Challenges to ensuring teaching quality in higher education give ongoing impetus to invest in teaching quality improvement. While a significant body of literature has recognised challenges faced by academics seeking to improve teaching practices, processes for developing constructive responses to identified barriers have attracted less attention. A synthesis of literature on barriers to improvement of teaching is presented and used as a framework to assist an identification of barriers. This article reports on a national Australian trial of a collegial quality development process aimed at supporting academics to both identify and surmount barriers to improving teaching quality. Evidence of the nature and extent of barriers to improving teaching was collated from data provided by 28 academics across five Australian universities. Adopting a thematic analysis approach, a broad range of perceived barriers were identified, largely consistent with barrier categories defined in the extant literature internationally. Findings reveal that, with the support of peers, participants were able to implement effective solutions to their identified barriers to improving teaching quality. This article provides a synthesis of current barriers to improve teaching and offers a collegial quality development process as a strategy to overcome these barriers.
- peer assisted teaching scheme
- professional development
- quality teaching
- teaching enhancement