PhDs as Partners in Practice: Student Learning Development at Glasgow

Ramsay, S. W. and Struan, A. (2017) PhDs as Partners in Practice: Student Learning Development at Glasgow. RAISE 2017 – Perspectives on student engagement; looking forward… thinking back, Manchester, United Kingdom, 06-08 Sep 2017.

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Abstract

The Student Learning Development department at the University of Glasgow sits centrally, and is tasked with enhancing the academic skills and writing of all students from pre-entry to PhD. Since 2012, we have employed a number of Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) to work alongside permanent staff in the delivery of a range of online and face-to-face learning. The GTAs are recruited from the University’s body of research students, and the primary focus is on the development of PhDs’ practice and partnership in learning and teaching. Our teaching is by nature multi- and inter-disciplinary and focuses on academic skills (including, but not limited to, public engagement, research communication, and academic writing), and as a result sits outwith the usual departmental-style of teaching. Our talk’s aim will be to showcase the work undertaken here at Glasgow with PhD student teachers in embedding best practice in our learning and teaching. Primarily, the GTAs work on large cross-campus academic writing skills programmes. These programmes are delivered to several thousand undergraduate and postgraduate taught students; the course design, marking and teaching are all conducted collaboratively between permanent staff and GTAs. We will deliver information on the ways we provide PhDs ownership of the partnership created between them and staff, and the results of our research into their experiences of employment with us. Currently, much of the focus on student engagement has been on the development of undergraduate students. Moreover, the focus for PhD students has primarily involved researcher development. Our work takes an alternative approach: we work with our PhD students to embed and enhance their practice in student-centred learning through partnership with permanent staff in the delivery of a variety of learning and teaching provision. In so doing, we are able to offer a unique take on the enhancement of research students’ graduate attributes, and we will provide concrete discussion on the ways in which we foster partnership to develop the individual profiles of our GTAs. With over half of PhD students not transitioning into academic research roles, this range of alternative developmental opportunity is increasingly important. Our presentation will encourage attendees to consider the range of developmental opportunity they afford to PhD students, as well as the very real benefit of close collaboration and partnership as a pathway into multi-disciplinary teaching, innovative student engagement, and outwards transitions. We will further showcase a model of developing research students’ graduate attributes and enhancing their employability. We will encourage attendees to consider the range of developmental opportunity they offer PhD students, as well as the benefit of close collaboration and partnership as a pathway into multi-disciplinary teaching, innovative student engagement, and outwards transitions. We will showcase a model of developing research students’ graduate attributes / enhancing employability.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Published
Refereed:No
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Struan, Dr Andrew and Ramsay, Dr Scott
Authors: Ramsay, S. W., and Struan, A.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Research Group:Learning Enhancement and Academic Development Service (LEADS)
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