Preparing to Teach in Higher Education

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The information on this page is for those who are very new to teaching in higher education. It is particularly relevant for those who are doing a limited amount of teaching and/or supporting learning, and who may be engaged in activities such as teaching seminars/workshops and demonstrating in practical classes. These colleagues may include:

  • Postgraduate researchers (PGRs)
  • Research staff
  • Professional services staff

If you have any questions about any of the information on this page, please contact Dr Kerry Dobbins, kd154@le.ac.uk

What is the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course (this course is mandatory for PGRs who teach)?

Is there any preparatory work that I need to do before attending the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course?

How can I access the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course materials (these are open and available to all)?

Are there any other resources to help me as I begin in my teaching, supporting learning or demonstrating role?

How can I find answers to initial worries or concerns that I have?

I'm a PGR who is teaching. Who do I need to register with to get paid?

I have heard about Associate Fellowship of the HEA.  Can I gain this recognition?

 

What is the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course?

The Preparing to Teach in Higher Education is a short course that provides a basic introduction to teaching in HE. It encourages you to examine your role as a new teacher, look at your part in helping students learn and consider the ideas around what good teaching and learning looks like.

This course is mandatory for postgraduate researchers who teach.

There are two strands to the course and participants should choose the one that most closely relates to the type of teaching that they will be doing. Each strand requires participants to attend two particular sessions. **Participants only need to attend one strand to complete the course.

Strand A

Strand A is appropriate for those who will be teaching or supporting learning in seminars or workshops that involve engaging students in class and group-based discussions about the subject material and topics being covered.

Next Strand A session dates:

Session 1:

Date to be announced.

Session 2:

Date to be announced.

Topics covered in this strand include:

  • Developing effective learning environments;
  • Approaches to small group teaching;
  • Effective feedback principles.

 

**To be notified when information about the next run is available, please add your details to the waiting list (see below).**

**Please note, priority is given to those who are currently teaching or about to start teaching.

You must be able to attend both sessions within the relevant strand to gain your Certificate of Attendance

Strand B

This strand is appropriate for those who will be teaching, supporting learning or demonstrating in sessions that involve students in carrying out practical tasks or activities (e.g. in labs or fieldwork sessions). Teaching assistants in Engineering and Maths should also complete this strand.

Next Strand B session dates:

Session 1:

Date to be announced.

Session 2:

Date to be announced.

Topics covered in this strand include:

  • Developing effective learning environments in practical settings;
  • Active learning principles;
  • Effective feedback principles.

 

**To be notified when information about the next run is available, please add your details to the waiting list (see below).**

**Please note, priority is given to those who are currently teaching or about to start teaching.

Waiting list

If you cannot attend the above dates or would like to be contacted when the next set of dates are announced, please add your details to the waiting list by filling in this online form. You will be notified directly once the next set of dates are being advertised.

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Is there any preparatory work that I need to do before attending the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course?

There is some reading that you are required to do prior to the first session. This reading introduces you to key learning theory principles and encourages you to consider your own conceptions of teaching and learning. We will draw upon this reading within our class-based practical activities and discussions. The reading should take approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

**Both Strand A and Strand B participants need to review these materials.

Download the preparatory work here. This resource is freely available to anyone who might find it useful, regardless of whether they choose to attend the course.

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How can I access the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course materials (these are open and available to all)?

The materials for the Preparing to Teach in Higher Education course can be accessed from its Blackboard site. This is a self-enrol site and contains all of the session materials and other useful resources.

The course materials are open and available to anyone who is teaching here at Leicester. You are welcome to access them even if you do not attend the course. You can also review all the materials whilst you are waiting to attend the course.

To self-enrol on the site, follow the instructions below:

Step 1: Log-in to Blackboard and navigate to the Courses tab.

Step 2: In the search box, enter Preparing to Teach in Higher Education and select Go.

PTHE self enrol 1

Step 3: When the course LLIX006 appears, select Enrol from the drop down arrow. On the following screen, confirm your enrolment by selecting Submit.

PTHE enrol 2

You are now enrolled on the course and it will appear in your My Courses list on Blackboard.  **You may have to click on the 'Professional Development' tab to find it.

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Are there any other resources to help me as I begin in my teaching, supporting learning or demonstrating role?

PTHE Resources 2Below are two textbooks that have been developed specifically for those who are new to teaching in HE. They are both available as e-copies via the University Library:

- Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., & Marshall, S. (Eds.) (2015) A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice, 4th ed. Routledge, London and New York.

- Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011) Teaching for Quality Learning at University: What the Student Does 4th ed., Open University Press & McGraw-Hill Education, UK.

This Talis reading list contains a wide range of texts and sources related to teaching, learning and assessment.  It has been created specifically to support those who teach and/or support learning here at the University.

 

Resources for seminar/workshop teaching:

The resources below will be useful for those who are teaching or supporting learning in discussion-based seminar or workshop-type sessions:

.

Resources for large group teaching (e.g. lectures):

The resources below will be useful for those who are teaching large groups:

.

Resources for demonstrating:

The resources below will be useful for those who are taking on a demonstrator role. They discuss the aims of practical sessions, how to prepare effectively for a session and appropriate methods and strategies to use within sessions.

**Please note that as guides that have been developed by other institutions, they may refer at points to their own institutional policies/procedures.


These resources will open as pdf documents but you can convert them to word documents in Adobe Acrobat DC. Follow these instructions: 1) Open a file in Acrobat DC. 2) Click on the 'Export PDF' tool in the right pane. 3) Choose Microsoft word as your export format, and then choose 'Word Document'. 4) Click 'Export'. 5) Save as a new file.

Resources especially relevant for PhD students who teach or very new teachers:

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How can I find answers to initial worries or concerns that I have?

There are many common concerns that new teachers have as they start out in their role. Follow this link to find answers to questions like 'What should I do if I don't know the answer to a question a students asks?' and 'How can I get my students to talk more in class?'

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I'm a PGR who is teaching. Who do I need to register with to get paid?

If you are not on a specific Graduate Teaching Assistant contract, then you will need to register with Unitemps to be issued with a contract. This will need to be done prior to you starting your teaching. Please visit the Unitemps at the University of Leicester website for more information about how to register.

If you are an International PGR, you should register with Unitemps as soon as possible as they will need time to perform the necessary checks to comply with current legislation.

You will not be able to start working for the University until you have registered with Unitemps.

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I have heard about Associate Fellowship of the HEA.  Can I gain this recognition?

Anyone who teaches or supports learning here at Leicester can apply for professional recognition through the University's PEERS scheme.  This recognition is valued sector-wide and will be very useful for PhD students to have for their next career steps.   The category of recognition that PhD students and Graduate Teaching Assistants can apply for is Associate Fellowship.  More information about the PEERS scheme and HEA Fellowships can be found on this webpage.

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