How the institutional environment affects collegial exchange about teaching at German research universities: findings from a nationwide survey

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the institutional environment and collegial exchange about teaching at German research universities. With the help of a nationwide survey that targeted full professors, which was conducted 2016–17, seven hypotheses were tested via regression analysis. Our findings show that professors significantly report a more vivid collegial exchange about teaching practices in the presence of a culture where colleagues hold teaching in relatively high esteem and students actively provide constructive feedback. The university-wide governance of academic teaching also matters: the perceived number of occasions where teaching is explicitly valued by the rectorate, the perception of how teaching is valued by the head of departments, and the perceived number of didactic support measures positively affect collegial dialogue about teaching. In contrast, we found no effect for the general perception of how teaching is valued by the rectorate, or for the number of perceived structural incentives.

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Correspondence to Sabine Lauer.

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Lauer, S., Wilkesmann, U. How the institutional environment affects collegial exchange about teaching at German research universities: findings from a nationwide survey. Tert Educ Manag 25, 131–144 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11233-019-09020-5

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Keywords

  • Higher education governance
  • Academic teaching
  • Supportive teaching culture
  • Informal communication