From micro-management to effective supervision


A little over a year ago I signed up for UCL’s Arena Two course, which consists of a series of lectures, events, and activities intended to facilitate the development of our didactic and pedagogical knowledge and abilities, with the final aim to apply for recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) — a scheme meant to provide transferable professional recognition for teaching in higher education. After a bit of interruption to the end of that programme due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year, I finally managed to complete my FHEA application in November 2020 and was recognised as a Fellow in February this year.

I found the entire process really useful to me personally, though as so often it definitely is one of these things where you only get out as much as you’re willing to put in. What I found especially beneficial personally was the reflective element involved in peer discussion throughout the programme and in writing the three case studies for the fellowship application, which really helped me with both my confidence and professional development as a teacher, and a big part of that was not just sharing and reflecting upon my own practice, but seeing what other people were doing, where they felt they needed to improve, and what they were trying to do about it. This I found would often give me an impetus to think about parallels in my own practice and consequently influence how I approached or contextualised similar issues when I encountered them. In line with this, I thought it might be a nice idea to share my own three case studies here.

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