Director, Teaching -Learning Support Office
Higher education institutes in Africa are facing multiple challenges. On one side, they are found in developing countries that are economically backward and unable to support their higher education institutes in pace to global changes. On the other, they thrive to achieve the academic excellence of the universities in developed countries so that they become part of the knowledge circulation process.
This premise therefore calls for making extended efforts to update their internal resources (facilities and human resources), on the other, they have to assimilate the ever changing academic process of the developed countries to become competent in the knowledge exchange between the two. A world stretched between advancement and backwardness does not serve good except hardships and misunderstandings and development and peace can be achieved only if the two extremes increasingly work together to narrow the gaps.
With this understanding, TLSO attempts to make efforts to introduce new modalities of the teaching-learning process by on one hand injecting new operation modalities by improving the teaching methods, injecting e-learning and improving the teaching methods in-country and on the other bring in new experience from advanced countries and disseminating the same in-country.
The Teaching learning support office has significantly contributed to the smooth delivery of the teaching-learning processes. The office has conducted need assessments at different level and identified gaps, for which proposals have been developed and implemented. Some of these activities are academic staff professional development, class room renovation and equipping with latest technologies that would support the teaching-learning processes. In this line, the support we obtained from SIDA was remarkable.
In order to further alleviate the existing problems, the TLSO has gotten grant, on 2018/19, from SIDA on two activities.
- Capacity development for experts under AVP office.
The TLSO has managed to organize four different trainings between November and December 2018. The trainings were:
- Educational planning and management.
This training was given for about 32 senior and junior experts under AVP by a professional from the College of Education and Behavioral studies. The candidates witnessed that the training was of helpful to them in planning, executing and analyzing their plans.
- Office correspondence and report writing.
This was one of the areas that, as the university, lack of capacity was observe. Hence, the training was organized in collaboration with the Department of English Language Teaching. The training was conducted successfully and rated as excellent.
SPSS Statistics is a software package used for interactive or batched, statistical analysis. It is an application that can aid in quantitative data handling. The training was given in collaboration with the Department of Statistics, College of Natural and Computational Sciences. It helps the experts to interpret and analyze data.
- CSPro – Census and Survey Processing System.
The main purpose of the training was to help the experts to design application for data collection and processing. Similarly the training was given in collaboration with the Department of Statistics, College of Natural and Computational Sciences. The collected feedback’s show that candidates were happy and satisfied by the training and the way it was delivered.
In general, the feedbacks obtained from the trainees were encouraging, and such type of trainings should be given to admin-staffs in other units that support the teaching-learning processes.
- International visit (benchmarking).
The bench marking was planned to get experiences on digital pedagogy from selected Swedish Universities. In that regard, Jonkoping University showed interest to host us and was visited by two academic staffs from AAU; namely the director for teaching and learning support office and the director for academic standards and quality enhancement. During the six day stay different units at College of Education were visited and important experiences were gained that would be applied at our university context.
The teaching and learning support office is grateful for the support obtained from SIDA and wishes to work with SIDA in the future as well.