The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) Portfolio and the Division of Research collaborated to develop the program, and it is facilitated by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) Portfolio. The program draws from the expertise of UNSW academics and the experience of UNSW students.
The program introduces participants to a range of topics and issues in learning and teaching that are key to getting started with teaching. Sessions explore perspectives on student learning, good practice in how to plan and facilitate a learning experience, and the basics of assessment and feedback. The program also gives participants the opportunity to plan, facilitate and evaluate a short teaching session.
The program models a blended learning approach, comprising four sessions that combine face-to-face with online activities using Moodle. As they engage in blended learning activities, participants will experience and explore the potential of this learning environment, including how it builds interaction with fellow participants.
Program fees for UNSW ECRs and HDRS will be sponsored by the University upon admission into this program.
The program aims to help participants develop their understanding of learning and teaching and build skills and confidence in planning and facilitating a teaching session. After completing this program they should be able to:
1. Demonstrate understanding of some key elements of learning and how they relate to teaching and to their disciplinary context.
2. Plan, facilitate and evaluate a short teaching session that aligns aims and approach with outcomes.
3. Give and receive feedback to colleagues regarding teaching and to students regarding assessment of learning.
The program will run over 8 weeks with total participation time (face-to-face and online) of approximately 16 hours.
The Beginning to Teach program will run once in 2019. Participants need to be able to attend the face-to-face sessions of the program and should seek the appropriate approvals from Supervisors. The face-to-face sessions are scheduled as follows:
- 9:30am - 12pm, 10 May 2019, Colombo Theatre, UNSW Kensington | Map reference B16
- 10am - 12pm, 24 May 2019, Colombo Theatre, UNSW Kensington | Map reference B16
- 10am - 12pm, 7 June 2019, Tyree Room, Scientia Building, UNSW Kensington | Map reference G19
- 9:30am - 12:30pm, 21 June 2019, Wallace Wurth Building, UNSW Kensington | Map reference C27
The program is designed for UNSW ECRs or HDRs who are not currently teaching and with no experience of teaching. Those who are teaching at UNSW should attend the Foundations of University Learning and Teaching program, which uses the teaching experience of participants as a foundation for exploring how they might extend their teaching and curriculum design capabilities.
Registrations of interest for the 2019 BTT program has now closed. If you have already expressed interest via the webform then you will hear from us shortly.
Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion on completion of all elements of the program.
You are required to attend at least three of the four face-to-face sessions, however please note that it is mandatory to attend and successfully meet the requirements of Session 4 (Trying it out: Practice teaching session) in order to receive your Certificate of Completion.
Before enrolling, consider whether you can meet the requirements (mandatory attendance at Session 4), keeping in mind your workload and other commitments.
Should participants wish to extend their development once they commence teaching, they can undertake the Foundations of University Learning and Teaching program (FULT@unsw.edu.au)
Spotlight: Amos Branch
What attracted you to the BTT program?
After working in industry as a process chemist in a petrochemical manufacturing plant, I wanted a change to a more environmentally focused discipline. I returned to UNSW and completed a PhD focused on investigating and managing health risks from water recycling processes in August 2016. After PhD, I engaged in a variety of contract research-based projects. I had always enjoyed teaching activities and had given guest lectures and acted as a tutor during my PhD. Upon starting a full-time contract in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a Research Associate in 2017, I wanted to try and get some more teaching opportunities but was finding it difficult to demonstrate my abilities on paper. I looked internally and found that BTT could be useful for applicants who were not yet allocated coordination for courses and could help me prepare for the FULT course (which I went on to complete later).
What are some of the ways the program helped you in your practice or develop teaching skills?
The most useful part of BTT was becoming aware of the support networks for teaching across the university. In attending BTT, I wanted to be able to gain more access to teaching opportunities. I am now (T1 2019) coordinating the new ENGG4102 Humanitarian Engineering Project course and am applying a lot of the content gained from both BTT and FULT. The final practice session in BTT, presenting a short lesson to a group, was very valuable as it provided immediate, constructive feedback from my peers and an experienced lecturer who acted as a session moderator.
What are some of the key aspects of the program that you could apply immediately to your teaching practice?
BTT opened my eyes to frameworks for scaffolding of teaching and learning materials. Providing new ideas in a logical and structured way is very important when planning and delivering a course. Probably more importantly, there was a focus on avoiding bias and always trying to provide constructive feedback.
How would you describe your experience to the future participants?
BTT was a good reminder to put yourself in both the teacher and student shoes when planning teaching materials. I think BTT and FULT are good at connecting people from different faculties around the common goal of improving their teaching practices. I would recommend that PhD candidates, thinking of continuing into research and education roles, undertake the BTT course as it will probably help not just with teaching but communication of all ideas.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have further enquiries about this program.