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Towards a smoother transition: A multiple case study of perceived teaching related issues and support for novice higher education teachers

Individuals from various occupations are recruited into higher education based on their expert discipline knowledge, professional experience and currency of practice. However, little is known about the experiences of this academic subgroup in New Zealand. International literature evidences that this group of individuals experience teaching related issues and inadequate support to assist them to transition into academia and to master the teaching role. Using a multiple-case study research approach, this thesis reports on the main teaching related issues perceived and experienced by four novice higher education teachers in New Zealand. In addition, it reports on what they consider are the most effective/least effective structures and practices for supporting their teaching development, including tertiary teacher academic induction. Semi-structured interviews and participant details forms were used to gather data. A social ecological framework was used to interpret and contextualise the findings. Ten themes arose from the analysis. Teaching related issues were found to be unclear expectations, resources absent/not up to standard, assessment development and marking, challenges engaging students, and issues affecting identity. Perceived effective support structures were conversations with colleagues, conversations with external contacts and the Teaching Development Unit or equivalent. Perceived ineffective support structures were induction and line management. Use of the social ecological framework identifies that most effective/ineffective structures and practices to support this group occurred in the interpersonal and intrapersonal contexts most proximal to the individual. Similarly, the teaching related issues arose from oversights of others and development needs of the individual. This research adds to what is known about the transition experiences of novice higher education teachers in New Zealand. It provides preliminary findings that suggest that the induction procedures within both universities and ITPs need to be reviewed and their implementation scrutinised. There is a need to support line managers to induct and support their new staff members more effectively. The study concludes with practical implications and recommendations for future research.
Type of thesis
Conning, S. A. (2020). Towards a smoother transition: A multiple case study of perceived teaching related issues and support for novice higher education teachers (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13706
The University of Waikato
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