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Teaching and learning


Ensuring similar prominence of teaching-specific and the research-specific aspects of the post

Use similar style, language and emphasis, and allow roughly the same space or number of bullet-points, to present information about both teaching and research. 

Being specific about requirements

Make sure that reference is made to specific aspects of teaching and learning that will be of importance in the role, both in terms of fulfilling the responsibilities of the post and to ensure appropriate career progression. This may include reference to course unit design, programme development, student interaction more broadly, innovation or leadership in teaching and learning, depending on the role.

Preparing for interview and presentation

Teaching & learning related tasks

There are number of ways in which teaching can be brought into the interview process, it can be done as a part of the interview, in conjunction with a research presentation or as a separate presentation if time permits. Even if there is no separate presentation on teaching & learning, the candidate can be asked to prepare something in advance of the interview.

Whatever task is chosen, the candidate should be discouraged from using general formulations about teaching philosophy and encouraged to offer an honest and individual response.

  • Examples of teaching & learning related tasks to ask candidates to prepare in advance of the interview

Interviewing and presentation

Choosing the membership of the interview panel

In line with the general advice on panel membership, ensure that there is at least one panel member who is qualified to ask more detailed questions about any aspect of teaching, learning and student interaction relevant to the post. This may, but need not, be someone in a formal role such as T&L Director or Programme Director.

Exploring teaching & learning in the interview

Make sure enough time is dedicated to teaching & learning and related activity in the interview, so that there is not an imbalance between the amount of time spent covering research and that spent covering teaching. Responses to questions should be followed up and discussion encouraged in the same way as for research.  Open questions are more likely to lead to interesting and revealing discussion.

Remember that questions and discussion should not be just general and about face-to-face teaching, but can also be specifically about assessment or feedback or can refer to interaction with students beyond classes.

  • Examples of interview questions on teaching & learning and student interaction more broadly

Involving students in the selection process

For posts which include as a substantial part interaction with students, be it undergraduates or postgraduates, it is desirable to involve students in some part of the process. Though interview panels do not include student members, there is a range of ways in which students can be involved. Which of these methods is chosen depends on the practical circumstances such as time constraints and student availability.

  • Examples of how to involve students in the appointments process

Recognising potential as well as experience

It is especially in the area of teaching & learning that early career applicants may be less experienced so that it is necessary to assess potential. Be aware of this and think of ways to seek out evidence of the potential for and the commitment to succeed.