Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Teaching by early career academics

Recommendations for improving teaching by early career academics will be discussed at the ANU Teaching & Learning Forum, 16 October 2009, 12:30-2:00pm, Room R214, Ian Ross Building, Bldg 31, the Australian National University. This event is free, but for catering purposes, please RSVP to by Wednesday 14 October.

It would seem, to me, to be an ideal time to think about the needs of early career academics, as they will be teaching in a very different environment to that which exists now. The ANU has introduced its Wattle e-learning system and flexible courses (such as COMP7310). It is likely that conventional face to face large scale lectures will begin to be phased out during 2010 and be all but obsolete by 2011. New academics will need to learn techniques for designing online teaching materials and how to tutor online, as this will be the standard educational technique for most courses. Many courses will retain small group face to face tutorials and lab work, but these may also require new techniques for the use of "blended" mode teaching, where computers are used in the classroom.

2009 ECA Survey: Recommendations

  1. That a structured induction program be available to ECAs in each semester.
  2. That all ECAs receive an ANU induction kit containing information common across all Colleges.
  3. That a central website be created to coordinate all ECA-related activities throughout various Schools and Colleges.
  4. That ANU actively promote a culture of acceptance of ECAs.
  5. That a local area mentor be appointed for each ECA.
  6. That training programs be offered to ECAs for enhancing their teaching practice and professional development.
  7. That roles and responsibilities of the ECA be clearly defined.
  8. That course budgets be based on realistic estimates of ECA workload, and that mechanisms be available to resolve discrepancies between planned hours and actual hours of work.
  9. That entry and exit interviews for ECAs be held in all Colleges.

Friday 16 October 2009
R214 Ian Ross Building (Bld 31), North Rd.

This teaching forum will discuss the outcomes of the SIDECARS ECA Survey and subsequent Official Report. It will examine the nine recommendations and consider how these could be adopted across the ANU.

More information about the research, including the major findings from this survey and the Official Report to the Vice Chancellor can be found at:

For catering purposes, please RSVP to by Wednesday 14 October.

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