Computer Laboratory

Staff Development Programme

The Computer Laboratory has procedures for the career development of all its staff, with specific programmes for mentoring and appraisal.

MENTORING

All newly appointed academic members of staff are allocated a mentor, usually a senior member of staff with overlapping academic interests. It is the mentor's job to assist the member of staff through the first two years of appointment, to help develop professional powers and activities as fruitfully as possible. Much of this help is in the form of advice: on achieving a balance between teaching, research and other work in the Laboratory; on developing contacts; on involvement with colleges; on supervising research students; on research project management and funding. Much of the contact will be informal and will arise naturally; it is proposed that about once a term the member of staff should meet his or her mentor specifically to identify opportunities for further assistance.

At the end of the first year the member of staff is asked to report briefly to the Departmental Secretary on his or her gain from mentoring. If it has been unhelpful then discussions will be held with the Head of Department to consider possible alternative arrangements.

Academic-related staff and Unestablished Research Workers are not routinely included in the mentoring scheme, but mentors can be appointed at the request of an individual or on the recommendation of the Head of Department.

Assistant Staff are assigned a line manager who is expected to undertake the role of mentor under the guidance of, and with input from, the Departmental Secretary.

Details of the mentoring procedure for academic staff are given in Appendix 1a.

As part of the mentoring procedure for teaching staff, they are asked to complete a Teaching Record Form, a copy of which is given in Appendix 1b.

APPRAISAL

The aims of the programme are to

  • improve work effectiveness
  • record personal and professional development
  • facilitate career progression
  • improve communication
  • clarify individual and departmental objectives.

The appraisal timetable follows the calendar year and staff are usually reviewed biennially. Unestablished research workers are included in the scheme if their contracts are for longer than two years. All other staff are appraised annually for the first three years of appointment and thereafter biennially. Reviews at other times may be arranged at the request either of the Head of the Laboratory or of the staff member concerned.

Details of the appraisal procedure are given in Appendix 2.

UNIVERSITY STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME

The University's Staff Development Directory lists the range of activities offered by the University. The Laboratory's Staff Development Co-ordinator liaises between the central Staff Development Office and the Department to ensure that information and advice are readily available.

Courses within the Staff Development Programme include:

  • Induction
  • Educational development
  • Professional development
  • Career and personal development
  • IT skills.

APPENDIX 1a

Mentoring Procedure on appointment of new staff member, S

1. S meets the Head of Department and the Departmental Secretary, and has a mentor M assigned by the Head of Department (or, for contract research workers, by the Principal Investigator). M should be an officer on permanent contract, ideally someone who overlaps considerably with S in intellectual interests.

2. S meets the Staff Development Co-ordinator (currently the Departmental Secretary), who will offer guidance on training opportunities. In addition, if S is a member of the permanent academic staff the SDC will also provide S with a Teaching Record Card, on which S is asked to record a variety of teaching activities performed in the first two years.

3. S receives a Staff Guide from the Central Authorities and a departmental booklet - the "Computer Science Teaching Handbook".

4. S meets his or her mentor M, within two weeks of joining.

Guidance to Mentors

Each newly appointed academic staff member S has a mentor M whose job is to assist S through the first two years of appointment. M's aim is to help S develop his or her professional powers and activities as fruitfully as possible.

Much of this help is in the form of advice: on achieving a balance between teaching, research and other work in the Laboratory; on developing contacts; on involvement with the Colleges. For academic staff, advice should also be given on PhD supervision, research management and research funding.

On the one hand mentoring is not mainly about academic ideas, but about joining a community which promotes these ideas in both teaching and research. On the other hand it is not mainly about appraising performance; this is the job of the appraiser. Mentoring can be described as an experience professional M helping another professional S to organise and develop his/her professional activity. How this is done in detail will vary with the individuals concerned.

M and S should maintain continuing contact for this purpose. Much of the contact will be informal and will arise naturally. About once a term, M and S should meet specifically to identify opportunities for further assistance. If S is a member of the permanent academic staff, M should also liaise with S over performing the tasks specified on the Teaching Record Card; after at most two years the card should be complete and should be signed off by M.

Monitoring the scheme

At the end of the first year, S will report briefly to the Departmental Secretary on his/her gain from mentoring. If it has been unhelpful or unproductive, S will be invited to discuss alternative arrangements with the Head of Department.

At the end of two years, the mentoring function will be understood to have become indistinguishable from a relationship between colleagues. Again, S will be asked to comment to the Departmental Secretary, and to draw attention to any further specific need for assistance. M is not expected to report on the individual mentoring relationship with S. Each year the Head of Department will invite all mentors to comment generally on the mentoring scheme. Such comments will be sifted and may be used to extend the guidance to mentors.


APPENDIX 1b

TEACHING RECORD FORM

Name: ........................................................................

Date appointed: ..................................................

