Since 2007 Executive Deans from each faculty have been asked to nominate up to eight potential participants who are doctoral students, with teaching responsibilities and a wish to be an academic, for the Academic Internship Program.
Through interactive activities, especially innovative presentations and peer reviews, Interns learn about academic life. In addition, they are inducted into the University's strategic directions, including policies and procedures of relevance to junior academics. The challenges that face participants align with those in the sector: the increasingly diverse profile of students; growing class sizes; convergence of hardware; and implementation of educational technologies.
This program is run each year. The aims are:
- To promote and raise the awareness of the importance of learning and teaching in higher education by developing the teaching skills of a select cohort of PhD students who have aspirations to pursue a career in academia.
- To develop the academic/professional skills required for the participants to become successful academics in both teaching and research.
The program is delivered through a two day intensive workshop followed by eight workshops held throughout the year. Participants are expected to participate for the entire program and are also required to co-facilitate an innovative teaching activity based on research into innovative teaching strategies.
The program is structured to begin with a two day intensive workshop held off-campus. This allows time for participants to get to know each other, as well as laying the foundations for the rest of the program. The rest of the program follows the format of one three hour monthly workshop (for a total of eight workshops), for the rest of the year. Each workshop focuses on an area of relevance in teaching or research. These are developed from feedback on the previous years' program; discussions at the two day intensive workshop and from suggestions from the facilitators. The program includes the following areas:
- Developing an academic profile
- Preparing for teaching
- Giving student feedback
- Balancing academic commitments
- Supporting diversity
- Assessment and evaluating teaching through self and peer review.
The program, focuses on working with others to support teaching and research and on reflecting on teaching practice. During the year the participants are required to teach in their faculty as part of the program. The program concludes in November with presentations at the 'Graduation' ceremony in November. These presentations profile the learnings of the participants, the skills they have developed and how they will use these in their teaching.
For participants to successfully complete the program they are required to successfully complete the following:
- Two-Day Intensive: Participate in the two-day intensive program (February).
- Workshop Participation: Participate in at least seven of the 8 x 3 hr follow-up workshops. Non-attendance or partial attendance at a workshop must be negotiated and confirmed in writing with your cohort coordinator before-hand. Makeup activities must be completed for ALL missed sessions.
- Peer Review:
a) Engage in two reciprocal peer reviews of teaching involving observations, self-evaluation and constructive feedback (with your allocated Peer Review partner). More details regarding this requirement will be provided during the two-day Intensive and on FLO.
b) Write a 1500-word report about your experience of the peer review process.
- Innovative Teaching Activity:
a) Plan and facilitate an ‘innovative teaching’ activity (with your allocated Innovative Teaching Activity partner) for your colleagues in this program. This activity should not exceed 10 minutes, should be delivered together and should demonstrate an innovative approach to teaching based on a topic that is related to your disciplines/areas of teaching or research.
b) Submit a lesson plan for your ‘innovative teaching’ activity. This should include the innovation you have used and its expected learning outcomes, the educational theory underpinning the activity as well as how the activity fits with your individual philosophy of teaching. The session will be discussed by all participants based on the lesson plan and the activity. Therefore the lesson plan should be distributed to all members of the class to facilitate the discussion.
- Reflective Statement: Write a 500 word reflective statement of how you have developed as a teaching academic during the Internship program.
- Graduation Faculty Presentation: In your faculty groups prepare a five minute presentation which will be delivered on the Internship Graduation Day. The presentation will demonstrate and showcase how you will use what you have learned as result of participating in the Internship program in your teaching.