Hoping to follow in the footsteps of their colleagues in the pioneering cohort, twelve (12) of SBCS’ lecturers participated in the Induction Week for the University of Greenwich (UoG) Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE). Activities and sessions were conducted during the period September 8 – 11, 2015 geared at orienting the 2015/2016 cohort to the rigours and expectations of the distance programme.
The sessions were facilitated again by members of the University’s Educational Development Unit. Returning to the training rooms of SBCS was Mr. Paul Dennison – Teaching Fellow, while visiting for the first time was Dr. Alice Man Sze Lau – Senior Lecturer in Learning, Teaching and Professional Development. The team of two guided the participants through lab and micro-teaching exercises, to help them become familiar with the technologies and practices needed to successfully complete the programme’s modules:
• Teaching, Learning and Assessment
• Learning Design and Evaluation
• Professional Development in Higher Education
Mr. Navin Lallan – Manager, Central Academic Scheduling and Operations, one of the members of this year’s cohort, shared on his experience at the training:
“The sessions were quite informative as the UoG lecturers gave a complete overview and were very accommodating to our questions and requests. The micro-teaching session was a good experience in displaying one’s skills to other lecturers and receiving constructive feedback … I also gained great insight into how an Online (Distance) Course is structured, with the use of varying technologies such as Moodle, Dropbox, and PebblePad.”
Joining the current cohort as mentors are some of the successful graduates from last year’s programme. Fifteen (15) of the first cohort of twenty (20) attained their Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, and as a result were also afforded the opportunity to become Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). The HEA is the national Body in the UK that champions teaching quality, and its contribution to the wider student learning experience.
Graduate, and HEA Fellow, Ms. Trijata Maraj (Part Time Marketing lecturer) discussed how her experience on the PGCHE (2014/2015) has since impacted her teaching style and delivery:
“The PGCHE has expanded my knowledge on learning styles, triggers that can be used to help students retain the work, and ways I can make learning fun and relevant. I have taken the techniques and tried to incorporate them into my classroom, testing techniques to see what will work best with each cohort. It gave definition to so many techniques that are already practiced but never knew the terminology, or understood the psychology behind the success.”
On the final day of training, a social gathering was held, where members of the past and present cohort were brought together to share advice and experiences thus far on the programme. Executive Director, Dr. Robin Maraj took the opportunity to remind all attendees and participants of the purpose behind this undertaking:
“At SBCS, our main concerns are that our students achieve the qualifications that they enroll with us for, that they are able to gain meaningful employment with them, and add value wherever they go. This PGCHE programme is a means to ensure that our lecturers are continually equipped with the right tools and techniques to deliver the best teaching experience they can, for our learners to be successful.”
We bid the 2015/2016 PGCHE cohort good luck in their studies.