How UPES is preparing educators to enhance student experience
UPES is taking professional development of teachers to the next level through its Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice Program (PGCAP). Initiated in 2018, the program has helped several educators to enhance their teaching methods, and resultantly, improve the classroom experience for students
When students describe a memorable classroom experience, they often use words such as ‘engaging’, ‘empathetic’, and ‘compelling’. Like the famous writer and humourist Mark Twain once said, “One can be both entertained and educated and not know the difference.”
That is the impact of a powerful educator.
To be effective in their profession, it is imperative that educators continually evaluate and adapt their skills. With the changing demands of society and advancements in technology, it is important for educators to stay abreast of the best practices and continuously improve their teaching methods to enhance student learning and engagement. Additionally, considering student needs, interests, and experiences, and incorporating them into the curriculum, can greatly improve the overall student experience in the classroom.
The Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) program at UPES aims to empower faculty and academic staff in continuing professional development to broaden their academic practice and aid in student learning and experience in the classroom. Started in 2018, the 11-month self-development initiative helps the teacher to critically evaluate the academic practice in the light of pedagogical research, scholarship, and global perspectives in higher education. The fourth cohort of PGCAP will undergo the program from 17-19 February at UPES.
After enrolling in PGCAP, Prof. Jyoti Upadhyay’s understanding of her role changed from that of a giver of knowledge to that of a facilitator. This helped her students in becoming ‘catalysts in their own learning’ rather than merely following textbook knowledge. “PGCAP is a remarkable opportunity to reflect on one’s teaching and learning practices through peer learning,” she says, recommending the program to all her colleagues for evaluating, innovating and improving their teaching methods.
Talking about the diverse pedagogical approaches learnt under PGCAP that augmented students’ learning, Prof. Upadhyay, who teaches at School of Health Sciences and Technology, says, “I, along with my peers, have designed and delivered effective teaching and learning in online mode as well as blended and face-to-face mode, supporting the learner and learning outcomes. After completing the program, I observed the positive impact of my teaching on student learning, experience, and satisfaction.”
UPES School of Advanced Engineering’s Prof. Annapurna Boruah says that adopting new pedagogies made classroom learning more engaging for students. “We adopted new pedagogies and built a research-oriented approach towards academic practice, thus creating a high-quality learning environment for the students. We also incorporated active and collaborative learning in the courses, fostering diversity and inclusivity,” she says.
Another highlight of PGCAP that transformed students’ learning experience is microteaching. “Microteaching provided participants with practice setting, with an emphasis on narrow and specific teaching skills, using a variety of approaches and provided extensive feedback. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to collaborate with colleagues from different disciplines and understand how they offer better teaching methods to students,” says Prof. Swati Gupta, who teaches at UPES School of Business.
Participants of PGCAP get trained in various educational cultures and teaching as well as learning contexts. When the faculty apply innovative approaches to teaching, it helps students discover their strengths.
As a university that is proactive, innovative and focused on the future, UPES is continuously adapting to the changing needs of the higher education ecosystem and striving to stay ahead of the curve in terms of research, teaching and learning. PGCAP is another step in that direction, providing a dynamic and supportive learning environment and preparing students for success in an ever-changing world.