The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is committed to providing quality teaching in an intellectual environment that is responsive to the learning needs of our students, and that respects and is inclusive of their diversity.
Achieving excellence in teaching standards is vital to the student experience at the University of Sydney and in our Faculty. Strategy Seven in The University’s Strategic Plan 2011-2015 focuses specifically on developing our capacity to identify and promulgate excellence in teaching University-wide.
Ensuring the quality of our teaching involves:
- Regularly evaluating our units of study and responding to improve the standards of our delivery where required.
- Designing our curriculum effectively and continuously improving both course structure and content.
- Providing a variety of learning contexts to meet student needs, including appropriate technology.
- Evaluating the learning outcomes of our units of study to ensure that they contribute to students attaining the University’s Graduate Attributes of scholarship, global citizenship and lifelong learning.
- Ensuring that staff have access to professional development opportunities which enable them to absorb the latest developments in pedagogy, teaching practice and applications of technology, including e-Learning.
Teaching Quality Standards Compact
Every year, the Faculty signs a Teaching Quality Standards Compact with the University as part of its commitment to provision of high-quality teaching. The Compact sets out targets for the results achieved in Unit of Study Evaluations (USEs), and the strategies proposed to achieve those targets.
USEs are surveys which gather and analyse students' responses to their learning experiences in a given unit of study. Questions cover issues such as experiences of assessment and feedback, the quality of online resources, and overall satisfaction with the content and approach of a given unit of study. The survey process also offers ample opportunity for students to comment individually and anonymously about the standard of their learning experiences. Coordinators of surveyed units now also 'Close the Loop' with students by responding online to their feedback at the conclusion of each survey.
The current Compact has been developed with reference to the Faculty's most recent USE Performance Report, which provides data on all units surveyed in 2013. Those data have not been included on this website because they contain uninterpreted information about specific units of study.
Download the 2014 FASS Teaching Quality Standards Compact.
Download the 2012/13 FASS Teaching Quality Standards Compact.
While simple numerical student experience data should not by any means be considered the sole indicator of teaching excellence, it is a central element of the Commonwealth Government’s proposed national teaching performance indicator framework, and also of TEQSA’s approach to teaching standards. As such it provides a useful starting point for monitoring and continuously improving the quality of teaching and learning provided by the Faculty. The Faculty’s USE Compact will be reviewed and renewed each year with a view to refining our responses to students’ reported learning needs, and to implementing best practice in teaching delivery methods and technologies.