Teaching and learning development of casual academic staff: An institutional approach

Year: 2002

Author: Whelan, Karen, Smeal, Georgia, Grealy, Jane

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In 2002, Queensland University of Technology has once again offered the Casual Academic Staff Teaching and Learning Development Program. The program, which is sponsored by the University Teaching and Learning Committee, is unique in a number of ways including:

• Casual academic staff are paid for their attendance at the program;
• Organisation of the program is coordinated by Teaching and Learning Support Services Department (TALSS) but is conducted in consultation with the Professional Association of Part Time Academics (PAPTA);
• The program has grown and evolved over a number of years such that the 2002 program includes up to eight parallel sessions of both seminars and workshops and has attracted an attendance of around 300 staff in each semester.

This paper will discuss the program and the processes that have been embedded to continuously improve the offerings to meet the needs of a diverse range of casual academics across QUT. The feedback from casual academics is overwhelmingly positive about the program and in particular, many feel that it gives them a sense of belonging to the institution, the lack of which is often a criticism of the increasing casualisation of the university workforce.