Zayed University Tops UAE's Educational Institutes in Innovative Teaching

06 Dec 2017

December 06, 2017

Zayed University’s Innovative Teaching Program achieved full accreditation from the UK-based Higher Education Academy (HEA) recently, making it the first accredited program in the United Arab Emirates.

Landing the honors; is the Innovative Teaching Program (ITP), a professional development program for teaching faculty delivered by Zayed University’s Center for Educational Innovation. The accreditation signifies that the program aligns with the HEA's professional standards framework, which is a way to benchmark excellence in professional development for teaching and learning.  

Running as an independent non-profit organization, HEA is committed to world-class teaching in higher education, which targets additional student related successes through institutional and induvial partnerships. The Higher Education Academy brings the sector together to collaborate, and share teaching strategies and practices.

Dr. Barbara Harold, Acting Director, Center for Educational Innovation at Zayed University, said, “This significant accomplishment reflects Zayed University’s commitment to excellence in teaching.” “I am proud to announce that the ITP pathway, which was formed by the Center for Educational Innovation, matched all the standards and requirements proposed by the HEA framework.”

Adding, “The pathway comprises of two key elements, first of which, is a series of practical modules offered to the faculty to develop classroom teaching skills. The second is the process whereby faculty can gain international recognition for excellence in teaching through the Higher Education Academy Fellowship awards.”

The program is designed around the UK professional standards framework, which is an internationally recognized benchmark to success and excellence in teaching. Through the ITP, she added, “Zayed University is committed to ongoing professional development for the faculty, to support the culture of innovation and creativity in teaching and to provide the best opportunities for student learning”.

Speaking of the ITP pathway design, Christina Davison, Instructional Designer at the ZU Center for Educational Innovation, said, “Working in a small team over a two-year span, we’ve designed the ITP to offer ZU faculty continuous improvement opportunities to support the university’s vision of becoming globally recognized as the leading university in the region for excellence in educational innovation, research, and student leadership development that serves the changing needs of the nation in economic, social and cultural advancements.”

Professional development modules in the program cover a wide variety of topics relevant to teaching at Zayed University. This semester faculty participated in consecutive seminar sessions on topics like instructional design, encouraging critical thinking skills, developing meaningful assessments, and conducting classroom-based research. Further, the Innovative Teaching Program is collecting the first set of claims for professional recognition by the end of the current semester. “We are expecting about 20 claims for fellowship to be put forward, and they will be judged as a part of the semi-annual submission cycle in January 2018,” Davison said.


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