Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme – University of Copenhagen

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The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences 

The rules are in force.

According to the Job Structure Circular’s “Memorandum on Job Structure 2007 for academic staff at universities”, the University is obliged to provide assistant professors1) with supervision and opportunity to improve pedagogic qualifications with a view to carry out written evaluation of their teaching qualifications. The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme adheres to the "Common University Guidelines for the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme".

Below rules set out the responsibilities and framework of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Purpose

The aim of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences is to improve assistant professors’ teaching qualifications in the social sciences. In addition, the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme helps enhance pedagogic theory and practice at the Faculty.

The objective of the programme

On completion of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, assistant professors are able to organise, provide and evaluate teaching in a way that best possibly supports student learning in relation to the statement of objectives of the respective courses. The assistant professors are also able to contribute to developing the academic discipline’s and the Faculty’s degree programmes. They are able to reflect on their own teaching practice and make any changes necessary.

Teaching in this context is defined in its broadest sense. The programme provides assistant professors with experience of a variety of forms of teaching and supervision.

The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme provides both general and subject-specific skills, and includes both practical and theoretical elements. The theoretical elements are relevant to the assistant professors’ practical teaching duties. The programme’s theoretical, academic and practical aspects are linked in the supervision that assistant professors receive in the course of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme.

Participants and qualifications for taking part in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme

All assistant professors at the Faculty of Social Sciences have both the right and the obligation to complete the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme.

This also applies to associate professors employed on a trial basis on the grounds of insufficient teaching experience prior to appointment; cf. section 5 (3) of the Danish Circular on Job Structure.

Furthermore, the departments may offer staff in other job categories the option to attend the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme if they have teaching duties and it is deemed appropriate. The Faculty seeks to provide postdocs who are planning a career in research with the opportunity to participate in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, e.g. by supplementing the postdoc appointment with a short-term appointment as an assistant professor.

It is a prerequisite for participation in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme that the participant has either completed the 2-day University Teaching Course; cf.http://samf.ku.dk/pcs/undervisere/uvp/ or has acquired knowledge and skills equivalent hereto in a different way.

Responsibility

The assistant professor's head of department has the managerial responsibility for the organization of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme. This responsibility may be delegated to another permanent member of the academic staff at the department. The planning may take place in collaboration with or be fully or partially assigned to the providers of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme; in general The Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences at the Faculty of Social Sciences, which also provides a pedagogic supervisor. In relation to supervision, the department’s own lecturers are responsible for academic supervision.

The head of department is also responsible for informing assistant professors of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme and guidelines of the Faculty, and for ensuring that participants on the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme are given sufficient and varied teaching duties at the department while they are taking the programme.

The academic supervisor is appointed from among the permanent lecturers at the department by the head of studies and the head of department, and must be a qualified lecturer in the assistant professor’s academic field. The supervisor must have knowledge of relevant teaching methods and the curricula as well as other parameters for the teaching work done by assistant professors. The academic supervisor must be offered sparring opportunities, networking activities and skills development in relation to supervision and university teaching in general. The academic supervisor must participate in a workshop offered by the providers of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme.

The pedagogic supervisor must have broad and in-depth understanding of learning and university teaching, as well as experience in teaching and supervision of lecturers. The pedagogic supervisor will normally be associated with an educational environment outside of the academic department, in general the Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences or an external provider of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme.

The academic and pedagogic supervisors advise the assistant professor on teaching and the organisation of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, and participate in the supervision of the assistant professor’s teaching. The academic and pedagogic supervisors jointly prepare the final statement.

The pedagogic supervisor shall carry out the supervision in a manner that gives the assistant professor the possibility of acquiring general competences and general knowledge of teaching and student learning, so that, following completion of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, the assistant professor is able to reflect on his or her own teaching practice and develop his or her teaching.

The academic supervisor shall carry out the supervision in a manner that gives the assistant professor the possibility of acquiring the subject-specific competences – including experience of the teaching methods relevant to the subject, and knowledge and understanding of relevant curricula and descriptions of objectives – that qualify him or her to contribute to the development of subject elements and degree programmes.

The supervisors have joint responsibility for linking the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme’s theoretical, academic and practical aspects when providing supervision to assistant professors.

The Associate Dean of Education has the managerial responsibility for ensuring that these rules are observed and, if need be, updated.

Scope, timing and structure

The Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Programme is normally undertaken within the first two years of an assistant professorship. For associate professors employed on a trial basis, the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme must be completed at the latest four months before the end of the trial period.

