An end of year message from Professor Tashmin Khamis
Following the Pandemic, where QTL_net was heavily involved in transitioning the Academy online, this year allowed us to consolidate lessons learned to move from a period of ‘rapid transition’ to supporting faculty to promoting good practice online. Globally the higher education sector world over agree that it is not possible to go back to teaching pre-Pandemic and that ‘blended’ learning where programmes or courses combine in-person instruction and online learning (where online instruction can be synchronous, asynchronous or bichronous) is the preferred mode of engaging the learner. As faculty re-evaluate their role as facilitators of learning, assessing how their teaching translates to learning AKU is pioneering support for good blended learning. The open source "Essentials of Online Course Design and Facilitation: Self Learning Manual" has been developed by QTL_net (Naseem and Pitts) in response to the accelerated use of online teaching and learning modalities at AKU and worldwide. The self-paced manual is a collaborative project based on good practices derived from evidence and experience. It is supplemented by the Online Teaching in Higher Education (OTHE) modules that support good online teaching and course design delivered by QTL-net staff with peer-faculty. Working with Academics without Borders in Canada, volunteer mentors are adapting what QTL_net have developed to share with universities across Asia, Africa and the Middle East and is an excellent example of South to North and South to South partnerships., including Haile T. Debas Teachers Academy members.
The work of QTL_net was recognized as example of good practice internationally. In 2022 AKU received reaccreditation by Advance HE (UK) for its TEACH CPD scheme until 2026. AKU remains the FIRST University in South Asia and East Africa to gain such an accolade. QTL_net received the Award of Excellence for Disruptive Education of the competitive Zairi International Award in Higher Education, supported by UNESCO. Our work was also selected as one of 8 case studies out of 131 accredited CPD programmes by Advance HE (UK) as an example of ‘good practice’ of how the Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning is impacting upon strategic transformation LINK. A further case study, ‘A lifecycle approach to sustainable educational development’ was also one of the 17 case studies published from the Advance HE Global Impact Grants scheme LINK.
Our thanks to all faculty who supported the campaign: “Giving in Gratitude’ that raised over 10,000 USD. We were proud of the Chancellor’s announcement to rename the AKU Teachers’ Academy as the Haile T. Debas Teachers’ Academy in recognition of Dr. Debas for his contributions to the University, and particularly for promoting the highest standards of teaching and learning.
QTL_net has an exciting year planned for 2023 as we will celebrate our 10th Anniversary. We look forward to your participation in our celebrations as well as in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference.
My committed team at QTL_net and I wish you a joyous holiday season and a peaceful New Year with your family and loved ones. We acknowledge all the commitment of faculty to Teaching and Learning with over 300 faculty members engaging with us in 2022, and for the support you received from your Chairs, Associate Deans and Deans to do so.
Professor Tashmin Khamis
Vice Provost, Quality, Teaching and Learning
The Aga Khan University