Dr Richard BaleThe GTA Programme (GTAP) provides training and support to postgraduate researchers who are engaged as Graduate Teaching Assistants at Imperial. There are two core courses which discuss topics relevant to all GTAs at College:

  • Introduction to Learning and Teaching
  • Introduction to Assessment and Feedback for Learning

There are also optional courses which explore various questions related to learning and teaching, such as: How do I ensure all students feel valued and included during my lessons? How do I engage students in discussion? How can I facilitate active learning during lab demonstrations? What technologies are available to help facilitate learning? How can I gain professional recognition for my teaching?

GTAP is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), so programme participants are eligible to gain professional recognition in the form of an Associate Fellowship of the HEA (AFHEA).

In order to self-enrol onto the GTA Programme on Blackboard, please follow the instructions: GTAP 2018-2019 Self-Enrolment Guidance

Professional DevelopmentCourses for GTAs

GTA Retreat

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale
Course Level: Level 3

The one-day GTA retreats provide GTAs with time and space to reflect on their recent teaching experience in a supportive environment. During the morning, participants have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their teaching experience, sharing good practice with peers and addressing any teaching-related concerns. The retreat is also a useful time for participants to make progress with Associate Fellowship (AFHEA) applications – the route to professional recognition for teaching. In the afternoon, time is set aside for each participant to receive peer and tutor feedback and to continue writing their application. Finally, we introduce the concept of a teaching philosophy – a reflective statement about teaching beliefs, goals and values. Participants will develop the skill of articulating how they teach, and why, which is useful preparation for future applications for academic posts.

Prerequisites:

  • Completion of at least the two core courses in the GTA Programme (GTAP), namely Introduction to Learning and Teaching and Introduction to Assessment and Feedback for Learning.
  • Gained sufficient teaching experience in the term prior to the retreat.
  • Be in the process of applying for Associate Fellowship (AFHEA).

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify aspects of good teaching practice as well as areas which can be developed further.
  • Compare teaching styles and methods across different disciplines.
  • Assess your application for Associate Fellowship and revise as appropriate.
  • Articulate your beliefs and values about learning and teaching in the form of a teaching philosophy.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Mini Retreat for AFHEA applications

If you are working on your application for Associate Fellowship (AFHEA), come along to the Graduate School’s Mini Retreat. You can come along and use the time and space simply to write without the usual disruptions of daily life and/or you can discuss your AFHEA application with a Graduate School tutor.

There is no need to book, but places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

 Please note that this session is not for credit and will not count towards the attendance requirement.

Teaching: Introduction to Learning and Teaching

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale
Course Level: Level 1

Supporting student learning is one of the main duties of academic staff working in higher education. This course provides doctoral researchers with an overview of the GTA role and an introduction to some key teaching techniques to promote active learning. We also discuss planning sessions, including formulating aims, objectives, and learning outcomes. Finally, this course provides doctoral researchers with a space to reflect on their existing or future GTA duties, and to explore strategies for coping with a range of student interactions.

This course provides a general introduction to learning and teaching for GTAs at Imperial. There are optional courses which focus on specific learning contexts, such as lab teaching and small-group teaching.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Define the GTA role in teaching and supporting learning at Imperial
  • Identify teaching techniques to promote active learning
  • Practise writing learning outcomes and planning a learning session
  • Develop strategies to deal with various learner behaviours

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

 

Teaching: Introduction to Assessment and Feedback for Learning

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale
Course Level: Level 1

Assessment and feedback are fundamental in supporting learning and stimulating students’ motivation. In this course, participants explore the principles of effective assessment, with a particular emphasis on formative assessment. Participants are also introduced to a range of feedback approaches, and gain practical advice on how to gather feedback to evaluate their teaching.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify features of effective assessment
  • Select a range of appropriate formative assessment methods
  • Assess the effectiveness of a range of feedback approaches
  • Evaluate teaching on the basis of student feedback

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Microteaching

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale
Course Level: Level 2

Microteaching is a technique used to enable teachers to practise an element of their teaching skills in a ‘safe’ environment. In this course, GTAs teach a 10-minute segment of a learning session (tutorial, seminar, lab demonstration, lecture, fieldwork) to a small group of peers (maximum 5 GTAs per course). After the microteaching session, the participant receives constructive peer and tutor feedback. The sessions are filmed for review and discussion in the group; the recordings are not shared or viewed outside of the microteaching course.

