Higher education teaching - focus:lehre
TU Wien aims to achieve the following with the higher education teaching programme focus:lehre:
- Supporting its teaching staff in their efforts to teach and support students by offering further training and counselling, providing a space for the exchange of experience and knowledge and providing references.
- Providing its students with teaching staff that have an outstanding level of expert knowledge and demonstrate excellence in teaching.
With these aims in mind, everything that is offered under the umbrella of focus:lehre boasts the following:
- Strong focus on what is needed: Needs assessments are performed on a regular basis to assess the requirements of teaching staff so that sessions can be shaped in line with the results. Teaching staff are provided with what they ask for!
- Highly practical approach: The workshops and coaching sessions on offer are incredibly practical. Workshops tend to be highly interactive and hands-on, with a focus on learning by doing. Networking is encouraged as is making use of the specialist knowledge available within the university, with mixed group settings facilitating this. Participants are given the chance to work through problems faced in their own classes, making it easier to transfer what is learnt to their actual teaching.
- Exceptional quality: The professionalism and expertise of the hired workshop facilitators and coaches are the main priorities when it comes to planning focus:lehre activities. This guarantees that the objectives of events are fulfilled. Sessions must follow certain standards and are optimised on an ongoing basis.
focus:lehre also offers the following further benefits for teaching staff at TU Wien:
- Further qualifications: There is no denying that teaching and student support are becoming increasingly important aspects of a career in academia. It is for this reason that it is recommended that teaching staff dedicate some time to developing their skills in higher education teaching.
- Efficiency: focus:lehre activities give teaching staff the opportunity to progress in the field of higher education teaching in a timely manner, whilst benefiting from the chance to share information with their colleagues. Specialist knowledge relating to higher education teaching is passed on in a concise format and teaching staff are able to learn from other participants’ experience on top of that.
focus:lehre activities help teaching staff at TU Wien to gain (further) skills in the following focus areas:
- Planning: Class planning, teaching arrangements, examinations and so on
- Methodology: Didactics and teaching methods
- Leadership: Communication, management of the learning process and so on
- Media: Integration of new media and communication options, such as blended learning scenarios (in partnership with the TU Wien Teaching Support Center)
focus:lehre activities can be broken down into the following areas of focus:
- Planning and development of teaching sessions:
This includes using elements of planning, defining learning goals and formulating competencies, choosing content to be covered, selecting suitable teaching methods, assessing and backing up teaching content.
- Teaching methods:
Examples here include managing group processes within classes, giving effective presentations and lectures, developing teaching materials, rhetoric for teaching staff, visualising teaching content, problem-based learning.
- Student support:
Supervising written theses, offering office hours for students in a professional manner and coaching students all fall under this heading amongst other things.
- Student assessment:
Student assessment covers holding oral examinations for students, devising multiple choice questions, holding classes relating to continuous assessment, providing feedback and conducting written examinations.
- Quality assurance for teaching and personal teaching methods:
Examples here might include the evaluation of teaching during classes, principles of good teaching in a higher education setting, surveys and qualitative feedback from students, feedback from colleagues (‘critical friends’) and peers.
- Personal management and professionalism in a higher education setting:
This area of focus covers academic writing, leadership and team development, conflict management, moderation in teaching, reflection on the role of the teacher and so on.
workshop hours offered
I was very sceptical about the whole thing. But the workshop has made me change my opinion entirely.
It was tailored really well to the ‘real life’ of a teacher.
I think that everyone who teaches should attend courses like this on a regular basis.
More of the same please! I have developed an interest in the topic as a whole.
I have been inspired to come up with plenty of new ideas that should help me improve my teaching. The workshop has motivated me all over again!