Sessional Teachers: Lecturers, Tutors, Demonstrators & Student Workplace Supervisors
Welcome to teaching at the University of Sydney.
Sessional teaching staff are defined as those employed as academics on a casual basis or those on a fixed term academic contract (either part-time or full-time) of less than two years.
The roles typically filled by sessional teachers include: tutors, lab demonstrators, clinical placement supervisors, other workplace placement supervisors, lecturers, etc.
You can find information about induction to the University and your local department here. As a sessional teacher your supervisor is most likely to be the unit of study coordinator for the subject you are teaching in. In other cases it may be a degree coordinator, or a workplace placement coordinator.
The University also regularly hosts orientation seminars for new staff. These are free and give an overview of the values and strategies at Sydney.
Teaching development courses
Many of the faculties offer short courses on university teaching for sessional staff - more details.
The Principles and Practice of University Teaching and Learning program offered by the ITL is recommended for sessional staff who have completed a development program (or equivalent) in their faculty, or for those in faculties that do not currently offer development programs for sessional tutors, demonstrators, lecturers, placement supervisors, etc. In response to ITL consultation with academic staff across the University in 2007, the University focus for the teaching development of sessional staff is within the faculties. The ITL works with faculties:
- To clarify what is already in place in the faculties (e.g. tutor development programs, workplace placement supervisor training, teaching fellowship schemes, induction, mentoring, peer observation of teaching, etc);
- To share with each other the composition of existing faculty programs;
- In consultation with faculty representatives, produce University guidelines in relation to the development of sessional staff. These might include recommendations for University expectations of minimum requirements for induction and training provided to new sessional staff; recommendations regarding training objectives and outcomes; recommendations regarding articulation with other faculty and university development programs and support processes (e.g. faculty induction programs, the Principles and Practice of University Teaching and Learning program, mentoring programs, peer observation of teaching, etc);
- To support interested faculties/schools/departments in establishing new programs;
- To support interested faculties in reviewing and evaluating existing programs, with a view to continued enhancement of the experience of both sessional teachers and students.