Casual academics- Teaching in SOPHI

Teaching Development Program

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences invites all tutors to register for the Teachers' Development Program. The program is jointly designed and run by the Faculty of Teaching and Learning Committee and the University's Institute for Teaching and Learning. Your participation will be recognised witha certificate that can be added to your CV.

Modules offered are:

  • Peer Observation of Teaching
  • Group Work
  • Assessment

For more information and to register for the Tutor's Development Program, please go to the [http://sydney.edu.au/arts/teaching_development_program/||Arts Teachers' Development Program website]]

Your supervisor

The person with whom you will work most closely is your unit of study coordinator. Your coordinator will assign you to your tutorials and/or lectures, brief you about the unit, and give you copies of relevant unit resources. These may include the Guide/Outline, which contains detailed information about the unit of study, and the Reader. (If required, tutors are usually expected to pay for their own textbooks).

If you have any questions, concerns or difficulties regarding any aspect of your work as a tutor, you should talk with your unit of study coordinator.
Academic staff links

Elearning

Many units of study now include online components using Blackboard, a Learning Management System which provides a variety of built in tools to teach and manage students.

How do I access Blackboard?
You access Blackboard with `your UniKey account. To apply for a Unikey please refer to the section here on Unikey and Email Accounts.

Lectures and tutorials

Tutorials
Tutorials begin in the second week of semester. Contact your unit of study coordinator to confirm your class lists, class times and venues.

Lectures
You are encouraged to attend all lectures in the unit of study in which you are teaching, as part of your preparation. In small group teaching situations, it is obviously beneficial that you know what your students have been exposed to in lectures.

Student feedback tells us that students like tutors to attend lectures. They see such attendance as a sign of their teachers’ commitment to their students.

Attending lectures enhances your ability to:

  • promote your students’ active, independent critical engagement with the lecture content,
  • devise productive starting points for tutorial discussions,
  • assist students with any problems they may have with the lecture material,
  • when marking, make informed judgements on the quality and originality of students’ oral presentations, essays, and exams.

Work Submitted for Assessment

All undergraduate and postgraduate students should submit work for assessment in the departmental assessment boxes located at the SOPHI office (Level 3, Quadrangle). Cover sheets, which include the anti-plagiarism declaration, are located near the assessment boxes and must be attached to all submitted work. The student enquiries counter is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Assessment boxes are cleared for the day at 4.00pm. Work submitted after 4.00pm will be date stamped as the next working day.

Return of Assessments
1. For classes of less than 75 students, assessments should be returned to students in class (except for those returned after the teaching period). Any residual assessments can be left with the SOPHI office. If additional assistance is required with returning assessments, please email

2. For classes of 75 or more students, assessments can be left at the SOPHI office for distribution.
Please note:
(a) All assessments should be marked, and marks recorded, before submitting to the SOPHI office.
(b) SOPHI staff will notify students that marked work is ready for collection via their university email address. Academic staff wanting to email students themselves, should delay notification until the work has been completely submitted to SOPHI.

3. For assessments received after the end of the teaching period, students may attach a stamped self-addressed A4 envelope to their assessment for a speedy return.

Results processing

Contact:
Please contact Teaching and Curriculum staff

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences uses an online Results Processing System (RPS) for the recording and submission of all results. Your supervisor will advise you whether or not you will be involved in entering marks directly into the RPS. Further details about this process will be circulated to casual academics that will be using the system. Important: Access to the system requires a Unikey.

Grade Distribution
Although the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences favours a standards-referenced approach to assessment it still has a recommended Distribution of Merit Grades (see below). The online RPS automatically calculates and displays the grade distribution of your unit of study and allows you to apply a customised scaling factor to your results, if required, so that they comply with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences distribution of merit grades guidelines.

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences sets down the following guidelines for grade distribution:

Junior level (1000 level):

 

Grade

Faculty Guidelines

HD (85-100)

5%

D (75-84)

15%

CR (65-74)

35%

CR+ (65-100)

55%


Senior Level (2000 and 3000):

Grade

Faculty Guidelines

HD (85-100)

7%

D (75-84)

18%

CR (65-74)

40%

CR+ (65-100)

65%


The above grade figures apply to UoS with 100 students or more and 10% variation is allowed by the School. Special entry units are not expected to conform to the guidelines.

Assessment Consideration (commonly known as special consideration)

All students in the Faculty apply for Assessment Consideration online. When they log in they are asked a series of questions that enables the system to direct their particular application to the appropriate process:

  1. 1. Special Consideration – for longstanding serious illness or misadventure, including extension requests for 5 days or more.
    2. Special Arrangements – for essential community commitments, including religious or major sporting commitments, duties relating to the birth or adoption of a child, obligations to attend legal proceedings, and Defence Force or emergency service commitments. Students should first contact their tutor or unit of study coordinator regarding special arrangements.
    3. Simple Extensions - is a claim relating to a non-examination based assessment task for which an extension of less than five working days is sought.

To view the information available to students about Assessment Consideration, see the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences website: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/current_students/online_application.shtml

Once an application has been submitted, an automated email is sent to the relevant Unit of Study Coordinator asking them to login to the system in order to process the application.

Sick? Can't teach?

Contact your unit of study coordinator and the (+612 9351 2862) as early as possible to arrange for another staff member or to notify students of your absence.

Feedback/Evaluation

The University’s Institute for Teaching and Learning provides a questionnaire that has been designed for tutors seeking feedback on various aspects of their teaching activities, including tutor preparation, stimulation of interest, explanation and feedback, and classroom management.
This is a useful tool to use to reflect on teaching and to improve it. The use of the Feedback for Teachers service by staff is entirely voluntary and student feedback gathered using this service is returned only to the staff member or group requesting it. It is up to the staff member involved to decide whether to discuss the feedback with colleagues and what action to take.
For further information about the questionnaire and to put in an order for it, please go to http://www.itl.usyd.edu.au/feedback/

Please note, the Feedback for Teachers questionnaires are different from the Unit of Study Evaluation (USE) survey forms that your coordinator is required to administer to students in their unit of study.

Room Bookings

If you need to reschedule a tutorial because it falls on a public holiday or for any other reason, please contact Kim Kemmis ( or phone 9351 4021).

Policy advice

If you have any questions regarding University or School policies relating to teaching and curriculum matters please contact Laura Wilson ( or 9351 3638).