Karachi, June 12, 2017 (PPI-OT):For the third year running, the Network of Teaching and Learning will award grants to faculty looking to implement novel teaching methods in the classroom. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) grant will provide up to $ 5,000 in funding to design and conduct innovative teaching activities at the University, and to promote the publication of research on the effectiveness of such modes of instruction. The grant encourages faculty to explore a creative, evidence-based, and scholarly approach to teaching where they constantly reflect on how to improve learning outcomes.
Dr Tashmin Khamis, Director of the Network of Teaching and Learning (TL_net) at AKU said “The grant aims to foster a shared understanding of what constitutes quality teaching. By enabling teachers to pursue excellence and by encouraging them to actively engage their students, we ensure that both students and teachers get the most from the classroom experience.” Faculty across the University’s six campuses are encouraged to apply to the programme with TL_net being particularly keen to support multidisciplinary initiatives as well as proposals that involve the use of technology. To date the programme has awarded 6 grants for teaching projects at the AKU’s campuses in Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan.
One of the first projects to receive funding was in the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Kampala where six faculty members assessed the effectiveness of clinical teaching rounds (CTR) to educate student nurses. The project found that CTRs enabled trainee nurses to interact with patients and families in the presence of instructors and helped improve critical thinking skills. One of the six researchers involved in the project, Mary Grace Nakate, said: We used the SOTL grant to conduct a workshop for the faculty and clinical preceptors to orient them to nurse-led clinical teaching rounds and to review the post-conference teaching strategy. The grant facilitated the quick progress of the research process which was completed in one year.”
Another project conducted by faculty at the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at the Karachi campus analysed the impact of 3D visualisation software on students. Researchers found a significant difference in the ability of students to visualise the human anatomy after undergoing training on the programme. The grant is one of many activities planned under SOTL which include TL-net hosting of a conference in October 2017 as well as initiatives to help faculty peers support one another through virtual mentorship and teaching squares.
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