More on the Plate?

I just received an email today advertising a graduate course called The Theory and Practice of University Teaching. The outline is very much as the title may suggest: to familiarize students with background research and theory relevant to university teaching, and to provide the opportunity for practice and feedback on basic teaching skills.

This class sounds incredibly interesting to me, especially since one of my top career choices would be to teach at a university or college. I’ve wanted to take this class in the past, but it’s only offered once a year and I just never got around to taking it.

The problem (?) is that it’s a two month course (April and May) and sounds as though it will be very intensive. The class meets twice a week for two hours (in some cases four hours), plus there are online discussions, a ton of reading (they say 40 pages per class), assignments and a final exam. Marks are assigned as fail/pass/pass with distinction. The course would be included on transcripts, but it doesn’t affect the GPA.

I think this class would be great experience for me, especially if I end up applying to instructor positions. But, I’m trying to finish my PhD! Do I have the time and motivation to add even more to my plate?

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Comments on: "More on the Plate?" (4)

  1. I know exactly what you mean. There was a course like that at my uni, and I wanted to take it. But I didn’t. And now it’s too late. Not sure if that was the smart thing to do or something I will regret. It’s really hard to say. Good luck deciding!

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  2. PD – yeah, I’m just not sure if I can do it. I really need to focus on finishing this PhD, and if I took that class and it ate up a bunch of my time, forcing me to delay my PhD, I’d be pretty upset.So, I probably won’t do it 😦 DH and I talked about it last night, and we both agreed that having the course on my transcript probably won’t make a difference if I apply for instructor positions.

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  3. Anonymous said:

    You may want to consider the possibility that the reading will not be very challenging. In my field, 80 pages a week is a ridiculously small amount of reading — even the freshman-level gen-ed courses require a lot more than that.If I were you, I’d try to find out more about how much time they would expect you to spend on the class before deciding not to take it.You probably still won’t want to take it, because any time spent on another class is time you could have used for finishing your PhD, but if it were me, I’d want to make sure I made a completely informed decision, y’know?

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  4. Anon: Yes, I read over the course syllabus from last year and it sounds like it will be an immense amount of work. Interesting, yes, but I don’t think it would be worth my time <>at this point.<>I do wish that I took it last year or the year before, but I guess I can’t do anything about it now :S

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