LEOP - Teaching Entry and Orientiation Period

Entry into teaching is an important step in the development of skills of young researchers. In recognition of this, starting with the winter semester 2015/16 the Department of Sociology offers an accompanied Teaching Entry and Orientation Period ("LEOP") offering support to young scientists taking their first steps in teaching. LEOP aims to enhance the status of teaching and ensure its quality through a structured and accompanied entry period. It is Part of the 'Rising Scholars' initiative to promote young scientists.

After successfull completion of LEOP a certificate is awarded. Completing the LEOP is possible for internal and exteral lectureres, and coordinated by the Sociology Directorate of Studies.

LEOP Overview: downloadable LEOP folder (currently only available in German)

Advantages of LEOP:

  • Accompanied entrance into teaching
  • Assemble key competences
  • Exchange with other first time lecturers and experienced teaching staff
  • Acquirement of a certificate

LEOP couse outline using the example of a PhD position

LEOP consists of different modules, and also allows for the consideration of previously aquired knowledge after consultation with the directorate of studies. Below you find a recommended couse outline for LEOP using a PHD position as an example.

Basic Qualification (GSK)

This 2-day course supports staff new to teaching, and aims to convey basics in university regulations, the aquiration of a teaching method repartoire, the definition of teaching goals and the development of suitable learning and teaching competences for one's own courses.

 → Info and Registration

Contact with Directorate of Studies (SPL): course selection

As part of planning degree programmes, internal teachers are contacted by the directorate of studies usually one semester in advance. They have the opportunity to state which courses they prefer to teach, and whether or nor they want to teach in a team (usually first time lecturers and more experienced staff) or by themselves.

 → More Information concerning planning degree programmes

 → Contact: Natalia Fabian

Network meetings

Once per semester a moderated network meeting of the teaching staff takes place at the department. The meeting aims for an exchange of experiences, knowledge transfer, and connecting experienced and less experienced teaching staff. There is also time for informal talk in which job shadowing can be individually agreed upon.

To complete the LEOP the network meeting should be attended at least once, although a regular attendence is recommended. The dates will be announced in advance on this webpage and via email.

 → Current dates and protocol archive

Professionalising the teaching competence

Depending on previous knowledge and individual needs one of the following options can be chosen. Both are provided by the  Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and have different focal points:

Option 1: Teaching Competence
The additional program teaching competence aims to professionalise one's own learning and teaching competence, and to exande the methods available, to support a teaching culture led by research and centered around the students. The programm consists of different workshops that span topics such as media competence, design of lectures, and adequate assessments of performance. Time: 8 hours.

 → Info and Registration

Option 2: Coaching for Staff New to Teaching
The coaching for staff new to teaching consists of small groups of first time teachers that are accompanied through their first semester by a coach who advises them. Together all questions that arise during the first teaching experience can be discussed and individual solutions are found. Common topics are the start of the semester, special methods for teaching, or preparations of exams and tests. The foal of this choaching is to give usefull impulses to advance strategies for important teaching situations. This coaching is espeically usefull during the first teaching activity. Time: 7,5 hours.

 → Info and Registration


After successfully completing the teaching entry and orientation period, all proof and confirmation documents of participation in the courses can be submitted to the Directorate of Studies. After a short precessing time, they will award the certificate.

Mandatory to receive certificate:

  • Basic Qualification (GSK)
  • Network meeting
  • Professionalising the teaching competence (Option 1 or 2)