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NOTE

In 2018 the Faculty of Science introduced teachers’ personal plans for pedagogical development. The aim is for all members of the teaching and research staff who provide instruction at the Faculty to develop as both researchers and teachers. The goal is for permanently employed teachers and researchers to complete studies worth at least 25 credits in university pedagogy in stages. This goal will be taken into account when making permanent appointments in the future.

When planning your teaching and research duties, also draw up a personal plan for pedagogical development. This page provides related instructions. You can book an appointment with the Faculty's senior lecturers in university pedagogy if you wish to discuss your plan with someone. We work in room A123 at Chemicum. You can also email us at ml-opetuki@helsinki.fi.

1. To begin with

1.1. Your future teaching, supervision and guidance duties

Discuss your teaching and which courses you will or could be teaching and when with your supervisor and the degree programme directors. Ask for advice from and discuss practical matters with an education planning officer. If you inherit courses from other teachers, you should find out whether existing material is available. Check the course pages at https://studies.helsinki.fi/courses or request access to course learning platforms, such as Moodle. Course pages and learning platforms contain information on the learning outcomes confirmed in the curriculum, assessment principles and instructional principles related to methods of completion (e.g., whether the course can be completed by taking an examination; whether the course involves group work, oral presentations or other methods of completion which must be taken into consideration when planning the course).


1.2. Faculty recommendations for pedagogical development

Read the relevant dean’s decision.

  • The goal is to develop/strengthen the pedagogical approach and personal teaching of everyone permanently employed in a teaching position or employees pursuing such a position.
  • Permanently employed teachers and researchers should complete at least 25 credits worth of studies in university pedagogy or otherwise attain equivalent knowledge and skills. Development goals are based on personal experience, education, teaching duties and interests. The achievement of goals is monitored through development discussions.
  • In the case of assistant/associate professors, studies in university pedagogy should have been completed, whenever possible, before an appointment to a permanent position.
  • Researchers in fixed-term employment should complete pedagogical studies when their professional duties so permit (and provided the relevant courses have space).
  • Update your plan for pedagogical development (see section 2 below) well in advance of your development discussion and the completion of next year’s work plans. If you wish, you can do so in cooperation with the senior lecturers in university pedagogy.

1.3. Course offerings in university pedagogy

At the University of Helsinki, teaching in university pedagogy is organised in 5-credit courses whose duration is roughly one teaching period or term. You can choose from basic studies (25 cr) and intermediate studies (35 cr). By completing both modules, you can obtain the general pedagogical qualifications required of teachers. The courses can be browsed on Flamma: https://flamma.helsinki.fi/en/group/opetuksen-tuki/yliopistopedagogiikan-koulutus.

Content of the basic study module:

  • YP1 Learning in Higher Education (5 cr)
    • The studies begin with this course, a prerequisite for all other courses in university pedagogy. If you have not completed any pedagogical studies earlier, choose this course. If you have completed studies previously elsewhere, please read the instructions on the transfer of credits below.
  • YP2.1 Design, Implementation and Assessment of Teaching (5 cr)
  • YP2.2 Feedback and Assessment of Learning (5 cr)
  • YP3.1 Academic Supervision and Supervisor Training (5 cr)
  • YP3.2 Development of Teaching and Practical Training (5 cr)


In the basic study module, the aim is to observe the following principles:

  • All basic courses are held in Finnish, Swedish and English.
  • Completing a course requires applying for a place on the course. The application period ends by the end of the previous term: applications for courses in the autumn are accepted in the spring, while application for courses in the spring are accepted in the previous autumn. You can apply for courses even if your employment relationship is yet to begin in the application period. In the case of the courses for teaching and supervision practice (YP3.1 and YP3.2), teaching or supervision provided during the course will be taken into account, as they are required for completing the training. When courses fill up, priority is given to employees appointed to teaching positions (professors, assistant/associate professors, university lecturers).

If you have completed pedagogical studies elsewhere, please contact the senior lecturers in university pedagogy to determine which courses you should take next.

1.4. Recommendations for scheduling studies in university pedagogy

  • YP1 (teaching and learning at university): Particularly for employees who have studied and worked abroad, recommended to everyone at the start of employment (the course introduces the context of Finnish university education).
  • YP2.1 (constructive design of teaching): The course can be taken before your teaching duties begin, while preparing for your own courses (in the preceding term) or, if you already have teaching experience, you can develop an existing course further on YP2.1 and gain feedback on it.
  • YP2.2 (assessment): After accumulating teaching experience, and when you have the time to focus on assessment in the development of teaching. The course provides ideas for diversifying and developing assessment.
  • YP3 (practical teaching and supervision training): When you wish to obtain feedback on your teaching and supervision.
    • YP3.1 (practical supervision training): After gaining experience in thesis supervision (bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral theses) and/or group supervision (e.g., calculation exercises, workshop supervision, laboratory supervision, seminars, bachelor’s thesis groups, software development projects, research groups), the course should be taken to develop supervision and obtain feedback on supervision.
    • YP3.2 (practical teaching training and development of personal teaching): The participants focus on the development of their teaching, obtain feedback on their teaching and provide feedback to peers on their teaching.
    • The YP3 courses can be completed in order of personal preference.

