University teaching is a complex task. We are expected to be:
- familiar with our university learning, teaching policies, processes and learning management system;
- able to provide constructive feedback and first year transition pedagogies;
- implement active learning pedagogies and authentic assessment strategies; and
- design engaging curricula using different technologies.
This is not an exhaustive list of course and when we first begin to teach, nothing is automatic. We have to think about everything that we do in the teaching context. Teaching as we were taught is unlikely to be as effective as so much in teaching changes very quickly.
Canvas Network's University Teaching Course
There is a substantive literature to support those of us who want to engage in a scholarly way with our teaching. To begin with, it can be very useful to engage in a course that introduces university teaching and learning strategies and concepts. The Contemporary Approaches to University Teaching course hosted on Canvas Network has been designed for colleagues who are in their first few years of teaching, regardless of your role. The course has been designed to support colleagues who are in continuing academic roles, part time or casual teaching roles, research students who are tutoring or are teaching assistants, and librarian or IT staff who have a teaching component in their roles.
The course is very pragmatic, with modules on teaching your first class, providing constructive feedback, and teaching online. The course also introduces colleagues to modules on assessment, teaching diverse learners, collaborative learning and being a scholarly teacher. Each module takes about 2 hours to complete. You can choose to do all of the modules or pick and choose modules to suit your needs.
The course has been designed by education experts and it has also been through a rigorous process of expert and peer review. To enrol in the course, sign up now!
Dr. Kym Fraser
Associate Professor of Higher Education, Swinburne University of Technology