Undergraduate interns as staff developers: flowers in the desert

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    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Undergraduate education can be characterised by large lecture classes, lack of quality contact time with staff, and an impersonal experience. There is a move towards encouraging students to learn by enquiry, but how can this be encouraged, given pressures of time on both staff and students? One possible solution is to give the students themselves the opportunity to develop enquiry-based materials for courses that they are taking. In 2007, seven undergraduate interns at the University of Glasgow were given this opportunity. Taken from a variety of backgrounds, in terms of subject area and level of study, the interns spent four weeks investigating enquiry-based learning supported by a Teaching and Learning Centre facilitator, before moving on to work with a subject-based staff mentor for the following academic year, of which I was one. Each of the interns worked on a course that they also attended as a student, and developed, with the staff mentor, at least one enquiry-based intervention. In addition to the educational development, the interns were also invited to take part in several conferences, and present their work in their own right. We consider the effect that working as a staff developer had on the students, as they negotiated their identity within the wider community of staff developers, and the advantages and barriers to using this model with undergraduate students.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-17
    Number of pages11
    JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


    • confidence
    • enquiry-based learning
    • identity
    • undergraduate education

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education


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