Critical Skills Tutor
Department: Office: Dean of Teaching & Learning
Vacancy ID: 016161
Closing Date: 10-Jul-2022
As part of a review of its undergraduate curriculum, Maynooth University decided to introduce Critical Skills as an optional first year programme for students. Students who choose this option undertake a rigorous programme aimed at developing their skills of analysis and critique and their ability to communicate their ideas clearly in formal writing and in verbal presentations. This programme is assessed to normal academic standards and carries credits. The aims of the critical skills courses are to provide the best possible transition to higher learning and to strengthen students’ critical skills in analysis, numeracy, and communication. Central to all critical skills courses is a weekly small class environment with task-based learning under the direction and guidance of a class tutor.
The Critical Skills programme began on a pilot basis in 2015 and was available to the majority of first year students from 2016. Two variants of critical skills are currently offered: universal critical skills and thematic critical skills. These are multi-disciplinary in nature and the thematic variants have a specific thematic focus, and so class tutors will have to teach outside their own discipline. For this reason, and to support effective skills development for students, the class programme will be task-based. In these the students will have a weekly lecture which will present material that will be the basis of the small class teaching. There are approximately 1000 students currently enrolled in the critical skills programme.
The main duties of critical skills class tutors are to teach a number of weekly classes, and to promote the aims and vision of the critical skills course by delivering high quality teaching and contributing to the effectiveness of the overall teaching team. Some of these courses will be multi-disciplinary and with a thematic focus, and so class tutors will have to teach outside their own discipline. For this reason, and to support effective skills development for students, the class programme will be task-based.
The tutors will work with the subject leader to develop and teach the Critical Skills course. This will involve tutorial-style classes with a highly interactive and student-centred pedagogical approach. The classes will be organised in modest class sizes, typically of around 25 students, to facilitate student interaction. The teaching will involve regular feedback on written work done by the students, and assessment of their work in a variety of forms. While it is expected that the course will follow an agreed programme, the tutors will be expected to adapt the programme as needed to suit the needs of their students. Working under the leadership of the subject leader, the tutors are expected to play an active role in the evaluation and refinement of the course.
The teaching approach will be developed by a course team and tutors will undertake initial training and receive ongoing support as members of a community of practice. The course requires tutors who are enthusiastic about the development of critical skills and are able to respond creatively to the challenges of teaching them in a stimulating, thoughtful, and engaging manner.
University Tutor (2022): € 38,352– € 49,552 p.a. (7 points)
Appointments will be made in accordance with public sector pay provisions.