The Academic Internship Program for Doctoral Students has been running since 2007. Currently nominations from each college are finalised by RHD supervisors, Deans (Research) and Deans (Education). Up to 6 potential participants who are doctoral students, with teaching responsibilities and a wish to be an academic are nominated; this involves four nominees and a couple of reserve applicants.
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.
The program begins with a two day intensive workshop held off-campus in early February. This encourages participants to get to know each other, and lays the foundations for the rest of the program. Three hour monthly workshop (for a total of eight workshops) follow for the rest of the year. Each workshop focuses on a specific area of teaching. These are determined from participants' identified learning needs, previous years' feedback and faciliator choice. The program generally includes the following areas:
- Preparing for teaching
- Developing an academic career
- Assessment and feedback
- Using educational technology and online teaching
- Supporting diversity
- Teaching evaluation through self and peer review.
The program, focuses on working with others to support teaching and on reflecting on teaching practice. During the year the participants are required to be teaching in their college as part of the program. The program concludes in November with a Presentation Day showcasing how participants will transfer their knowledge into their teaching.
Participants must successfully complete:
- Two-Day Intensive: Participate in the two-day intensive program (February) in-person.
- 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 the program coordinator before-hand. Makeup activities must be completed for ALL missed sessions.
Remote access can be aranged for off-campus students as needed.
- Peer Review:
a) Engage in two reciprocal peer reviews of teaching involving observations, self-evaluation and constructive feedback (with your allocated Peer Review partner).
b) Write a 1000-word report reflecting on 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.
- Final Presentation: In your college groups prepare a five minute presentation which will be delivered on the Internship Presentation 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.