This is a resource to support Sessional Teachers at UNSW in their teaching and professional development. Sessional teachers are an essential part of our learning and teaching community bringing a wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise to the university campus. Their presence enhances the quality of student educational experiences and contributes to our diverse and rich academic environment.
What is a sessional teacher?
Sessional teachers are staff members employed to teach on a session-by-session basis, in any capacity and at any level across the university.
The ALTC's 'The RED Report' of 2008 defined sessional teachers as including "any higher education instructors not in tenured or permanent positions. This includes part-time tutors or demonstrators, postgraduate students or research fellows involved in part-time teaching, external people from industry or professions, clinical tutors, casually employed lecturers or any other teachers employed on a course-by-course basis."
Being a sessional teacher
In this video, Louise Studdy talks about sessional teaching in a career context.
LOUISE Sessional as a Career
Why do teachers choose sessional teaching?
Many different types of people assume sessional teaching responsibilities, including: Honours students, Postgraduate students, Industry professionals, Career sessionals, Retired professionals, Multi-Institutional professionals, Teaching qualified people and First-time teachers. You might teach sessionally by choice because of other work or family commitments, or sessional teaching may be a stepping stone for you to other forms of academic employment.
What UNSW expects of sessional staff
There is a great diversity among teachers and responsibilities at UNSW. While many of your colleagues may be similar to yourself, your students will come into contact with a wide range of personalities and learning experiences. See What UNSW Expects of Sessional Teachers for a description of people and units you will interact with and their different expectations and responsibilities.
Support for sessional teachers
We are committed to making your learning and teaching experiences here as rewarding and fulfilling as possible. In this section of the site you can find specific support resources for different types of sessional staff and for supervisors of sessional staff:
There is support for sessional staff at the Faculty level across the university in some disciplines.
- BE Upskilled: A Moodle course site that was originally developed to support UNSW Built Environment sessional staff, BE Upskilled is now available for all staff in BE as a training resource which explores various aspects of learning and teaching. There are six modules, each of which take approximately 40 minutes. The self-enrolment key is: UNSW
- BABS Sessional Staff Educational Development Space: A Moodle course site for sessional staff in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences (BABS). You will need to enrol as a student - the self-enrolment key is: SDSS17STUD? (including the question mark). Please contact Vivian Yeung (email@example.com) if you have any questions.
- UNSW Business School Tutor Training: A Moodle course site for tutors in the UNSW Business School. A new course site is opened each term - for enquiries, please contact Louise Fitzgerald (L.firstname.lastname@example.org).