Assessment of teaching qualifications in academic hiring: competence vs. experience

Camilla Østerberg Rump, Frederik Voetmann Christiansen, Nana Quistgaard, Sofie Kobayashi

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


Teaching portfolios are increasingly used in promotion and hiring in universities (Christiansen, Damlund, & Jacobsen, 2014). However, there are few studies of how these portfolios are assessed and used in the hiring process (Meizlish & Kaplan, 2008; Tigelaar, Dolmans, Wolfhagen, & van der Vleuten, 2005). The purpose of this study is to identify assessment practices at a research-intensive university in Northern Europe. We investigate how the applicants’ teaching portfolio is used in the in the assessment and what criteria are used by the assessors. The study is based on interviews with nine chairs of assessment committees across all faculties at the university. The concepts of ‘teaching and learning regimes’ (Trowler & Cooper, 2002) and ‘boundary objects’ (Star & Griesemer, 1989) form the theoretical basis of the study. The results indicate that the assessment of teaching qualifications is norm based rather than criterion based, but that the norms are not that different across disciplines. In addition, the respondents feel confident in their own ability to assess teaching experience, but much less so when assessing teaching competence, i.e. the applicant’s ability to teach effectively. This indicates that there is a potential issue with both validity (competence is not sufficiently assessed) and reliability (variation in norms) of the assessments. The respondents experience a trend of development, which points to increased focus on teaching qualifications, both by the management, the applicants and the assessors. In some cases, the assessors experience that the management focus exclusively on research merits and potential for attracting external funding. In order to remedy the issues of validity and reliability, we have offered a number of 4-hour workshops in which the participants assess a case sample of a teaching portfolio. A professional standard for teaching, called the ‘Competence Profile’, has been developed and provides a set of criteria for assessment of teaching competence. The workshop participants report that they find the Competence Profile very helpful for the assessment. In the paper, we will discuss the issues of validity and reliability in light of the use of the competence profile and an analysis of the assessments done by the participants.
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2018
BegivenhedEARLI SIG 04 Higher Education Biannual Conference - Universität Gießen, Gießen, Tyskland
Varighed: 29 jul. 201831 aug. 2018


KonferenceEARLI SIG 04 Higher Education Biannual Conference
LokationUniversität Gießen


  • Uddannelse, professioner og erhverv