Programme syllabus: Lecturer Training Programme

This version of the programme applies to participants enrolled in the programme summer 2015 and ahead.

The programme is based on SDU’s underlying principle for education: Active teaching and learning. The purpose of the programme is to strengthen the participants' teaching competences.

The programme is compulsory for newly appointed assistant professors at The University of Southern Denmark. Post-docs can participate after agreement with the Head of Department. The lecturer training programme is also offered to other university teachers for example lectors and professors who do not have any university training education.

The Lecturer Training Programme is offered twice a year, in June and in December. Two parallel programmes start each time: one Danish speaking and one English speaking programme. However, a number of common activities are done in English only.

The programme is arranged by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The Centre’s purpose is, together with the faculties, to contribute to a better quality of teaching and learning.

1. Background
2. Aims of the Lecturer Training Programme
3. Players in the Lecturer Training Programme
4. Modules of the programme
4.1 The course module
4.2. Individual supervision
4.3. Colleague supervision
4.4. "Developing your teaching" project
4.5. Teaching portfolio
5. Certificate and written statement

6. Exemption from the Lecturer Training Programme

Programme syllabus at the University of Southern Denmark

1. Background

With reference to "Circular concerning the job structure for academic staff at universities' supervision and the opportunity for upgrading pedagogical qualifications in preparation for a written evaluation of the lecturers teaching abilities is provided. The rule applies to lecturers and study lecturers.

2. Aims of the Lecturer Training Programme
At SDU the lecturer training programme is organized as a two-semester programme. Its purpose is to develop and strengthen the participants' teaching competences and improve their abilities to:

  • plan, carry out, and evaluate their teaching with respect to the learning objectives of the study programme,
  • analyze learning processes,
  • reflect on their own teaching practice
  • develop their own teaching under consideration of study related circumstances and target groups.

The programme will increase the participant's awareness of different teaching methods and communication techniques (e.g. problem-based, project-based, "case-based", dialogue-based, and skill-based teaching). During the programme, the participant will produce a teaching portfolio, which will be a tool for self-reflection throughout the programme, and which, at the end of the programme, will serve to document teaching qualifications.

The programme also discusses IT as a teaching tool, teacher roles, different exam and evaluation techniques, and current issues such as the relationship between research and teaching.

The programme is supported by SDU's e-learning platform on e-learn.sdu.dk.

3. Players in the Lecturer Training Programme
The participant:
To a large extent based on individual supervision, the programme takes its point of departure in the individual participant's teaching competences. The programme profits from the academic breadth and the different teaching experiences of the participant group through interdisciplinary discussions during the two residential courses.

Internal supervisor: An internal supervisor follows each participant. Chosen by the participant's home department, the internal supervisor is an academically closely related associate professor or professor. The internal supervisor participates in the supervision module of the programme inclusive the final supervision interview (see point 4.2). The internal supervisor does not participate in the residential courses, but is invited to participate in a half-day long seminar for internal supervisor on their role and obligations in the programme.

External supervisor: An external supervisor with general teaching competences and qualifications also follows each participant. Chosen by the Centre for Teaching and Learning, the external supervisor has his/her central role in the supervision module of the programme, but also participates in the residential course and the poster session.

4. Modules of the programme
The Lecturer Training Programme consists of the following modules:

  1. The course module
  2. Individual supervision
  3. Colleague supervision
  4. "Developing your teaching" project
  5. Teaching portfolio

The programme is nominated to 10 ECTS points (275 hours)

4.1 The course module
The course module consists of two residential courses (one 3-day course and one 2-day course ), one closing poster session and open courses in university teaching methods where every participant choose courses corresponding to 2 ECTS points. As from summer 2016 the 2-day Residential course will be replaced by a one-day seminar and e-learning activities.

The aim of the course module is that the participants should:

  • gain insight into different topics and theoretical perspectives on teaching, including student prerequisites, teaching methods, learning processes, supervision, and evaluation
  • acquire the basic tools to analyze and reflect on their own teaching in relation to these topics and perspectives.

Participation in the residential courses (as from summer 2016 the residential course and the seminar day) is compulsory. Topics and methods in the course module will include an introduction to general issues in teaching methods and practices, practical exercises, and discussions of central teaching methods and different methods of dissemination.

Open courses are regularly announced in the course catalogue where the ECTS points for every course are available as well. Participation in open courses can be distributed during the whole year. Previously taken courses can be included in the 2 ECTS points if the courses have been offered as open courses during the Lecturer Training Programme and if participation has been within 6 months before start-up at the Lecturer Training Programme.

4.2 Individual supervision (about 20-25 hours per participant, including pre and post interviews)
The purpose of the individual supervision is to highlight the daily possibilities and difficulties in class and develop the participants’ options.

