Preparation is an ongoing process that takes place throughout a teaching period. It may include responding to changing situations in learning and teaching, such as student management, administration and engaging student learning.
The following options provide advice for academics new to teaching at ACU, including key duties and resources required to meet the needs of your students at each stage of the teaching cycle.
- Before (when teaching starts): when you receive your offer of employment, before classes start with students
- Commencing (when teaching commences): your first class/lab or placement with students or the beginning of a teaching period
- During a teaching period, ongoing review of teaching
- End: at the end of a teaching period, end of term exams, final assessments and evaluation
Each section under 'Your preparation' includes a list of relevant information to support your teaching and further development.
Before teaching starts:
Before the teaching period you will need to check with your school administrator or supervisor to ensure you have an active ACU logon. This will permit access to ACU systems, such as email and the Learning Management System (LEO).
All units taught at ACU irrespective of study mode (face-to-face, attendance, blended learning, fully online), must have a LEO unit site set up and maintained for students.
The diagram below is included to help you prepare and keep track of administrative and teaching responsibilities arising before, at commencement, during and at the end of a teaching period
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Preparation before your classes begin. You will need to consider:
- What do students need to learn? - Discipline-specific content, rules of the profession, work readiness. For more information refer to
- How will my unit of study be structured? Your school administrator can help you locate curriculum documentation e.g. unit outline. In addition, the lecturer responsible for the unit (Lecturer-in-charge or LIC) must set up a LEO unit site; the structure of a unit may vary depending on the type of delivery. For more information refer to
- Which technologies or technology tools will be incorporated into my unit? For an introduction to LEO (Learning Environment Online) refer to
- How will I monitor students' progress? For more information meet regularly with your teaching team, discuss with colleagues, participate in school meetings. In addition, please refer to
- How will I set up and establish rules of engagement with students? Set expectations; negotiate class rules e.g. netiquette. For more information refer to
- Student conduct and discipline - Policy and Procedures.
- Acceptable use of IT facilities
- All staff and students must agree to LEO site policy e.g. 'Declaration of Originality', at the beginning of each semester in order to access LEO.
- How will I receive feedback about my teaching practice in the unit? Coursework units offered by ACU will be evaluated in accordance with the Evaluation of Learning and Teaching Policy and related procedures, using the SELT questionnaire. For more information refer to:
- Evidencing learning and Teaching (including SELT)
- Academics may also use informal methods of feedback and evaluation such as short surveys and focus groups during the teaching period.
Technology-enhanced learning support resources and professional development
As part of your learning and teaching activities it is important to know where to find support and help with technology that enhances the learning experience and allows students to engage wherever they are.
- Here is a list of support resources to help with selecting LEO, technology tools and other information technology assistance.
When teaching commences
Now you have completed your preparation you are almost ready to commence teaching! Clarifying expectations is an important first step when creating a positive learning environment for students to learn.
This may include checking the teaching space:
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Preparation before your classes commence.
You will need to consider:
- How are students enrolled into my units? Students are automatically enrolled when a new LEO unit is created. For further information contact your school administrator or supervisor or refer to
- How do I know what classroom I'm in? Refer to the timetable or contact your supervisor or school administrator.
- Are my lecturers automatically recorded? It is a standard practice at ACU that all lectures timetabled in lecture-capture enabled venues are recorded and made available to student on relevant LEO unit sites.For more information refer to
- Where do I find information about exams? If you are going to include an examination in your unit you need to prepare this early as it is usually due to be sent to the Examinations area by week 4 or 5. Seek assistance from your school administrator. For more information refer to
Technology-enhanced learning support resources
At ACU the learning management system (LEO) is used to enhance the student learning experience and their ability to access and engage with their unit content, learning activities.
LEO guides include a range of support resources and videos to help you get started; whether you are employed in a teaching role or lead role. A good place to start is:
or consult with a leader responsible for creating unit or getting them ready for delivery.
During a semester or teaching period there are a number of tasks requiring ongoing attention such as: feedback to students about their academic performance and feedback from them on your teaching practice. Feedback informs regular review and improvement of learning and teaching activities, The best strategies should be implemented at the commencement of a unit and may include; sending a welcome message or email to the class.
At the commencement of a unit, students need time to feel comfortable and establish a learning community and a social presence which will help develop learner engagement. Learning environments differ greatly as they are affected by the level of student engagement with the curriculum, content and activities.
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Academic teaching support resources
Listed below are some places where you can find resources to help develop your teaching strategies
- Learning and Teaching Policy and Procedures
- Learning and Teaching website - provides a range of guidance and resources to support teaching.
- Teaching Online Program - provides a foundation in online pedagogy, online course design, online teaching, and technologies used to teach online.
- To learn about planning a lecture, how students really learn, working with small groups and looking after yourself, see Race, P (2015), The lecturer's toolkit: a practical guide to assessment, learning and Teaching; University Teaching in focus: A leaning-centred approach ; see Hunt; L. and Chalmers, D. (2012) and Handbook of for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education enhancing academic practice, Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. and Marshall, S. (2008) - available in the ACU library.
- Using technology in teaching, see LEO guides for staff
- Dealing with student difficulties: see Student Conduct and Discipline - Policy
- Support services for students (example disability support, access to academic skills support)
- Academic Integrity Framework
- Assessing and giving feedback
- Guidelines on student workloads
Examples of practice
Different teachers have different approaches and that is what makes academic teaching so interesting as a profession.
- Listed below are some examples of best practice. Select the methods that you would like to develop further.
End of teaching
At the end of semester or a teaching period it is important to help students review key aspects of the unit. Ask them to consider how it fits into their program of study? What skills, knowledge and attributes of their chosen profession did they develop? In addition it is important to ensure all marking, feedback and final grades are completed. Final grades must be recorded in an ACU system called ‘Student Connect’. Please see your school administrator to check what your responsibilities are for finalising the unit grades and organising access.
Evaluation is an important part of continuous improvement for the student and teacher. The University has a formal evaluation process in place and you can compare the results with the feedback you gathered during the teaching period.
Evaluation needs to be carefully explained to students so they know that their feedback helps develop strategies to improve their experience, inform curriculum development and achieve excellence in teaching.
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Listed below are some places where you can find resources to help you locate information on evaluating teaching and releasing results and grades.
- How will student receive final grades from the teacher? The grades for individual assessments are recorded in LEO, but the unit final grade is only released to students through Student Connect. For more information about submitting results, grade roll relates, final grades roll and releases; final grades and result due dates see
- The SELT is a survey of student views on the quality of their learning experience, and teaching quality in their units. While SELT is a formal University endorsed feedback mechanism, it is not the only way to collect data on student learning and experience; for more information refer to
- Reflection on learning and teaching may be conducted at different times and for different purposes throughout the teaching period, Once scheduled classes have finished for the teaching period you may wish to engage in more professional development integrating technology with other academic support.
Page last updated: 2017-08-16
Short url: http://www.acu.edu.au/1326035