Researcher Capability Program – Scholarly Teaching Course
The Learning and Teaching Unit and the UNSW Graduate Research School have developed this pilot course for UNSW PhD candidates. The aim of the course is to expand candidates’ scholarly teaching skills.
Key aspects of researcher capability are intimately related to teaching; these include managing information and data, cognitive skills and communication skills. In addition, research and university teaching are scholarly activities that both involve peer-review, a methodical approach, innovation, self-reflection and progressive thought. It is widely accepted that the development of teaching skills can enhance research abilities.
It is important that PhD candidates are supported to develop broader capabilities beyond those associated purely with their research topic. Teaching at universities is a core component of academic work, and teaching, facilitation and communication more generally are important capabilities for a wide range of future careers for PhD graduates. The development of teaching skills will help to prepare candidates for future employment, including academic and industry career pathways, and this pilot program has been developed to compliment PhD candidatures at UNSW.
The aim of the Scholarly Teaching course is to support PhD candidates to approach their teaching practice in a scholarly way, so that their understanding, skills and confidence in teaching practice are enhanced. Scholarly practice of education involves creating, implementing, and evaluating educational approaches to help students learn.
This course will provide participants with the opportunity to develop their practice of teaching by:
- analysing and reflecting on their teaching practice in light of their personal experience, the experience of peers and senior academics and the literature on learning;
- exploring the nexus between research and teaching;
- exploring a range of perspectives, ideas and theories of learning and teaching in the higher education context; and
- identifying and adapting teaching strategies that could improve student learning in their own teaching context.
- The ‘teaching – research nexus’, i.e. various ways teaching and research are interconnected
- Approaches to student learning
- Assessment for learning and feedback
Facilitating learning, including:
- Teaching and learning strategies relevant to specific teaching contexts
- Effective communication in the context of teaching
An overview of key issues when planning classes such as:
- Articulating learning outcomes; and
- Aligning teaching aims, learning outcomes, learning activities and assessment
- Articulating a teaching rationale
The course consists of the following activities:
- Eight 3-hour sessions, held fortnightly
Reading and activities to be completed between sessions (approximately 3 hours a fortnight). This might include:
- reading of literature on learning and teaching in higher education;
- keeping a journal, which records reflections on teaching practice; and
- peer-observation of a lecture or tutorial.
Total time commitment = 45 hours, over a 15 week period (Semester 2, 2012)
- The course will be run over Semester 2, 2012 beginning in week 0 (9-13 July 2012)
- Fortnightly classes - Wednesday afternoons, 2 - 5pm
- Tasks as required between Wednesday sessions
Each Faculty has been invited to nominate three candidates who meet the following criteria. Nominees will:
- be enrolled at UNSW in a PhD program;
- have completed at least one semester of their candidature;
- be involved in formal teaching in a UNSW School or Faculty in semester 2, 2012 (e.g. lecturing, tutorial classes or demonstrating); and
- not have completed the UNSW Foundations of University Learning and Teaching Program (FULT)
Additionally, the candidate’s supervisors(s) and the School must support participation in the course.
The course will be coordinated by the UNSW Learning and Teaching Unit (LTU), in conjunction with the UNSW Graduate Research School.
Contact person: Sabina Hussain, Learning and Teaching Unit
- Phone: 9385 1645
- Email: email@example.com