Developing Our Postgraduate Researchers as Teachers: Evaluation of a PGTA Training Scheme

Dale, V.H.M. , Willett, A., Grindle, N. and Walker, P. (2014) Developing Our Postgraduate Researchers as Teachers: Evaluation of a PGTA Training Scheme. UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014, London, UK, 3 April 2014.

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This session will present the findings of an evaluation of a schools-facing postgraduate training scheme delivered by CALT. Postgraduate teaching assistants (PGTAs) within the School of Laws, Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences (SLASH) are required to attend an ‘Introduction to Higher Education’ workshop, and are given the opportunity to participate in an extended training programme, which enables them to obtain Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 14 PGTAs, representative of a range of disciplines and purposively selected to compare the experiences of individuals who fully, partly, or did not participate in the extended training scheme. The study revealed that ‘high agency’ individuals – who were motivated and felt able to facilitate student-led learning approaches – were able to put what they had learned into practice, and that this gave them confidence to try new approaches, boosted their identity as a teacher, and positively influenced student learning. In contrast, ‘low agency’ individuals felt constrained in terms of what changes they were allowed to implement in relation to teaching and assessment and they saw their role as mainly providing support to academics. Although participants recognised the value of generic teacher training, there was a sense that more discipline-specific training would be beneficial. This suggests a need for greater collaboration between CALT and individual departments to provide effective, targeted support for postgraduate teacher-researchers regarding their professional development. This may be achieved through the new ARENA scheme (Advancing Research-based Education in Academia).

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dale, Dr Vicki
Authors: Dale, V.H.M., Willett, A., Grindle, N., and Walker, P.
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
University Services > Student and Academic Services > Academic Services

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