“Appreciate We Are Individual Humans with Previous Experience”: An Exploration of Sessional Marker Experiences

Hammond, Kay
Rai, Meenal
Hassouna, Amira
Raleigh, Sue
Item type
Journal Article
Degree name
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Wollongong

Continuous increase of global reliance on sessional staff in higher education has not been accompanied by the development of strategies to enhance quality learning and teaching or understanding the experiences of these staff. This has resulted in a general discontent among this category of academics. The growing importance of building respectful working environments that integrate inclusive care and performance quality leads to the emergence of standards frameworks. Explorations of sessional staff lived experiences are vital to inform policy and practice. This study examined sessional staff predominantly in a marking role in a local context of an Aotearoa/New Zealand University. We explored our markers’ agreement with selected principles of an Australian national framework. Based on an anonymous Qualtrics survey, the quantitative data showed our markers agreed with most of the selected Australian framework principles at the individual and department levels. An appreciative inquiry of the qualitative data identified markers’ desires for increased professional development, infrastructure and resources, and personal motivation. Considering our markers’ experiences, we propose several actions in a workshop format to provide insights for developing better structures and policies for retaining, training, and engaging with sessional staff.

sessional staff , professional development , appreciative inquiry , higher education , markers , 1301 Education Systems , 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy , 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy , 3903 Education systems
Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, ISSN: 1449-9789 (Print); 1449-9789 (Online), University of Wollongong, 20(6). doi: 10.53761/
Rights statement
Authors and author institutions may reshare or store publicly the final accepted manuscript without modification, and with acknowledgement of the Journal as the original source of the manuscript. This should include an appropriate reference to the article within the Journal as the recommended citation, and a DOI link to the article page on the Journal website.