In 2018, University Deans recommended the provision of an ‘Academic Orientation’ to all newly appointed faculty members of AKU so as to develop an understanding of University expectations of them as faculty members as well as share supports system available to them to enact their roles effectively. In response to this, the Network of Quality, Teaching and Learning launched AKU’s first Faculty Orientation to Teaching and Learning (FOTL) programme on August 24th, 2020, in liaison with the HR, and in consultation with other Academic Support units. These included, Research and Graduate Office, Office of Student Experience and the Counselling Services and Wellness Office, Registrar Office, and the Network of English Learning Enhancement.
FOTL is offered as an online learning programme comprising live synchronous session (via Zoom) and asynchronous component (via VLE -Moodle). It aims to orient faculty members on key academic areas like teaching and learning, research, the student profile and language support available at AKU. FOTL is a compulsory programme for all new faculty members as part of their probationary period. Upon completion, faculty are awarded a certificate of participation.
This year, 46 newly appointment faculty members from different entities across AKU attended the FOTL Introductory Synchronous session. Out of 46, 31 enrolled in the programme offered via VLE- Moodle. The programme is currently running and to date, 12 (26%) faculty members have successfully completed the orientation programme. The programme was very well-received by newly appointed faculty members.
"It was an excellent and relevant programme. It clarified the role of faculty and the various resources available to improve my duty in enhancing the experience of our learners as every single aspect is necessary and invaluable to a holistic approach to teaching," said Felix Mwembi Oindi – Senior Instructor at Medical College- Nairobi, who attended FOTL programme this year.
FOTL is a holistic support program preparing new faculty with necessary skills-sets to perform their teaching and non-teaching roles, effectively.