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Developing your academic career

Survival guide for new academics

This survival guide has been produced with the help of people who have some understanding of what it is like to be in your shoes - because they have been there. The information it contains is intended to be short, concise and above all practical. You will find some examples of good practice as well as references to other publications containing more detailed information on the various areas addressed.

It is intended to be used as a quick reference guide with some tried and trusted shortcuts and tips to get you started and to enable you to hit the ground running. Later on, when you gain more confidence and expertise, you may like to - and indeed should - try to adopt a variety of teaching and learning styles which suit yourself and your students. However let's take one step at a time.

UTS Student profile

UTS is a multi campus University spread over four major locations in the Sydney metropolitan area. With a total enrolment of 25,000 students, UTS is the third largest University in the state of New South Wales.

UTS offers over 60 undergraduate courses and about 200 postgraduate courses. These courses are of a standard that enable graduates to undertake full professional practice in their chosen field. A number are offered in the co-operative (sandwich) mode whereby students can alternate between periods of full time study and full time employment. UTS has extremely high levels of employability of their graduates and operates at the forefront in developing links and initiatives with industry.

UTS is a microcosm of multicultural Australia. The student profile reflects this diversity and you will experience a culture at UTS where students may be full time, part time, international, mature aged, from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, with disabilities or from non-English speaking backgrounds.

UTS is committed to a high equity profile and equal opportunities for all students and staff. Its mission includes the provision of higher education aimed at enhancing professional practice, advancing the technologies and generally contributing to the creation, application and extension of knowledge for the benefit of society.

What is good teaching?

The short answer lies in the attitudes and activities that facilitate high quality learning. This includes planning and implementing a range of learning activities.

Every teacher develops their own style, structure and technique on the way to becoming an effective teacher. However there are a number of qualities common to all good teachers:

  • knowledge of the subject and of how students come to understand it;
  • development of teaching skills and methods;
  • sound judgement about how and when to apply one's skills and methods;
  • developing a view of oneself as a teacher and the teaching process;
  • understanding how students learn in your subject and how you can best encourage learning;
  • consideration of the students' responses to all teaching activities.

The last two points are especially important and play a major role in developing courses, classes and the forms of assessment used.

You should always consider the most appropriate teaching and assessment methods to enable your students to adopt approaches to learning which will lead to the understanding of their subject, not simply the ability to recall for assessment purposes.

Five focal points

Research on student learning suggests there are five factors that require most attention in facilitating student learning:

  1. High workloads are detrimental to the quality of student learning. Can you expect students to understand the concepts you are introducing at the level you desire in the time you are giving them?
  2. Choice increases motivation. Freedom to select what they would like to study (within the curriculum) increases the students interest in the topic, and the quality of their learning.
  3. Clearer goals are more likely to lead to meaningful learning outcomes. If students know the nature of the work expected of them, they are more likely to satisfy your requirements.
  4. Assessment determines what content is studied and how it is studied. Students' perceptions of assessment requirements will set the path for their study through that whole subject.
  5. Students recognise good teaching.

Students recognise good teaching

The characteristics of good teachers as seen by their students can be summarised under three headings as follows:

Their attitude towards students:

  • they want students to learn, and master the content;
  • they want students to develop critical thinking skills;
  • they display empathy;
  • they encourage student feedback;
  • they are approachable outside classes.

Personal qualities of these teachers:

  • enthusiastic;
  • open and relaxed;
  • motivating;
  • humorous.

Teaching skills and practices of good teachers:

  • clear explanations;
  • good use of anecdotes / examples;
  • simple language used;
  • student participation encouraged;
  • variety of media used;
  • well prepared / organised classes;
  • student views respected;
  • class breaks are incorporated;
  • not 'know it alls';
  • course notes given out;
  • material made relevant;
  • take account of students' backgrounds;
  • relevant and timely feedback on students' work.

Learning is seen to be a challenging experience while being enjoyable and rewarding for the students involved.

