Proposal Title

Training graduate students and postdocs in course design: A workshop to bridge the gap between new professors’ pedagogical background and institutions’ teaching requirements

Session Type

Ignite Talk

Room

P&A 148

Start Date

6-7-2017 1:55 PM

Keywords

course design, graduate education, pedagogical training, hiring decisions, alignment, training workshop

Primary Threads

Curriculum

Abstract

Research-intensive institutions tend to reach hiring decisions mostly based on the applicants’ research achievements with minimal consideration of teaching experience and training. As a result, new professors often have little experience in teaching and lack education on pedagogy. However, graduate students and postdocs who plan to work in academia could be trained in advance to improve their early years’ teaching performance. The Tomlinson Project at University Level in Science Education (T-Pulse) at McGill has recently started offering the Teaching Techniques for Instructors Workshop for graduate students and postdocs. This is a one-day workshop that provides participants with the theoretical and practical tools to design and teach an effective university course. It has been designed to emphasize the alignment between learning outcomes, teaching strategies, and assessment tools; and participants are counselled on the importance, preparation and content of teaching statements used in the application process to teaching jobs. Surveys conducted throughout the workshop, showed that only 17% of attendants feel prepared to teach a university level course, and 63% think that the workshop will help them be more competitive when looking for teaching positions. Remarkably, 86% of the participants agreed that attending a workshop was a better option than taking a 3-credit course, and 100% of them preferred it to learning on their own. These results highlight the potential of the workshop in helping graduate students and post-docs transition into their academic careers, not only benefiting them but also the hiring institutions.

Elements of Engagement

Interaction with audience (questions/discussion), powerful images.

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Jul 6th, 1:55 PM

Training graduate students and postdocs in course design: A workshop to bridge the gap between new professors’ pedagogical background and institutions’ teaching requirements

P&A 148

Research-intensive institutions tend to reach hiring decisions mostly based on the applicants’ research achievements with minimal consideration of teaching experience and training. As a result, new professors often have little experience in teaching and lack education on pedagogy. However, graduate students and postdocs who plan to work in academia could be trained in advance to improve their early years’ teaching performance. The Tomlinson Project at University Level in Science Education (T-Pulse) at McGill has recently started offering the Teaching Techniques for Instructors Workshop for graduate students and postdocs. This is a one-day workshop that provides participants with the theoretical and practical tools to design and teach an effective university course. It has been designed to emphasize the alignment between learning outcomes, teaching strategies, and assessment tools; and participants are counselled on the importance, preparation and content of teaching statements used in the application process to teaching jobs. Surveys conducted throughout the workshop, showed that only 17% of attendants feel prepared to teach a university level course, and 63% think that the workshop will help them be more competitive when looking for teaching positions. Remarkably, 86% of the participants agreed that attending a workshop was a better option than taking a 3-credit course, and 100% of them preferred it to learning on their own. These results highlight the potential of the workshop in helping graduate students and post-docs transition into their academic careers, not only benefiting them but also the hiring institutions.