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Engineering Fundamentals


There is wide agreement that teaching quality matters in higher education, but faculty have varied ideas about the definition of quality. Faculty definitions of quality teaching were coded using an existing framework. The most common definition of teaching quality (held by 49% of participants) is associated with elitism and restricted access—the best way to improve education is to admit better students. These faculty focus on education as “knowledge transfer” and “learning content.” Another 38% of faculty had a transformational perspective, more focused on process than content, valuing “empowering students,” “developing students,” and “creating an environment for learning.” These faculty refer to pedagogies of engagement such as active learning. The only other prevalent definition of quality (30% of faculty) focused on “fitness for purpose,” characterized by terms such as “ability to meet specific legitimate learning objectives” and “mastery of learning outcomes.” This work provides guidance to faculty development efforts.


Reprinted with permission from ASQ © 2015 ASQ,

Original Publication Information

McNeil, Jacqueline C. and Matthew Ohland. "Engineering Faculty Perspectives on the Nature of Quality Teaching." 2015. Quality Approaches in Higher Education 6(2): 20-30.