Teachers’ skills development

The Faculty of Social Sciences has a strong focus on didactics and educational theory and practice, and the Faculty supports the objective of developing the teaching quality in various ways. For example, all academic staff members performing teaching duties must regularly take part in skills development, for example through participation in teaching-related continuing and further education. The Faculty of Social Sciences therefore offers a range of courses and initiatives tailored to the responsibilities, experience and interests of its teaching staff.

Professors and associate professors

The recruitment of permanently employed professors and associate professors is based on documented teaching qualifications, as per the Faculty of Social Sciences’ procedures. The faculty management is responsible for ensuring that teaching staff members continuously develop their teaching skills, for example through:

New PhD supervisors, i.e. supervisors who started their first PhD supervision in 2010 or later, as well as PhD supervisors who have not supervised PhD students for at least three years but who started to do so in 2010 or later, must take a compulsory course in PhD supervision. The two-day course is offered by the Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences.

Assistant professors/postdocs

The University has laid down common guidelines on the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme for the University’s assistant professors to ensure that they are qualified to undertake the various teaching duties while optimising student learning outcomes.

Under the Faculty of Social Sciences’ rules on the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme, assistant professors are both entitled and obliged to complete the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme. Many postdocs with more limited teaching duties may also participate in the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Programme.

Read the Faculty of Social Sciences’ rules for the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education programme here.

PhD students

The vast majority of PhD students teach one or more courses during their period of employment. These may be courses linked to their research project, which they teach on their own, or they may teach parts of a course run by another (more experienced) teacher or instructor. The Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences runs a two-day course in teaching practice (during August/January) specifically tailored for PhD students. PhD students are also welcome to attend the other Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences courses, e.g. on educational theory and practice in student supervision. In addition, they may attend an introductory meeting for new teaching staff, run by the head of studies.

External lecturers and assistant lecturers

On appointment, all part-time academic staff members are offered a two-day course in educational theory and practice (in August/January) organised by the Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences. Each semester, the head of studies holds an introductory meeting about teaching, presenting types of courses, forms of exam, evaluation procedures, procedures in connection with exam cheating, feedback and compendia. Reference is also made to the faculty library’s seminars on use of the University of Copenhagen’s e-learning system, Absalon.

Non-Danish-speaking teaching staff

All new non-Danish-speaking permanent teaching staff members must participate in an English-language introductory course in applied educational theory and practice. This applies from 2018. The number of participants signing up for all the above offerings is monitored annually. Moreover, the activities are evaluated with a view to ensuring continuous development and quality assurance.

Teaching assistants

Most bachelor programmes in the faculty use teaching assistants/tutors for practice classes, etc. Before every semester (in August/January), the Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences organises a two-day course in educational theory and practice, which many teaching assistants attend. On some degree programmes, taking this course is a prerequisite for working as a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants are paid to take the course.

Supplementary training

The Teaching and Learning Unit of Social Sciences engages in continuous dialogue with the teachers on the development of teaching and courses, for example during courses, by talking to teachers individually and organising working groups, themed afternoon workshops and longer courses, as appropriateTopics covered include teaching and learning in higher education, supervision, theory and practice of supervision, study-start, programme management, research-based teaching, exams and e-learning.

The Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Uses (CIP) core activities is the offering of research-based language courses in English and Danish, which are tailored to meet different needs at the University. As an increasing number of courses at the Faculty of Social Sciences are taught in English, many teaching staff members have taken the courses on teaching in English.

Projects and activities involving groups of teaching staff

The departments run regular projects, seminars, courses etc. designed to develop the quality of teaching.

Responsibility

The head of department and the head of studies are jointly responsible for ensuring the continuous development of the skills of permanent teaching staff members. The head of studies is responsible for the skills development of part-time academic staff members and teaching assistants. The head of studies is responsible for introducing new teaching staff and part-time teaching staff to their teaching duties. The dean is ultimately responsible for educational skills development, and for reporting to the rector every three years.