document is intended to provide staff and postgraduates with guidelines
concerning good practice in preparing postgraduate research students
for teaching roles within the School. The member of staff who is
coordinating the teaching episodes in which the student is involved
is responsible both for ensuring the quality of the student's input
into his or her module and for ensuring the quality of the learning
experience for the postgraduate student. The following are areas
within SSHES that are covered by these guidelines: seminars, workshops,
tutorials, lectures, practical laboratory sessions, marking and
following principles are generic to all aspects of postgraduate
Postgraduates who are involved with activities
related to teaching should be acquiring skills and contributing
to the enhancement of the quality of teaching in the School.
Adequate preparation is required for all
activities but the amount of preparation, and the way it is delivered,
will vary as a function of the task and the individual student's
Postgraduate students new to a task should,
where possible, shadow a member of staff or experienced postgraduate
student in the activity before taking responsibility for it.
postgraduate student must be aware of the aims and objectives
of the module, as well as the learning goals associated with the
particular section in which he or she is involved, before the
start of that involvement.
The teaching activity should always be reviewed
so that the quality of the learning experience for all learners
can be enhanced.
Familiarisation with the
University rules governing formal examinations is essential. Postgraduates
undertaking examination invigilation within the School should be
supplied with the University regulations booklet and be familiar
with its contents.
The following are examples
of good practice which are recommended:
Discussion of the criteria for marking including,
where relevant, weighting of sections of the work.
Discussion about expectations for the content
of sections of the work.
Expectations about the level and content
of the feedback provided for students should be explicit.
After the postgraduate student has marked
some scripts the member of staff cross-moderates and any necessary
adjustments are made before marking continues.
Cross-moderation involving all markers when
all scripts have been marked.
sessions with undergraduate or MSc students
1. Before the
start of the module postgraduate teachers should:
Have an overall discussion regarding the
aims and objectives, anticipated learning outcomes, content, teaching
style, responsibilities and roles.
Understand the content of the module, including
module readings and laboratory techniques.
Attend relevant lectures before taking a
Shadow the member of staff or more experienced
2. During and after the module
the following should occur:
Review of teaching involvement
early in the module and again at the end when involvement is longer
term (this a minimum. Depending on the nature of the involvement
[e.g. team teaching] more frequent reviews may be necessary).
The review might involve the member of staff,
a peer or a group of students and/or staff discussing relevant
issues. It may involve someone sitting-in on a session with the
postgraduate student, feedback about the session from students,
self-assessment, discussion with a member of staff or a peer,
or group reviews of a module.
Regular, planned contact between the relevant
member of staff and the postgraduate student is assumed.
of projects and project proposals
It is recommended that postgraduate students
who are taking some responsibility for project supervision should,
whenever possible, have been involved with the undergraduate or
MSc students at the proposal stage. This might involve shadowing
the member of staff or taking some tutorial or group sessions with
second year students. Clear definitions of what is expected at both
the proposal and project stage should be discussed with the supervisor.
sources of support
Academic Development Unit is responsible for running the University's
Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programme (PGCertHE)
for those new to teaching or seeking the PGCertHE qualification.
Workshops may be attended separately from the qualification and
provide opportunities to discuss and practice teaching-related skills.
It is strongly recommended that postgraduate students consider registering
on the PGCertHE scheme, or at least attend relevant workshops.
The School stipulates the
expectations concerning postgraduates' contributions to the School
(see Guidelines and Code of Conduct
for Research Training), some of which will not fall into
the category of teaching. The following are some points to note:
It is anticipated that this involvement
will be negotiated between the supervisor and student, to fit
in with the requirements of the higher degree study. The student
must feel able to affect the nature and timing of the activities
which he or she is asked to undertake.
Particularly in the first year of study
it is important to ensure that students do not feel overburdened
with teaching responsibilities to the detriment of their studies.
As far as possible all teaching involvement
should be planned at the beginning of the academic year to ensure
that is appropriately timed and anticipated. A heavy burden in
one semester is likely to be undesirable.
If a student feels that he or she is not
able to fulfill the requirements of the teaching role or is not
receiving support or is overburdened then he or she should discuss
the matter first with the supervisor or teaching advisor and then,
if there is no satisfactory resolution of the problem, the Director
of Research Training.