Report on the interviews with representatives from Staff Development Units (SDUs) in the DEMOS Universities
24 January 2002
HEFCE Disability Initiative 2000-2002
- Responses to questions
- Appendix 1
- Appendix 2
- Appendix 3 - Programme of Events Organised by SDUs
We have been engaged in various activities from the start of the Demos project to ascertain the overall picture of disability-related staff development within the Greater Manchester universities. In order to obtain a clearer picture of the possibilities for embedding the project outcomes, it was considered relevant that current provision from within the Staff Development Units (SDUs) of the universities should be investigated.
What sessions are run each year by the Staff Development Unit at your university?
Due to the extensive lists of staff development events available in each institution responses to question 1 are reported separately in Appendix 3:
Please note that most of the events listed are taken from the training 'handbooks' that are circulated to staff at the beginning of the year. These represent only a portion of the total number of events that are delivered during the year. Further events are organised as needs arise and requests are made.
How do you decide what course to run? Have you carried out an analysis of need?
A variety of approaches are used to decide upon a programme of events. The University of Salford have an involved process of development. For example, results from feedback forms are collated and themes identified, a focus group is facilitated by an outside consultant and section heads are interviewed.
All the universities use a network of formal and informal contacts from which to draw information, such as the Staff Development Forum at MMU.
UMIST has carried out a formal analysis of need in the past but this hasn't been repeated recently. All the universities remain aware of local and national policy issues so that events can be organised to disseminate relevant information.
There is little direct use of the appraisal systems due to sensitivities around this process. There are also difficulties collecting information and collating results.
Are events run in liaison with other departments?
All four SDUs liaise with other departments in the delivery of staff development. Information systems staff are widely used to deliver training on computer software packages. The disability units are also used to deliver specific disability-related training.
How are sessions advertised?
A variety of methods are used. Manchester, MMU and Salford publish programme handbooks. Programmes of events are published on websites and online booking is used. Email is used to remind staff of upcoming events.
How many academic staff attend staff development events?
The response to this question was varied. Academic staff do attend centrally organised events if the events are seen as targeted at them. For instance if they relate directly to teaching or have intrinsic value in them, such as information on Subject Review if they are about to undergo a review. Online technology related workshops appear particularly popular at the present time. The formation of Teaching and Learning Support Units means that more academic-focused events will now evolve across the universities.
Responsibility for academic staff development is often devolved to the departments, as departmental specific training can be expensive for central departments to organise. There are also events such as the Certificate in Teaching Practice which in some cases is compulsory for all new staff so high attendance is expected. Some events are more popular than others but demand varies from year to year so programmes have to be flexible and varied on an annual basis.
Participants often book onto an event then fail to turn up. However, this can be extremely costly; for example at the University of Manchester, the Certificate in Teaching costs approximately £500 per head to deliver and therefore non-attendance is significant if someone else is on a waiting list. The University of Manchester enters attendance on a database so that they can now actively chase up non-attenders if required.
How do you measure the effectiveness of staff development events?
'Happy sheets' are used across the universities. Some follow-up work is carried out, such as collation of results and feedback to session presenters. Effectiveness of events is fed back into the cycle of review and planning activities each year.
There is very little formal in-depth evaluation on areas such as return on investment (ROI) or behavioural change. These areas of evaluation are often difficult and resource intensive activities to carry out. However, other means of feedback such as appraisal were mentioned.
When and for how long are workshops delivered?
Events are often half-day or full-day workshops. Some series of events such as the disability-related workshops are run during lunchtimes where possible. Some courses are over a number of days such as management training.
Appendix 1 : Semi-structured questionnaire used in interviews with representatives from Staff Development Units in the Demos Universities
What staff development activities take place each year in your institution?
Please state number of sessions, length of sessions, approximate number of attendees, nature of event (workshop, lecture, induction talk), staff group, what areas where covered in each event?
Has an analysis of training needs been carried out? (How do you decide what courses to put on?)
Do you liaise with other departments?
How many academic staff attend staff development events?
How are the sessions advertised?
What events are planned for the forthcoming year?
Is staff development/training requested?
How do you decide what content is covered in each session?
How do you assess the usefulness of the sessions?
