Redesigning Existing Professional Development Provisions to Include Emergent Longer Term Self-regulated Skill Needs in Research Post Graduates in a Hong Kong University

Min ZENG
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
zengll@hku.hk

Suki EKARATNE
The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
suki1@hku.hk

Abstract

Feedback from a 24-hour mandatory research post-graduate (RPg) teaching certificate course requested further support during their own teaching because training in their teaching methodologies course was over by then. RPgs also require wider skills for jobs, with some countries (e.g. earlier Roberts funding in UK) providing such skills development support. To offer RPgs opportunities for both the above needs, the course was split midway by introducing an intervening experiential teaching phase for gathering and writing ‘reflection on action’ accounts of their teaching. These were then used to give RPgs ‘reflection for action’ skills, useful for future professional planning. RPgs were first shown how to use their experiences to reflectively plan and improve teaching practices. The improvement process steps of this Reflective Practice (RP) Cycle were then resituated for use in future improvements. Reflective accounts were analysed to determine whether RP was developed at ‘technical’, ‘practical’ or ‘critical’ levels and whether ‘reflection on action’ experiences were utilised to develop ‘reflection for action’ skills for experiencing a methodology to evaluate and plan for future career needs. Not all RPgs developed similarly, probably due to the short course duration. The redesigned course has completed one semester and longitudinal analysis will further illustrate the wider applicability of this multiskilling model to suit occasions when both time and resources are less readily available for needed skills training. We will discuss ways and perceptions on how already existing teaching improvement opportunities were reconceptualised, redesigned and piloted to meet multiple emergent professional development requirements.

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