Assessment of pedagogical competence for appointments to permanent academic posts which include teaching duties - guidance for applicants and assessors
Adopted by the Working Committee of the Senate, University of Oslo, 7 April 1989
In principle academic and pedagogical qualifications shall be assessed in the same way. Both areas require documentation and assessment by explicit criteria. These guidelines have been produced to contribute to the development of traditions for the assessment of pedagogical competence. Such assessment cannot rely on the procedures, rules and customs which are firmly established when it comes to the assessment of academic competence.
It is the applicant`s responsibility to document his or her own competence in a manner that provides the best basis for an objective, qualitative assessment. Correspondingly there is a requirement that the board of assessors shall give an explicit account of the basis of assessment, criteria and conclusions in accordance with these guidelines. However, it may be necessary to adapt these guidelines to special conditions (academic, institutional and/or organisational) prevailing in different faculties/basic units. The assessment must also be seen in relation to any special circumstances connected with the teaching in question, cf. the descriptive statement about the post.
2. What is meant by pedagogical qualifications?
Pedagogical qualifications include skill in the planning, implementation and evaluation of teaching. Such qualifications reveal themselves partly in the teacher`s "own" teaching but also in the work of providing appropriate opportunities for learning in his or her own basic unit and through support and stimulus for colleagues in their teaching work. These qualifications may also manifest themselves through research and development work concerned with matters of studies and teaching as well as in activity related to popularisation and information.
Like research, teaching cannot be assessed exclusively as a technical skill. It is also a qualification to be able to justify and reflect upon one`s own teaching habits in the light of relevant pedagogical theory and systematised experience.
3. Documentation of pedagogical qualifications
The following list of ways which may be used to document pedagogical qualifications indicates both areas for and means of documentation. It is emphasised that the list contains many points because it is intended to exemplify possible means of documentation, not because each point has to be covered. The assessment shall be undertaken on an overall basis.
3.1. Training in education
- Reference is made to point 2 of the rules with comment. In addition further courses in (university) teaching will be a qualification. Weight may also be attached to practical teacher training or comprehensive studies in education.
- Examples of documentation: Examination certificates, course certificates, course work or reports from such studies.
3.2 Teaching, examination work
The applicant`s experience of such work should be documented in respect of:
- examples of documentation: Examples of course plans, course descriptions, examination questions, etc for which the applicant has been responsible. Any in-service testimonials. Student evaluations.
- extent and nature (subject, type of institution, course, level etc.)
- form (variation and main emphasis in respect of forms of teaching and examination, supervision, distance teaching, etc.)
3.3 Planning, evaluation and development of one`s own teaching programme
- The applicant`s own work on this is to be documented both with respect to characteristic features of the way in which the work has proceeded and to the results it achieved.
- Examples of documentation: Report on experimental/development work. Examples of evaluation and how further development has taken place on the basis of such evaluation.
3.4. Teaching materials
- The documentation should be concentrated on teaching materials which have been prepared as an aid to the users`learning more than on textbooks (which are used to course books). If the applicant has a large production of course books and teaching materials, only a representative selection is to be enclosed together with a complete list.
- Examples of documentation: Course books, compendia, collections of exercises, illustrative material/models, video material, study guidelines, popular-scientific teaching materials.
3.5. Adminiastration of studies, work on reports
- Membership of boards, committees, associations, editorial groups, etc. which are concerned with studies and teaching.
- Examples of documentation: Letters of appointment, reports, recommendations, journals. Any special contribution in connection with joint work must be made explicit and if necessary documented.
3.6. Research, experimental and development work
- Participation in pedagogical research, experimental or development work and/or any contribution to the building up of joint pedagogical competence among colleagues in one`s own subject should be documented.
- Examples of documentation: Plans, reports, statements.
4. Weighting and assessment
The greatest weight should be placed upon the quality of the applicant`s teaching work in the assessment of pedagogical competence. The following factors are assessed:
It is difficult to assess the quality of the results to which the teaching has contributed, because so many factors outside the teacher`s control come into play. However, it is reasonable to assess the quality of the teaching programmes, teaching materials, study plans, evaluation measures, etc. for which the applicant has been (jointly) responsible.
- Practical teaching skill
On this point too the assessment of quality is difficult. However, the documentation the teacher provides of his or her own teaching (course plans, choice of teaching methods, design of exercises and examination questions, etc.) can be qualitatively assessed - viewed in relation to didactic theory (in the subject).
- Reflection, academic approach
It will be a clear indication of quality if the applicant documents reflection upon his or her own practice as a university teacher. Does the applicant take an investigate, experimental and critically evaluative attitude to his or her teaching tasks in the same way that one does to the subject content of the teaching in a research context? Does the applicant display insight into relevant theory and research concerning learning, teaching and education in the didactics and theory of knowledge and science of his or her own subject? Does the applicant analyse and interpret his or her own practice in relation to such theory?
A certain amount of practical experience of teaching work is of course necessary in order for one to be able to document qualifications. Long teaching experience gains increased significance when documentary evidence shows that the quality of the teaching has developed.
Some weight should be attached to breadth or variety of pedagogical experience, which may include such matters as that one
- has taught different target groups (also outside the university/college sector)
- has experience from several institutions (not least ones abroad)
- is familiar with varied teaching methods
- has taken part in different forms of pedagogical activity (e.g. supervision, administration of studies, work on reports, course activities, development of teaching materials, development work etc.) in addition to normal teaching.
Academically, teaching at a high level of study may make greater demands on qualifications, but pedagogically, there is not necessarily the same connection between level of study and qualification demands. Weight may be attached to experience of teaching at several levels in universities and colleges, and possibly of teaching in the upper secondary school as well, if it is relevant for the post to be filled.
4.5. Other factors
A number of other qualifications may also be mentioned as valuable in connection with the assessment of the applicant`s pedagogical competence:
- independence, ability to cooperate, involvement and initiative
- documentation of development (in contrast to stagnation) in one`s own work as a university teacher.