Teaching: on the front line

May 7, 2004

What is your experience of teaching? Stuart Campbell asks teachers how they manage.

Name : Julia Jahansoozi

Age : 33

Job : Senior lecturer/course leader for the MSc in international applied communication at the University of Central Lancashire and also course leader for the BA public relations course.

Salary : Senior lecturer pay scale: £26,618-£35,367 Qualifications: BSc psychology (Victoria University, Canada); PgC publishing studies (Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen); MSc public relations (Stirling); PhD public relations - part time and ongoing (Stirling).

Background : After I graduated from Victoria I started working in Canada for a large independent bookshop as a trade buyer and literary event coordinator and also as a crisis counsellor for the Victoria Women's Sexual Assault Centre. I then picked up various freelance public relations projects (mostly in the non-profit sector) and after a few years decided to do the MSc in public relations at Stirling. After that I worked for Citigate Technology and managed various information technology and telecom client accounts before joining the University of Central Lancashire's division of applied communication in the department of journalism in 2001.

Hours spent teaching : About ten a week during semesters.

Hours on red tape : About three a week - mostly related to course leadership administration.

Hours on research : One day a week during semesters. I also get six weeks of scholarly leave annually to work on papers, research and so on.

Teaching bugbear : Students texting during lectures

How do you solve it : I single them out and the embarrassment seems to be enough.

Worst teaching moment : Hasn't happened yet... thankfully.

I've just developed a new course (the MSc in international applied communication) that will be delivered in part by our partner institute, Hogeschool van Utrecht in the Netherlands. Bicycles feature quite heavily over there as it's pretty much the best way to get around - unfortunately, I don't know how to ride one so I'll be attending their bicycle clinic in August, which will no doubt be embarrassing...

Best or funniest moment : I think the best part of what I do is seeing students progress through the years and especially seeing them graduate.

It's great to hear from them after they've graduated and are working.

Teaching tip : Our team philosophy is "serious fun". We don't believe in the old "chalk and talk" approach, but instead focus on hands-on experience with students working for real clients as much as possible.

Outside interests : Running, scuba diving, travelling and reading. I am a bit of a news junkie as well.

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