This course is a follow-up to the two core sessions in the GTA Programme, Introduction to Learning and Teaching and Introduction to Assessment and Feedback for Learning, and provides a space for GTAs to practise some of the skills discussed in these two sessions.

On completion of this workshop you will be able to:

  • Identify aspects of good practice in your teaching, including use of active learning techniques, as well as areas for further development.
  • Build on the practical experience gained to increase their confidence when teaching
  • Practise observing others and giving peer feedback on teaching
  • Evaluate their teaching in light of peer and tutor feedback

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Supporting Active Learning in Labs

Tutor: Dr Paul Seldon
Course Level: Level 2

This course will examine Laboratory teaching, comparing and contrasting different approaches and how these can be used to maximise the effectiveness of this type of teaching. Situated learning scenarios will be used to examine common problems and solutions to these to support GTAs involved in Lab teaching.  This course will challenge attendees to review best practice and enable them to build confidence.

After attending this workshop you will be better able to:

  • Distinguish between different types of Laboratory teaching practice
  • Evaluate the best practice in a range of situated learning scenarios
  • Propose new strategies and approaches in Laboratory teaching
  • Facilitate learning and Identify how to support all students

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Introduction to Teaching with Digital Technologies

Tutor: Ms Valentina Cattane & Dr Richard Bale

Most interactions in our everyday lives have changed considerably due to the introduction of digital technology, and this has also had a great impact on our teaching and learning practices. Classrooms now have smartboards replacing chalkboards, and iPads replacing books. Students can continue their discussions outside a physical classroom and connect with peers located in a completely different part of the world. Time and space have ceased to be an obstacle. So, how has the teacher role changed following this revolution? Are students’ learning experiences necessarily enhanced by using technology?

Digital tools can potentially enhance what we do in our teaching; however, a critical approach to the use of technology is crucial. In this course, we reflect on what digital pedagogy means and how technology can affect your teaching practice. We then take a more hands-on approach to technology implementation in your own teaching; we will share digital tools that can enrich your students’ experience and interaction, and you will design your session considering the use of digital tools.

This course consists of two main phases. Participants must attend both phases in order to complete the course and be awarded one credit.

1)   A pre-online, one-hour webinar during which we will discuss what digital pedagogy means, whether technology is relevant for your session, and what your role should be when assessing which digital tools to use.

2)   A face-to-face hands-on session (two hours) during which you will be given a brief overview of some tools and then design your technology-enhanced session/course.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify a range of learning technologies and their practical uses
  • Critically reflect on some of the benefits and limitations of using digital tools and their impact on your pedagogy
  • Evaluate which technologies to use in given contexts
  • Create a technology-enhanced activity and provide peer feedback on the design of technology-enhanced sessions

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Performative Aspects of Teaching

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale
Course Level: Level 2

When we are teaching, it can sometimes feel like we are ‘performing’, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and nervousness about our performance in the teacher role. In this course, we explore performative aspects of teaching in higher education, drawing on the performing arts and performance theory, where the concept of ‘performativity’ is loosely defined as “something that is ‘like a performance’ without actually being a performance in the orthodox or formal sense” (Schechner 2013: 123). During the course, we focus on the voice (diction, projection, intonation, clear communication), body language (including relaxation), improvisation and presentation of self, and explore some of the techniques used by performers (singers, actors, public speakers, and so on) to help improve your confidence as a GTA. We also examine the nature of (performance) anxiety and explore ways of managing anxiety and ‘stage fright’.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  1. Recognise the links between teaching and performance.
  2. Explain the basic anatomy of the voice and the fundamental principles of body language as they relate to performance.
  3. Practise a range of voice, relaxation and improvisation exercises to improve performance.
  4. Evaluate how the techniques presented can help improve your teaching performance and build your confidence.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Applying for Associate Fellowship (AFHEA) (Webinar)

