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The connection between teaching quality and student achievement is one area which has witnessed increasing attention by policy makers and leaders of higher education globally. Many researches and studies have clearly indicated that quality teaching is essential to student learning. In response universities and colleges have been trying to find the best strategies and means for developing and sustaining teaching effectiveness and most importantly to create an institutional culture of excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.
This becomes particularly significant at a time where Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are faced with increasing scrutinizing and pressure from different stakeholders to deliver quality education. Much has been done, and is being done, to improve teaching and learning in many institutions, from faculty training and other professional development programs to establishing rewarding scheme for teaching effectiveness. Some institutions have also set centers of excellence to support faculty and teaching staff; however in many instances these efforts are scattered and have minimal impact or impact which has not been assessed.
The Role of Technology in the 21st Century University Furthermore, the digital revolution have impacted every aspect of our society including teaching and learning and the provision of educational opportunities overall. New university models have emerged including online and hybrid universities. Other forms of technology enabled education such as the ‘flip-classroom’ concept have also surfaced. Today’s younger generation and students are perceived as “tech-addicts”, who are in continuous search of new means to obtain quality, flexible, engaging and affordable ways of learning. However and while students are increasingly using information and computer-based technologies it is not necessarily in ways that enhance their engagement with the learning experience
Online enrollments have also been growing substantially faster than the traditional higher education enrolments in many parts of the world. The expectation of academic leaders has been that such enrollments would continue to substantially grow. The e-learning market just keeps increasing. A recent survey by Ambient Insight Research showed that the worldwide market for e-learning products was $32.1 billion in 2010 and is expected to rise to $49.9 billion in 2015.
The recent emergence of MOOCs across the higher education landscape over the last few years has led institutions of higher education to give further consideration to how higher education will be delivered, managed and sustained. While universities became increasingly conscious of the potential technology can offer in providing wider access, cost effectiveness, flexibility and more efficient teaching and learning when properly adopted.
The link between the institutional vision and strategy and the integration of technology isn’t always clear. Technology integration in higher education entails little more than just providing the technological tools and infrastructure to allow routine tasks of traditional universities to be done online, it involves a complete re-engineering of the various educational processes from designing curricula and teaching and learning to providing student support.
Many institutions fail to effectively integrate technology into the learning and teaching process because they are using technology to replicate their traditional practices. The process thus becomes driven by technology as oppose as by pedagogical rationale and focus. Indeed, the effective use of technology requires a clear strategy and a revolution in thinking about how Learning and Teaching must be delivered and how the institution must overall adapt to change. CLICKS can support institutions with the development of e-learning, hybrid learning and other forms of technology enabled education. It can also work closely with universities and colleges in supporting and teaching effectiveness
CLICKS is committed to help and support Higher Education Institutions both regionally and globally to embrace and sustain innovation and excellence in learning and teaching, attain better student outcomes and create more exciting learning opportunities through the provision of numerous opportunities to support faculty skills development in the area of learning and teaching, ensure they are exposed to latest trends and developments and to encourage the sharing of good practices.
The Center also offers workshops and certificate programs in the area of technology integration; whether through adoption and use of full fledge learning, blended learning, flipped learning or simply to use technology as to support the traditional learning and teaching process.
Some of the programs frequently offered by the center either as ‘in-house’ or public programs include.
Moreover, CLICKS offers specific programs addressed to those in charge for leading and overseeing learning and teaching at an institutional level including workshops on developing learning and teaching strategies and frameworks, building capacity to promote excellence in learning and teaching, establishing e-learning strategies, etc.
Typically capacity building programs in the area of learning and teaching range from short one day programs to up to 6 months certified programs (offered in a blended learning mode).
Some of these programs may also be dually certified with one of the international partners of the Center.
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The Center supports institutions with improving university teaching, enhancing the learning experience and with building internal capability to promote excellence and innovation in both learning and teaching by working closely with the leadership team on setting up centers of excellence. This includes developing the blueprint, plan, structure, portfolio of services of the Centre and working closely with other members at the institution on staff recruitments and building capacity through ‘train-the trainer’ approach as well as supporting as needed with the establishment of international partnerships and collaboration with other HEIs and Centers of Excellence.
CLICKS can offer institution with a range of services including but not limited to: