Discipline-Specific Compared to Generic Training of Teachers in Higher Education

Silva-Fletcher, A and May, S A (2017) Discipline-Specific Compared to Generic Training of Teachers in Higher Education. JOURNAL OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EDUCATION, 45 (1).

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Abstract

A recurrent theme arising in the higher education sector is the suitability and effectiveness of generic versus discipline-specific training of university teachers, who are often recruited based on their disciplinary specialties to become teachers in higher education. We compared two groups of participants who had undergone training using a generic post-graduate certificate in higher education (PGCertGeneric) versus a discipline-specific course in veterinary education (PGCertVetEd). The study was conducted using a survey that allowed comparison of participants who completed PGCertGeneric (n=21) with PGCertVetEd (n=22). Results indicated that participants from both PGCertGeneric and PGCertVetEd considered teaching to be satisfying and important to their careers, valued the teaching observation component of the course, and identified similar training needs. However, the participants of the PGCertVetEd felt that the course made them better teachers, valued the relevance of the components taught, understood course design better, were encouraged to do further courses/reading in teaching and learning, changed their teaching as a result of the course, and were less stressed about teaching as compared to the PGCertGeneric participants (p<.05). It is likely that the PGCertVetEd, which was designed and developed by veterinarians with a wider understanding of the veterinary sector, helped the participants perceive the training course as suited to their needs.