UTL40180 Becoming a Better University Teacher

Academic Year 2023/2024

The aim of this module is to enable those in an academic role to reflect, review and analyse their teaching, learning and assessment strategies within the classroom and beyond. Participants will deconstruct their current practice, appraise appropriate methodologies and explore theoretical concepts with a view to developing future inclusive educational interventions. At its core this module provides developmental opportunities in teaching, assessing, session planning and teacher evaluation skills, it enables the participant to adapt, design and create; to review, amend and develop their teaching practice. The opportunity to do a digital badge in universal design for learning is embedded into this module.

The core aim is to facilitate this approach by creating a practice portfolio, enabling the participant to document their continuing professional development.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Having successfully completed this module, you will have demonstrated the ability to:
1. Develop a teaching philosophy that is informed by current research and educational theory.
2. Undertake a peer observation and critically appraise ones’ own teaching practice.
3. Analyse a range of appropriate teaching materials and methods that prompt critical and creative thinking.
4. Demonstrate an ability to promote inclusive teaching strategies informed by an understanding of students’ diverse learning needs.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and practices
6. Articulate a clear alignment between learning outcomes, teaching methods and assessment regimes of a module or other coherent set of learning activities.
7. Create a fledgling teaching practice portfolio integrating relevant materials to demonstrate and support your teaching and learning approaches.

Indicative Module Content:

The first session will place an emphasis on appraising one’s teaching practice, with a focus on the role of Academic Reflective Practice (Evidence arising including: Teaching Philosophies/statements, Teaching Portfolio structure).
The second session will focus on the practice of peer observation. Investigating teaching approaches/methodologies (Evidence arising including: Peer observations, action research, session and activity designs etc.) and Universal Design for Learning principles.
The third session will place an emphasis on the practicalities of teaching and assessment practice. Looking to aligning your teaching, learning and assessment practice (Evidence arising including student centred assessment and feedback strategies, Student Evaluations etc.).
A group tutorial session will run for one-to-one and small group portfolio development support.
The forth session will focus on undertaking a review of the scholarship of teaching and learning in relation to ones own portfolio development. Emphasis may be placed on the nature of critical commentaries and the literature to support these. (Evidence arising including: critical commentaries, literature reviews, etc.)
The fifth session will provide an opportunity to share in-progress portfolio work and continued peer review opportunities.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
There are four core elements one must accommodate in undertaking the Becoming a Better University Teacher Module.
1. Autonomous engagement – primarily self directed action research
2. Collaborative engagement – working collectively with peers in session and online
3. Utilising online resources and activities – developing strategies for the portfolio
4. Application to professional practice – authentic assignment/s
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Portfolio: Candidates will undertake an observation, compile evidence of teaching practice, reflect on Universal Design for Learning principles and produce critical reflective commentaries. Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

There will be a series of in session activities to discuss and review with peers and faculty - these shall lead to online formative submissions that may elicit additional feedback and guidance to the individual and/or group. There will be an opportunity to review and gather feedback on the final assignment prior to submission.

Name Role
Dr Sheena Hyland Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Geraldine O'Neill Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Leigh Wolf Lecturer / Co-Lecturer