1. Explanatory Statement (1/1)


Developing Excellence in Learning and Teaching through a Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme

Thank you for volunteering to complete this survey for the program Developing Excellence in Learning and Teaching through a Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme. My name is Associate Professor Angela Carbone and I am the Director, Education Excellence in the Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at Monash University. I have recently received funding from the Office for Learning and Teaching (Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education) to extend the implementation of a Peer Assisted Teaching Scheme (PATS) across the Australian higher education sector. Your contribution to this project will consist of your completion of the following anonymous online survey.

Why were you chosen for this research?
You have volunteered to participate in this program in response to a request for information sent via various networks across the Australian higher education sector. We welcome your completion of this anonymous online survey to gather your perspective on the current forms of support offered to teachers in Australian higher education. You may indicate your willingness to participate by completing the following survey.

The aim/purpose of the research
The PATS itself aims to equip academics with skills and strategies to reinvigorate their units. Academics within a faculty are partnered together and follow an informal process to discuss strategies to improve unit quality and develop educational innovations. This particular project aims to extend the implementation of PATS at additional institutions across the Australian higher education sector. In doing so, it builds on two previous projects, including an initial 2010 ALTC Teaching Fellowship trial of PATS at Monash in 2010-2011, as well as a 2012 CADAD-funded trial of PATS at four additional institutions around Australia.

Possible benefits
The possible benefits from this scheme include:
- A consistent and sustainable cross-university strategy/policy to assist academics to reinvigorate their units;
- A trial of PATS resources for use in the higher education sector, and development of improved resources;
- List of barriers, goals and strategies for unit improvement and for wider distribution of reporting and publications;
- Leadership skills development for outstanding teachers involved as mentors in the scheme;
- Identification of perceived challenges and opportunities for the development of PATS as a mechanism to improve quality of teaching in higher education;
- Reinvigorated teaching practice and student experience and improved unit and course evaluations;
- Dissemination of good practice within the higher education sector, through wide distribution of reporting and publications.

What does the research involve?
The study involves extending a model already piloted at Monash University, which has helped academics reinvigorate their units and has led to improvements in unit evaluations. One aspect of the research component of the project involves gathering data from across the Australian higher education sector concerning the current forms of support offered to teachers in Australian higher education. This data collection will take the form of an anonymous online survey. In addition, the project will gather similar data from PATS participants, evaluate the impact of the PATS and test its validity at an institutional level through the use of online surveys, focus group interviews and analysis of participants’ workbooks. Participation in each data collection activity is voluntary.

How much time will the research take?
The time involved in collecting research data will be:
- Online survey (approximately 10 minutes)

Any potential level of inconvenience and/or discomfort to the participant will be kept to a minimum. There are no reasonably foreseeable risks of harm or side-effects to the potential participants.

Can I withdraw from the research?
Being in this study is voluntary and you are under no obligation to consent to participate. However, if you do consent to participate, you may withdraw from participation at any stage but you will only be able to withdraw data from the survey prior to submitting your responses.

Online survey responses will be collected anonymously. Any potentially identifiable data gathered from the survey will be deidentified and reported anonymously at the aggregate level only.

Storage of data
Data collected will be stored in accordance with Monash University regulations, kept on University premises, in a locked filing cabinet for 5 years. A report of the study may be submitted for publication, but individual participants will not be identifiable in such a report.

Use of data for other purposes
Please note that data may be used for other purposes, but it will be kept anonymous. Nobody will be named or identified in any way.

If you would like to be informed of the aggregate research findings, please contact Joanne Rae: joanne.rae@monash.edu. The findings are accessible for 5 years.

If you would like to contact the researchers about any aspect of this study, please contact the Chief Investigator:
A/Professor Angela Carbone (PhD)
Director, Education Excellence
Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching)
Building C Rm C3.01
Monash University, Caulfield Campus, VIC 3145
T: +61 3 9903 4481
M: 0407 886 791
E: angela.carbone@monash.edu

If you have a complaint concerning the manner in which this research CF124022 - 2012001937 is being conducted, please contact:
Executive Officer
Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (MUHREC)
Building 3e Room 111
Research Office
Monash University VIC 3800
T: +61 3 9905 2052
F: +61 3 9905 3831
E: muhrec@monash.edu

Thank you.

A/Professor Angela Carbone