 2. Drawing up the plan

Draw up a personal plan for pedagogical development for a period during which you will be able to complete/supplement 25 credits worth of studies in university pedagogy or attain equivalent skills, or for the duration of your employment in the case of fixed-term contracts.

  • Assistant/associate professors in fixed-term employment: Draw up a plan for the duration of your employment and be prepared for the plan to be used in the assessment associated with appointments to associate professorships or permanent professorships.
  • University lecturers and professors in permanent employment: Draw up a plan for a period (three to 10 years) which makes it possible to complete all basic studies in university pedagogy alongside your teaching and other duties, depending on the scope of your prior studies and teaching as well as the teaching schedule during the relevant academic years.
  • Researchers in fixed-term employment: Draw up a plan for the duration of your employment and scale it to correspond to your actual prospects for completing pedagogical studies.

2.1. What to record in the plan

  • Starting level: What kind of teaching experience and pedagogical training/skills do you have? How would you describe yourself as a teacher (briefly, in roughly a single sentence)?
  • Goal: What kind of pedagogical learning outcomes do you aim to achieve at the end of the period described (briefly, in roughly a single sentence)? You can also record interim checkpoints and indicators for assessing/analysing your development, as well as how you intend to maintain the skills you have acquired.
  • Estimate of future teaching, guidance and supervision: What will you teach in the coming years (courses)? What kind of supervision and guidance will you provide in the coming years (theses, calculation exercises, laboratory supervision, PSP supervision/teacher tutoring, seminars, student guidance, research groups)? Permanently employed individuals can extend their estimate, for example, over the next three academic years, and those in fixed-term employment over the duration of their employment. When agreeing on the courses you will teach in the degree programme, you can describe how you intend to develop your teaching on the basis of your plan for pedagogical development. You can also propose how to share your pedagogical expertise with others in the programme.
  • Pedagogical training: Which courses in university pedagogy do you plan to complete in the period described? How will the courses help you develop your teaching?
  • Collection and use of feedback: When and how will you collect feedback on your teaching? How do you intend to develop your courses/teaching/guidance and supervision?
  • Sharing pedagogical expertise in the academic community: How will you share your pedagogical expertise with others?
  • Timetable: Draw up a table where you describe your teaching, guidance and supervision duties, courses in university pedagogy to be completed and personal teaching development efforts in the form of a timetable.

 

2.2. How to process the plan

After completing a preliminary plan, please contact the senior lecturers in university pedagogy and book an appointment. When necessary, you can invite your supervisor and degree programme directors to the meeting. Working together, we can make specifications to the plan and develop ideas.

2.3. Submitting the plan[

Assistant/associate professors:

  • The criteria associated with the tenure track assessment procedure will include a section indicating that the person being assessed is to have drawn up a personal plan for pedagogical development in accordance with Faculty guidelines, and that the plan and its implementation are taken into consideration in the assessment.
  • When you have finished writing your plan, submit it to your supervisor and the senior lecturers in university pedagogy (ml-opetuki@helsinki.fi), along with a request for approval or comments on the plan. When you have obtained approval from the above parties, please email the approved plan for pedagogical development to HR Services (on-site team at Kumpula: hr-kumpula@helsinki.fi) for archiving, with a copy (cc) also sent to your supervisor and the senior lecturers in university pedagogy. (When copies are sent to the approving officials, physical signatures are not required.)
  • For the tenure track assessment procedure, the self-assessment by the assistant/associate professor must in the future include a description of the implementation of the plan for pedagogical development.

2.4. How to keep the plan up to date

Since your development will be monitored in conjunction with development discussions, please refer to the plan when preparing for them. When necessary, the senior lecturers in university pedagogy are happy to help you make further specifications to your plan. Book an appointment with a senior lecturer in university pedagogy at least every other year. Submit your plan to your supervisor for the development discussion to make it possible to discuss its implementation and changes to the plan, if any.

Assistant/associate professors should make sure that the plan can be implemented even in the case of delays before their fixed term on the tenure track ends and their performance is assessed.

To be able to observe the accumulation of teaching experience and the evolution of your teaching approach, you can agree, for example, on the following:

    • An annual reflection report and guidance meeting with the senior lecturers in university pedagogy.
    • The reflection report supports the basic portfolio, which can be used to compile a portfolio for the permanent appointment assessment at the end of the tenure track term.
    • A supervision and guidance meeting (cf. PSP guidance) can be held in a group composed of all of the assistant/associate professors of the department (or in another suitably sized group), which enables you to share peer experiences.
  1. For assistant and associate professors only: Assessment of the implementation of the plan (at the end of the tenure track term)
  • The implementation of the plan for pedagogical development is assessed as any other development, as part of regular tenure track assessment.
  • The assessment takes into consideration the plan drawn up at the start of the tenure track term/original plan, completed courses (transcript of studies) and the final report for the tenure track term, which constitutes an updated version of the plan.
  • If teaching skills are reassessed (e.g., in conjunction with appointments to permanent professorships):
    • The teaching skills committee also assesses development in accordance with the plan.
    • A statement will be written on the assessment, indicating whether the applicant has the teaching skills required by the Regulations.
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