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Innovative excellence: The early career teacher in higher education

CAPTION Presented as part of the webinar ‘Innovative excellence programs for universities and research centres’ Discussion facilitator Paul Nunesdea, Architecting Collaboration

How does an innovative early career teacher in higher education create graduates with high employability?

In this webinar, Dr Peter Mellalieu explores the opportunity for early career teachers to distinguish their teaching approach from the conventional ‘talk and chalk’ methods they may themselves have experienced in their university studies. He suggests that the graduate capabilities that will last a graduate for their lifetime are hard to teach (Geertshuis & Lewis, 2020. Typical capabilities include cultural competency, principled leadership and interdependent team working. He remarks that students have a misguided overassessment of these capabilities when compared with employers’ assessments of recent graduates (Collins, 2022). 

To develop these life-long capabilities he suggests that the new teacher can deploy innovative pedagogies such as the flipped classroom, team-based learning, industry-based learning, service learning, capstone projects and work-integrated learning. Underpinning all of these methods the teacher can use group assignments or collaborative learning. However, there are challenges that arise from collaborative learning. For example, allocating fair grades for contribution, identifying and supporting struggling teams and individuals, and verifying that the intended future-ready capabilities have been achieved. These challenges can be addressed through the practice of #teammatePeerAssessment and early #formativeFeedback. Finally, he presents a 7-step framework for establishing the principles, policies and pedagogies that contribute towards fair, valid and effective collaborative assessment.

The audience discussion explores how teammate peer assessment can secure academic integrity against such new challenges as ChatGPT.


00:00 – Welcome Paul Nunesdea | Architecting Collaboration | Founder

00:28 – About Peter Mellalieu | Peer Assess Pro | Chief technology officer and co-founder

02:26 – Introduction. The early career teacher in higher education

03:15 – How does a teacher deliver higher graduate employability?

04:21 – Students overrate key team leadership capabilities

04:47 – Teamwork capabilities are hard to teach

06:00 – Innovative pedagogy for delivering employability

06:41 – Challenges arising from collaborative learning and group assignments

07:39 – Principles, policies and practices for fair and valid group assessment 

08:59 – Teammate peer assessment

09:55 – Peer feedback and the value of early courageous conversations

10:25 – The 7-step formula for teaching with group assignments

11:48 – Discussion and references

11:58 – How do you experience innovative universities in your country?

14:44 – How does peer assessment secure academic integrity against challenges such as ChatGPT?

17:46 – Is Peer Assess Pro used easily through integration with Learning Management Systems? 

19:02 – The role of reflection

Presented as part of the webinar Innovative excellence programs for universities and research centres, 2023-02-02, Sintra, Portugal.

Discussion facilitator Paul NUNESDEA | Architecting Collaboration | Founder

Learn how: Digital platform for teammate peer assessment

To learn how teammate peer assessment and feedback can be enabled and streamlined using a dedicated platform integrated with your Learning Management System, contact Peer Assess Pro™

Further reading

To learn more about the role of collaborative learning in developing graduate employability, read

Mellalieu, P. J. (2023, March 31). Develop graduate employability through collaborative learning: Suggestions for the proactive student. Peer Assess Pro | LinkedIn.


Collins, M. (2022, October 24). Recruiters and Students Have Differing Perceptions of New Grad Proficiency in Competencies. National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Geertshuis, S., & Lewis, N. (2020). Future Ready Graduates: Embedding employability in the curriculum: Strategies for the development of future-ready employability attributes within advanced and research-informed programmes. Ako Aotearoa National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence.

Mellalieu, P. J. (2020). How to teach using group assignments: The 7-step formula for fair and effective team assessment (ePub 1.0). Peer Assess Pro.


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