Working with sessional staff – Quick Tips


Below are some quick tips for the challenges associated with the theme Sessional staff.  The tips are itemised in dot form and are unashamedly simplistic, but are included to meet the just in time needs of busy academics.  There is occasional overlap between themes.  Challenges may be minimised by:

  •     Clearly describing tasks and responsibilities
  •     Setting the example of good teaching scholarship
  •     Giving them as much time as possible to prepare
  •     Not expecting sessional staff to put in the same hours as you
  •     Encouraging staff to access support from academic development or CLTs
  •     Finding out about remuneration and contractual obligations of staff
  •     Clearly communicating expectations
  •     Moderating marking for consistency
  •     Explaining the key university protocols and conventions
  •     Taking them step by step through the learning guide
  •     Validating their professional knowledge
  •     Providing opportunities to connect with colleagues and the profession
  •     Providing them with the resources need to do their jobs well
  •     Giving them regular feedback about unit and student progress
  •     Preparing explicit unit outlines and guides
  •     Scheduling regular meetings
  •     Demonstrating respect in all interactions
  •     Practising teaching and questioning approaches to apply with students
  •     Encouraging peer observations
  •     Inducting staff in two parts; the tutorial and then the content
  •     Advising that tutorials are about helping their students achieve mastery, not to demonstrate their own

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