Associate teachers course

  • The Associate Teachers course (AT) is an introductory teaching course designed for the University’s part-time teachers, known as associate teachers. These may be graduate teaching assistants, hourly-paid staff, sessional teachers or those who support learners in departments such as the Library and Computer Services. This course is validated by Oxford Brookes as a 20 credit, Level 7 module; P70405 'Learning and Teaching in Higher Education'. The course is accredited by the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Participants who successfully complete the course and have their teaching observed by a course tutor or experienced colleague in their local context will become Associate Fellows of the HEA.

    This module is also taken by those new to teaching in higher education alongside module P70409, ‘Reflection and enquiry in higher education’, to make up the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PCTHE).

    The module uses a dialogic and narrative approach, and offers an introduction to the fundamentals of teaching, learning and assessment in higher education. It has been designed to develop skills, confidence, scholarship and pleasure in teaching for those new to teaching in higher education. The module invites you to examine the field of teaching and learning in higher education in relation to your own theories and practices, to explore the stories of your own growing identity as a teacher, and to evaluate the development of your own teaching through a number of group and individual activities.

    This programme aims to:

    • Equip you with tools, techniques, and support to help you deal with immediate teaching challenges
    • Develop your academic literacies in higher education teaching and learning in line with the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF), so that you can make informed decisions about activity design, teaching techniques, assessment and evaluation in a range of contexts
    • Increase your scholarship, repertoire, competence, and confidence in all areas of your professional activity and core knowledge, and to increase your pleasure in supporting learning in multiple modes, thereby helping you to improve your practice
    • Foster the development of an engaged, participatory, critical, evidence-based approach to learning and teaching, which acknowledges, is informed by and contributes to local, national and global contexts
    • Foster the habits of shared reflection in professional learning communities, recognising, making explicit and drawing on one’s own and others’ value systems (including the professional values of the UKPSF)

    Your practice as a teacher in Higher Education will provide the basis on which you will be asked to present, discuss, and critically evaluate. 

    The course is organised around six ‘chapters’, covering induction, learning, teaching, design, diversity and assessment. Each chapter includes a range of content and resources, and online and offline activities, including a webinar and a face-to-face workshop. The course employs and models a range of approaches to learning, teaching and assessment to help participants develop a critical and informed awareness of the strengths and limitations of a range of strategies.

    Oxford Brookes staff

    The University requires anyone who teaches for 50 or more hours a year at Oxford Brookes (including marking and preparation time) to complete this course; others are welcome to participate. Oxford Brookes also has a number of postgraduate students who are required to teach as part of their funding arrangements and therefore need to attend this course.

    For those who have only limited or periodic teaching responsibilities, OCSLD offers a one-and-a-half day ‘Introduction to learning and teaching in HE’ session.

    External applicants

    Most of the course participants work at Oxford Brookes University or one of its partnership organisations. However, each year a number of external applicants are welcomed onto the course. Please contact Fiona Smith for details of how to apply as an external participant.

  • There are a variety of modes of study with taught sessions combined with online activities, practical exercises, tutorial support and independent study. Most of the activities and group tasks are delivered online so that you may complete the course at times and in places of your own choosing. 

    Having completed this module successfully, you will be able to:

    Academic Literacy:

    • Analyse, using a variety of evidence types, learner support problems and recommend appropriate responses

    Research Literacy:

    • Apply key theoretical concepts and research-based evidence to designing learning activities and where appropriate recommend improvements

    Digital and information literacy:

    • Effectively use a variety of digital technologies for learning and teaching.

    Critical self-awareness and personal literacy:

    • Critically reflect on and evaluate your teaching and learning practice, identifying your own professional development needs

    Global Citizenship:

    Critically evaluate teaching and learning practices based on an understanding of learner difference and diversity

    These objectives will be informed and underpinned by the values of the UK Professional Standards Framework:

    • V1 Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities
    • V2 Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners
    • V3 Use evidence informed approaches and the outcomes from research and scholarship and continuing professional development
    • V4 Acknowledge the wider context in which higher education operates recognising the implications for professional practice