Teaching First: Professional Development for Sessional Regional Academics

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


As universities rapidly moved to online learning, urgent professional development was provided to academic staff. Many academics had never taught online before, and some with little formal teaching knowledge taught key subjects. Furthermore, they were not aware, or understood, services available to support them. These key subjects played a pivotal role in transition to university, especially for students from non-traditional backgrounds. A six-session course was developed to introduce sessional academics to online teaching at a large regional university. The sessions were funded, so that sessional academics could claim hours for the readings, attendance and post-work completed. Participants were also offered a paid initial 1 hr personal consultation with an educational designer and/or an Academic Skills advisor to support the embedding and modifications of content discussed within the series. A survey to determine previous teaching experience and specific areas of interest was sent to participants. Discussion during the sessions and general feedback was collected as well as the various changes made due to the personalised support given. Feedback indicated that the sessions and the personal consultations have allowed staff to confidently modify subjects quickly and efficiently to support student learning in the online environment. Offering a series of sessions focussed on identified needs, as well as pre and post session activity, enabled deeper engagement and reflection leading to greater impact than traditional single session professional development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventHERDSA 2022 - Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 27 Jun 202230 Jun 2022
Conference number: 41
https://conference.herdsa.org.au/2023/program/ (Program and abstract books)


ConferenceHERDSA 2022
Abbreviated titleProfessional learning for changing academic practices
OtherThe HERDSA Executive and Victorian Branch are delighted to invite you to join us at HERDSA 2022, the annual conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA), to be held in Melbourne Australia, 27-30 June 2022.

HERDSA 2022 will inspire: drawing together experience, analysis and insight in a rapidly changing environment. The disruption of the global pandemic has challenged our assumptions and prompted deep reflection and creative solutions. We are changing the way we work, learn and interact, but we are building from strength.
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