Teacher audit

December 24, 2004

* Name: Chris Pegler

* Age: 48

* Job: Lecturer at the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University 

* Salary: Lecturer B scale 

* Qualifications: BA business (Coventry University); BA (Open University), MBA (Warwick University); MA in online and distance education (Open University); and a postgraduate certificate in online education and training (Institute of Education, University of London). All but the first were part time and mostly distance/online learning.

* Practical training/experience/background: I worked on the operational/ management side of educational publishing in the 1980s. I then spent ten years commissioning and developing resources for Warwick's distance-taught MBA. But a lot of my experience and ideas come from being a part-time student and tutor, so when I moved to the OU in 2000, as a learning and teaching services development manager, I continued to study and tutor online. This was a punishing workload. In 2002 I decided to consolidate my three separate teaching and learning identities by applying for a lecturer post. It was definitely a good move, and in 2004 I became a National Teaching Fellow and a permanent member of the Institute of Educational Technology.

* Hours spent teaching: Varies depending on whether I'm on the writing team for a new course and whether I am tutoring. Can be as high as 90 per cent of my time, but usually nearer to 30 per cent, including staff development activity.

* Hours on red tape: As I used to be in management, I probably don't see this as the burden that others do. About 10 per cent of the time that I used to spend on it.

* Hours on research: Not nearly enough. I have a backlog of study leave and hope to spend 40 per cent of my time on this in the next 12 months. I'm working on a part-time PhD and starting my National Teaching Fellowship project.

* Teaching bugbear this past year: Having to recreate a course being taught through the UK eUniversity platform in another learning environment with very little warning. This was unpleasant fallout from the failure of the UKeU.

* How did you overcome it? Cooperative students, committed colleagues, inspired leadership (not mine), sheer grit, determination and late nights.

Luckily, the end-of-course evaluation shows that most students liked the new learning environment better.

* Best teaching moment? Every time a student gets to the end of the course, despite their worst expectations. Every time I try something new and it works (the bigger the breath I have to hold, the better the buzz afterwards).

* My teaching tip? Read other people's online messages and note their strategies for getting around the problems that cause you grief. Students often have the best tricks.

* Outside interests: Trying to get inside the head of my seven-year-old son Rhys. He makes me see my own early learning experiences in a completely new light.

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