University of Bristol – Maxine Gillway, Lisa Hanson, Elizabeth Allen and Debra Jones:
This interactive presentation focuses on how to build a community of practice with an ever-growing number of teachers from different backgrounds with different levels of knowledge and experience.
We have a principles-based approach to everything we do in CELFS, including induction. We will explain not only what we do but how we do it and why, giving examples from inductions across our different programmes (IFP, PS, In-sessional) as well as at Centre level.
The presentation is organised according to our six principles: development, transparency, collaboration, autonomy, reflexivity, transferability.
University of Durham – Diana Scott:
Pre-sessional EAP/ESAP is institutionally-constrained and varies considerably across the sector. At Durham less than a handful of our 60+ pre-sessional teachers are internal and our recruited teachers span the gamut from intermittent EAPers to early career EAPers to highly experienced EAP professionals.
These staff bring a wealth of diverse expectations regarding what they want to get out of their time at Durham and a key aim of ours is to offer a working experience that will entice teachers to return year after year. However, we also need to rapidly deliver a high-quality and largely non-negotiable curriculum to over 700 students. Induction is where we try to reconcile these sometimes competing demands and set the tone for the summer.
This talk discusses how we have come to see Teacher Induction planning and delivery as comparable to curriculum planning and teaching, in both skill and importance. It highlights how we try to achieve multiple aims including justifying the ethos of the programme by interrogating curriculum and assessment design rationale, earning credibility as managers, developing effective collegiality, and building confidence, familiarity, goodwill and commitment to the programme in hand. For us induction week is vital in laying the foundation for all subsequent professional support that ultimately has to be focussed on the knock-on effect for our students.
Heriot-Watt University – Jane Bell and Jane Richardson:
“When I asked what was wrong with my essay, all he said was that he didn’t understand what my essay was about and I had to change it! When I heard that it really broke me and I went to the bathroom crying, because I knew myself I was diligent and I study for long hours.”
(International postgraduate student who requested a 1-1 Academic Skills consultation at HWU)
Ensuring equal opportunities and participation and combatting discrimination have become a priority in the increasingly globalised Higher Education context. As providers of Academic Skills sessions tailored to various MSc Programmes at Heriot-Watt University, we sometimes encounter students who are upset about unhelpful or disrespectful feedback. Students also sometimes complain about poor marks caused by lack of understanding of UK HE assessment requirements. Moreover, assessed group work has become a common feature of UG and PG assessment but cultural misunderstandings or disrespectful behaviour can pose a challenge.
In order to facilitate equal participation in a UK Higher Education setting and development of student intercultural competence, teaching staff need to reflect on their own cultural influences. The aim of this induction session is to enable Assistant Professors teaching on the Heriot-Watt Pre-sessional Programme to discuss the cultural influences and assumptions they bring to teaching, formative assessment and other interaction with students, and to share their experience and expertise with others.
University of Manchester – Ruth Fordham:
Pre-sessional inductions obviously endeavour to prepare tutors for the imminent course. Inevitably that means giving logistical information, but more significantly providing support with course materials and assessment. At the University of Manchester, we have found that with short induction periods, tutors can become overwhelmed by meeting new people and absorbing large quantities of information. In this context, then, it is unrealistic to prioritise extensive discussion on teaching issues at this time.
With this in mind, we have redesigned this year’s programme and aim to look beyond our 3-4 day induction period. We will offer opportunities for meaningful discussions from when tutors are first recruited and continue until they leave our team at the end of the Pre-sessional course. In the preceding months we will encourage the tutors to participate in online discussions. We intend for these to mirror our current discussions and hope to give a sense of belonging to visiting tutors. In addition, during the course we have set aside time and space in the timetable for tutors to discuss aspects of teaching we have identified as important, as well as subjects they have chosen to consider.