Some common concerns

Before we look at aspects of getting started with teaching, it is useful to look at general concerns raised by new academic staff:

Everything is new

Getting into the university or departmental culture as soon as possible is very important. Take walks around the campus - find out where the refreshment areas are and the library - spend time in the departmental tea room - go to lunch with people - talk - make connections - don't be afraid to make the first move.

Not enough time

Many new staff have stated that they initially felt overwhelmed by time constraints. This was especially true when preparing classes. Task allocation and prioritising work is very important. Be strict with your time allocation and remember that when it comes to class delivery it's quality not quantity that counts.

You will soon develop your own method of time allocation. Some have suggested that new staff may like to use a timetable at first before settling into a more informal routine.

If you are unable to take on extra work, say so - don't be afraid to say no. It's far more desirable to successfully complete your existing work load than to take on extra work, deal with that unsatisfactorily and stress yourself out in the process.

How much content?

Spending too much time on preparing sessions and including too much content in these sessions are common pitfalls for some new academic staff. A gulf can develop between what is being taught and what is being learned by students. Keep your sessions simple. Concentrate on teaching a number (3-5) of main points effectively. How will you know if the students have learned and understood these main points?

Unrealistic expectations of self

One step at a time. You cannot possibly know and do everything at once - although this is a real temptation to burden yourself with. Try to set yourself realistic and attainable goals that you can match. Talk to your academic supervisor and/or mentor - seek feedback from colleagues and students - find out how you are progressing.

Robert Boice (1991) followed groups of new academics for the first four years of their careers at two universities. He identified some of these academics as "quick starters" - people who adjusted quickly, felt less overwhelmed and soon gained confidence in their new positions.

Suggestions for being a quick starter:

  • try to socialise;
  • ask colleagues for advice and assistance about teaching (many quick starters went to lectures given by respected lecturers to gain ideas for teaching);
  • become involved in research collaborations with colleagues;
  • get to know your students quickly;
  • identify possible mentors - people with whom you can discuss your work;
  • participate in staff development;
  • try to balance time spent on preparation for teaching with time spent on research and other activities;
  • don't wait for your colleagues to offer assistance - seek it out.

Boice, R (1991). Quick Starters: New Faculty Who Succeed New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 111-121.

UTS values teaching

A focus on improving your teaching is worthwhile if the institution in which you work values your efforts. UTS has demonstrated that it values teaching in establishing and maintaining academic support units such as the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning, and in its promotion processes.

Since the present promotion policy was introduced in 1990 more staff who have achieved promotion, have made a major contribution to teaching and educational development than a major contribution to research, scholarship and the advancement of knowledge. Many have also made major contributions to the University and the community. Good teachers are promoted as frequently as good researchers - teaching has parity of esteem at UTS.

There is significant evidence that the promotion criteria value women's contributions, with women being particularly successful in promotion to Senior Lecturer.

Promotion to Lecturer and Senior Lecturer is based on merit - there is no quota.

The basics of teaching

In this section we will look at some of the more practical aspects of teaching. We will examine the most common methods of teaching used at UTS.

Remember that in everything you do, it is the way it will be perceived by students that is important, not necessarily the way you do it. Ask yourself every day "Is this likely to encourage students to learn?"

Effective preparation

Planning is the best antidote for the nerves that many people feel when teaching a subject for the first time or meeting a new group of students. It is also the only way to ensure that your educational objectives are achieved. Planning begins with thinking about how you would like your students to approach their learning in your subject and what you would like them to understand, know or be able to do by the end of the semester.

Effective preparation involves developing an easy and straightforward structure by which you can match your aims and objectives within that time frame. It does not mean spending endless hours trying to get every single detail right and in doing so giving yourself high blood pressure.

Many new academics like to keep to a timetable at the start of their first semester. They then graduate to their own more informed timetable as they become more familiar with their workload and are able to prioritise their tasks.

Planning your subject

Identify your audience

Consider what you already know about the participants in your subject.

They will be a diverse group. Most will lack familiarity about your specific material. Recognise their demands and constraints. Why have they chosen to take your subject?

If you do not know your students, use one of the early sessions to find out what they know.

