Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Topic 6: Attributes of a top demonstrator

 Activity: Your best demonstrator?

Think back to your undergraduate days. Who was the best demonstrator you had? Why? What did they do that made them so good? Who were the demonstrators who were not so good? Why? What did they do that annoyed, frustrated or confused you?

A British report on what Engineering students identified the nine most important characteristics of good lab teachers as:

  • They mark fairly and without bias to individual students.
  • Their marking is consistent with that of other demonstrators.
  • They relate the lab work to professional practice.
  • They show good knowledge of techniques and skills.
  • They give clear explanations when asked for.
  • They criticise constructively, with clear explanations of errors.
  • They support students and help their self-confidence.
  • They admit to their own mistakes.
  • They are approachable by students.

(from OCSLD, 2002)

Some Deakin academics were asked what attributes they most appreciated in their demonstrators. In addition to the above, the most common responses were:

  • enthusiastic about the discipline
  • obviously enjoy working with students
  • keen to do a good job and are well prepare

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6th December 2010