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale

The GTA Programme (GTAP) is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), which means participants are eligible to apply for professional recognition of their teaching. This course introduces the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), which outlines the activities, core knowledge and professional values that should be demonstrated by those who are teaching in higher education. We also discuss the Associate Fellowship (AFHEA) application requirements for GTAP participants. A key element of Associate Fellowship is the ability to reflect on practice, so participants will have the opportunity to assess some examples of reflective writing and to consider how they might incorporate this style of writing in their own application. By the end of the course, participants will be in a position to begin planning an application for AFHEA, and may attend follow-up support in a one-to-one session with a Graduate School tutor or at a one-day GTA retreat.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Describe how your teaching context relates to Descriptor 1 of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF).
  • Identify potential examples to evidence your teaching practice against the dimensions of the UKPSF.
  • Distinguish between descriptive and reflective writing.
  • Begin planning your application for Associate Fellowship (AFHEA).

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Facilitating Learning in Small Groups

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale

Graduate Teaching Assistants at Imperial facilitate learning in a variety of small group teaching contexts, such as problem-based learning, team-based learning, tutorials and labs. In this course, participants explore what is meant by small group teaching, and discuss the goals and purposes of teaching students in small groups. We build on the discussions about active learning which took place in the core course, Introduction to Learning and Teaching, and take a more detailed look at some of the methods and questioning techniques used to engage and motivate students. Participants also explore how to deal with different group dynamics, including dominant group members, disengaged members, and conflict within the group.

At the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Define small group teaching and how this approach is used in your own disciplinary context.
  • Prepare a range of questioning techniques to stimulate discussion and reflection.
  • Use a variety of active learning methods to engage your students.
  • Develop strategies to deal with different group dynamics.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Introduction to Pedagogic Research

Tutor: Dr Richard Bale

Conducting pedagogic research involves using a variety of methods to examine our teaching practices and to improve the learning experiences of our students. Alongside research in specific disciplines, many academics are now interested in investigating a range of aspects of teaching, learning and assessment practices, but it is important to consider how research in your subject might differ from educational research. This course introduces the concepts of pedagogic research and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and enables participants to reflect on the paradigmatic differences between discipline-specific, scientific research and educational enquiry. Participants are introduced to various educational research methods and consider how they might apply some of these methods in their own small-scale pedagogic research project.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define what is meant by pedagogic research and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).
  • Compare and contrast approaches to research in your discipline with research in education.
  • Evaluate a variety of educational research methods.
  • Begin planning a piece of pedagogic research.

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).

Teaching: Inclusive Learning and Teaching

Tutors: David Mooney, Katie Carpani , Richard Bale

In this course, participants explore what is meant by inclusive practice and universal design. They will discuss the process involved in identifying barriers to inclusion and explore possible solutions through recommended reasonable adjustments. Graduate Teaching Assistants at Imperial complete a range of tasks when working with students including designing some teaching materials, facilitating learning in small group teaching contexts, carrying out some supervision, assisting with assessments and providing feedback to students. Practical advice, through case studies, will be given to help participants complete these tasks while adjusting for factors such as disability, culture, language, religion, gender and sexual orientation.

At the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Define the background to inclusive practice
  • Identify potential barriers to learning and possible underlying reasons
  • Develop strategies to minimise barriers to learning  
  • Apply these strategies to improve inclusivity in your teaching practice

Dates

The Graduate School’s Professional Skills Course Programme has finished for the 2018-19 academic session.  Courses will be available to book at the end of September 2019 for the next academic session (2019-20).