The students in your subject will be one your best resources. How can you find out what they know and build on this knowledge? How can you foster a meaningful approach to learning in your subject? (see pages 4 and 5)

Design for excitement

Design an approach that will produce excitement and enhance the learning process. If you were a typical student, how would you like to be taught?

Involve students

Once you have completed the outline decide what methods and activities you will use to involve the students. You may wish to refer to the Teaching Matters section entitled 'Involving Students' on page 1.27 for some ideas in this area.

It is normal to feel anxious about your first classes and it may be helpful to discuss your concerns with a mentor. Once you begin you will gain experience quickly to enable you to match the subject content to your students.

First Semester

What are you aims and expectations for this semester? What approach to learning do you want your students to adopt in your subject?

Here is a checklist of the areas to consider when planning for the first semester:

Students need choice

How does your subject fit into the your department or school's course offerings. What is expected of other students in other subjects in your area?

How many students are normally expected to take this subject?
What is their previous knowledge usually? What misconceptions might they bring with them?

Talk to staff who have offered this subject before, or look at previous assessment papers.

How much choice and control can you give to students with regards what they will learn and how they will be assessed?

Essential material

Read the official handbook description of your subject.

Ensure that you know enough about the topics to be covered, but don't feel that you must know every detail.

Ask yourself if the amount of content you want to address is a realistic amount for the students to learn in one semester. 
You do not have to cover the whole curriculum yourself. For student workload reasons, it is better to err on the side of less coverage and more time for student learning, provided students are given a clear outline of the extent of the curriculum.

Divide what is left into about is essential to cover and what is desirable if there is time.

Think about alternative ways that students could learn the content eg. reading, assignments, group projects etc.


Select issues you would like to address in formal lessons - this will be the essential material. Appraise the remaining content with respect to how the students will be expected / required to learn it.

How has your subject been taught before? Does that method incorporate considerations of student learning?

Work through the different possible ways in which you will teach the essential material eg by lecture, by discussion, by problem solving.


Think about assessment
How will you assess? Who will make the decisions about types, weighting etc?

Consider how your teaching and assessment will affect students' learning approaches and outcomes.

Can the students be given choice or flexibility in these areas?

This is important - the students must be assessed against stated criteria which relate to the objectives of the subject. These criteria and the associated assessment tasks must be provided to the students in writing no later than by the end of Week 3 of semester. (Assessment Procedures Manual)


Decide upon/order textbook(s), copies of articles, etc which will be required for the following semester.

Practical/studio classes


Practical classes can provide opportunities for students to begin to experience what it is like to be a professional in their discipline area - to work on a practical problem, communicate solutions and give and receive constructive criticism.

Practical sessions by definition require student involvement. They vary widely between disciplines but some of the common aims can include:

  • Encouraging enquiry and exploration;
  • Linking theory to practice;
  • Teaching practical skills;
  • Getting to know students as individuals.

Beginnings and ends

Beginning the class

Overview of the subject - recap on the last lesson and explain the context of this lesson

If necessary re - enforce the rules of health and safety in a practical class.

Explain clearly what is expected in this class and attempt to find out if students know this.

Structure of the class

Timing is important to ensure that you can get through what you have planned. You may have a number of different activities planned for a class from demonstrations to simulations from problem solving activities to individual or group review. By planning these sessions well you will develop a style which will allow flexibility in developing the individual student's needs.

End of the class

The end of a practical or studio session may be an important time for students to review what they have learned and for the teacher to gain feedback on students' learning. Review time needs to be planned into the session to prevent the all too common experience of running out of time. This time can be used to summarise the session, to ask and answer questions, to draw students attention to points which they may have skipped over and to make links between the practical / studio session and others.


  • Locate and visit the area assigned to you to eliminate any possibility of coming late on the first day;
  • Be sure you know how to work all of the equipment;
  • Obtain all relevant handouts;
  • Be familiar with safety issues;
  • Write your name and office hours on the board;
  • Introduce yourself and give a brief outline of your professional background;
  • Ask students to introduce themselves;
  • Ask students to wear name tags for the first few sessions - wear one as well;
  • Tell students what amount and standard of work you will expect of them;
  • Discuss lab / studio rules - clothing, behaviour, cleanliness and safety;
  • Explain the theme and general purposes of the labs / studios in the subject;
  • Demonstrate the relationship between lecture and lab / studio material;
  • Prepare well for the first session;
  • Give a task out or some preparatory work to be completed for the next session;
  • Thank the class for their work and attention.