Soon after your appointment as a University Lecturer or Assistant Lecturer, and very possibly before you arrive in the Department, the Teaching Committee will invite you to discuss the teaching you might undertake in your probationary period. In general, the Teaching Committee attempts to match the inclinations and tastes of those who give lectures to the teaching requirements of the various taught-courses provided by the Department. We would not, for example, ask a mainstream theorist to run Hardware practical classes. But there are a few tasks which everyone is expected to undertake within the first two years, the period during which your mentor is working with you:

  • Give lectures on two different courses, at least one of which relates to your own interests.
  • Set and mark examination questions relating to the lectures that you give.
  • In partnership with another member of staff, act as an Overseer of around 15 Part II or Diploma projects.
  • Give some supervisions or examples classes on topics which relate to your interests.
  • Supervise a Part II or Diploma project.

If you have little or no previous teaching experience, you will also be asked to attend an induction course with, for example, the Institute of Education or the Open University.

In all these activities your mentor will give advice and ensure that you are not having any problems. To ensure that the Department satisfies certain procedures you are asked to keep a record of your teaching on this form.

TEACHING RECORD

1. Attendance at an Induction Course.............................................................
2. Lecturing.............................................................
3. Setting and Marking Examination Questions.............................................................
4. Overseeing.............................................................
5. Supervisions or Examples Classes.............................................................
6. Supervision of Part II/Diploma Project.............................................................

GENERAL

During your first two years please record below any other teaching or teaching-related activities that you undertake. You should include all other supervising (whether of undergraduate course work for a College, of Group Projects or of Research Students), and any other involvement with practical classes, examples classes or assessed exercises.

On completion of the Teaching Record, please sign the form, obtain the signatures of your Mentor and the Head of Department, and return the form to the Departmental Secretary for filing in your personal records.

Signature of Owner.............................................. Date ...........................
Signature of Mentor.............................................. Date ...........................
Signature of Head of Department.............................................. Date ...........................
Form received by Departmental Secretary.............................................. Date ...........................

OTHER TEACHING OR TEACHING-RELATED DUTIES


APPENDIX 2

Staff Appraisal Programme

The arrangements for appraisals in the Computer Laboratory are outlined below. It is hoped that all staff feel comfortable with the arrangements, that the scheme runs easily and that it is seen as a productive process. The aims of the programme are to

  • improve work effectiveness
  • record personal and professional development
  • facilitate career progression
  • improve communication
  • clarify individual and departmental objectives.

The appraisal timetable follows the calendar year and staff will usually be reviewed biennially. Unestablished research workers are included in the scheme if their contracts are for longer than two years. All other staff are appraised annually for the first three years of appointment and thereafter biennially. Reviews at other times may be arranged at the request either of the Head of the Laboratory or of the staff member concerned.

Individual staff are appraised as follows:

Head of Departmentappraised byChairman of the Faculty Board
Deputy Head of DepartmentHead of Department
ProfessorsHead of Department
ReadersProfessors
Senior LecturersProfessors
Senior Computer OfficersProfessors
Computer Officers grade IProfessors
Research FellowsProfessors
LecturersReaders
Computer Officers grades IV-IISenior Computer Officer
Departmental SecretariesDeputy Head of Department
Unestablished research workersReaders
Assistant staffLine Manager

In determining the individual assignments, the Head of Department has concern for the grouping of staff in the Laboratory and to equalize the appraisal load. A staff member may discuss the choice of appraiser with the Departmental Secretary, but the Head of Department will be responsible for making the final decision in each case.

A pro forma is provided to form the basis of the review record; an up-to-date CV and a progress report should be included as standard additions but any reasonable amount of supporting material may also be included and will then become part of the formal record.

In preparing for the interview, the appraiser may wish to consult other members of staff on the general performance of the appraisee. In this case the appraisee should be notified beforehand and given the opportunity to comment.

Appraisers of teaching staff should try to attend at least one lecture given by their appraisees.

Prior to the interview, the appraisee completes Parts I and II of the form and gives the form, a copy of his or her CV and a progress report plus any relevant attachments to the appraiser. A date for the interview will be arranged by mutual agreement. As soon as practicable after the interview, the appraiser records his or her comments on the appraisee's progress in Part III of the form, together with a summary of action points agreed between them. The form is then returned to the appraisee, who adds his or her comments in Part IV.

When the appraisee has filled in Part IV he/she sends the form to the Head of Department. The Head Department fills in Part V and returns the completed form and any attachments to the Departmental Secretary for filing. The Head of Department and/or the Departmental Secretary discusses with the appraisee any follow-up actions or recommendations arising from the appraisal.

In the event of disagreement the appraisee has the right to refer the matter to the Head of Department (unless the Head of Department carried out the review) or to the Chairman of the Faculty Board of Computer Science and Technology. The referee discusses the position with both parties and records his or her views as part of the formal record. If neither of the referees is acceptable to the appraisee, the matter is left at this point and the review form is simply annotated by the Departmental Secretary to record this fact.

The review record is treated as strictly confidential to the appraisee, the appraiser, the Departmental Secretary and the Head of Department. With the appraisee's consent the most recent appraisal record can be made available to any committee considering the appraisee's promotion or re-appointment if the committee so requests.

An appraisee may request a copy of his or her appraisal record from the Departmental Secretary.

Members of staff are welcome to seek further information or advice or to discuss any aspect of the procedure with the Departmental Secretary or the Head of Department.

Margaret Levitt
February 2003