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Programme for teachers


HEDC provides wide-ranging opportunities for academic staff with teaching responsibilities.

We offer support from one-to-one consultancies to improve aspects of teaching or academic life at Otago, through to online self-help resources and more formal staff development workshops.

If you have questions about teaching, email Dr Vijay Mallan at

If you are unsure which services you require, please email HEDC reception or phone +64 3 479 8492.

Workshops for teachers 2019

To register for any of the workshops below go to the HEDC workshop registration page.

Design Studio for technology-enhanced lesson design (via Zoom or face-to-face) January 21-April 15, 14 x 1 Hour sessions 11.00am-12.00pm & 12.00-1.00pm
Critical online discussions with Padlet (via Zoom) February 4 11.00am-1.00pm
Active learning strategies with Zoom (via Zoom) February 25 9.30-11.30am
Sandbox session - Active learning with Zoom (via Zoom) March 4 9.30-11.30am
Planning and designing flipped learning March 11 1.00-3.00pm
Lecturing and large group teaching March 14 1.00-2.00pm
Planning and designing flipped learning (via Zoom) March 15 11.00am-1.00pm
Intercultural communication: Session 1 - Knowing me and knowing you (a-ha!) April 30 9.00-10.30am
Threshold concepts and decoding the discipline May 13 10.00am-12.00pm
Intercultural communication: Session 2 - Barriers and bridges May 15 9.00-10.30am
Course design May 28 10.00am-12.00pm
Designing a course with strong links to research July 17 1.00-4.00pm
Small group teaching July 18 1.00-2.00pm
Classroom assessment September 11 1.00-3.00pm
Course design September 23 10.00am-12.00pm
Teaching culturally diverse classes - good practice ideas September 27 10.00am-12.00pm
Threshold concepts and decoding the discipline October 22 10.00am-12.00pm


Useful documents

Guidelines for teaching at Otago (PDF)

Guidelines for learning (PDF)

Otago Teaching Learning Plan 2013-2020  (PDF)

Designing courses

Designing courses typically involves three steps:

  1. Determining the learning outcomes – what should your students know and be able to do by the end of your course or paper? How do these outcomes relate to the graduate attributes for the degree programme?
  2. Designing the assessment – how will you assess whether your students have achieved the learning outcomes?
  3. Determining the teaching methods that will be used – what will students do so they achieve the learning outcomes?

The key to effective course design is to have alignment between what you aim for students to learn, and how you teach and assess.

Planning your teaching: Curriculum, course design and delivery

The following video explains the process of course design. It is about 40 minutes long, but there are places where you can pause and apply the principles of course design to your own teaching. If possible, watching with a group is better than viewing it on your own. With pauses for activities and discussion it would take 1.5 hours. Below are handouts to refer to while you watch this video.


The last document is designed as a template for designing your course outline and can be adapted to meet your own course requirements. Guidelines are included. 

Teaching methods

The following information relates to communicating to large groups. If you would like information about facilitating group work in a two-way exchange, you will find some useful guides and information in the tutoring and demonstrating section.

Lecturing – small changes, big difference (PDF)
This comprehensive guide offers an overview of important aspects such as planning and organising lectures, being in touch with your students’ learning processes and designing lecture handouts.

Creating respectful learning environments (PDF)
It is important to create motivation for students to learn. Although not everything will be interesting to everyone, creating wide appeal will engage more students more thoroughly.

Teaching in diverse classrooms (PDF)
A guide to creating flexible learning processes and environments.

Cooperative learning structures (PDF)
A practical description of some cooperative learning structures, helpful for group scenarios.


Principles of assessment

What and how students learn depends on how they think they will be assessed! There are two main types of assessment:

  • Formative – used to improve teaching and learning; gives feedback
  • Summative – to grade students or to accredit. Note that for summative assessment, it should be criterion-referenced, which determines how well each student has mastered or developed the knowledge and skills (rather than norm-referenced – which gives the relative standing of students).

Useful Links

Guidelines for the assessment of student performance

The University of Otago Graduate Profile