It is commonplace in higher education in Australia and across many parts of the world, for universities to have institutional systems to support the use of student evaluation of teaching. UQ is no exception to this general rule, and ITaLI is the University’s central service provider for student evaluation of teaching (see their web pages here).

However student evaluation of teaching is only one part of the evidence regime that can help you evaluate your effectives as a learning facilitator. Indeed there are at least 4 sources of data that can help you evidence your effectiveness as a facilitator of student learning (Smith, 2008). The model is known as the “4Q” model for evaluating effectiveness of learning facilitation and learning environments, because it is presented in four quadrants representing respectively the four main suources of information about your teaching practices:

  1. Student learning
  2. Self-reflection
  3. Student experience and
  4. Peer feedback.



Of course, as professional teachers, or learning facilitators, we do not stay static in our practice – we change over time, as we learn more about teaching/learning facilitation, and as we reflect on our work. This is appropriate because as professionals we seek constantly to improve our practices, hone our philosophy, and become more informed about the theories that underpin teaching practice. With this in mind, it makes sense that data that evidences our effectiveness should also contribute to our on-going development through reflection, refinement, and professional development. Therefore, the use of such data should fit within an overarching framework of self-directed development.

One useful framework for visualising the process of developing teaching practice over time is Revans’ action learning model (Revans, 1980, 2011).


In the image you can see the proposed relationships between the collection of data using the 4Q model and the on-going process of continuously learning from and through action. The data inform the review/reflection on the practices, and to allow for your own self-directed learning, theory and the data together inform future plans for the enactment of teaching or learning design.

The entire sequence of data gathering, reflection and learning, and re-design, over time, evidence not just your effectiveness at a single point in time, but your commitment to, and the results of, your own self-directed professional development.


Revans, R. (1980). Action learning: new techniques for management. Blond & Briggs.

Revans, R. (2011). ABC of Action Learning. Taylor & Francis Group. HD58.82 -- .R48 2011eb

Smith, C. D. (2008). Building effectiveness in teaching through targeted evaluation and response: connecting evaluation to teaching improvement in higher education. ASSESSMENT & EVALUATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION, 33(5), 517–533.