Inside the MNTF Special Interest Group – Crafting a Culture for Teaching Excellence

Earle Abrahamson, Duncan Cross

At the heart of ISSoTL, there lies a unique space populated by special interest groups. One such group is the Multinational Teaching Fellows (MNTF). This group was established to support and engage award winning teachers with conversations and debates around defining and recognising teaching excellence. The group has evolved into an inclusive community of practice focussing on supporting aspiring academics by sharing experiences and journeys. Through the group, members have enjoyed contributing towards conference abstract submissions including panels that are tasked with discerning the structures for, and definitions of, teaching excellence. The group tackles questions relating to complex, and often alien landscapes that position teaching excellence within a learning framework:

  1. What is excellence in teaching and learning? Can this be defined on an individual and national level?
  2. What metrics are useful in measuring teaching excellence?
  3. Is excellence a process (the journey) or simply a measure of the product?
  4. What is the role and responsibility of the teaching fellow in following the journey of excellence?
  5. When we reach the summit of excellence, does the landscape change and how best do we individually, and collectively stay there?
  6. Should excellence be recognised, or is it part of the work we are expected to do? (Awards vs Rewards)
  7. What role should teaching and learning organisations and interest groups play in moving the journey of excellence closer to the summit?
  8. What support do academics need on their journey towards sustained excellence?

Following the last ISSoTL conference in 2017, it was important to develop and sustain a renewed interest in teaching excellence across multinational territories and institutions. To this end, the group co-ordinators convened a SoTLVision network to share ideas and engage wider communities of practice with current thoughts, debates and scholarly outputs in SoTL. This poster identifies the work of the MNTF group by signposting projects, sharing philosophies for practice, and illustrating the architecture for a sustained culture of excellence.

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