Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

The Professional Development for Casual Academic Staff (PDCAS) program

The PDCAS program was originally introduced in Semester 1, 2005 to assist new staff who are relatively inexperienced university educators. The program has been developed with an emphasis on a student-centred/learning-centred approach to teaching - an approach that will lead to deep (rather than surface) learning. It is premised on current educational theory, but is designed to be practical in nature.

The intention is that the program is to be completed in the first trimester of employment as a casual academic - Tutor, Demonstrator or Marker.

Program structure

The PDCAS program is structured as follows:

  • The program is organised in modules.
  • Each module takes notionally 2 hours and staff are paid for this time.
  • A certificate is provided for tutors who successfully complete the program.
  • Demonstrators and Markers also receive a certificate upon completion of the relevant module.

Individual progress through the program is monitored by Deakin Learning Futures, who authorise payment to casual academics once they successfully complete the relevant modules of the program. The casual academic does not need to submit a timesheet for this payment.

Program for demonstrators

Category of staff Role Compulsory module
Demonstrators Lab/prac classes
  • Lab/prac Teaching

Program for markers

Category of staff Role Compulsory module
Markers Marking
  • Assessment

Program for tutors

Category of staff Roles Compulsory modules Optional modules
Tutors Tutoring
  • Teaching in tutorials 
  • Assessment and feedback
  • Understanding diversity
  • Teaching with DSO
One of:
  • Lab/prac teaching
  • Self & peer reflection on teaching
  • Problem based learning - Health care practitioners
  • Teaching in lectures

Tutors complete a total of five modules: four compulsory modules and one from the list of optional modules.

The Teaching in tutorials module, together with the Assessment and feedback module are offered in face to face sessions (2 hours each) in the first four weeks of trimester, at each of Deakin's major campuses. Details of these sessions are available at

For those casual academics unable to attend these face-to-face sessions, equivalent versions of both modules can be completed online during the period of the trimester.

All the remaining modules in the program are completed online via Desire2Learn in the Deakin Studies Online (DSO) environment.

Program coordinator

The program is coordinated by Zosh Pawlaczek at the Deakin Learning Futures:

Email: Zosh Pawlaczek
Phone: 9246 8161

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19th July 2012