What guides/information have you produced? Booklets, websites, leaflets etc.
- Bland Tomkinson, UMIST, Staff Development Unit. (Bland is currently working within the Teaching and Learning Support Centre at UMIST.)
- Bernard Lisewski, University of Salford, Educational Development Unit.
- Mike Littlewood, University of Manchester, Training and Development Unit.
- Brian Simpson & Alison Laithwaite, Manchester Metropolitan University, Development and Training Unit.
- Appraisal Training
- Assertiveness for men
- Assertiveness for women
- Health and Safety for Managers
- Time Management
- Recruitment and Selection
- Central Service seminars
- European Computer Driving Licence
Further details can be found at : http://mulder.umist.ac.uk/staff/sdu/Default.htm
The Education Development Unit produces a programme of events brochure each academic year.
Almost 200 courses are listed in the schedule for 2000/01. These are a mixture of short sessions (1-2 hours) run during lunchtimes, am or pm sessions and full day sessions.
Areas of coverage :
- Academic Enterprise
- Communication and Information Technology
- Equal Opportunities (includes disability-related sessions)
- Health, Well Being and Personal Safety
- Management and Supervision
- Middle Management Development Programme
- Personal and Professional Effectiveness
- Research Management and Development
- Salford Key Skills Project
- Student Issues
- Teaching and Learning Practice
- Assessment Matters
- Widening Participation
Other activities include :
- Post Entry Training Scheme
- The ILT membership Developments
- Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
- Various staff development networks
- Staff Open Learning Resource Centre
- The Institute for Supervisory Management Certificate
- AIS Computing Tutorials
- Languages for All
- Study Skills programme for Part time Students
The Staff Development Programme contains each year's information. Courses were offered during 2000/01 on the following topics.
|Large group teaching skills||3 hrs|
|Small group teaching||3 hrs|
|Handling personal problems in academic tutoring and supervision||2 hours|
|Voice management||30 minutes each person|
|Graduate teaching assistants/demonstrators||7 hours|
|Computers for teaching, learning and assessment||3.5 hours|
|Handling student complaints||3 hours|
|Teaching and learning in groups||1x 2-day plus a 1x 1-day course|
|Seminars on preparation for ILT||1.5 hours|
|The e-university||1.5 hours|
|The way forward project with information systems||1.5 hours|
|Learning and teaching strategy||1.5 hours|
|Problem based learning||3 hours|
|Research student supervision||6.5 hours|
|The PhD oral examination||3 hours|
|Writing research grant applications||1.5 hours|
|Research funding opportunities||1.5 hours|
|EU funding/framework v||1.5 hrs|
|Research contract negotiation||1.5 hrs|
|Ethical aspects of research||1.5 hours|
|QAA quality assurance - the new approach||1.5 hrs|
|Peer review||1 hr|
|Disability awareness||1.5 hrs|
|Staff mentoring||1.5 hrs|
|Understanding student support and guidance roles within the institution||4 hrs|
|Key issues experiences by first years||2 hrs|
|Maintaining students' motivation||2 hrs|
|Different styles of teaching and learning||2 hrs|
|Implications of the new QAA code of practice for disabled students||2 hrs|
|Meeting the needs of specific groups of students||2 hrs|
|Implementing personal and academic programmes in the curriculum||2 hrs|
|Maximising use of student support services||2 hrs|
|Handling student complaints||2 hrs|
|The skilled helper||2 hrs|
|Handling personal and academic development issues||2 hrs|
|Supporting students transition from HE to employment||2 hrs|
|Addressing the needs of distance learners||2 hrs|
|Reviewing of student support and guidance roles||2 hrs|
|Departmental disability coordinators||1.5 hrs|
|Dyslexia and the student experience in HE||1.5 hrs|
|Welcoming disabled people and improving access||1.5 hrs|
|Disability support at the University of Manchester||1.5 hrs|
|Enabling technology used by disabled students||1.5 hrs|
|Making information and teaching materials accessible||1.5 hrs|
