US and Indian Faculty Collaborate to Organize an International Workshop on Teaching Excellence to Promote Innovative Teaching Methodologies in Indian Academia
July 16–18, 2012 | New Delhi, India

The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, organized a three-day “International Workshop on Innovative Teaching for Improved Learning,” July 16-18, 2012, at ITC Sheraton Hotel in Saket, New Delhi, to address ways in which Indian institutions of higher learning can achieve excellence in teaching and learning methodologies. Attendees included vice-chancellors, senior faculty members and top officials from various AIP partner universities.

The first day of the workshop consisted of an open dialogue among participants, who shared their opinions on the nature of teaching and learning excellence — effective ways to assess teaching excellence and learning outcomes; effective documentation of teaching efforts including innovative curricular enhancements, use of peer observations, and student and administrator feedback; and mechanisms to support, maintain, and evaluate teaching excellence. The remaining two days of the workshop included formal sessions where faculty from the University of Illinois’ College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and Center for Teaching Excellence offered participants exposure to effective pedagogic practices. Participants at the workshop attended sessions on “Responsive, Effective Teachers: Understanding How Students Learn”; “Creating an Environment to Promote Significant Learning Experiences and Enduring Understanding”; “Engaging Participatory Students through Teams and Active Learning”; and “Engaging Participatory Students though Experiential, Authentic Tasks.” The workshop also focused on methodologies to promote professional development, innovative curricular enhancements, effective peer observation techniques, and effective feedback systems.

Interactive sessions and training models involving practice teaching allowed participants to experience innovative, effective learning environments. These exercises helped them choose appropriate best-practice models to implement in their classroom sessions, work on interactive modules and assignments for students, and receive peer feedback.

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