delivery;
- developing and/or using informed approaches to plan learning and support activities in response to relevant professional body research and resources.
V4 is about the ways in which you equip students for life after their university studies. You need to demonstrate awareness of issues that may impact on the University’s mission and/or which might have an influence on the student learning experience, curriculum design and/or personal and collective professional practice. These may arise from a wide range of influences including (but not exclusively) the higher education sector, professional associations, disciplinary bodies or networks, government or research bodies. The ways in which you equip students for life after their university studies.
How can you demonstrate your commitment to this Value?
You might want to think about including examples in your application of your personal experience with, or attention to:
- the employability agenda, the widening access and participation agenda, inclusivity and gender equity (including Science and Gender Equity Australia);
- professional body accreditation and other requirements;
- relevant government legislation (e.g. HESF(TS) 2015, AQF) and regulators (e.g. TEQSA);
- resourcing issues in learning and teaching;
- your personal, School or College responses to new institutional strategic aspirations/targets.