Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Topic 13: Summary of your role as a demonstrator

Demonstrators should:

  • Arrive early before the class starts.
  • Liaise closely with the technician.
  • Take attendance.
  • Start class with clear instructions about the activities and why they are doing them. Include cleaning up procedures and issues of safety.
  • Give clear guidelines about work to be handed in for assessment
  • Allow time for questions after your introductory talk but before the activities commence to clear up any misunderstandings.
  • Monitor student progress and respond quickly to student requests.
  • Deal with problems arising.
  • Be pro-active; try to anticipate problems and get them sorted out while they are small or before students have lost too much time.
  • Keep your own notes of problems, prac design problems and relay to the technician and unit chair as soon as possible. This may avert other classes later in the week experiencing the same problem.
  • Sum up at the end- or better still invite students to collaborate in summing up.
  • Make a very clear statement about the due date of the practical report if appropriate, and where they are to submit their report.
  • Remind students to read up on the next practical class in their practical manual and any other preparation for the next practical class.
  • And last but not least ensure that students leave the laboratory tidy with all materials cleared up, washed and tidied away.

Demonstrators are least appreciated:

  • Who keep mobile phones on and leave class when phone rings.
  • Who talk to other demonstrators about unrelated matters during the class.
  • Who arrive late.
  • Who have obviously not prepared for the class.
  • Who don't ask questions when they are unsure.
  • Who bluff when they don't know something and tell students incorrect information.
  • Who think they know it all and don't need to prepare and /or attend demonstrator meetings.
  • Who act as if they wish they were anywhere else but in the class.
  • Who sit up the front, not being pro-active.


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25th November 2010