Aims of the individual supervision module are that the participants should:

  • Improve their knowledge of possibilities and pitfalls of planning, organizing, carrying out, and evaluating teaching
  • Improve their ability to develop teaching by colleague supervision
  • Improve their ability to reflect on their own and others' teaching

The supervision must relate to the participant’s daily teaching situations and work with the teaching portfolio. The supervision includes dialogues about the aim and methods of own teaching, observation of the participant’s teaching and dialogues between the participant and the supervisor about the observations and ideas for development of the participant’s teaching style and competences.

Focus could be on:

  • The participant’s ability to organize and structure teaching sessions, including choice of educational material, the making of assignments, preparation of exercises, etc.
  • The participant’s use of different types of teaching: Lecture, exercises, group work or something else
  • The participant's incorporation of digital enhanced learning in teaching sesseions and courses
  • The dialogues and contact between the participant and the students.

The individual participant is responsible, in collaboration with the internal and external supervisors, for structuring the supervision and distributing the hours between the two supervisors. The two supervisors may attend the same lessons, conducted by the supervisee, with a talk between all three parties to follow, or the supervisors may attend different lessons.

Before supervision, the participant and the supervisor have agreed on a plan for the subject and each lesson and aims for the supervision session. The supervision must to a certain extent relate to the theme of the participant's project on the development of teaching practices, but other teaching-related problems can also be touched upon.

The individual supervision ends with a final interview where the participant presents the main points of his/her teaching portfolio and the relation between his/her teaching philosophy and the descriptions of the practices. This is followed by a dialogue about pedagogical issues related to the participant’s current and future practice. This final interview is a dialogue between the participant and the internal and external supervisors and lasts for 30 to 45 minutes. The internal supervisor evaluates through a written statement the participant's teaching qualifications.

4.3. Colleague supervision (about 10 hours per participant, including group discussions)
The participant is part of a colleague supervision group throughout the course. Within this group the participants must observe each others' teaching with reference to the project on the development of teaching practices. Subsequently the development project is discussed in the group.

4.4 "Developing your teaching" project
The goal of this module is to enable the participant to use and develop knowledge of university teaching practices, methods of analysis and forms of reflection, based on a concrete case in practice. Through this, the participant will become capable of developing, in a systematic way, his/her own teaching practices. The participant chooses, as a project to elaborate and develop through the programme, a situation taken from a context of teaching or supervision. Following this, the participant will incorporate input from the course module and the supervision and colleague supervision modules into the process of working on the situation of choice. The development project must include at least one e-learning activity (as a sub initiative or as the main initiative). If this is not possible, you must explain this giving a pedagogical reason in the report itself.

The project is reported on in two ways: a short report and a poster. In the short report you are to account for the initiatives/experiments you have completed, your pedagogical considerations and you and your students’ evaluation of the initiatives/experiments. You decide which elements from your project to present through the poster. The poster is presented at a poster session and both your external supervisor and your peer supervision group will give you feedback.

4.5 Teaching portfolio
During the Lecturer Training Programme each participant is composing a teaching portfolio consisting of these elements:

  • Teaching-CV
  • Teaching philosophy
  • 2 descriptions of practices (on presentation at residential course and on exemplary practices)
  • Report on the Development project and poster from the development projects)

The portfolio is composed in the portfolio tool in Blackboard.

The purpose of the portfolio is to create coherence between the different elements in the Programme and to document participants’ teaching experiences and reflections.

The portfolio is shared with supervisors and is discussed at the final interview between the participant and the internal and external supervisor.

5. Certificate and written statement
The Lecturer Training Programme ends with the issue of a proof of participation. On the certificate the single modules of the course are listed on par with other qualifications acquired by the participant during his/her assistant professorship. This certificate is issued by the Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Enclosed with the certificate is a written statement about the participant's teaching qualifications. The statement must be worked out by the participant's internal supervisor based on the final interview between the participant and the internal and external supervisor. Read more about the written statement here. The participant may file a written complaint to the Vice-Chancellor about the wording in the written statement concerning teaching qualifications.
The supervisor may file a written complaint to the Vice-Chancellor about the course of the supervision.
Supervisor or participant may, as far as legal matters are concerned, file a complaint about the Vice-Chancellor's decision to the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

6. Is the Lecturer Training Programme compulsory?
The short answer is yes. In the case that a newly appointed member of the academic staff has taken corresponding courses in university teaching practices and supervision in another context, it is possible to apply for exemption. A teacher who wishes exemption from the Lecturer Training Programme has to send an application with documentation to assessment at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. The assessment and recommendation from the Centre for Teaching and Learning is sent back to the applicant and his/her faculty. The final decision is made by the Dean.

You can read more about the procedure to apply for exemption here (This page is only available for SDU employees).