Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Type: Conference paper
Title: A change of direction: helping postgraduate students become effective sessional teachers
Author: Le Lievre, K.
Falkner, K.
Citation: The Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA) conference 2010: The Changing Face of Education, 24-25 September, 2010
Publisher: The University of Adelaide
Issue Date: 2010
Conference Name: ERGA Conference (5th : 2010 : Adelaide, Australia)
Abstract: In the literature on training sessional teachers, it is often assumed that new sessional teachers will not be familiar with the philosophies or methods of student-centred teaching (Kift, 2003). Activities and resources created for sessional staff members therefore tend to be modeled on teacher-training programs, and focused on helping new tutors and lab demonstrators to master student-centred teaching theories and skills (Barrington, 1999; Kirley, 2006). However, when the authors consulted with both new and experienced sessional teachers, they discovered that the majority were in fact very familiar with student-centred teaching methods, having been exposed to them for most of their educational careers. These staff members did not want support resources focused on complex educational theories or strategies; they wanted resources that would help them understand the professional requirements of their teaching roles, and develop skills frequently considered irrelevant to tertiary casual teaching, such as classroom management and lesson planning. They also preferred to learn from other sessional staff members when possible, rather than from lecturers or academic developers, so that they could see “how it’s done”. In developing support resources for new sessional teachers in Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, the authors therefore moved away from the standard top-down teacher-training format, and developed a less structured program with a professional development focus. This program includes a face-to-face induction seminar and a series of linked online resources providing flexible professional development in skills relevant to specific disciplines. It is aimed at positioning new sessional teachers—a group that includes tutors, laboratory demonstrators and markers—as professional members of the Faculty’s teaching staff, and offers these teachers orientation in their roles, opportunities to develop key skills at their own pace, and connections with and opportunities to learn from other sessional teachers. This paper will discuss how the authors developed the program, including their process of consultation with new and experienced sessional teachers. It will examine the induction program, its results, and the development of complementary online resources (including experienced sessional teachers’ involvement in preparing key resources), as well as showcasing four of these resources. Finally, it will discuss the results of the program to date.
Rights: Copyright © 2010 The University of Adelaide
RMID: 0030001082
Description (link):
Appears in Collections:Computer Science publications

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.