What do we know of academics’ learning of teaching?

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

McCormack, CL 2013, 'What do we know of academics’ learning of teaching?', in S Frielick, N Buissink-Smith, P Wyse, J Billot, J Hallas & E Whitehead (eds), Research and Development in Higher Education: The Place of Learning and Teaching, vol. 36, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand, 1-4 July, Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Milperra, NSW, pp. 317-325. ISBN: 0908557930

Available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed



Academics in Australian universities are under increasing pressure to teach more students more effectively. To help achieve this goal, academic developers provide a wide range of programmes and support, including graduate certificate programmes, informal workshops and/or self-study modules on particular topics, and other online resources. Despite careful planning, the effectiveness of these programmes is limited by contextual factors and personal factors. Contextual factors include voluntary participation and institutional favouring of research over teaching. Personal factors include academic self-identity and conceptions of teaching. Furthermore, academics report that most learning of teaching takes place outside of the formal curriculum offered by academic developers. To ensure academics are adequately placed to undertake learning of teaching throughout their careers it is essential to understand how they learn. The nature of academic learning of teaching outlined in the literature aligns most strongly with models of self-regulated learning and a longitudinal study based on these models is proposed.