Candidates must document high quality student learning, clear development over time, a research approach and a collegial attitude. The Department of Engineering Sciences is the first out when UiA launches a pilot project for a new teaching excellence programme.
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"We want to recognize and reward teachers who have systematically worked over time to develop their teaching, who have documented their activities and shared their experiences openly with others," said project manager Lisa Marie Whitehead. The teaching excellence programme is being developed as part of UiA's “Learning and Teaching for the Future” (LUF) strategic project area.
"The goal of the teaching excellence programme is to increase the quality of teaching at the University of Agder and increase the value of education for the students," says Astrid Birgitte Eggen, Vice-Rector for Education at UiA who also sits on the steering board for LUF.
The pilot project will take place at the Department of Engineering Sciences at the Faculty of Engineering and Science. All academic staff from the department can apply, but they are required to have the UNIPED course or equivalent other basic pedagogical competence.
The first step is the application to participate on the project, and this is handled by a committee consisting of the Head of the Centre for Teaching and Learning (PULS), Gunnar Horn, the chair of MatRIC, Simon Goodchild, a student representative, as well as an external academic employee appointed by the Faculty. Workshops will also be held for candidates over the Spring.
Completed applications for teaching excellence should be delivered as a pedagogical folder or portfolio in June 2018. Here, candidates will need to document their motivations, experiences and reflections on their own practice and competences.
"The applicant must explain their pedagogical choices made in their own teaching. The chosen examples should be justified, and candidates will need to elucidate and elaborate on topics and matters that appear as important from an educational perspective," Whitehead says.
Søknaden må også vise til bruk av digitale læremidler, arbeid med læringsmiljøet og ha uttalelser fra nærmeste leder, studenter, kolleger eller andre med innsyn i søkers undervisnings- og veiledningsarbeid.
Endelig søknad skal bedømmes av en komite bestående av interne og eksterne medlemmer. Minst to av medlemmene skal ha samme faglige bakgrunn som kandidaten, hvor en av dem er en merittert underviser og minst en skal ha fagdidaktisk bakgrunn. Det skal også være med studentrepresentant i komiteen.
The application also needs to indicate use of digital learning materials, work on developing the learning environment, and statements from line managers, students, colleagues or other individuals who have insight into the applicant's teaching and guidance work.
Final applications will be assessed by a committee consisting of internal and external members. At least two of these members should have the same academic background as the candidate. One of these external members should be an excellent teacher themselves and at least one of the members should have a subject didactic background. There will also be a student representative on this evaluation committee.
The pilot project will be conducted in Autumn 2017 and Spring 2018. The following Autumn, evaluation and internal consultation will be carried out, before the final teaching excellence programme can be passed by the UiA Board, during Autumn 2018.
"External researchers will follow the pilot project. In this way, we can draw the most relevant knowledge and experience from the project, which enables us to introduce a good teaching excellence programme throughout UiA as a whole," says Eggen.
Eggen also emphasizes how UiA has good open communication with other institutions in Norway, so that the sector can jointly learn how to best make good programmes for teaching excellence.
1. Focus on the students' learning
2. A clear development over time
3. A researching approach
4. A collegial attitude with practice