Further reading Teaching Matters Part 1
Video Teaching Matters 3 - Practicals



Lectures continue to be one of the most commonly used teaching methods in higher education. An effective lecturer should aim to maximise the potential for student learning while stimulating motivation, giving students the opportunity and time to reflect on their beliefs and attitudes and to encourage further enquires.

Lectures should not be used to transmit information that the students can acquire, often more effectively, from reading their textbooks. Unfortunately, this is the way they are most often used.

Uses of lectures

  • To provide a framework so that students can locate and make sense of information and concepts;
  • To explain and analyse concepts, problems, issues and ideas;
  • To help make links between new material and the knowledge and experiences of students;
  • To provide a model for how to formulate and think through issues and problems;
  • To stimulate motivation and interest in a subject area;
  • To generate understanding.

It is useful to consider the following points in order to identify and appreciate your audience, their motivation and their approaches to learning.

Students construct knowledge. All students will try to relate new information in the context of their existing knowledge. Therefore it is important to know about students' prior knowledge in order to help them to build bridges to this new information and to change any existing misconceptions.

Students like to see the whole picture. Providing an overview of the subject showing the links and relationships within your subject area and with other subjects makes the structure of each session clear to students and enables them to fit all of the topics together and begin to make sense of them.

Students can be easily overburdened. Students are likely to retain and understand new material more effectively if it is presented in a clear, concise and simple format. It is a temptation to impart too much information in a lecture in a short space of time. In many cases the message is to lecture less...but better.

Students' attention is limited. Students can lose concentration quite rapidly if engaged in a fairly passive activity. Concentration does improve if there is a break or a change of activity. Build these breaks and changes into your lecture plan.

Develop three distinct stages in the structure of your lecture: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.

The introduction

1. Review of the previous session. This provides links and ensures continuity.
2. Outline of this session. Explain your lesson structure to the students.
3. Need to know and motivation. Why are the students learning this? What is the relevance of this session?

The body

Identify your audience.

1. Consider the nature and content of your lecture. 
2. Decide on the most appropriate teaching strategy(ies) to employ. 
3. Consider the balance between teacher centred and student centred activities. 
4. Use variety of activities and media. Build in ways for students to think about and process new material.

The conclusion

1. Review of this session. Did you fulfil your objectives? Draw out the main lecture points again. Remember the old saying " Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you've told them."

2. Preview the next session. Create links and contexts for the students.


Before each lecture you should consider how the students will benefit from this session; how you can ensure that they learn; how you can monitor their learning; and how you will encourage adoption of a meaningful approach to their learning.

Physical - Visit the lecture room. Check furniture lights, OHP, microphone etc.
Notes - Are they completed? Are OHPs clear and up to date? What content is necessary? What content is desirable? Have you got extra examples / questions which you can use?
Rehearsal - What will you say? Have you arranged your timing to include activities, breaks and debriefing?
Opening - Is it interesting and exciting? Will it get the students' attention?

After each lecture it is a good idea to note how the lecture went. What was successful and what could be improved on? Are the resources used appropriate? How involved were the students?

Find out from students how the lectures are going. Are they learning the points you want them to learn? How is this affecting their approaches to learning?

Also gain the advice of a colleague on the course materials you are using and how you come across in the lectures. You can, of course, reciprocate this arrangement.

Suggestions for lectures

You will probably feel anxious and nervous before your first lecture. However there are some practical steps you can take to ensure that you hit the ground running and with success.

