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-present a workshop 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 workshop essentially every month (for a total of eight workshops), for the rest of the year. Each workshop focuses on an area centred around 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 commitments (teaching, research etc.)
- Supporting diversity
- Assessment and evaluating teaching through self and peer review.
The program, focuses on working with others to support research and teaching and on reflecting on teaching practice. During the year the participants are expected to teach in their faculty as part of the requirements of the program. The program concludes in November with presentations at the Vice-Chancellor's Celebration of Teaching. These presentations profile the achievements of the participants and the skills that they have developed.
For participants to successfully complete the program they are required to:
- Participate in the two day intensive program
- Participate in at least 7 of the follow-up workshops
- Develop and deliver an innovative teaching session
- Engage in mutual peer review of teaching involving observations and constructive feedback.