Teaching

Teaching for the first time at Leeds can be challenging. The SSO can solve most lecturing and student problems. Here is a list of useful things:

The tstaff mailing list is essential – it is used to send around all critical teaching memoranda. You should get put on it automatically (but not everyone does – Gaynor + IT can fix). I had my spam filter start sending it to the trash half way through the year.

Minerva is the name for Leeds’ Blackboard teaching software, it used to be called VLE. You have to request access to every module every year (e.g. comp2811) or organisation (e.g. Computing, or SWJTU Staff). The SSO can add you to the Computing courses, otherwise you have to ask whoever’s module it is. IT’s Minerva documentation. Minerva tips and tricks.

SWJTU. Additional advice for staff teaching at SWJTU (our joint school in Chengdu, China).

Registers should be completed during every lecture, but not labs. Get a PDF here (Attendance Recording -> Attendance Recording Activity List -> Print ). Lecturers are responsible for printing, distributing, collecting and returning registers to the SSO. There is a stapler on desk in the open-area on lvl 7. With a big class you might want 3-5 sets of registers to hand out at the beginning of lecture and collect at the end (less=slower; more=harder to collect + there’s a higher chance someone loses one). The students are not meant to sign in for their friends, but they do (try to look stern if this happens).

Timetables for a module can be found here.

Lectures Video Recording: Here you can edit, (un)publish, download and manage the lecture video recordings. Lectures are recorded by default, you will be emailed a link after your lecture (to make it accessible click the padlock icon), otherwise they become accessible to your students after 72 hours (change this behaviour). It is possible (but not easy) to download the videos.

Assessors. Every module has an internal assessor. SIS will tell you who it is. They check coursework (anytime before you set it) and exam (before the exam submission deadline). They also double-grade 10% of exam papers in green ink.

Some example dates for teaching your first module (exact dates change every year – most announced via tstaff mailing list):

  • Deadline for course updates for following year: end-February. Email from Mark.
  • Lecture theatre + lab booking.  February previous year. Beth’s info. (I lost a week’s labs because my first lecture was after my first lab slot).
  • Hardware/software requirements (Email from Sam): Start of June.
  • Reading materials due: semester 1: August. semester 2: ?. Library instructions. (you set these in Minerva).
  • Request TA support for modules (via tstaff): end August.
  • Write exams (Leeds + SWJTU). Due for Semester 1: end October; semester 2: end February; Summer retake exams: end March (you will most likely have to write these). Sam’s instructions.
  • Exam periods. 2 weeks mid Jan and 2 weeks before August bank holiday.
  • Reading week: End October. (no teaching this week. semester 1 only, it’s not in university calendars)
  • Exam grading period: 5 days after your exam. When done, take all scripts to assessor so they can mark 10%. Sam’s Email. After grading, put the final coursework and exam marks into SIS.
  • Add third year projects you would like to supervise: Summer. (If you want to work on a subject that interests you…)
  • Add MSc projects you would like to supervise: January.

Assessment Maps. These seems to be a standardised version of the module catalogue that the university uses for external comparisons. Update in-step with course changes.  Sam’s in charge. Sharepoint. The thing to note is that every “Learning outcome” in the catalogue must be assessed, and that we consider how the students get “formative feedback” before the final assessment. This is a reason to keep the outcomes simple.

Third year projects. Run using tstaff mailing list, comp-ug -project, and minerva (2019). Minerva contains past projects and mark schemes. You will be the supervisor for some students and assessor for others; allocation on SIS (2019). You meet your supervised students every week in term. There is an intermediate report (David’s email; due mid December) and final report (David’s email; due start May). There are various opinions on how much feedback you can give to your students on their report drafts.

MSc projects. Very similar to third year undergraduate projects, but starting in February and running through the summer. Ammar runs a separate MSc-project mailing list (via minerva?).

Plagiarism should be reported to Ammar using these forms.

The course catalog lists what you should teach in your module. It can be updated, but you have to submit updates before February of the previous year.

You may have tutees. In computing you start with about 7 students in the first year and maybe some MSc students. More detail.

SIS is the faculty information system. It only works from a uni machine with a wired connection (or VPN). You can use it to:

  • Enter final grades (exam and coursework) for a module. Hints for interface with Minerva.
  • Upload exam papers
  • Get a list of students on your module
  • See the information (contact details, grades, etc…) for a student.
  • List your tutees

PGCAP is the teacher training course most new lecturers have to take. It’s a relatively high effort 18 month Masters level course. But…

  • You have to be teaching exactly the right amount to get onto it (1 module a term for 3 semesters in a row). I was rejected because I had two modules in the first semester and none in the second.
  • You apply using the system you would for any other degree. Here’s a page with application info.
  • If you can avoid it for 2 years, there is a shorter route to FHEA (the usual contract requirement) for experienced lecturers via PRiSE…

PRiSE (minerva) A lower effort way to HEA teaching accreditation.