Whether you are an experienced teaching & scholarship practitioner seeking to keep your skills fresh, develop new teaching strategies or enhance the quality of your students' teaching experience or a current PhD student undertaking professional teaching training; we at Birkbeck aim to provide an environment conducive to reflection on your own experience combined with opportunities to develop and enhance your teaching.
While not a requirement by any means we do recommend that you keep a learning portfolio/journal of your teaching experiences to assist in reflecting on your own practice and development. Reflecting on your own experience of teaching can help you identify your own personal development; areas of good practice you can share with others; areas for development; effective teaching and learning strategies, techniques and resources; ways of establishing and maintaining effective learning environments and ways of developing an integrated approach to assessment.
The College values and recognises teaching and learning professional development in a myriad of ways:
Each Year nominations are called for the 'Distinguished Teaching & Scholarship Award' which goes to a member or members of Teaching & Scholarship staff in recognition of their outstanding contribution and commitment to teaching and learning.
We also have a Birkbeck Excellence in Teaching Award (BETA) which aims to support and encourage excellence in teaching and learning by providing formal recognition of pedagogic achievement. It offers staff the opportunity to gain formal recognition for the development of excellent practice related to teaching, learning and assessment. Winners of the award receive £1,000 and offer a seminar on the project to colleagues.
Application for the BETA award can also provide a good preparation for applications to the Higher Education Academy's annual National Teaching Fellowship Scheme where up to 55 awards of £10,000 are made to recognise individual excellence. The award is intended for Fellows' professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.
Examples of enhancements and best practice are freely shared between colleagues and reported to the College's Teaching and Quality Enhancement Committee for wider dissemination where changes in pedagogy have produced improvements in student learning. Some examples presented to date are featured on the Quality Enhancement and Validation pages. For Quality Enhancement purposes we also operate a two way peer observation process to enhance your personal development as a reflective practitioner.
The College provides a range of training and professional development opportunities for Teaching & Scholarship staff including:
Grad Cert Teaching & Supporting Learning in Higher Education
Most of the workshops are open to any Teaching & Scholarship staff member with a current contract and each Term the Centre emails staff with details of upcoming workshops. Workshops are varied and provide training on items such as Moodle and Online Marking via TurnItIn along with Powerpoint and Teaching Strategies. The workshops also provide a forum for colleagues in different subject areas of the College to meet and share their thoughts, experience and debate aspects of best practice. You can also keep an eye on the CLPD website for new workshops.
Moodle is our current E-Learning portal. A support document has been developed to assist tutors in making the most out of Moodle and the ITS Department often run e-learning workshops which tutors can attend. The answers to a number of frequently asked questions on Moodle can be found by clicking here.
The Fundamentals of Teaching programme is a short programme which is designed to introduce a range of issues related to learning and teaching. The programme has been structured to provide research students who are becoming involved in teaching with an insight into pedagogic issues but may also be of interest to those industry professionals who have little or no Higher Education teaching experience to date. Those completing the programme will be awarded a certificate of attendance. During the four sessions which are offered participants will be able to explore ways of enhancing their teaching and have the chance to engage with peers to discuss approaches to learning and teaching. We also encourage Associate Tutors to gain insight into best practice by sitting in on their subject area Senior colleagues' lectures and speaking to them about techniques and strategies as you can learn much through peer observation and finding out from their experiences what works best in fostering learning and encouraging critical reflection on topics and what is less effective.
The College has recently introduced a part-time Graduate Certificate in Teaching & Supporting Learning in Higher Education which is accredited by the Higher Education Academy. This programme has been developed to be a starting point for those who have little or no Higher Education teaching experience to date or to expand on the Fundamentals of Teaching programme and those who successfully complete Module 1 of the Grad Cert and complete an additional assessment task will be provided an APEL opportunity against the Level 7 'teaching and supporting learning' module which forms part of Birkbeck's HEA accredited Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Higher Education. The Graduate Certificate consists of 2 modules and those undertaking it will normally be expected to attend for 3 days for each of the modules: Module 1: Teaching and Supporting Learning (identifies factors that contribute to the development of effective strategies for teaching and supporting learning for adults); Module 2: Integrating Research and Teaching (develops the integration of scholarship, research and professional activities with teaching and supporting learning).
The College occasionally runs a highly respected 1 year part-time Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education which is accredited by the Higher Education Academy.
Teaching takes place at day-long professional development events, which include seminars, discussion, expert guest speakers, student presentations and micro-teaching supplemented by tutorials, peer-mentoring, teaching observations and portfolio development.
Eligibility requirements are usually a good first degree or equivalent qualification and current teaching or training in a higher education setting. For further information on the PG Cert please check out the website or contact the admissions tutor, Professor Sue Jackson and her team by email at email@example.com
While the College cannot fund all of your attendance on this PG Cert, it is a highly regarded string to your bow and you may be eligible for some of the bursaries available to all post-graduate students or for Study Assistance through the College's Study Assistance Scheme. For more information on student financial support options available, please check out the student financial support website or call 020 7631 6362 to make an appointment to speak to a student financial support advisor.
The College recommends and supports professional recognition of teaching and learning development through the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The HEA is committed to improving the professional recognition of teaching in higher education and membership of the HEA is increasingly seen to be a valuable professional qualification. The scheme provides individuals with the opportunity to gain recognition as an Associate Fellow, Fellow, Senior Fellow or Principal Fellow and the Centre for Learning and Professional Development provides information and workshop sessions on the various routes to obtaining membership.
For those seeking teaching experience Birkbeck runs a Graduate Certificate in Teaching & Supporting Learning in Higher Education and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education: Higher Education both of which are accredited by the HEA. Experienced teaching staff can apply to join the register of HEA Fellows via an individual entry route and submitting a commentary evidencing their pedagogic expertise. CLPD run a workshop which outlines the requirements of the experienced staff route and gives colleagues the opportunity to consider their own experience in the light of HEA requirements.
The HEA itself is a valuable source of resources and runs events and conferences aimed at promoting and supporting evidence-informed practice in higher education teaching and learning; check out their events timetable for items which may be of interest to you.
Birkbeck Institute for Lifelong Learning (BILL) acts as a hub for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research into education across the lifecourse.
Its research spans a variety of disciplines, connecting educational researchers in sociology, psychology, social policy, economics and philosophy.
BILL takes an active role in promoting research into education and lifelong learning and its membership is both national and international.
Membership is open to anyone researching, studying or a practitioner in education and lifelong learning.
It has a number of events each year, including seminars and conferences, many of which are free of charge.