Postgraduate training in student learning and teaching
A postgraduate training programme in the areas of student learning and supervision is presented. An experiential method of training is employed which involves laboratory and pilot plant supervisions in the Chemical Engineering Department of Imperial College. A series of workshops is used to facilitate discussion on teaching theory and practice, as well as on student counselling and communication issues. Log-book entries are used for the documentation of specific events arising from the supervision sessions, which provide a good basis for peer discussion, as well as an opportunity for self-reflection. A number of examples arising from the workshops are used to demonstrate the mutual benefits of the training programme to academic staff and students. In addition to training in teaching skills, the programme is shown to provide a mechanism for the quality control of demonstrators involved in undergraduate teaching, as well as a regular feedback mechanism to staff on the efficacy of the laboratory-based courses. Through teaching and a structured staff support scheme, the programme is believed to address some of the current concerns on the non-technical (soft) training, and on the further development of the broad science and engineering knowledge of UK postgraduate students.
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