Lotte Schreuders, Bob Pirok, Stefania Grecea, Jocelyne Vreede, Natasa Brouwer
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
In today’s dynamic society, teaching in higher education university is demanding and stressful task among new faculty members as they shift their role from learners to teachers. With the previous education often being aimed at research, new staff generally lacks relevant teaching-related skills. This transition is even more demanding as new faculty members are often appointed on tenure-track positions. Without appropriate support, it is challenging for new lecturers to properly develop a course, which directly impacts the quality of the curriculum. While university teaching qualification (UTQ) programs may exist, these often start after the teacher has started educating.
The aim of this user case is to propose an easily implementable system for peer-to-peer mentoring. This mentoring should achieve to decrease workload of senior lecturers to facilitate transfer to junior lecturers and aid in assuring quality of the lectures and courses with respect to the rest of the curriculum.
We propose a mentoring program that embeds the new lecturer in the expertise of a more senior staff member. Through meetings, feedback sessions and general support, the junior lecturer can tailor the education with the rest of the program. This mentoring peer-review process facilitates both alignment of courses within the curriculum and knowledge transfer between lecturers at various stages of their career. Moreover, it can function as means of quality assurance of courses in the curriculum. As an additional advantage, the senior lecturer may gain feedback from the open mind of the junior lecturer. These new insights can function as a component of CPD and thus also offer great benefits to senior participants of the mentoring program.
Lecturers in the MSc Chemistry program at the University of Amsterdam have a high workload balancing research work and education. This is particularly true for the relatively large number of tenure-track staff that have begun teaching. These staff members often find themselves completely lost in the rules and regulations, but particularly in how to organize their teaching. This leads to large differences in quality of courses within the MSc Chemistry curriculum. It also generates dissatisfaction with the junior lecturers who feel that they lack the proper knowledge and tools to deliver good teaching to the students.
Local educational scope
MSc Chemistry with different tracks
Pre-knowledge / Background of the participating local teaching staff
Most of the lecturers in this user case have achieved the Netherlands nationally recognized University Teaching Qualification certificate after following the UTQ programme organized at the Faculty of Science. Several lecturers are following the UTQ programme during this user case.
Stage 1: INVENTARIZE & DEFINE
Test cases will be defined through selection of a limited number (n≤3) of suitable pairs of senior and young staff.
Using the selected mentor-mentee pairs a first draft of a mentoring structure will be designed. By incorporating input from these staff members the mentoring program a be ensured to deliver the requested knowledge and is likely to promote a CPD mindset.
Stage 2: EVALUATION
The proposed mentoring structure will be presented for review by other STEM-CPD@EUni members. The gained feedback will be incorporated into the mentoring structure before the first pilots start.
Stage 3: PILOT
The University of Amsterdam STEM-CPD@EUni team will track the progress of the mentor-mentee pairs for a set time domain and propose recommendations for an improved system. The pairs will be interviewed again and their suggestions will be used for further optimization of the structure.
Media platform (e.g. Zoom, Teams, microMOOC)
Feedback from test cases will be internally presented to create more support (internal ambassadors). Development of microMOOC.
This CPD scenario describes a User case in which lecturers develop attitudes in reflecting on own teaching practice and knowledge sharing.
The approximate duration of a User case that follows this scenario is several months.
In this CPD scenario the participants are using a very short open online course, a micro mooc (μmooc) and professionalize in a close connection to their own teaching practice (at their workplace) and meet in person on location with the training staff and with other participants.