I have lamented to colleagues in the past that the only place in Australia that you can get a teaching job without an actual teaching qualification is in our universities.  Even an instructor on a factory floor needs a Cert IV in Training and Assessment.  We have various certificates and expectations after people start but let’s be honest, the culture in HE ranks research as significantly more important than teaching.

Those hardy global citizens who think the “teaching students” bit of universities is actually quite important often face an uphill battle.  That’s why I think teaching awards are important.

The place where academics sometime struggle when applying for awards is the theory bit.  Based  on attending workshops, discussions with peers, years of experience and watching a 100 YouTube videos, those with an interest in teaching often get quite good at it.  What they often don’t have is an understanding of  the underpinning theories.  In day to day teaching this is not a particularly big deal (although it probably would help them identify gaps in their practice and fast track improvements).  Where becomes an issue is when they apply for teaching awards.

So to help everyone out here are a some, not overwhelming, sites to get you started.

An overview of the 3 commonly held approaches to learning

General overview of the common theories
(I found this via Stephen Downes OL Daily)

A more detailed list, including the main proponent of the theory.