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Support for new academics

The University’s Higher Education Development Centre (HEDC) has operated a valued programme for new teachers over many years, aimed at support and providing relevant information on aspects of teaching and the Otago Teaching Profile. If you are a new academic at the University and you would like to know what HEDC can offer, contact Associate Professor Vijay Mallan for a chat on 03 479 8489 or by email at

An introduction to University teaching

This programme is run at the start of each semester. The main purpose of the course is to introduce university teaching to those new to the task, but experienced teachers are more than welcome to attend and treat the course as a refresher.

There is a strong focus on networking as well as course content. Morning and afternoon teas and lunches are provided during the three days, and a dinner is held on the evening of Day Two.

The workshop is advertised as part of the Professional Development Programme and is open to all teaching staff with assessment and planning responsibilities who may wish to attend.

New Academic Staff conference

The New Academic Staff Conference is designed for university research and teaching academic staff and is organised by HEDC and Human Resources. The conference involves presentations and discussions with key speakers from the University and a chance to talk to those who provide support services for staff and students, with opportunities to meet other academics informally. The conference includes a session run by Human Resources and an opportunity to learn about the Treaty of Waitangi and how to honour its principles in a University setting.

For information about the next New Academic Staff Conference, email

Pooling Teaching Tips (PTT)

Pooling Teaching Tips is a discussion group held regularly at HEDC for all teaching staff at the University of Otago, but with a particular focus on those new to teaching in higher education. To find out when the next workshop in this series is scheduled, go to the workshop registration page.

Teaching and Learning Circles

If you are interested in meeting other academics who enjoy teaching, or you want to invigorate your teaching practice, then Teaching and Learning Circles may be for you. Teaching and Learning Circles (TLCs) is a University-wide initiative, which combines group-based, reciprocal peer observations of teaching with supportive collegial conversations to provide insight into your teaching. The initiative has been operating since 2018, with inter-disciplinary TLCs offering staff the opportunity to observe and discuss diverse teaching contexts. The ‘data’ obtained from your TLC participation can be used in your Otago Teaching Profile. There is a resource pack and a TLC coordinator to help guide you through the process and the TLC coordinator, Dr Tracy Rogers, can help you form your own TLC. Please contact to register your interest or find out more about the Teaching and Learning Circles.

Professional Development Programme workshops

Other workshops are held throughout the year on a wide range of learning and teaching topics.  You can browse the list of workshops on our HEDC workshop registration page.

If you are a new academic at the University, HEDC would be grateful if you could get in touch to help us update our database. Please email