This page supports the sessions we run to develop facilitation skills to use in tutorials, seminars, lab classes and workshops.

The slides from the session are available here:

Facilitation Skills Edinburgh

Some links to further information and advice

There is a huge amount of information and ongoing research on teaching and learning in higher education. It is vital to get advice and guidance from those around you, but for general resources and information. The Higher Education Academy is a great place to start:

You can access subject-specific resources in the ‘Subject Centres’. For instance, the short guides in the bioscience centre, like this one for postgraduate demonstrators and teachers:

The Institute for Academic Development at Edinburgh University has a free ‘Tutoring and Demonstrating handbook’, written for postgraduate researchers. It includes chapters on roles and responsibilities, tutorials, problem classes, demonstrating and commenting on essays. (You will find other resources if you Google “tutoring and demonstrating handbook”)

Vitae, has advice for postgraduates and research staff involved in teaching. Search for ‘teaching’ from their home page:

For a neat extension of our discussions on learning objectives, see the landscape presented here (uses Flash animation):

In the workshop we used Honey and Mumford’s variation on the Kolb system as outlined here:

There are more detailed introductions to Kolb learning styles, for instance:

For advice on useful structures for feedback, see section 2.1 of ‘First Words’, a handbook by David Baume, now available as ones of a series of free e-books.

Free learning and teaching e-books from Oxford Brookes University

Although aimed at school-level learning, there are some very interesting ideas about learning on Prof Guy Claxon’s Building Learning Power website:

This one looks at elements of building a positive classroom culture which has many parallels to our discussions:

(Thanks to Doug Folan for these suggestions)

For those of you interested in engaging in an active, experiential learning experience (and for the chance to observe other facilitation skills), look out for the Edinburgh Local GRADschool –

Other training is listed at

These two courses will add to your facilitation skills:

How to be an Effective Researcher (aimed at early stage PhDs, this uses a facilitative model)

Introduction to MBTI personality type (an additional theory which may have particular value for feedback)

The Beltane Office will also be able to help you develop any skills or activities with a public engagement element.

To help students engage in critical reading (and as an example of a facilitative document) see the critical reading section of:

How to Write Research When There’s no Time 

(this resource came from the Part-Time Researchers Conference in 2013)

For advice on writing with clarity (with many resources focused on thesis writing) see

Professor Pat Thomson’s blog.