Teaching Excellence Center at Innopolis University functions as a community of practice and aims to contribute to professional development of teaching staff through synchronous and a-synchronous scheduled and on-demand trainings and mentoring.
* Cooperation with students
* Understanding the topic well enough to be able to explain it in an engaging manner, understanding the audience and being able to adjust to its demands within reason
* Majority of students attend lectures and labs mid-semester
* When you do not notice how time goes when sitting in the class
- excellent knowledge of the subject, including fr om experience,
- public speaking and knowledge of pedagogical methods when working with adults
- adequate perception of reality, readiness for dialogue with students and openness to feedback Wanting to receive feedback and work on it. Continuous improvement.
* An eficient knowledge transfer from experienced one to novice.
Teaching excellence is a collection of different characteristics of a teacher that include, but are not limited to:
* ability to represent a difficult and complex concept as a well-structured series of simple to understand concepts
* ability to present a simple concept in an intuitive manner that allows anyone with little prior knowledge to understand it
* ability to construct engaging presentations, wh ere "engaging" includes, but is not limited to:
1. Presenting sufficient amount of information (not too much, not too little, usually defined empirically)
2. Presenting information in a well-structured manner (structure should allow anyone to start following presentation when one small piece of information ends and another starts, if one concept requires another then they should be presented in order if the situation allows so)
3. Tone of voice should not be monotonous, it should follow the structure (otherwise for students it is really hard to follow)
4. Presentation should engage students in some way, be it some interactive parts like asking questions or humor, but presentation should never force the interaction
5. Presentation should include summaries that allow following students to see the big picture and other students to get onboard
* ability to present concepts in a manner that is the closest to real life implementation of these concepts
* ability to select concepts with sufficient amount of new information to present
* having sufficiently good knowledge of the material so as not to misrepresent it and to answer most of the student questions
* ability to collect and process student feedback in order to improve material and its delivery
* ability to construct exams that check only material that was covered during the course, but also that allow anyone with prior real-life experience with the concepts covered to pass them. The exams should also follow some other rules, the following is not an exhaustive list:
1. Exams should include tasks that have not more than 2 extra (not covered) steps. All other steps should already be familiar to students even if they were presented in different tasks
2. Tasks should be gradable granularly on some scale so that for one relatively small mistake student would not get 0 for the task
3. Tasks should check understanding of concepts or relevant mechanical skills. Examples of irrelevant mechanical skills may include: algebraic calculations on Operation Systems, solving quadratic equations on Control Theory etc.
4. Tasks should be checkable using the objective criteria, but still have some, but relatively little, room for subjectivity. Appeal should be a normal part of exam process.
* being a good human being and supporting students in and out of class (understanding that students are all also humans and they may have problems or some kind of trouble in life, being able to support these students in some way.
Knowing your subject, knowing your students, and knowing what you want to achieve with them. Based on this understanding implement and improve iteratively.
* Teaching excellence - when the teacher (especially TA) is a real expert in the subject and not a silly doll who was randomly assigned to this course.
* Expertise in the technical subject including the state of the art in research and industry practices. High engagement in best possible delivery of the material. Constant improvement and innovation in teaching practices. Adaptation of the material based on the audience level. On the fly adaptation of the material based on the audience interest in particular subjects.
* A process that elevates students to a level where they learn deeply and remarkably because of teacher attributes An ability to communicate a respect to a topic you are teaching to 95% of enrolled students, and engage with the content of your course at least 10% of enrolled students.
* To achieve the ILOs defined at the course level and at the lecture level in a timely manner where the learning style of the student plays a pivotal role in the execution of teaching duties.
* A focused and strucutred educational and motivational process able to enact the Rosenthal effect and improving knowledge and performance in the field under consideration, at the same time supporting the psychological, emotional, cultural and spiritual growth of the targets of this effort.
* Being passionate about the subject and being able to transfer this passion to students
* An ability to deliver an engaging, informative course without compromising the required depth. Teaching excellence should penetrate all the levels of course organization:
1. Preparation: an excellent instructor must dedicate a significant amount of their time here, even if the course is not new, seeking for new, more engaging ways to teach the class, exploring new formats and paradigms, changing assignments and in-class problems to keep the students on their toes (reasonably), while maintaining material complexity at a manageable level. Implementing concepts taught at the ISW, designing class with different levels of learning (Bloom's taxonomy, etc.) in mind is an art, and an excellent teacher should be a master of this art.
2. Conduct: this is one of the more important parts of the lecture, since poor material delivery may nullify excellent preparation, demotivate the students to attend the class and basically cancel out any potential benefits of the course, with the students reverting to online learning instead. The delivery must be engaging, the material interactive where possible, ideally with examples linking EVERY lecture with real-life cases or demonstrating how each lecture slots into the bigger picture of the course and IU curriculum as a whole, as well as serving as an important prerequisite for future classes.
3. Feedback and knowledge assessment: the professor must listen and process student feedback, in a TIMELY manner. Assignments must be graded and the scores announced in as short time period as possible so that the students can quickly adapt their learning, which is especially true for the block system. Graded assignments must be designed in such a way so that they give a reasonable challenge to the students, potentially delving a bit deeper into material or requiring some self-study if the deadlines are adequate. As a good option to keep everyone engaged, there might be bonus assignments of higher complexity so that the best students feel engaged as well.
4. Constant quality improvement: an excellent teacher must always work on their courses, adding new material and research results, following up on students' feedback and professor's own reflection after each course, and integrating new teaching techniques and approaches.
As a part of TA's professional development and to establish the connection between the faculty and junior staff, during the whole year we organize meetings, talks and workshops for IU TAs engaging the representatives of the Dean's office.
The aims of these lactivities are to identify the needs of the TAs and provide support from the faculty side. Any ideas and suggestions from TAs can be discussed at the regular Dean's Office meetings and University Academic Council and further implemented in the university life.
For the talks and workshops, we invite speakers from IU faculty to share their experience and expertise in teaching, research and career progression with the junior staff.
The Instructional Skills Workshops (ISW) was founded in 1979 in British Colombia, Canada, to quickly give classroom instruction skills to Engineers who had never had teachers training. The process is an intensive introduction to teaching in a higher educational setting and focuses on practical in-class skillsets and course delivery.
This process was brought over to Russia via Innopolis University in 2017 and has since been the critical training unit for Innopolis Faculty at all ranks.
Innopolis University’s Trainers are the regional “local representatives” of the program for Russia. Our first faculty received their Trainer qualifications, from David Tickner, a founding member of the process, in 2018 meaning that we are entirely self-sufficient in the program.