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Teacher Training Programme for Postgraduate Students

Course Description

This programme has been designed to support teaching assistants in any discipline to acquire the relevant knowledge, skills and values needed to teach well and to develop these further over time in their continuing teaching experience. The course is grounded in educational research on teaching and learning, applying the emerging concepts to develop practical strategies for teaching and enhancing student learning.

It is recommended that participants have some concurrent or imminent teaching duties to use as a basis for reflecting on their teaching experience and as a ground for application of the concepts developed in the course.

The course starts with the workshop 'Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education', but the other workshops can be taken in any order at times to suit the interests and availability of participants. Please use the links below to apply for a place in those workshops that you wish to commit to at this stage. 

The course consists of the following workshops (click on the heading for more details):

Workshop 1: Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education

Course Description: This workshop is intended as a foundation briefing and training session for postgraduate teaching assistants who are relatively new to teaching and who expect to be teaching in one of UCL's departments in the near future. It is a self-contained session, offering a general traverse through principles and practical aspects of small group teaching, large group teaching, assessment and feedback, online learning support and reflective practice; these are all based on a scholarly approach to teaching to develop a deeper conceptual appreciation of student learning enhancement through learner-focused teaching practice. These topics are all explored in greater depth in the workshops 2-4, but this introductory session should give participants enough to start their teaching assignments with confidence and begin the ongoing journey in developing the knowledge, skills and attributes that enable powerful teaching over time.

Note: this workshop may be available to postgraduate teaching assistants in teaching departments as part of local training provision. If this is the case, it will not be necessary to take this workshop, but the more in-depth workshops and course described below may be of relevance and interest. If you would like to explore these opportunities and/or obtain guidance in these selections, please contact the Course Director via the link below.

Workshop 2: Small Group Teaching

Course Description: This half-day session outlines different strategies and techniques for engaging students in active learning in small groups and tutorials. It is especially focused on how to make optimal use of the opportunities for deeper learning that are uniquely available in small group sessions. In addition, this session will cover methods for designing effective learning tasks that encourage deeper student learning in problem-solving, critical thinking and approaches to study of the subject. These include managing in-class discussions and learning activities, questioning techniques and providing on-the-spot feedback to encourage further exploration of the topics being taught.

Workshop 3: Assessment for Learning

Course Description: This half-day workshop will focus on embedding assessment and feedback in the student learning process in a constructively aligned design of teaching sessions and course provision. The session will explore the multiple purposes of assessment and consider how variety and innovation in assessment and feedback can enhance students' approaches to learning tasks and to study generally, as well as improving their assessment outcomes over time. A range of assessment planning tools and resources will be provided to support workshop participants in learning how to foster better student learning through opportunistic use of assessment and feedback strategies and practices in day-to-day teaching.

Workshop 4: Large Group Teaching: Effective Lecturing and Presentation

Course Description: This half-day workshop will focus on designing and presenting large group teaching events, typically lectures, to optimise student engagement and learning outcomes of their course. Topics covered will include how large group teaching fits within a learning curriculum, segmenting lectures, presentation skills and principles of design and use of audiovisual materials to support teaching in large group sessions. This workshop is intended for people who may have relatively little experience of lecturing, but all are welcome: even quite seasoned lecturers would find something of value to take away and apply to their large group teaching.

Workshop 5: Reflective Practice: Portfolio Development (for students interested in Associate Fellow of the HEA)

Course Description: This half-day workshop will explore principles and practice underpinning professional accreditation and professional development frameworks through reflective practice and compilation of narrative portfolios to put forward evidence-based claims regarding the candidate's knowledge, values and relevant professional activity. It is primarily intended for Postgraduate Teaching Assistants who wish to compile a teaching portfolio to support an application for recognition at Descriptor 1 of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) for admission as Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA). Although this is available as a stand-alone workshop, it would be expected that participants normally will have completed the foundation workshop 'Introduction to Teaching in Higher Education' and be taking part in the full teacher training programme and that they have the intention to compile and submit a portfolio under UCL's recognition scheme, accredited by the HEA under the UKPSF.

Specialist Workshops (optional)

Specialist workshops on other topics are available as stand-alone provision for those interested in exploring these areas, in some instances as supplement to participation in courses/programmes for developing teaching skills and/or pathways to professional recognition under the UKPSF (please see the course website for more details):

Additional learning resources

The course and its constituent workshops are supported by a suite of online resources, mounted as units in UCL's Moodle Virtual Learning Environment, to which all participants will be given access in order to support and further develop their knowledge and skills for effective teaching. An additional unit 'Learning Technologies and Online Teaching' is also mounted on the Moodle site, exploring the principles and practices underpinning effective support of learning via online environments and learning technologies. Course participants who are using, or expecting to use, learning technologies and online environments to support their teaching are encouraged to work through this online unit. 


Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Although each session can be taken as stand-alone workshops, students can pursue a national qualification in higher education teaching (Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy) by attending the full programme (Workshops 1-5). Important: to gain the Associate Fellow status teaching experience is required. Please check the links below for more details.

Preference will be given to students who wish to take all workshops 1-5. Please book your place below.

This course is inactive. For more information about the teacher training please visit UCL Arena One website (link below)
"If you don't know how to teach, this course will teach you how to!"

"An excellent teacher. One can only hope to be as good as him someday."

Researcher Development Framework Categories

A1) Knowledge base
B3) Professional and career development
D3) Engagement and impact

Course Recommended for

This course is particularly relevant to the following groups:

  • 1st Year Research Students
  • 2nd Year Research Students
  • 3rd Year Research Students

Course Organisers

  • Course Director - Dr Paul Walker - (CALT - Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching)
  • Administrator - UCL Arena One - (CALT - Centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching)

Course Links

Further Web Resources


Registration information will be available in due course.

Page last updated: 23rd April 2015