The CELT is committed to support and develop AUK faculty through collaboration. By offering a variety of services, which promotes effective, inclusive, and innovative teaching. CELT grounds its services in evidence-based practices. These include, but are not limited to the following: professional training programs, individual consultations; classroom observations; feedback sessions; syllabus reviews; as well as knowledge co-creation related to general and specific teaching questions. We strive to empower teaching goals, and help faculty determine how they can best include innovative technology in the classroom to meet their goals.
We realize that each student’s goals, responsibilities, and challenges are unique. We foster continuous andragogic development through attention to research, and comprehension of the challenges and hopes of faculty and students. CELT facilitates individual meetings between faculty and a peer academic mentor to brainstorm to identify possible issues facing lesson implementation in the classroom and create a plan for implementing new strategies that work best for faculty and students. Furthermore, CELT strives to help students learn how to navigate their curricula through empowering them to take a new and more active kind of ownership over their own academic choices, and ultimately, to get the most out of their academic experience, no matter who they are or where they are in their educational journey. The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the American University of Kurdistan is dedicated to the advancement of the professional and instructional development of educators in Kurdistan and the region. The CELT commits to support and promote innovative approaches to andragogy that motivate students to become engaged learners and industry-ready graduates, to inspire and foster teaching and learning excellence, and to provide expertise in curriculum design and development. Teaching excellence is a set of practices designed to maximize or increase the likelihood of student learning, and can best be manifested and recognized by innovative andragogy applications which are based upon the scholarship of teaching and learning research. At AUK, teaching excellence aims at acquiring the skill set as per the Institutional Learning Goals (https://auk.edu.krd/about/mission-vision/).
AUK identifies the following seven virtues that showcase standards of excellence in teaching:
I- Respectful and Supportive Student-Teacher Relations
- Recognizes the imbalance of power between professors and students, and treats them with respect;
- Demonstrates acceptable conduct in all professional interactions and expects others to do the same;
- Demonstrates a dedication to learning by putting forth effort and enthusiasm during the educational process;
- Promotes professionalism in students by setting high standards for thoughtful, moral, and responsible conduct; and
- Encourages the development of professional identity through the use of discipline-specific language and professional ethics by students.
- Promotes student discovery, curiosity, and self-directed learning;
- Establishes learning goals for course exercises and problems that are challenging but attainable;
- Promotes critical, analytical, and creative thinking;
- Cultivates a belief that learning from mistakes and unsuccessful attempts advance knowledge and comprehension;
- Promotes the idea that ability can always improve; and
- Directs students to university support services to ensure their long term academic success.
- Makes use of contemporary, disciplinary scholarship that is guided by theory, research and evidence;
- Employs active learning techniques to encourage skill development and mastery;
- Encourages the application of knowledge and problem-solving abilities to actual situations;
- Sets examples and mandates the usage of various media and technology in line with learning experiences and objectives;
- Encourages student involvement in classroom dialogue and peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing, feedback, and cooperation; and
- Promotes student involvement in inquiry and research.
- Utilizes flexible class management strategies and classroom design that spur student engagement in class;
- Adopts lesson plans that are in line with learning objectives and involves an evaluation of students’ prior knowledge, instruction, application, and group reflection on what was learned;
- Encourages self-regulation so that students can evaluate their own progress and revise their tactics;
- Effectively regulates learning by organizing activities, implementing routines, and manages time, behavior, and participation; and
- Makes use of educational technologies to give students access to course materials, grades, and other feedback.
- Strives to simplify complex topics before indulging in the details;
- Poses questions that encourage students to investigate their own approaches to learning the material instead of following the instructor;
- Uses concrete examples, and physical resources or models as well as diagrammatic and virtual models to enhance student understanding; and
- Employs deductive teaching methods instead of inductive teaching methods wherever applicable in class.
- Specifies expectations and learning goals;
- Employs formative assessments to assess student progress, and summative exams to assess mastery;
- Employs transparent assessment procedures with the measurement of data connected to learning objectives;
- Delivers relevant, timely, and regular feedback based on performance standards;
- Upholds fair and uniform policies for course administration that are appropriate and in line with AUK policies; and
- Adjusts instructional practice based on findings from formative and summative assessment, and students’ presented works.
- Strives for ongoing teaching and course design development by implementing best practices based on research; and
- Dedicated to enhancing the andragogic techniques used as determined by the outcomes of assessment and evaluation.