Teaching review and feedback strategies which have

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Teaching review and feedback strategies which have enabled staff to increase the effectiveness of their teaching without adding significantly to their workload. Processes for recognising and rewarding good teaching through the promotions system, which are perceived to be credible and effective. Teaching methods which encourage students to develop generic skills such as problem solving abilities, teamwork and lifelong learning skills. Quality management processes which have led to increased networking and application of innovative teaching methods across the University. Examples of what might be benchmarked in research Support mechanisms and conditions within the school or area which establish and maintain a research culture. Strategies which lead to greater availability of focused time for research (allowing for teaching load, consultancy, administration and other demands). Processes and support programmes for better facilitating and supporting postgraduate research. Examples of what might be benchmarked in support services Improving support, course advice, and assistance for potential students during enrolment. Providing careers advice and contacts for graduates seeking employment. Methods and programmes for staff development and support. Strategies for improving public relations and the overall image of the University. 1.3 Selecting a benchmarking project team Three to eight members is the optimal size for a benchmarking team (Bogan & English, 1994). Team members need to be experienced, competent and respected within the area which is to be benchmarked. If possible, the inclusion of an experienced benchmarker in the team may also be beneficial. Dale (1995) provides a summary of the ideal team member; the person should be involved in implementing change, have a `hands on', action orientated approach, be creative and flexible in their thinking, and be a good
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Curtin University of Technology Document for Internal Use Only Page 11 of 24 communicator and effective advocate of change. In this regard, heads of school / area may be particularly well suited to the benchmarking process. The length of time required for the benchmarking project will vary. Boxwell (1994) suggests that three months is the ideal time frame within which to conduct a benchmarking study, although this assumes that the project team will be able to devote itself to the study full time. Within the University environment this is unrealistic; team members should plan to devote approximately ten per cent of their time to the study, with this rising to twenty five per cent in peak times (Spendolini, 1992). It is also recommended that team members familiarise themselves with the benchmarking process (the appended resource readings and references, available on request from the author, may be of assistance in this regard).
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