  • Arrive early to prepare the classroom and to get your bearings;
  • Greet students as they arrive;
  • Start the session formally;
  • Introduce yourself to your students and ask them to introduce themselves to each other;
  • Announce your office hours;
  • Hand out subject syllabus or outline;
  • Present overview of the subject especially the potential benefits to students;
  • Establish ground rules of good practice;
  • Explain the layout of the subject textbook;
  • Describe your plan for testing and grading. Explain how they can succeed;
  • Solicit student questions and reactions;
  • Give an assignment out to be completed by the following class, or conduct a brief quiz to gauge where students are;
  • Review the main points and clarify if necessary;
  • End the session by thanking the students for their attention;
  • After the session note your accomplishments.

Further Reading: Teaching Matters Part 1 - Lecturing to large groups: doing it less ... but better - LW Anderson
Video: Teaching Matters 1 - Lecturing



Teaching in tutorials provides more scope for learner involvement and participation. The range of tasks and activities one can set a small group is limited only by the imagination of the teacher.

There are many advantages of small group participatory learning. Interaction among students helps to build group cohesion and enhances their capacity to work in a collaborative way. Group work recognises that learning is an active rather than purely passive process. There is an opportunity for you to listen, to tap the knowledge and experience of students, and for them to share and test their ideas and interpretations.


Creating a good group atmosphere.

Using name tags and learning each other's names is essential and will help to make students less nervous about revealing their difficulties with the subject matter and discussing ideas.

Creating ground rules at the beginning of the semester

Discuss expectations about preparation and participation with students. Be clear about reading tasks, pre class work and rules of discussion within the tutorial. Outline any assessment requirements for the tutorial.

You may need to rearrange the furniture

This is a very important factor in tutorials. Providing a pleasant physical environment will create a more intimate atmosphere. Try arranging furniture in a semi circle with you as the focus at the start or in clusters for group work. Avoid seating students in straight rows if you want them to discuss ideas or work together.

Involve the students

It is important to get all of your students involved in tutorial activities. For suggestions on how to do this refer to theTeaching Matters handbook page 1.27 for some ideas on how to kick start discussions in your tutorials.


Refer to the notes in this booklet on lectures and practicals. Many of the same basic rules of thumb will apply here.

The first tutorial will set the tone for the rest of the course. The key things to so in the first tutorial are:

  • Introductions;
  • Discussing expectations;
  • Start on some real work - this demonstrates the way you would like the tutorials to be run;
  • Good conclusion to clarify what you have said and your expectations for the next class.

Further reading: Teaching Matters Part 1
Video: Teaching Matters 2 - Tutorials

Using learning technologies

New technologies should be used in the most appropriate way to provide a quality, learning experience for students. This necessitates taking a course/subject-based approach to the design of a learning experience which is focussed on the learner:

  • what and how do we want students to learn?
  • what and how do students want to learn?
  • what is best learned face-to-face?
  • what is best learned through other media eg. print, online, video?

The most effective kind of learning experience is determined not by the technology available, but by considering what is most appropriate for the students, the subject and the learning objectives and then selecting the most appropriate technology to use, be it a book, an online discussion a multimedia simulation, or a workplace experience.

Remember to keep the students needs at the centre of any flexible learning initiative.


If you decide that online learning is appropriate for your students and subject, you can choose to use UTSOnline. UTSOnline is the UTS name for a centrally supported web-based learning system (Blackboard). It is available for access by all UTS academics and students. IML can help with learning design and academic support for UTSOnline and also manages an online learning forum called UTSOnline community where users can learn from each other by exchanging online learning ideas, sharing tips and accessing some general resources.

The URL for UTSOnline is http://online.uts.edu.au
The UTSOnline home page has links to an instructor manual, a student manual and a website with information on how to request accounts for your subjects. The ITD flexible learning team provides technical support for UTSOnline and administers accounts and student enrolment processes.


Although the majority of students are here by their own choice and have a vested interest in ensuring that classes are orderly and productive, some students can disrupt classes in different ways.

This can be very unsettling for yourself and the other students. To be fair to all it is necessary to respond to any disruption quickly and decisively, no matter how this goes against the grain. Once the ground rules have been established, there should be no excuse for disruptive behaviour.

What practical steps can you take?

