focus:lehre Didactics in Higher Education
Didactics in Higher Education
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 can be broken down into the following fields of core competence:
- Planning courses based on learning outcomes
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.
- Selecting teaching methods to improve learning
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.
- Creating student-centred learning settings
Supervising written theses, offering office hours for students in a professional manner and coaching students all fall under this heading amongst other things.
- Assessing performance according to student competencies
Student assessment covers holding oral examinations for students, devising multiple choice questions, holding classes relating to continuous assessment, providing feedback and conducting written examinations.
- Further developing teaching quality in a sustainable way
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.
focus:lehre is aimed first and foremost at teaching staff at TU Wien. Teaching staff working at other universities may be able to attend if there are any spaces left or if it makes sense in certain workshop settings.
The university will cover the costs for TU Wien teaching staff attending workshops.Teaching staff from outside of the university, however, will be billed for workshop fees. The price will be shown for each individual workshop on offer. External teaching staff wishing to attend a workshop should get in touch with the coordinating office.
The organiser will decide whether or not a workshop will be going ahead shortly after the application deadline (generally four weeks before the workshop is due to start). If a workshop is not going to go ahead due to a lack of interest, all teaching staff who have applied will be told that the workshop is cancelled.
Fully booked workshops
If the workshop you would like to attend is fully booked, you can still sign up on TISS. Depending on the numbers, your details will be kept on file (so you can be informed if a space becomes available due to someone else cancelling) or you will be added to a list of people interested in the workshop (so you can be informed first when another session is put on).
Anyone who achieves an attendance rate of at least 75% for coaching sessions and workshops will receive a certificate of attendance.
Cancellation and admin fee
As some members of staff sadly do not view their application for further education workshops as being binding, causing additional costs and courses not having the optimum number of participants, TU Wien reserves the right to charge an admin fee of EUR 70 if a place is cancelled within four weeks of the course starting (with the exception of people who are sick and able to provide a doctor’s note) and the place on the course cannot be filled by someone else. Teaching staff who cancel their place on the course may also be banned from taking part in any further focus:lehre sessions. This also applies to teaching staff who do not show up for a session without cancelling in advance.
Dates and details of events, basic training and workshops can be found in our Event Calendar!
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