Academic Development Unit inaugurated to advance academic environment

Recently inaugurated and working under the supervision of the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Academic Development Unit initiated the first Academic Advancement Program that aims to develop the skills of new faculty members in teaching and learning on October 12, 2019.

The program was launched by Wael Kishek, the director of the unit, in the presence of Khalid Swaileh, vice president for academic affairs, the unit’s trainers and its participants.

Faculty members who have been working at the university for less than two years will engage in workshops and training sessions that aim to familiarize them with modern pedagogical approaches in order to enhance their teaching skills and equip them with knowledge on the use of technology. Furthermore, they will be introduced to the university’s laws and regulations and to the use of Ritaj, the academic and administrative portal of the university.

Swaileh affirmed in his opening remarks Birzeit University’s commitment to respond to a highly competitive and rapidly changing environment as it seeks to promote a vibrant interactive learning and teaching environment. He explained that the Academic Development Unit will work closely with faculty to help them effectively present their academic activities.

Regarding the academic advancement program, Swaileh said that the participation of new faculty member is essential, as it will raise their teaching expertise, provide them with renewed experience in learning, and support their knowledge production through research.

Kishek introduced the aims of the Academic Development Unit as endeavors to improve the teaching and learning environment at the university. Thus, it will engage faculty members in interactive workshops on new approaches in teaching and in developing curricula, based on modern pedagogical theories and methods.

The Academic Advancement Program, according to Kishek, will continue to target new faculty members in the upcoming semesters. The unit will also start working on other programs and training workshops that cover various educational and pedagogical issues.

The current program runs throughout the first semester and encompasses seven training sessions. The academic development team will work closely with the participating lecturers and help them develop a learning unit based on one of the courses they currently teach. The participants will then implement these learning units, and the Academic Development Unit will provide them with support and feedback.