Firstly take a positive interest in students and their learning. If disruptions occur, talk with the students to try to establish the reasons for the behaviour.

Be prepared to accept that a majority of students may be dissatisfied with your teaching, and you may need to modify your content or approach.

Don't ignore obvious disruption. Point out generally to the class that good order is essential for effective use of class time.

Talk to any disruptive individual privately outside class time.

Staff are empowered to exclude a student from class for that session.

For persistent disruptive behaviour a student may be excluded from class for the whole semester.

It is important to talk to your academic supervisor, mentor or a senior colleague if you are unsure of how to deal with a problem such as this. Do not let it snowball. Whatever steps you decide to take against a student, warn the student first. Conversely do not make threats which you do not intend to carry out.

If you think a student may need assistance in some area contact student services on x1177.

Cultural diversity

Students whose experience of learning and teaching has been in a different culture may experience many more transitions than those educated in Australia, when they come to UTS. Other than the obvious language differences, some of these students may have expectations of the roles of teachers and students which are very different to those of students educated in Australia.

Teaching approaches thought to benefit all students, including those from a variety of cultural backgrounds include:

  • developing students' awareness of what learning means in your subject;
  • allowing students time to think about or discuss questions before answering;
  • negotiating the use of English or other languages in small buzz groups where the students share a common language;
  • setting clear expectations and standards;
  • encouraging recognition of different thinking and writing styles;
  • analysing with students the requirements of assessment questions;
  • providing opportunities for collaborative learning in class.

Students who were asked to comment on how they thought teachers could improve, included:

  • Improving the clarity of presentations and expectations;
  • Sensitivity to students needs and valuing their contributions;
  • Giving feedback on learning, not just marks;
  • Encouraging students to meet and interact with each other;
  • Developing an awareness of and showing respect for different cultures;
  • Breaking classes into smaller groups;
  • Developing an awareness of your own language use (jargon, etc.).

Time, money and inspiration

Teaching in long blocks of time (2-4 hours) does not mean standing and lecturing for three hours, even if the session is labelled as lecture time. Concentration by yourself and students is not possible for this amount of time. For further information and examples refer to the Teaching Matters folder, section 1.25


Initially you may find that you have a number of unexpected expenses such as professional association membership fees or the cost of books, software or other necessary materials. Keep the receipts and claim them on your income tax return.

Support staff

Develop a good relationship with the support and office staff. They can help you in your job and can be a good form of support for you.


Be aware of security. Don't leave valuables lying about which could tempt a potential thief - it does happen. This also applies to answers to questions, students marks etc.. If you use a filing cabinet, don't leave your key in the top drawer of your desk - it's a bit of an obvious place.

Looking for inspiration?

Take a look at the following ideas in the Teaching Matters folder:
Preparing for teaching 1.14
Student activities in lectures 1.24
Involving Students 1.27

Developing your career

As a newly employed academic you will have a number of issues to deal with in the short term. These will be focused on settling into your new job, establishing links and getting your classes under way successfully.

It is important to keep an eye to the future and to be thinking about ways of developing your career. You will be able to discuss this with your academic supervisor and mentor from your first planning discussion onwards.

There are many ways and routes to building a successful academic career. Some of these are listed below:

  • Enrol in a Higher Education Teaching and Learning Graduate Certificate course;
  • Research - finding topics and co-writers;
  • Becoming a consultant in your professional area;
  • Developing educational and program links with industry;
  • Pursuing higher qualifications;
  • Joining professional associations;
  • Attending conferences at home and/or overseas;
  • Use the University's Performance Enhancement for Academic Staff processes to get feedback and direction for your career;
  • Plan to take advantage of the UTS Professional Experience Program (PEP) ie study leave;
  • Develop and maintain an academic portfolio.

It is also important to build up an academic portfolio over a period of time. This can also be used effectively for promotion or tenure applications.
Further reading: Guidelines on Promotion and Tenure for Academic Employees

Formal support

A 2-year induction and development program has been developed by UTS for all new Level A and B staff with contracts of 2 years or longer. Each staff member is allocated a mentor in the early stages of their appointment at UTS. All new staff will also have an academic supervisor who will be named in your letter of offer of appointment.

