Publication - Research and analysis

Colleges lecturers professional standards

Published: 28 Mar 2012
Advanced Learning and Science Directorate
Part of:

Professional Standards for Initial Teacher Education and Training of college lecturers in Scotland.

30 page PDF

323.9 kB

30 page PDF

323.9 kB

Colleges lecturers professional standards

30 page PDF

323.9 kB


Challenge Question

The following question was posed to determine if a vision for the future training of lecturers could be assessed and to develop a forward thinking approach to the refresh of the current standards:

'What do lecturers need to do to prepare for their role in 2020?'

You may wish to consider areas such as the current Curriculum for Excellence, promoting equalities, sustainability, creating an enterprise culture or other educational priorities.

The sample size of respondents was relatively small at 21, however, the responses ranged from minimal input to a reasonably detailed submission. It was not within the original scope of this review to ask a challenge question, however, the information obtained does confirm the direction future developments should follow. This is well demonstrated in the comments relating to ICT. The answers provided to the challenge question can be considered in any future reviews and are, therefore, a valuable contribution to this review.

Challenge Question Themes Arising from Responses

Learners Lecturers will be required to develop their understanding of pedagogy and extend their understanding of the different roles which they can undertake within the classroom

fully engage with learners in the evaluation of the learning, teaching and assessment processes

They need to work as part of a team to share in delivery of quality learning and teaching

Increased knowledge of other sectors (for a generation of lecturers, students will be emerging from a school system that is unrecognisable to those lecturers and will be progressing to an HE environment which will bear no relation to the system that they went through)

Knowledge of how to accommodate mainstreamed learners with disabilities

fully engage with learners in the evaluation of the learning, teaching and assessment processes

have aspirations for their learners which go beyond the attainment of qualifications

They should also ensure that they know what is going on outside their classroom as we will all have to work together to address the challenges of 2020 and beyond

Look outside their disciplines and geographical areas, to wonder at other ways of learning and teaching

Go with learner-centered teaching and stick with it: 'Learner should be working harder than the lecturer… '

Allowing for a more independent approach to learning will require lecturers to be facilitators rather than directors of learning - supporting the learners and advising them in the learning choices. The need to ensure that learning is considered as a truly lifelong engagement and not merely as a means towards measured qualifications, and will require consideration of all aspects of a learner's development.
ICT Very robust IT skills including VLE technology; Presentation Software; email and assistive technologies.

They should be aware of developments in their subject and in the potential of ICT to help them and to engage with a wider range of learning styles and with colleagues across the sector.

Sharing and dissemination of information to save 'reinventing the wheel', embracing digital technology.

Predicting how we will use technology in relation to teaching and assessment should be at the heart of how lecturers begin to prepare for what the future throws at them. We are already seeing small advances being made in e-assessment and how feedback is handled in relation to VLEs and e-portfolios, however, I feel these open and transparent systems are not yet mainstream. Lecturers need to be aware of and trained in the use of new learning technologies like SIMs, VLEs, Social Networks, adaptive technologies as well as the developing educational theories. Digital Practitioner:
Lecturers already need to be reasonably competent in the use of ICT but there will be a need too for lecturers to be digital practitioners, not just able to make use of ICT for learning and teaching but to be managing their own digital identity and to be engaged with the ethical and moral issues associated with the use of technologies. The digital practitioner will be one who can make informed choices about how best to use technology and to influence the development and use of technology.

A Website for Scotland's Lecturers for sharing subject resources would save reinventing wheels?

change is constant electronic/digital, teaching standards
lecturers need to develop and maintain pedagogical skills in the use of ICT to support learning. There is no need to understand underlying technical concepts but there is a need to use technology in a variety of learning situations to support learning in and outwith the institution.
Professional Standards and CPD

Lecturers will need to access purposeful professional development which cultivates a love of learning, creativity, innovation and teamwork and helps them understand the importance of reflecting on their practice and why they should.

Excellence in subject expertise and a commitment to continuing CPD in their field in short: 'to become more professional'. In the context of lecturers in FE that means that they should:

  • engage with professional development as educators, recognising the need for change such as CfE and development.

Real and relevant CPD is often overlooked due to budget constraints, with many HR departments preferring to run inhouse programmes to better the Learning and Teaching experience, or make sure that everyone is trained to use current technology to deliver the curriculum, yet all that is of little use if the content being delivered is no longer industry relevant (no matter how slick the delivery) …

Industry placements, aided by a central source - Scotland's Colleges?

CPD should be focused not on the statutory aspects as it appears to be now, but on improving teaching techniques, and identifying barriers to learning.

Ongoing reflective practice could be part of updating/renewing or adding to teaching qualifications?

More quality learning opportunities must be provided for lecturers whether studying for TQ( FE) or not to ensure that standards continue to improve for the future and short cuts are not taken just to tick boxes.

A good teacher, in my view, is one who knows they need to keep on developing to remain strong and a good college helps to do this through offering high quality, individually relevant CPD, professional development programmes, provision of appropriate technology and peer learning opportunities.

Teaching Practice and Reflection

Lecturers will be required to develop their understanding of pedagogy and extend their understanding of the different roles which they can undertake within the classroom.

  • Above all, the ability and confidence to be a reflective practitioner, with self-evaluation 'mainstreamed' in all aspects of professional activity
  • The creative ability to invent stimulating and interesting activities and materials for learners fully engage with learners in the evaluation of the learning, teaching and assessment processes
  • have aspirations for their learners which go beyond the attainment of qualifications

Go with learner-centred teaching and stick with it. 'Learner should be working harder than the lecturer… '

The diverse range of learners and the changing expectations of learners with instant access to technology will require lecturers to respond with creativity of learning opportunities and possible 'bite-sized' learning development, responding to the learners' wishes for individual development.

Lecturers themselves may need to consider what they need to do to meet the ongoing demands of their teaching role, and management may need to consider this point also - not forgetting of course their partnership with learners and their ever changing learning needs.

Sharing is the key. Lecturers need to share with others (including those outwith their own institutions). Share lesson plans, tutorials, ideas, best practice. Too much is done in isolation and too much reinvention happens.