As mentioned in previous articles because of the new fees regime increasingly teaching expertise is going to be valued in UK higher education institutions. Students become more like ‘customers’ and demand the best quality teaching. So, one way that you can demonstrate to employers that you are enthusiastic about teaching is to run a pedagogical event.
These events take many forms, perhaps you want to run an event for subject specialists in your area. This approach is especially good for networking with those in your field (perhaps someone you meet at one of these events will be on a hiring panel or will be a reader for a journal or publisher). There is funding available from the Higher Education Academy and this article discusses some of the benefits to running an event like this.
For more information on the HEA please see their website: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/
Why is it good for you?
Hosting an event or workshop is good in helping you to develop your profile. As you publicise the event, your name is being broadcast to the academic community and becomes associated with innovation and a ‘can-do’ attitude.
It also gives you the chance to explore particular interests of yours, to invite your choice of speakers and run an event how you want it. How many times have you been to a workshop and wished that it had been different? Well, now’s your chance!
Applying for funding also raises your profile. Many in the profession hope that pedagogical innovation will become as well-recognised as research in years to come. So acquiring external funding to run an event like this will look good on your CV.
Why is it good for the field?
Sharing best teaching practice is a key part of the job of our profession, as important as gaining a research reputation or third stream income. However, in recent years, in many institutions, the needs of star researchers have been put before those scholars who have focused on teaching. As this begins to change, it will be those scholars at the forefront of these developments whose reputations are enhanced.
Teaching practice can also be shared with teachers from the FE and secondary sectors, so collaborations in subject areas but in different sectors can be fruitful. Students can also be involved in these workshops: enhancing the day itself and also boosting their employability.
How to design your event:
Your event needs to have a particular focus, for example, for teachers in a particular field, or for those at the start of their career. Start by thinking of a theme, and of contributors who could offer a session. You will want to have a mixture of local and visiting scholars on board and a range of contributors from senior to early career staff members.
Examples of topics you could cover are: classroom technique, e-learning, the latest teaching/learning theory, using images, research-led teaching. Be innovative too and think about how to record the events of the day. How can you disseminate your findings to a broader audience? A pedagogical journal? A pamphlet? Or perhaps even a film?