The growing demands of the economy and society for graduates with high-quality knowledge and skills of the 21st century, or so-called global competences, have begun to dictate the pace of education at universities and higher education institutions both in Europe and in the world. The academic staff began to improve and innovate their pedagogical practices through the improvement of didactic competence. In this way, didactic culture is developed at all levels of operation of universities and higher education institutions.
In accordance with the above knowledge and as a response to the identified needs for didactic training of higher education teachers and colleagues, as part of an international project Oblikovanje za povečano kompetentnost skozi aktivno participacijo v visokem šolstvu / Designing for Enhanced Competence through Active Participation in Higher Education (DECAP-HE)AMEU-ECM prepared and implemented a program for the initial didactic training of academic staff of Slovenian universities and higher education institutions Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (UPUVI).
The design of the program is based on the guidelines of active learning and is consistent with the needs of students and the context of the learning environment, which enables the development of new practices and learning environments that are focused on the student and on practice in a way that prepares students for quality work and life in the 21st century. This will help empower both teaching staff and students to develop key, global competencies for the development and future of society through active participation in higher education.
The Center for Enhanced Teaching & Innovation (SOPI) is a digital platform that enables viewing and using UPUVI program materials.
The package consists of nine learning units that address key topics and issues of modern higher education teaching. The material for each of the learning units includes:
- basic material in the form of a summary of key contents, concepts and ideas that were discussed at each of the meetings (the title of the document is the same as the title of the topic);
- additional materials with descriptions and examples of specific teaching strategies and skills;
- worksheets with exercises and practical tasks to consolidate didactic knowledge and skills and to develop reflection and critical thinking about your teaching and professional development (as a teacher).
All materials are free to download, print and reuse as needed.
The contents contained in the package of didactic materials represent a useful source of information and knowledge about the issues of modern higher education teaching and are therefore a useful material for independent learning and professional development of both higher education teachers and colleagues with longer 'pedagogical mileage', as well as those who are just entering or have recently entered the teaching profession. It is also true that simply familiarizing yourself with these contents and completing the exercises and practical tasks included in the package cannot replace the range of experiences and knowledge that active participation and partaking in the didactic training program enables. As many participants wrote in their mid-term and final evaluations of the implemented program, for them the greatest value of the program was the possibility of exchanging experiences, reflection and group work, especially discussions that spontaneously developed among the participants on individual topics and issues. For this very reason, it is crucial for your effective use of the package of didactic materials that you connect with colleagues in your environment and share with them your experiences and insights on the topics and questions discussed in the materials for individual learning units and together with them search for answers to problems and challenges you face in your teaching work.