Bylaws and Policies

Political Policy Quality Instruction

Expires: April 30, 2023

1 Facts

  1. The University of Alberta is a publicly funded research and teaching-intensive institution. One of its core academic mission values “excellence in teaching, research, and creative activity that enriches learning experiences, advances knowledge, inspires engaged citizenship, and promotes the public good”.
  2. Quality in undergraduate instruction affects every student on campus and provides them with a positive, safe, memorable, and learning-rich experience throughout their degree.
  3. Students pay high tuition and in turn, expect that they are receiving high-quality education and instruction while in their undergraduate degree.
    1. Students also expect that they are being taught by quality, well educated instructors
    2. Students often pay high costs for educational materials that do not always reflect the quality of these materials.
  4. Outstanding instruction in undergraduate education reflects positively on the University.
  5. Excellence in instruction requires effective and clear communication and interaction between students and instructors.
  6. Student feedback and evaluation of instruction provides students with a voice in their learning environment and can aid instructors to improve their teaching.
  7. Smaller class sizes, with more accessibility to an instructor, are proven to increase the quality of instruction.
  8. Quality instruction prepares students with transferable skills well-suited for the workforce and continuing educational endeavours.
    1. When asked for student responses to an agree/disagree question on a 0-100 slider scale: “I feel like my experience at U of A is preparing me to find a good job.” The average rating on that scale was 58.5[1].
  9. Academic faculty members need access to high-quality, progressive professional development coupled with supporting policies relating to teaching and learning.
  10. Establishing a culture that promotes excellence in teaching requires institutional commitment, investment and innovation, including support for the scholarship of teaching and learning.

2 Resolutions

  1. The Students' Union will advocate for continued and growing institutional commitment towards excellence in instruction, including support for innovative teaching pedagogies and for the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  2. The Students’ Union will advocate for the continuous modernization of our curriculums to adapt to the dynamic changes in research and knowledge. This will further enhance student learning and incentivize instructors to adopt innovative and effective teaching strategies, such as open educational resources.
  3. The Studentsʼ Union will advocate for conditions that promote the importance of high quality teaching at an institutional level across our diverse campuses.
  4. The Studentsʼ Union will advocate for the support of experiential and co-curricular learning integration with instruction.
  5. The Students’ Union will advocate that the University recognizes the importance of professional development in an instructor’s performance evaluation in Faculty Evaluation Committees.
  6. The Students’ Union will advocate that instructors be required to present evidence of their current and past teaching professional development experience as part of their annual review.
  7. The Students’ Union will advocate for increased and ongoing communication between students and professors through mid-semester teaching evaluations such as URSIs
  8. The Students’ Union will advocate that the University of Alberta broaden the scope of teaching evaluations, in line with the Institutional priorities of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).
  9. The Students’ Union will advocate for the sustainability and accessibility of the Universal Student Rating of Instructors (USRI’s) database.
  10. The Students’ Union will advocate for a clear and student friendly mechanism in French and English to report an instructor who fails to meet the standards of quality instruction.
  11. The Students’ Union will advocate that all new instructors will be required to take a mandatory course on developing their teaching through the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
  12. The Students’ Union will advocate that instructors with low USRI ratings will utilize the available resources through the Centre for Teaching and Learning to continue to develop their teaching techniques[2]
  1. Perceived Career Value of a University of Alberta Education
  2. Effective Teaching and Learning: A Framework for Multifaceted Assessment, Council on Student Affairs, January 30, 2020 Meeting Minutes