Teaching Advantage Program: Preparing Future Academics


Teaching Advantage (TA) is a professional development program for advanced PhD students at Queensland University of Technology. The program builds skills in teaching, unit coordination and forging an academic career through a series of interactive workshops. The workshops include in-depth activities and guest presentations to illustrate practical and relevant teaching, coordination, and career-building techniques. The program is not assessed, but participants are encouraged to use the activities undertaken in workshops to reflect on practice and build evidence for a teaching portfolio. To view a quick video about Teaching Advantage click here.

This program is designed to fill the teaching experience gap between part-time tutoring while undertaking a PhD, and completing an Early Career Academic Development program once candidates secure their first Lecturer role. Teaching Advantage is designed to help doctoral students:

  • Learn about practical and scholarly aspects of teaching in a collegial environment?
  • Develop teaching practice?
  • Explore how to coordinate a unit?
  • Explain teaching practice in a job application or interview?
  • Forge an academic career in a tough job market?
  • Build evidence of reflective practice in a teaching portfolio?
  • Achieve international recognition for learning and teaching by becoming an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Program Aims
TA aims to:

  1. build doctoral student teaching competence by providing students with practical, relevant and appropriate teaching techniques;
  2. enhance the learning experience of students being taught by doctoral students;
  3. create a collaborative cohort of doctoral students who can develop materials together, learn from each other, and support each other;
  4. develop leadership in the teaching cohort by disseminating and embedding good teaching practice in very early career academics; and

Program Impact
TA Alumni are now working as academics in 27 different countries. More than 300 participants have completed the program and many of them have been recognised as Associate Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. The Program has won institutional, national and international awards, including the International Education Association of Australia’s Award for Best Practice (2015) and the Cengage Pride/Ferrell Innovation in Teaching Award (2013).

Program Learning Objectives
Skills for Teaching:
1.1 Explore and articulate a Teaching Philosophy informed by principles of effective learning.
1.2 Engage students in learning through effective communication across a range of contexts.
1.3 Use basic classroom and learning technologies to enhance student learning.

Skills for Coordination:
2.1 Use a practical framework to constructively align elements of curriculum to support student learning.
2.2 Identify the elements of effective coordination.
2.3 Articulate pragmatic strategies to manage key challenges of coordination.

Skills for Forging an Academic Career:
3.1 Draw on existing teaching activities and experiences to develop evidence for a teaching portfolio.
3.2 Identify key skills and attributes necessary for a successful teaching career and demonstrate a purposeful approach to acquiring them.
3.3 Collaborate effectively with peers to develop teaching practice.

Teaching Advantage is led by three award winning research- and teaching-active academics from the QUT Business School.

TATeamDr Dominique Greer (dominique.greer@qut.edu.au) is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, and is active in teaching, research and supervising since 2010. She was a founding co-director of the Teaching Advantage program, for which she shared a 2014 QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award for significant and superior Contribution to the University.

Associate Professor Abby Cathcart (abby.cathcart@qut.edu.au) is a Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and has received two national Australian Awards for University Teaching. She is a visiting academic in the Centre for Higher Education Learning and Teaching at Australian National University and an international accreditor for the UK Higher Education Academy. In 2014 Abby received the inaugural David Gardiner Teacher of the Year Award Medal at Queensland University of Technology.

Professor Larry Neale (l.neale@qut.edu.au) is an active researcher and teaching academic in the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations. He holds several QUT leadership roles, including Chair of QUT’s Academic Integrity Working Party and Lead Curriculum Developer for QUT’s new Bachelor of Entertainment Industries. He received an Innovation in Teaching Award from the Society for Marketing Advances for managing moderation in large, diverse teaching teams, and was a founding co-director of the Teaching Advantage program, for which he shared a 2014 QUT Vice-Chancellor’s ExcellenceAward.

Greer, D., Cathcart, A., and Neale, L. (2016). Helping doctoral students teach: Transitioning to early career academia through cognitive apprenticeship. Higher Education Research and Development. (forthcoming)


Contact: teaching.advantage@qut.edu.au