AUK’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching holds the first Excellence Lab on
The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) held the
first Excellence Lab on Innovative Pedagogy. Focusing on the theme of “consciousness”, this virtual training
workshop, facilitated by European instructors, mentored and advised 24 faculty members from different AUK
colleges (trainees) on educational co-creation between learners and their teacher. The process of co-creation
centers on building unique and creative learning content, adapted to the learning preferences of a specific
group of learners (students).
The workshop outlined methods for building a teaching strategy that is complementary to the learning
a group of students, based on the identification of their learning preferences and the formulation of
that match these preferences, while ensuring the fulfillment of intended educational outcomes. Divided into
groups, trainees were asked to formulate an answer to the fundamental question: “Why did you choose to
in this Excellence Lab?” After discussion and reflection, each working group provided an answer to this
that reflected the collective aspirations of the members in that group. The answers of each group varied,
wide range of needs:
“To learn how to maximize student engagement”.
“To improve our teaching skills”.
“To become aware of new ideas in teaching”.
“To learn how to establish strong connections with students, in order to motivate them”.
“To use technology in more effective ways for the benefit of students”.
“To learn how to measure learning outcomes”.
At the conclusion of the workshop, an assignment was provided to trainees, who were asked to write a five-page
teaching philosophy statement, addressing the following questions:
What does teaching mean to you?
How does it feel to be a teacher?
How engaged/motivated are your students?
What innovations have you adopted in your teaching methods/content?
Did these innovations work? Were students responsive to these innovations?
What aspects of student learning/engagement do you want to improve in your classroom?
CELT is committed to supporting and promoting innovative approaches to pedagogy, continuously striving to
learning and teaching methods at AUK. CELT’s Innovative Pedagogy Program (IPP) is designed to build the
AUK faculty members in modern and effective teaching methods, focusing on maximizing the connectedness and
engagement of students with educational curricula. It targets faculty members (trainees) via a series of six
workshops entitled “Excellence Labs”, covering six key themes, referred to as the “6 C’s”. These are
(lab 1), connection (lab 2), curious creativity (lab 3), confidence (lab 4), communication (lab 5) and
assessment (lab 6).