There are four categories of resources here for the use of lecturers and other teaching staff.

Information about teaching at Oxford

To inform lecturers and others who teach in the university about aspects of Oxford's unique teaching context.

Self development as an academic

The advice in this section is intended to assist you from when you take up a new post at Oxford and throughout your academic career. What does Oxford have to offer to help you develop your own potential and achieve your goals? How can your achievements be rewarded?

Idea papers - overviews of educational literature

We hope to prompt you to look at learning and teaching in a new way, or to understand differently what you may have taken for granted until now. Many of these materials have been specially written for our web site.

The six papers on student learning refer to each other where appropriate. It is recommended that you look first at Higher education and higher learning, because it acts as a preface to all of the others. For those unfamiliar with the Oxford tutorial system, the sixth paper, Tutorial teaching, supplies an introduction to its key features and this paper may be understood independently of the others.

  • Higher education and higher learning (20kb)
    "[Higher education] educates the intellect to reason well in all matters, to reach out towards truth, and to grasp it". (J. H. Newman) The role of the university teacher is not only to lead students to information, but to stimulate, to guide, to inspire, and importantly to model the process of imaginative reconstruction.
  • Student approaches to learning (42kb)
    In 1976 Ference Marton published an influential paper introducing the idea that university students could adopt either a "deep" or "surface" approach to learning when they undertook an academic task. We supply a brief account of the idea of deep and surface approaches to learning, look at some of the common misunderstandings that arise, and countenance some common criticism.
  • Student conceptions of learning (39kb)
    One of the factors underlying students' approaches to academic work appears to be students' conception of what learning is. Change the conception, it is argued, and the approach will change too. So what are these conceptions? We discuss Roger Säljö's account of student conceptions of learning in this paper.
  • Intellectual and ethical development in the college years (33kb)
    More than half a century ago, William Perry began conducting a seminal study of Harvard students' learning. What emerged from his longitudinal project was a sophisticated and compelling account of student intellectual development.
  • Research informed teaching (54kb)
    We draw out the implications of the educational research examined in earlier papers, together with examples from the teaching practice of Oxford academics.
  • Tutorial teaching (30kb)
    "At Oxford in my youth the Senior Tutor's formula in reporting on my work to the Head of the College would never be: "Mr. Moore is being taught by Dr. X." It would be: "Mr. Moore is reading this part of his subject with Dr. X." I have come to see that two worlds lie within these expressions.

Student understanding of assessment standards (34kb)
In this paper, Professor Graham Gibbs gives an overview of his research arguing for the value of the regular formative assessment that is part of the Oxford tutorial. He presents an account of the value of involving students in assessing their own and each other's work.

Editing as tutor-, self- and peer-assessment (26kb): improving the academic performance of newcomers to Oxford
In the paper below Dr Elizabeth Baigent describes her experience encouraging visiting students to work together to edit each other's work: a form of peer assessment which she sees as a useful way establishing productive learning communities and raising scholarly standards.

Help for lecturers and tutors from external organisations

This section includes links to many of the professional bodies working in the area of Higher Education as well as resources covering particular areas of interest, e.g. disability, educational research, HE policy, discipline-specific resources, educational technology, etc.