U21 Teaching Practices Survey (TPS) Project

In the Fall of 2014, the University of British Columbia administered a campus-wide survey of Faculty teaching practices, to gain insight into changes in the way that classes are delivered over time, and to probe attitudes towards teaching and learning and institutional support for teaching and learning. In 2015, the U21 Educational Innovation cluster decided to make customized versions of the survey available to U21 institutions to generate a comparative data set.

The UBC TPS survey was customized to accommodate individual institutions’ context, course and curriculum structures and needs.   An initial eight U21 institutions took part in this study: Fudan University, Lund University, National University of Singapore, University College Dublin, University of British Columbia, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and University of Melbourne.  Following a presentation to the U21 Educational Innovation Conference in Birmingham in October 2016, several other institutions have indicated a desire to participate as well and this will be done in early 2017.  A copy of the presentation is available at http://bit.ly/2fH458S.  For purposes of the presentation, institutional names were blinded.  Most surveys were run between May and September 2016, with the exception of the University of British Columbia, whose data was collected in the fall of 2014.  Individual reports were generated for each institution, as well as an overall combined data report.

Across all institutions, a total of 2017 participants completed the survey. In the full dataset, although numbers of responses from institutions varied, responses were equally weighted. Although there were some key differences in responses from different institutions (as is to be expected), there were also many similarities indicating that many institutions share similar challenges and issues. There were clear messages in responses about the need to place equal emphasis on the value of teaching within the institution, workload as common inhibitor of further innovation and that one’s peers are often the first place to turn to for support in matters relating to teaching and learning.

Respondents were asked to indicate one word to describe the teaching environment at their own institution: the combined results are visualized below as a word cloud, where the frequency of appearance of a word is indicated by the relative size.

Analysis of the data can be found via the attachment below. 


Next steps on the project include asking members to provide a contact person at each institution to manage communication around publication/dissemination.  Institutional data is available to participating institutions upon request, with identifiable metadata removed.