Most UTS tenurable staff are appointed on a probationary basis. Probation is the period during which decisions about continuing employment can be made. It is intended to provide for a period of secure employment with the opportunity to be offered continuing employment. Probation offers a period of mutual testing during which decisions about continuing employment can be made and should be of sufficient length to allow these judgements to be made in each case.

During probation and in the induction program, the University, the mentor and the academic supervisor will offer ongoing support, resources, developmental opportunities and feedback to assist staff to meet their development and tenure requirements.

Within the first months of your appointment, your academic supervisor will arrange a planning discussion with you. In this meeting you will:

  • clarify the expectations of the University and the work unit;
  • review the level and expectations of your goals;
  • plan support and development activities which will assist you to meet your obligations to the University and enhance your career;
  • enrol in modules of the Graduate Certificate;
    in Higher Education Teaching and Learning at the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning.

Your mentor should also meet with you to discuss your development program and career needs and interests.

Remember to bring as many ideas and questions as possible to these meetings. Use these meetings to clarify any outstanding issues. Make sure that you are happy and clear about your aims and objectives and the University's expectations by the end of the discussion with your supervisor.

Read your Guidelines for the Development of New Staff at UTS and UTS Guidelines on Probation and Tenure for Academic Progress booklets for more information in this area.

Other sources of support

Making links and getting support from others is often the best way of sharing experiences and problems. Going to lunch with somebody or going for a drink after work can be a good way of winding down and swapping ideas. Joining informal interest groups is also a good way of networking and can be surprisingly encouraging.

These types of activity groups allow new staff to become further involved in the life and overall culture of the University. There are a wide range of informal clubs and facilities available to UTS staff members.

Institute for Interactive Media and Learning

The Institute for Interactive Media and Learning (IML) is your academic support unit. It is located on the 27th floor of the Broadway campus, (Tower Building, phone 9514 1669).

The IML aims to promote a university ethos and practice that leads to improved teaching and enhance the opportunities for students to learn, and to provide opportunities for staff to realise their potential in all aspects of academic work.

The IML offers a wide range of support including individual consultation, seminars and workshops, course and subject evaluation as well as providing a wide selection of teaching resources and publications.

This guide is prepared by IML. The resources mentioned in it are all available from IML.


Below is a list of other essential sources of information.

Guidelines for the Development of New Staff at UTS: outlines the 2-year program to be negotiated between new staff at Levels A and B and their mentors.

University of Technology, Sydney: Calendar: contains lists of the staff, principal officers and major administrative structures of the University. It also reproduces the Act, by-laws and rules which govern the University.

Your Faculty Handbook: handbook for the current year. This contains details of course structures and individual subjects.

Human Resources Unit Handbook: this is issued to new staff at their first formal induction session. It includes information concerning your conditions of employment (eg. leave, promotions, superannuation) as well as descriptions of many of the facilities and services available to you.

Information for UTS Staff on Assessment: a handbook, with examples of the range of assessment used at UTS. Available from the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning.

The Assessment Procedures Manual: this is available from the Institute for Interactive Media and Learning.

Teaching Matters Handbook: this is produced by the IML. A copy of the Teaching Matters Handbook is distributed to all members of staff at UTS and contains more detailed information regarding university policy and procedures as well as numerous examples of good practice in teaching.

Learning to Teach in Higher Education: A book by Paul Ramsden (Routledge, 1992) which is a valuable resource for staff who think about teaching.


We hope that this guide has introduced you to some of the basic procedures and expectations facing you as a newly appointed member of staff at UTS. We have endeavoured to identify some of your general concerns and attempted to help you to put some of your concerns in context.

Of course you will have your own specific issues and circumstances to address. The message is clear however - communication is the answer. There are a lot of people out there ready, able and willing to offer their advice, support and expertise to you. Seek them out - you won't be sorry!

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best in your career at UTS and to invite you to offer your own expertise in updating this guide for future additions.

Enjoy your teaching!