Frequently asked questions for teaching staff
The following is a list of frequently asked questions relating to course planning, delivery, assessment and teaching administration at the School of Informatics more generally. If you have any question that is not covered below, please contact the ITO and we will expand this list by your item as appropriate.
The induction presentation provides an informative overview of many aspects of Teaching and Course Delivery.
Who allocates teaching duties and how can I change my duties?
Duties are allocated by the Director of Teaching and the Head of School. Any requests to change or reduce your teaching load should be directed to them. Allocation of duties web pages.
How do I create or update my course web page?
Please request permission from Computing Support using the online support form. Web pages are created and updated using CVS, we have a guide to this process, and further help is available.For specific queries please contact Computing Support.
Why should I publish materials such as lecture notes online?
It is strongly recommended that course materials are published online ahead of the lecture. This is a requirement for certain students with Learning Profiles (a list of adjustments specific to a student, issued by the Student Disability Service) and is highly beneficial to students with English as a second language, and therefore is considered best practice for all.
More information on mainstreaming common learning adjustments can be found online:
What is the role of the ITO?
The Informatics Teaching Organisation (ITO) is part of Informatics Student Services, responsible for the operation of all the School's undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes and is the first point of contact for all taught students within the School.
Who can I ask if I need advice about teaching?
What is the Board of Examiners? Do I have to attend? Exam Boards meet after each exam diet to approve the course marks and programme awards. A list of meeting dates and membership is available. All members should attend their boards, which cannot meet without a quorum present. If you have a good reason for being unable to attend a board, you should contact the convener well in advance. This is particularly important for small boards such as year 1/2 boards.
How do I propose student projects? The MSc and UG4 project co-ordinator will email teaching staff for project proposals. Previous submissions can be found here:
What is the marking and moderation process for UG4 projects? Please also follow the link to the staff only pages
Student monitoring and support
What are the university regulations regarding undergraduate attendance? - Regulation 24 and 25
What are the university regulations regarding postgraduate attendance? - Regulation 25 and 26
What is the workload of Informatics Students? The workload varies from year to year. Further information can be found on slides 23 and 24 of the Teaching Induction slides:
What do I have to know about students with learning profiles? Learning profiles are sent by the ITO to relevant members of staff and will contain all the necessary information relating to the adjustments required to meet the needs of that student. The University Accessible and Inclusion Policy.
Where can I find information about dealing with Special Circumstances? The Student Guide to College Special Circumstances Policy provides a useful overview for staff and students. The Official University Policy and Overview of SCC procedures provides further information. The SCC form can be downloaded from College wiki.
What are the School procedures to deal with plagiarism?
Communication with students
Where can I find information about Undergraduate Induction?
There is an induction page within each years handbook.
Where do students get teaching related information from? The Informatics Teaching Organisation web pages provide useful information for students including Year Handbooks and in the ITO Admin section.
Do I have to offer regular office hours? Regular office hours are encouraged as a useful mechanism to improve student-staff engagement. If you choose to offer office hours, please ensure these are well advertised.
What is the mechanism for student-staff engagement outside class? Staff should be responsive to email, use class mailing lists for announcements, make sure they provide all relevant information on course web pages. Where this is requested by the Year Organiser, they should attend SSLCs. They should try to contribute to School-wide engagement events where appropriate. They can also think about offering informal ways of interacting with students, both online (e.g. through forums and newsgroups) as in person (e.g. through office hours, an informal chat after the final lecture, a Q&A session before the exam etc). Please also see the following information regarding Responding to student email
What should I do if a student is asking a question I cannot answer? Direct them to an appropriate member of staff or ask them to contact the ITO.
What is the purpose of course surveys and what do teaching staff have to contribute? - see section on course survey reports
What are Visiting Undergraduate students? Visiting Undergraduates (VUGs) are non-graduating students earning credit with us. They are treated similarly to our Undergraduate Students with the exception that Semester 1 VUGs sit their exams in December whilst full year VUGs will sit exams with the main cohort in May. University of Edinburgh VUG page.
What special rules apply to part time students? Part time MSc students follow a different DPT which allows them to take half the number of courses per year and undertake the dissertation in year 3. Only very occasionally will there be a part time undergraduate student whose workload will relate to the special circumstances which have allowed them to student part time.
How do I book teaching spaces and check availability? Rooms for lectures and tutorials are booked by the ITO at the start of each Academic Year. For any subsequent room booking required or to check availability, please contact the ITO.
Courses and degree programmes
What is the typical format of an Informatics course? A standard lecture course normally consists of up to twenty one-hour lectures (two per week for one semester) together with associated coursework and background reading. A few courses may also have tutorials, labs, or a different structure. Most courses have associated assignments, mainly assessed during the course - you will be given assignments to complete by deadlines set by the course lecturer. The relative weightings of the assignments and examination in the final mark for each course are given in the detailed course descriptions. Most of the marks for a course are usually from exams, which may ask questions related to any aspect of that course.