Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Supporting tutors and demonstrators

Greetings from the Australian National University in Canberra, where I am taking part in the STEM Teaching and Learning Colloquium. The fifth session is on "support tutors and demonstrators". This outlined the QUT Sessional Academic Success Project (SAS) project and how it might be applied at ANU. QUT have what in ANU terminology would be called "senior tutor/demonstrators". One interesting aspect was that many part time university teachers may not be eligible for the development programs run by universities (not just ANU or QUT), because they are not "tutors" and are not tenured (I got around this problem at ANU by getting a three year contract).

What was not clear to me if QUT tutors are also required to have formal qualifications in teaching. While it would be useful to provide tutors with a sense of community, I suggest that they should also have formal education training. As an example, a Vocational Education and Training teacher is required to have at least a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (which is about six weeks full time training). It would seem reasonable to have the tutor's learning certified, so by the end of their first year they are accredited.

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