The duration of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme is minimum 175 and maximum 250 working hours.

The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme includes:

  • teaching under supervision, including preparation
  • courses, seminars, workshops, etc., including preparation
  • participation in pedagogical development work (if relevant).

As soon as possible after the assistant professor is appointed, a plan is drawn up for specific elements of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme. The plan is approved by the assistant professor, the supervisors and the head of department. Any changes to the plan must be approved by the same parties.

Courses, seminars and workshops should, as far as possible, be based on the assistant professor’s own teaching and must be embedded in the theory and practice of the assistant professor’s subject.

When allocating teaching and other work at the Faculty’s departments, the number of working hours devoted to the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme by both assistant professors and supervisors must be taken into account.

The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme is offered in English. The supervision is usually carried out in Danish or English.

Credits

Credits are given for documented pedagogic activities undertaken prior to appointment at the Faculty of Social Sciences. However, credits for university teaching and learning programmes completed during a PhD programme cannot reduce the scope of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme to fewer than 175 hours, as per ‘’Common University guidelines for the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme’’.

It is a prerequisite for awarding credits that the applicant has provided relevant teaching, while taking the courses etc.

The academic and pedagogic supervisors jointly decide on credits following an application from the assistant professor.

Teaching portfolio

As part of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, the assistant professor must prepare a teaching portfolio for use in the overall evaluation.

The Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme must include teaching or supervision in relation to preparing a teaching portfolio. The assistant professor must be informed of the elements to be included in the teaching portfolio which is to be submitted for evaluation.

This teaching portfolio must include material that can be used in future job applications and must, thus, include material that, at a minimum, conforms to the University of Copenhagen’s guidelines for teaching portfolios and job applications. The portfolio must also include an overview of completed teaching assignments, evaluation results and the assistant professor’s reflections on his or her own pedagogic work.

Final evaluation

Upon completion of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, the academic and pedagogic supervisors draw up a written evaluation of the assistant professor’s teaching qualifications. The statement is prepared on the basis of the material in the assistant professor’s teaching portfolio and the supervisors’ observations in connection with supervision of the assistant professor as well as any final interview with the assistant professor.

The evaluation must in qualitative terms describe the assistant professor’s teaching qualifications at the end of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme and conclude whether the assistant professor has achieved qualifications equivalent to the aim of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme.

The evaluation is 2–3 pages and must be written in English or be accompanied by a translation into English.

Avenues of complaint and appeal

Complaints can be made about procedural errors as well as the substance of decisions in relation to credit transfer and final evaluations.

Complaints are submitted to the head of department within two weeks of the decision being communicated to the assistant professor. The complaint must be submitted in writing and include an explanation of the reasons for the complaint.

Complaints about the final evaluation are forwarded to the supervisors, who are given the opportunity to comment on the complaint. The complainant is given at least a week to respond to any comments put forward by the supervisors. The head of department either (1) dismisses the complaint or (2) appoints two new assessors with qualifications equivalent to those of the academic and pedagogical supervisors.

If a new evaluation is conducted, the new assessors must be given the opportunity to observe the assistant professor’s teaching and/or conduct an interview with him or her, if they deem it necessary in order to be able to assess the assistant professor’s qualifications.

If the complaint is not fully upheld, the complainant has the opportunity to appeal the head of department’s decision to the Dean within two weeks of being informed of the head of department’s decision. The appeal must be submitted in writing and include an explanation of the reasons for the appeal. The Dean either (1) dismisses the appeal or (2) appoints two new assessors.

Evaluation and quality assurance

The head of department and the course providers, in general the Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences, cooperate on appropriate quality-assurance procedures.

On an ongoing basis, the course provider arranges for both formative and summative evaluations of the course by means of written and oral mid-term and final evaluations. When the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme has been concluded, the supervisors moreover run through the course with the assistant lecturer by means of individual, final learning conversations which last approximately one hour and, among other things, cover:

  • the objective of the programme
  • courses
  • the co-operation with the academic supervisor
  • the co-operation with the pedagogic supervisor
  • teaching carried out, including variation in teaching methods
  • time spent

On the basis of these evaluations, adjustments to the structure and content of the course may be made, and each year a short evaluation report of the Faculty's Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme is prepared, which is published in the Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences’ annual report. The annual report is available at http://samf.ku.dk/pcs/english/about/.

Adopted by the Faculty Management on 3 July 2015

/ Associate Dean for Education Birgitte Sloth


Note 1)This also applies to employees in the job category at assistant professor level who is termed “researcher”; cf. section 2 of the Job Structure Circular.