Sunday, 14 August 2016

Interviewing staff who have recently completed their university’s teaching induction program.

Dear All


The comments on the last two posts have provided lots of very useful questions that we can ask to capture:
  1. A snapshot of current teaching induction programs in the Australian higher education sector; and
  2. Input from staff who have recently completed a teaching induction program
Both studies will usefully inform that work that the Teaching Induction Fellowship does to develop a national, online teaching induction program.


With respect to study 1, I have a list of the contacts for the 29 teaching induction programs that I know exist in the sector. In the not too distant future I will email those contacts to ask if they would be willing to be interviewed by the Fellowship partners.


With respect to study 2, I wonder what you think of the following process:
  1. Ask those directors of teaching induction programs who chose to participate in study 1 if they would be willing to allow us to contact staff who have recently completed their program (explaining that we would like input from people who are like the audience for our national program).

  2. Provide the directors with the questions that we propose to ask their staff.

  3. If they agree, ask for a list of staff with their email contact, information about their role (sessional/contract/continuing academic/professional) and their teaching experience (if possible).
  4. Contact sessional and non sessional staff who are new to teaching, until we have three staff from each institution who agree to do an interview with us.
Another approach is to develop a survey and ask the directors of teaching induction programs to contact staff from their latest cohort and ask them to complete the survey. While I like the latter approach I suspect that we may get few responses.






  1. Did you think of doing the second option Kym through AD L&T at the various unis. Sometimes they are not involved in developing these and are stakeholders with another form of access to staff who have participated in the programs.

  2. Hi Kym

    Both approaches would work. Agree that the survey may result in fewer responses. Your approach to contact the directors is systematic and structured which will result in targeted participation and staff who opt in to be interviewed.

    Guess it will depend on the directors' willingness to provide the information and contact details.
    The survey approach appears to be a little less onerous for directors.

    Let's see what other colleagues think...


  3. Hi Kym

    While the first option means a little more work for the team, the second, as I think you rightly intuit, means devolving the survey process to other parties who have no direct stake in the project, and so may not pursue the process with the same energy as if we contact the subjects directly.

    But could we contemplate offering both two options to the T&L directors we contact, and let them choose their preference? After all, they may be the ones who best know which process is more likely to elicit the most responses in their own institutions. Would having two different processes for administering the survey be likely to skew the content of the responses? I doubt it.



  4. Peter's suggestion is a good one. Let them choose as some directors would be very involved and/or be better placed to point us towards those delivering the programs.

  5. Dear Kym and colleagues,

    the other thing we need to keep in mind is that in some universities the National Learning and Teaching Centre may/may not be involved with designing and developing programs with faculties. A recent discussion with some colleagues in faculties made me realise that sometimes issues and challenges arise for new teachers that our LTC is not aware of. So when we are interviewing directors we should keep this in mind as it provides us with valuable insight into what these new teachers need.