Advance HE has delivered a successful Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CLTHE) programme at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) – Bahrain. In order to improve the quality of teaching and learning at the college, RCSI Bahrain is moving towards a policy of all academics with a teaching commitment having a formal teaching qualification and wanted to be able to offer their staff the opportunity to train within the college.
The first cohort of the CLTHE programme was delivered this academic year with many of the participants expected to achieve Fellowship status in the near future. There are currently six teaching Fellows at the college, across all categories, and the college hopes that number will rise markedly over the coming years. A second cohort of the programme has just been agreed and will run in the next academic year.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions the programme had to be shifted online at short notice, and the participants felt that the programme was more accessible due to the flexibility it offered them when accessing the content.
It was a very practical course with direct application to ‘real world’ university-level teaching, learning and assessment. The aspects of digital learning were very timely as were the discussions about online assessment. I have changed some of my continuous assessments as a result of what I learnt on the course.
“I found the transition to ‘online’ straightforward. I don’t think it hindered my learning. If anything, it gave some flexibility in how I organized my day especially when I was busy helping undergraduates adjust to online learning! I hope that some ‘online’ aspects can be kept for future cohorts.”
Dr Ebrahim Rajab, Senior Lecturer in Human Biology
I felt that the program was very interesting. Firstly, it was a good way to get-to-know and work with other RCSI colleagues from different departments and schools. People who you may not see or speak to on a daily basis. With that being said, we were also able to work together to solve problems and to do activities which in turn let us see things from a different perspective.
“Secondly, the programme was an interesting way to look at our teaching and learning approach and style as individuals. By being able to discuss things we were able to see what we do and how we can improve upon it. Thirdly, the teachers from Advance HE were very knowledgeable and guided us through the course well. The online Moodle platform they used was also easy to work and full of interesting articles and coursebooks.”
Christina Strachan, English Language Lecturer
RCSI Bahrain hope to take ownership of the programme over the coming years and work towards accreditation, which would give the college the ability to award Fellowships directly to staff following completion of the programme. They will co-deliver the second cohort alongside Advance HE staff and Dr Ebrahim and Christina believe this will be extremely beneficial to future participants.
Dr Ebrahim said: “A critical mass of similarly qualified people is important for implementing change within the University, of that there is no doubt. I imagine that those who achieve Senior Fellowship will be able to mentor those working towards Fellowship. This will provide opportunities for mentorship.”
Fellow participant Christina agreed, saying that the different perspectives from having trainers from across the university and Advance HE would give participants a broader range of knowledge to draw on when thinking about their own teaching practice.
Find out more about the Certificate in Learning and Teaching and HE and implementing this at your institution.
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