|The DDA and provision of goods and services||1.5 hrs|
|The DDA and Accommodation services||1.5 hrs|
|Managing professional teams||7 hrs|
|Basic supervisory skills||7 hrs|
|Certificate in Administrative/management studies (BTEC/NVQ award)||4 hrs per week for a year|
|Recruitment and selection seminars||3 hrs|
|NVQ assessor training||7.5 hrs|
|Training in equality and diversity issues||3.5 hrs|
|Time management skills||6 hrs|
|Stress management||3 hrs|
|The essential guide to successful interviews||45minutes|
|The essential guide to successful CVs and application forms||45mins|
|How to win at the CV and application game||3 hrs|
|How to win at the interview game||3 hrs|
|Dealing with difficult and aggressive behaviour||3 hrs|
|Staff appraisal training||6 hrs|
|Appraisee awareness||2.5 hrs|
|Introduction to purchasing skills||6 hrs|
|Understanding contracts||6 hrs|
|Competitive tendering||6 hrs|
|Marketing your department or services||8 hrs|
|Paper management||7 hrs|
|Customer care||6 hrs|
|Departmental accounting officers||7 hrs|
|Reception and telephone skills||7.5 hrs|
|Getting things done in meetings||2 hrs|
|Commercial negotiating skills||6 hrs|
|Dealing with sales people||1.5 hrs|
|The data protection act||1.5 hrs|
|Fire extinguisher practicals||2.5 hrs|
|Lifting and Handling in safety||2.5 hrs|
|Safety in offices||3.5 hrs|
|Safe use of centrifuges||3 hrs|
|High pressure gases||3 hrs|
|Scaffolding and platforms||8 hrs|
|Dealing with violence and aggression||7 hrs|
|Personal protective equipment||2 hrs|
|Managing safely||8 hrs|
|Departmental safety advisors||3 hrs|
|Portable electrical equipment testing||6.5 hrs|
|Principles of risk assessment||3 hrs|
|COSHH assessment||3 hrs|
|VDU assessment||3 hrs|
|Manual handling risk assessment||3 hrs|
|Guidelines for dept. safety self inspections||3 hrs|
|Emergency First Aid||8 hrs|
|Safety on filed trips and work placements||2 hrs|
|Safe use of genetically modified organisms||2 hrs|
|Safe use of ladders and steps||2.5 hrs|
|PUWER 1998||3 hrs|
|Accident investigations||3 hrs|
|Confined spaces awareness for responsible persons||7 hrs|
|Vessel/enclosed space entry||7 hrs|
|Design and print||7.5 hrs|
|Introduction to camcorders||6.5 hrs|
|Introduction to non-linear video editing||7 hrs|
|Pre-retirement course||7 hrs|
The handbook 'University Staff Development Programme for 2001' lists the following :
- Skills development
- Presentation skills training
- Conducting Staff Discussions
- Telephone training
- Committee servicing
- Mentoring skills
- Management development
- Constructive resolution of Performance Issues
- Leading and Managing Teams
- Professional Development and Review Scheme
- Academic Staff
- Support Staff
- Sickness management
- Learning and Teaching
- Online learning
- Making the most of technology based teaching
- Facilities in Lecture theatres
- Formative and summative assessment in HE
- Appropriate use of media
- Information Systems
- Outlines of courses and aims
- Schedule of courses
- Equal Opportunities
- Harassment policy training
- Equal Opportunities awareness training
- Recruitment and selection
- support staff
- Interviewing skills
- Stress management
- Stress and the manager
- Enhancing personal effectiveness
- Survival skills
- Student services
- Academic Administration
- Introduction to course leadership
- Course leader's briefings
- Chairs of Boards of Examiners
- Admissions tutors
- Equal Opportunities Issues for admissions staff
- UCAS Entry profiles
- Human Rights Act for Admissions Staff
- Financial Administration
- Purchasing procedures
- Budget Management and Administration
- Negotiating skills
- The University financial regulations
- Developing your career
- Building Research Capability
- Getting started in research
- How to make a bid for research funding
- Management skills for research supervisors
- Career planning for contract researchers
- Conducting professional development and review discussions for contract researchers
- Getting the best from your PDR
- Health and Safety Training
- Health and safety training course
- Basic health and safety
- Basic food hygiene
- Welcome Host
- Personal Record of Attendance