Preparing Newly Appointed Faculty Members to Teach: A Comparison of Two Strategies

University of Newcastle, Australia

University of Newcastle, Australia


Abstract The dilemma of how to best train new academics in the practice of university teaching is one that presents a challenge to universities worldwide. This roundtable explains a model employing a one-week intensive, practice-based New Faculty Orientation program mandatory for all newly appointed faculty members at a large Australian university, describing the format, content, and benefits of the program. This method, currently popular in North America, is contrasted with the more commonly applied Australian method of requiring newly appointed academics to attain lengthy, theory-based post-graduate credentials such as Graduate Certificates that do not give rise to immediate improvement to teaching skills. Results of program evaluation will show that the New Faculty Orientation program has been successful in both improving new academics’ satisfaction with their teaching roles, and student perceptions of teaching effectiveness as well as improved learning outcomes. This approach has the advantage of offering at least rudimentary teaching skills to new academics prior to their beginning teaching. Continuing professional development is then critical to see continuous teaching improvement, especially in a climate of a global curriculum with the complexity of the requirement for the use of teaching technologies advancing at a rapid rate.

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