I am keen to gain a promotion some time in the future. I have been told that I will need to demonstrate to the promotions committee how my teaching, research and unit coordination have all impacted on my students’ learning and the university community.
I know I have made a difference to the lives of my students through my teaching because student feedback has been positive. Garnering student feedback used to be called student evaluation of teaching but we are using a different term now. We are calling student feedback ‘student experience’, which gets over a whole lot of issues to do with academic staff ‘rejection’ and norm referencing. Students have not been trained in scoring and giving feedback so it does make more sense to talk about their perspectives.
My university values research and I find it easier to demonstrate how this has made an impact. Unit coordination, on the other hand, involves a lot of operational activities and administration, which consume much of my time. However, promotional committees do not count that. I have been advised that I should emphasise the leadership aspects of my role as unit coordinator but I am unsure how. There is very little material around that defines that part of my role.
Promotions committees are favouring peer review data now, but I feel quite resistant to the idea of a colleague coming in to my classes to evaluate my teaching. I suppose I should view things differently and get used to my colleagues, or people from my professional association, giving feedback on the curriculum I have set up, or my teaching. All this change takes getting used to. However, I know that the university’s teaching and learning centre is there to support me, and the people there are easy to talk to. If I mention my concerns, they will usually attempt to do something about them.