Despite the attention and funds invested in improving the quality of teaching and learning by governments and universities, an increasing and significant percentage of university teaching is carried out by sessional (contract) academics. Research indicates that sessional academics are generally excluded from disciplinary processes and development, an exclusion that might indicate problems in teaching within disciplines. However, little is known about the actual impact of sessional academics on the quality of teaching and learning. This paper reports research on the experiences of sessional academics in the disciplines of business and law at a regional university in Australia. A population of 130 sessional academics was invited to participate in an online survey about their attitudes, experiences and desires in relation to quality ofteaching and learning. The initial results of this survey are reported together with recommendations for extending the research.
University Learning and Teaching Futures Colloquium: Rethinking Learning in Your Discipline (ULT-Futures 2010). Proceedings of the University Learning and Teaching Futures Colloquium, 2010 (Armidale, NSW 8-9 September, 2010)