Many new academics are thrown in at the deep end. It is wrong to give them, for example, the responsibility for course design when they don’t have the experience. Similarly, giving them a class of first year students when they have not yet proven their teaching ability may affect the students’ learning of the basics. This may impact on their experience later on in the course.
I mentor new academics and give them advice that will help them. It is difficult for new academics to look ahead, but I tell them to consider the bigger picture; not to react to new directives from their line managers who put pressure on them. In this course we promote experiential learning by examining case studies and undertaking group projects. New academics may have industry experience but little or no academic experience. Some are disorganised and lack a passion for teaching. Students pick this up quickly which can make their job difficult.
Our teaching and learning unit offers lots of technical support for new technologies and on-line learning. They also promote pedagogical approaches, but these are not well attended. New academics tend to rely on the approaches they were taught with and think they are doing well in a classroom. I believe building relationships with my students is key to their learning. I am also very organised and prioritise jobs well.