Teaching Requirement

Group Project Principals

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Full-time faculty members are required to teach 2 credits per year, and they are requested to submit a course proposal/description to CEC for approval within their first year.  Teaching expectations for faculty are stipulated in PRP3.2.2


Full-Time Faculty Requirement 

(updated September 2023)

  • At least 2 credit of elective course per year (1 x 2 credits, or 2 x 1 credit course)
  • Minimum 13 weeks per term out of the 15-16 weeks term period
  • 3 hours per week minimum, as either 1 or 2 classes fulfils the OIST ~40 hour requirement

The final 2 weeks of each term (known as Final Fortnight) is reserved for exams, replacing classes missed due to illness or natural disaster, student presentations, etc.

Laboratory component and exercise sessions have only a 50% weighting, so the course hours should be correspondingly longer.

MEXT sets out a range of 15-45 hours per credit, and asks that universities set their own standard. 
OIST has determined that about 20 hours face-to-face teaching is our standard for 1 credit.

If you have no enrolled students for your course, you should seek to still teach 2 credits in that year, by offering a Special topic, or supervising Independent Studies.

The Grad School will usually provide you 2 timeslots of 2 hours per week in your teaching term.  Additional lab or exercise times should be negotiated with Grad School (Curriculum and Programs), and/or through the annual Course Preparation form.

We expect that students in their first two years will have a general work allocation of around 10 hours per week per course, doing up to two courses (this includes in-class and out-of-class work), and at least 20 hours per week for research work (rotations and proposal).  From time to time, students are required to undertake mandatory professional development activities for an additional 2-3 hours, generally on a Friday afternoon.

Faculty are required to deliver their courses in person.  It is not permitted to use teaching assistants or guest lecturers to discharge your primary teaching duties, but TAs may assist with out-of-class work, lab work, and other student support activities. Faculty may also teach as guest lecturers on other OIST elective courses.


Adjunct Faculty Requirement

Adjunct faculty are expected to teach on a pro-rata basis, according to the time fraction of their appointment.  For example, 50% faculty are required to teach 1 credit per year.  Adjunct professors with a lower time fraction may teach 1 credit annually, or may contribute to education at OIST in other ways such as occasional Special Topics, student outreach programs, mini-courses, and so on.


New Course Proposal

The course proposal should describe the following content using the Course proposal form within their first year of full-time appointment.

  1. Course level (basic or advanced)
  2. Course title
  3. Student Learning Outcomes
  4. Target Students
  5. Description
  6. Course contents (topics)
  7. Mode and items of assessment
  8. Books and resources needed

Please discuss new course proposals with Curriculum and Programs Section at gs-cp@oist.jp before submitting.  New courses should be drawn up in consultation with other faculty whose teaching areas overlap or butt against the content of any new course, to promote a streamlined curriculum.  Ideally this also takes place as part of a regular curriculum review. 

Guidelines for Building a New Course including Basic/Advanced considerations are HERE.

CEC will review the course contents, approve or request minor changes to the course contents. Faculty members are strongly advised to consult with other faculty in the same field when making the course proposal. From time to time the Dean convenes working groups on a discipline basis to review curriculum offering.  Courses will generally be reviewed every 3-5 years or so.

Information in the couurse proposal, once approved, is published in the public-facing course catalog.  Annually, faculty should also draw up a more detailed syllabus which sets out your expectations for class, additional information on labs and assessment items, and may tailor the specific course content to the needs of that particular class of students.  Syllabus template can be downloaded HERE.


Laboratory Work

Faculty are encouraged to include practical experience in their courses, where suitable, to enhance comprehension of the theoretical material from lectures.  The Graduate School has a range of general purpose and  specialty teaching spaces set up for this purpose.  Faculty may also use their own laboratory spaces where we do not have such specialist equipment.  Graduate School is happy to support you in their use and has some budget available for consumables. 

Whether you use Graduate School or your own laboratory facilities, you as the course professor are responsible for identifying risks and ensuring that students have the appropriate training to operate safely in these environments.  Safety training may be provided online (including the Research Support safety training modules, such as Laser and Acid/Base handling), or provided as part of the course.  We ask that you inform Grad School in advance of any laboratory or fieldwork activites, so that we can assist you in managing these diverse safety requirements. 

As the OIST PhD Program draws students from diverse academic backgrounds, their exposure to lab work and lab safety requirements is variable.  Please keep this in mind as you consider the training and safety measures that should be required of the students in your classes.

Note:  Laboratory component and exercise sessions have only a 50% weighting, so the course hours should be correspondingly longer.

Missed Classes

We ask faculty to deliver all the material that you have set out in your course description or syllabus. If you are not able to deliver your classes due to disruptions from a typhoon, business trip, or illness, please work directly with your students to arrange an alternative time to teach the material you have missed. 

The first option is to simply extend your teaching period by another week, using the Final Fortnight (which has been built into the schedule for this purpose).   Please use the same time period and class room.

Alternatively, you can arrange directly with your students to give another class at a mutually convenient time within the 13 weeks of the main teaching period.

The Curriculum and Programs section will find you another class room to use if you choose the second option.  Please let us know your action plan once you have discussed this with your students, and we will support you as appropriate.


Guest Lecturer Request

From time to time, inviting an external guest lecturer to teach part of a course may benefit the students by adding value and interest to a course, such as by offering specialist expertise or a distinct point of view.  These guest lecturers are not substititute teachers, and cannot be used to teach in your place.  Approval for such guest lecturers should be sought at least one month in advance, using THIS FORM.