Beginning to Teach for ECRs and HDRs

Program outline

This program is designed to develop the teaching capability of UNSW Early Career Researchers (ECRs) and Higher Degree Research candidates (HDRs) with little to no experience of teaching.

The Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Educaiton) 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 Univeristy upon admission into this program.

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Program aims and outcomes

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.

Time commitment

The program will run over 8 weeks with total participation time (face-to-face and online) of approximately 16 hours.

Dates and schedule

Please note that participants need to be able to attend all face-to-face sessions of the program, and should seek the appropriate approvals from Supervisors. 

Semester 1 2017 Beginning to Teach program

Session 1

Weeks 1 and 2

Introduction to teaching and student learning

Online participation—2 hours over 2 weeks (10 - 23 March)

2hr face-to-face session - Thursday, 16 March, 9.30am - 12pm

Session 2

Weeks 3 and 4

Planning and facilitating a teaching session

Online participation—2 hours over 2 weeks (24 March - 6 April)

 2hr face-to-face session - Thursday, 30 March, 10am - 12pm

Session 3

Weeks 5 and 6

Introduction to assessment and feedback

Online participation—2 hours over 2 weeks (7 - 20 April)

2hr face-to-face session - Thursday 13 April, 10am - 12pm

Session 4

Weeks 7 and 8

Trying it out: Practice teaching sessions

Online participation—1 hour over 2 weeks (21 April - 4 May)

3hr face-to-face session - Friday, 28 April, 9am - 12pm (note 3 hours)


Who should participate?

The program is designed for UNSW ECRs or HDRs who are not currently teaching and with little to 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.


Contact to be waitlisted for this program.

Certification and further development

Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion on completion of all elements of the program. Should participants wish to extend their development once they commence teaching, they can undertake the Foundations of University Learning and Teaching program.


"A few weeks after I finished the program, I was invited to be a guest Lecturer of a Master's level class (teaching for two days and four sessions in total). I felt confident in class and was able to keep students attention during the teaching session for as long as four hours! Another great feeling was when various students and the Course Convenor shared very positive remarks. Personally, I feel that BTT had a great role in helping me refine my skills and use them strategically. I am delighted to share this with the wonderful BTT staff and grateful for their time and efforts”.


Please contact the Office of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) if you have further enquiries about this program.