Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the UNSW Sydney's online course, Introduction to Enhancing Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Join the course to learn more.

What is enhancement of learning and teaching

The concept of quality is a complex one and can mean different things to different people. For example, students and staff may differ in how they describe what quality learning and teaching means (Houston, 2007). We look at enhancing quality at three levels: micro, meso and macro.

Assuring and enhancing the quality of learning and teaching has gained increasing prominence in recent years. Engaging in any quality assurance or enhancement process requires documenting evidence. Monitoring quality requires evidence. The focus of this course has been on gathering evidence through the processes of evaluation and reflection.

“Governments, students, industry and the broader community now expect universities to provide evidence of the quality of their activities, including teaching and its contribution to successful student outcomes” (Krause, 2012, p.235).

There are two key terms requiring a clear definition:

  • Quality assurance - refers to the maintenance and monitoring of standards related to learning and teaching
  • Quality enhancement - refers to the continuous improvement of learning and teaching, informed by robust evaluation data.

Most higher education providers will have a quality framework in place which outlines the policy (UNSW, 2016c) and procedures for both assuring and enhancing quality. An academic program review policy will outline how often a program needs to be reviewed, for example at UNSW it is every seven years (UNSW, 2016a). Reviewing courses or subjects, curriculum and even individual classes, tutorials and practicals for quality assurance and enhancement should be undertaken frequently. At a micro level, informal reviews can take place daily when an educator reflects on a class or curriculum design.

Reflection point

The concepts of quality learning and quality teaching remain contentious. What does quality learning and teaching mean to you?

Want to know more?

If you would like to more about the enhancement of learning and teaching there are additional resources listed in the Want to know more.pdf for this step.


Houston, D. (2007). Achievement and consequences of two decades of quality assurance in higher education: a personal view from the edge. Quality in Higher Education, 16, (2), 177-180.

Krause, K. (2012). A quality approach to university teaching. In L. Hunt and D. Chalmers (Eds), University teaching in focus. A learning-centred approach. Camberwell: ACER Press, pp. 235- 252.

UNSW. (2016a). Academic program review policy. Sydney: Author.

UNSW. (2016b). Academic program review procedure. Sydney: Author.

UNSW. (2016c). Learning and teaching quality policy. Sydney: Author.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Enhancing Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney