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Democratizing Faculty Development - Establishing a Training Program at a New Computer Science University in Russia

Authors:

Abstract

Development of faculty teaching capabilities is a key responsibility in the educational process of a university, which requires skilled educators in order to not only present material but present in a manner which is based on current best practices. In this evidence-based paper we examine the building of a training in keeping with current best practices for a minimal overhead cost, by engaging faculty. It has been found that the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) was able to improve faculty engagement in the learning process, address individual goals, inspire new educators, and lead to the development of a culture and value set of teaching and learning at Innopolis University.
Paper ID #25473
Democratizing faculty development - establishing a training program at a
new Computer Science university in Russia.
Ms. Oksana Zhirosh, Innopolis University
Oksana Zhirosh is a Head of English Division at Innopolis University, Innopolis, Russia. With over 15
years of experience in education, she is focused on the research in teaching methodology, gender diversity
in STEM, teaching intellectually advanced youth.
Dr. Joseph Alexander Brown, Innopolis University
Joseph Alexander Brown was born in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada, on July 6, 1985. He received the
B.Sc. (Hons.) with first-class standing in computer science with a concentration in software engineering,
and M.Sc. in computer science from Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada in 2007 and 2009,
respectively. He received the Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Guelph in 2014.
He received the 2009 Graduate TA Award from Brock University. He is an ISW Trainer and has facilitated
numerous training for Russian educational improvement.
He previously worked for Magna International Inc. as a Manufacturing Systems Analyst and as a visiting
researcher at ITU Copenhagen. He is currently an Assistant Professor and head of the Artificial Intelli-
gence in Games Development Lab at Innopolis University in Innopolis, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia and
an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada.
Mr. David Tickner, Faculty professional development consultant
David Tickner, Faculty Professional Development
I worked with the School of Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College (VCC), British
Columbia, Canada, for over thirty years, conducting numerous face-to-face and online courses of the
BC Provincial Instructor Diploma Program (PIDP). Course participants included faculty from public and
private colleges in BC, Alberta, and the Yukon as well as trainers from government, business and industry,
and other settings. I served a term as Head of VCC School of Instructor Education.
I am one of the founders of the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) Program. I have facilitated numerous
ISWs and other faculty development activities over the last forty years in Canada and internationally, most
recently in Taiwan, Russia, and India.
davidtickner.ca
c
American Society for Engineering Education, 2019
Democratizing Faculty Development - Establishing a Training Program at a
New Computer Science University in Russia
Abstract
Development of faculty teaching capabilities is a key responsibility in the educational process of a university, which
requires skilled educators in order to not only present material but present in a manner which is based on current
best practices. In this evidence-based paper we examine the building of a training in keeping with current best
practices for a minimal overhead cost, by engaging faculty. It has been found that the Instructional Skills Workshop
(ISW) was able to improve faculty engagement in the learning process, address individual goals, inspire new
educators, and lead to the development of a culture and value set of teaching and learning at Innopolis University.
Introduction
Innopolis was established on December 24, 2012 in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia as a
technological hub city. As part of this development, Innopolis University (IU) was established in
2012, in order to build a technological workforce for the surrounding industrial growth and high
technology enterprise [1, 2]. Established as both an internationalizing factor and a center for
innovations, the University sought not only to bring in a faculty from all over the globe [3] but
also to be a location which would have a focus on the educational process.
This has required both a needs analysis in order to quickly develop and train international and
local faculty and admin on current best practices in teaching as well as a shift towards practice-
based learning. This move was supported by a team composed of faculty and admin and did not
require recourse to a specialized center for teaching and learning but utilized the service
requirement from the faculty and current resources in the University, making for a meaningful
change with little cost. In order to simplify the verbiage, we will use the term faculty to refer to
all those involved in the teaching process for this paper including professors at rank, instructors,
and teaching assistants. The operational team aims to develop a quality-oriented teaching culture
in the recently launched university. The ISW implemented with recourse to the vision of the
program and with the support from admin and development of a core team of staff members
trained leads to better teaching processes evidenced from both qualitative (teacher interviews)
and quantitative (survey results) methods.
The ISW
The Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) is designed to encourage reflective practice and to
assist participants in developing their teaching and feedback skills. The underlying principles of
the ISW include: participatory learning, diversity of learning, adult learning, and the building of
community that can be utilized in classrooms and institutions. After successfully completing the
four-day program (24 hours), participants receive a certificate of completion recognized by many
international institutions. Participants also benefit from joining a network of colleagues who are
committed to self-discovery and continual improvement of teaching and learning. Interested
participants can become facilitators of the ISW program by taking the five-day Facilitator
Development Workshop (FDW) and becoming part of an institutional team responsible for
delivering and supporting the ISW program.
Widely recognized as a model for peer-based instructional development, the ISW is designed to
strengthen instructors' skills through intensive and practical exercises in learning-centered
teaching. Mixing opportunities for small and large group interaction, the ISW program engages
participants in:
planning and delivering 10-minute lessons
developing participatory instructional techniques
listening actively
learning and teaching collaboratively
modelling adult learning principles
generating effective feedback and discussion
The ISW was first developed in British Columbia, Canada in 1979 as a response to requests for
professional development programming for instructors of the newly created colleges. The ISW
has since grown and expanded across Canada as well as into the United States and many other
countries providing faculty development support for colleges and universities at all levels
including professors, instructors, and teaching assistants. The ISW Program also provides
support for instructors and trainers in many areas of the public and private sectors [4], [5].
The ISW International Advisory Committee supports annual professional development events for
ISW facilitators and maintains an international listserv and website. For more information, visit
http://iswnetwork.ca/.
Background and needs assessment.
The following section describes the needs analysis procedure and results; training program
launch and results; challenges and considerations after one year of implementation; further plans.
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) was performing consultancy for Innopolis University (IU)
during the new university launch period. The CMU assessment report pointed out that, to play its
role of the source of highly skilled IT specialists for the hub, IU will need the faculty with
considerable content and industry expertise, as well as strong teaching skills. CMU’s
recommendation was to ensure that the faculty should be aware of the fundamentals of course
design, research-based principles of learning, and are “equipped with a broad range of teaching
approaches and techniques.” The document highlighted the importance of informed and
reflective pedagogical decisions: e.g. the faculty should know “how (and why) to articulate clear,
learner-centered, measurable learning objectives” and “when, and why to employ particular
teaching strategies.” Finally, CM suggested establishing a Center for Teaching Excellence at IU,
offering, on a regular basis, workshops and seminars on teaching topics, consultations, classroom
observations, practices and events for sharing teaching ideas, teaching skills acknowledgement
[6].
IU fully acknowledges the necessity of the teaching staff instructional skills development. The
initial group of IU teaching staff underwent a CMU-developed pedagogical training program
based on the principals described in How Learning Works [7]. Further, a practice of peer and
mentor observations was launched at IU in which faculty would observe and mentor individual
TAs in their own classes; along with that a practice of regular workshop was initiated by an
Assistant Professor at IU, who coordinated bi-weekly workshops held by IU faculty for IU
faculty (e.g. Students Motivation, Effective use of space, and Using a whiteboard v. slides). The
actions were ad hoc and based upon faculty involvement and did not engage evenly across all
faculty in all courses.
In order to establish a faculty professional development unit, according to CMU
recommendations, and launch locally a sustainable training program that would address the
needs of all staff involved in teaching, a needs analysis was performed in October and November
2016. The part of teaching staff that, according to peer and mentor classes observations and
students’ feedback, needed immediate attention, were Teaching Assistants, hence 2016 needs
analysis substantial focus on TA’s instructional skills development needs. TAs training needs
were researched by means of:
TA’s classes observations. 20 out of 25 TAs were observed when conducting labs. An email
was sent to the TAs prior to the observations, indicating times of observations and personal
interviews, observations purpose and duration. The duration of the observation session varied
from 30 to 90 minutes. During the observations, the following data were collected: class date and
period of observation, TA’s name, course name, group ID, classroom setup, number and position
of students, instruction language, equipment present and used during the class, observation
period, TAs verbal instructions, sequence of activities, students’ responses, interaction patterns.
Personal interviews with TA’s. Out of 20 TA’s observed, 14 were interviewed personally. Each
interview lasted 30 to 45 minutes. The following data were collected during the interviews: TA’s
status at IU, lab/institute, courses and groups taught, TA’s teaching experience (number of
semesters), TA’s current responsibilities related to teaching, TA’s instructional skills
development needs – for the current period and for when they were beginning to teach.
Teaching assistants participating in the needs’ analysis were junior researchers and PhD students
with from 1 to 9 semesters of teaching experience. The interviews transcripts were analyzed by
two researchers using theme analysis technique.
Needs analysis findings
TA’s teaching related responsibilities were taking from 25% to 100% of TA’s working time and
they reported being involved in teaching activities related to lesson planning and teaching,
materials development, assessment, consultations and research supervision (Appendix 1). During
the individual interviews, TA’s reported their challenges and training needs, related to subject
knowledge and course team communication, but mostly to lesson planning, student engagement
while teaching classes and developing confidence as instructors (Appendix 2). Besides, in Spring
2017 semester, course instructors performed regular observations of their TAs teams, and most
of them indicated students’ engagement as the skills that required development, even in those
TA’s who were identified as role models (Appendix 3).
In summary, the needs assessment process indicated that faculty development activities for TAs
should be focused on the lesson level and address the following needs:
giving TAs a chance to practice lesson planning, teaching (for some for their first time),
giving feedback and performing assessment
equipping TAs with a lesson planning framework, teaching techniques for active
learning, and giving/getting feedback tools
providing an opportunity to reflect on the experience of teaching
having a chance to learn about pedagogical concepts
getting advice from their colleagues regarding their instructional practice issues
inspiring young educators
Anticipated benefits of choosing the ISW Program
Hence, ISW choice as a workshop that would meet those needs. It is worth mentioning that the
relevance and the outcomes of the workshop were proven by the personal experience of one the
of IU professors, this fact significantly influenced the workshop final choice as an induction
workshop for IU TA’s.
Successes of the ISW Program in other institutions reflect the following recurring themes [8],
[9], [10]:
Developing support from all levels of the institution from students and TAs to senior
management is a critical feature of ISW implementation and success
Participants use practical lesson planning formats based on levels to the subject matter to
be learned.
The ISW Program advocates and models participatory learning; in particular, learning by
doing.
Student learning is the focus, not simply teacher performance. Students report greater
satisfaction with the learning process after a teacher takes an ISW. Student marks tend to
be higher although this is not a predominant finding.
Over time, institutions that implement ISW report increased student learning and greater
teacher satisfaction with their efforts.
The ISW is collegial and peer-based rather than unidirectional expert-based. Participants
observe each other and provide appropriate and necessary verbal, written, and video
feedback to each other.
Participants report that the ISW has been transformational; in particular, as these subject-
matter experts experience new developments in their teaching expertise
ISW fosters reflective practice techniques that can be carried into other areas of
professional life.
The ISW program is a professional development program, not a remedial program or a
method for performance appraisal.
Most institutions, who originally implemented the ISW to support new teachers, have
also reported that experienced teachers benefit. As well, in many ISWs, both new and
experienced teachers when working together report increased institutional collegiality.
It is worth mentioning that the relevance and the outcomes of the ISW were highly
recommended by the personal experience of one of the IU professors, a fact that significantly
influenced the final choice of the ISW as an induction workshop for IU TAs. Faculty involved
in the needs’ analysis, identified other training needs, valid mostly for the faculty, e.g. research
supervision, course design, and also active learning approaches. On consideration of the needs
analysis results and available training options and their costs, and cases described in literature,
e.g. [11], the decision was made by IU management, that teaching staff professional
development responsibilities would be distributed among the faculty members, i.e. no Teaching
Excellence unit would be developed. A group of interested Computer Science Department
Professors and TAs will be trained to facilitate teaching and supervision workshops. The
workshops will be selected, budgeted and, after IU management approval, coordinated by a
group of volunteering faculty. Thus, the training program will be cost efficient, meet closely IU
teaching staff needs, and bring in best and locally valid training practices.
ISW launch at IU
The full cycle of ISW training comprises three stages: Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW),
Facilitator Development Workshop (FDW), and Trainer Development Workshop (TDW). ISW
was primarily planned to be at IU an induction workshop for the TAs. The plan was that six
Professors will become ISW Facilitators during Spring 2017, and ISW will be launched as a
regular induction workshop for IU TAs as of Fall 2017. After a year of conducting ISWs, the
initial group of Facilitators will be eligible for ISW Trainers certification. Thus, IU will be able
to train ISW Facilitators when necessary.
ISW launch timeline:
December 2016, initial ISW budgeting - needs analysis was completed and presented to IU
management in November 2016. The Advisory Committee of the ISW quickly responded with a
suggested consultant Trainer making it possible to budget the workshop for the next year in
December.
Beginning 2017, initial ISW scheduling – the training plan required 3 days for the first level of
training (ISW), and 5 days for the second level of facilitators certification (FDW). End of May
2017 was selected for both workshops, as there are no teaching responsibilities during the period.
Thursday through Saturday of the 3rd week of May, 8 hours per day, were scheduled for the ISW;
Monday through Friday of the 4th week of May, 7 hours per day was scheduled for the FDW.
January – April 2017, initial ISW paperworkcontract and Russian visa processing for the
consultant ISW Trainer took about four months.
January – May 2017, initial ISW participants choice - selected were six participants for two
main criteria: the evidence of their interest in teaching and teaching skills development, based on
their prior participation in workshops and their likelihood for the long-term retention at IU. The
participants were aware that they would form the team launching ISW for the next semester.
May 2017, initial ISW and FDW workshops – ISW and FDW conducted by David Tickner, ISW
Trainer. The 6 participants for ISW were: 2 IU Assistant Professors, 2 IU junior researchers
(TA’s), 1 IU administrator, 1 administrator of a partner university. The 6 participants for FDW
were all from Innopolis University: 3 Assistant Professors, 2 junior researchers (TA’s), 1
administrator.
Initial Facilitator 1
12
Initial Facilitator 4
2
Initial Facilitator 2
3
Initial Facilitator 5
3
Initial Facilitator 3
2
Initial Facilitator 6
(resigned)
0
Table 1. Number of ISW’s conducted by initially trained IU ISW Facilitators during 2017-18 academic year.
July 2017 - August 2018 – 12 ISW conducted, 10 in English (with co-facilitators) and 2 in
Russian (with 1 facilitator), about 2 per month during teaching months. A number of workshops
conducted by an initial training Facilitator are shown in Table 1.
The majority of the workshops were scheduled in 4 successive days, Thursday through Sunday, 7
hours per day with a 1-hour lunch break.
3 sessions were with 6 participants, 5 sessions with 5 participants, 4 sessions with 4 participants.
Round 78% of the participants were IU employees (46), another 22% were from partner
educational organizations (13). IU ISW participants categories are shown in Table 2. IU Provost
for education and Computer Science Dean are listed as Teaching admin and Faculty respectively.
Teaching Assistant (TA)
28
Faculty
8
Non-teaching admin
7
Teaching admin
2
Student
1
Table 2. Number of IU ISW participants 2017-2018 academic year, by category.
September 2017 – May 2018 –second FDW participants selection. The participants were
observed while ISWs and selected based on their interest in teaching quality development,
teaching skills and likelihood to work at IU for a long period of time. The ten FDW participants
in the second course were all Teaching Assistants. The purposes behind the decision of involving
TAs as ISW Facilitators were to balance ISW facilitators’ team, to distribute workload, to ensure
addressing TAs needs, to increase the quality of teaching among TA’s.
May 2018 – There was one TDW facilitated by ISW Trainer David Tickner followed by 2 FDWs
co-facilitated by David Tickner and a team of initial Facilitators. Five initially trained
Facilitators certified as ISW Trainers, the second cohort of ISW Facilitators (N 10) certified.
Thus, within one-year, full ISW cycle is completed at IU, and IU is now capable of reproducing
ISW facilitators when necessary. Out of 6 initially trained ISW Trainers, 4 can be qualified as
active, 1 as moderately active, 1 as non-active (has not conducted any ISWs). The partner
university administrator, who participated in the initial ISW, has not launched ISW training in
her university. Out of the second group of Facilitators, those certified in May 2017 (10 TAs), six
are active. Out of the remaining 4 non-active members, two have resigned, one has been unable
to facilitate due to job responsibilities elsewhere not allowing for the necessary time, and one
states they are reluctant to facilitate the workshop. We would expect an outcome of active
facilitators is around 60% based on our experience.
Initially planned for TA’s instructional skills development, within one-year ISW attracted
professors, administration including top management, and even a student. On CS Dean’s request,
ISW became part of the orientation training for all teaching staff joining IU. Part of the
workshop, an ISW lesson planning framework, has been utilized by the Students Affairs office
while training instructors for the regular Summer school and Student clubs. IU Students Affairs
office in Spring 2019 is launching ISW on a regular basis for the students involved in Students
Clubs and in short-term educational events, like e.g. Summer School, as junior instructors.
ISW impact on instructional practices, as perceived by the instructors.
To assess if there is any change in teaching philosophy and practice after participation in ISW,
an ongoing survey is launched. For articulating the survey questions 6 semi-structured interviews
were conducted with ISW participants. The sample was: 1 IU Assistant Professor, 1 IU TA (a
PhD student) teaching her first year, 1 IU experienced TA (a researcher), 1 IU Professor of
Practice, 1 non-IU CS instructor teaching adults, 1 non-IU business representative conducting
product training in his company. The guiding question asked was: Are you noticing any changes
in your instructional practice after ISW? The individual interviews lasted 30 to 40 minutes and
were conducted face-to-face and remotely. Content analysis was used to reveal the changed
elements of their instructional practice.
The in-depth interviews participants reported a variety of changes they were noticing both in
instructional practice, and also in the operational one (‘started using agenda during regular
briefings’) and in personal life (‘when talking to their spouse, began to distinguish constructive
feedback from emotional, and am able to convert the latter to the former’). We will focus on the
reported ISW impact on the instructional practice and teaching philosophy. The list of the
questions formulated based on the interviews is in Appendix 4. The survey is sent to IU ISW
participants, actively involved in teaching, after they were teaching 2 months having participated
in ISW. Thus far 22 responses have been collected and analyzed (with about a 60% response
rate). The decision was made to not measure ISW impact by analyzing the correlation with the
students’ course satisfaction surveys because similar sample responses cannot be collected
before and after the ISW.
The survey results indicate changing participants’ mindset and teaching practices to a more
learner-centered approach (Appendix 4). 82% of the respondents reported a positive shift in their
instructional practices in terms of setting clear objectives in terms of what the learners will be
able to do at the end of the class; 73% of those are noticing they are better aligning lesson
objectives and post-assessment activities and 68% of the respondents reported they actually
started allocating time for post assessment activities, which was one of the biggest changes in
instructional practices as 11 (50%) participants replied they were not using post assessment
activities before they participated in ISW, while after ISW, 2 (9%) participants reported they
were still not using them. One more significant perceived change in instructional practices,
increase from 5 to 15 out of 22 respondents’ positive replies, was the one on giving students
chance to reflect on their learning outcomes, i.e. summarize lessons outcomes at the end of the
class/module. Another ISW impact is on the instructors’ willingness to experiment with teaching
tools (68%) and vary teaching techniques (64%). The least impact is reported to be on the
instructors’ practice of using a clicker during classes (9%), where only 2 participants reported
they were more likely to use the device, and asking their students questions (18%), where 1
participant reported she began doing so, and 2 participants reported they are now more willing to
do so, while the majority of the respondents reported they already were using questions during
classes. Respondents’ replies below illustrate some perceived ISW impact on their instructional
practice:
At least I try to organize the space, arrangement etc. Try to analyze their attitude towards the techniques I
am using and can adopt what I have prepared accordingly.
Better understanding and answering on question "for what?"
They started giving me more feedback on my teaching practices.
I've learnt how to manage lesson within time.
More clear understanding purposes of the lessons and it helps to reach goals easier
Since ISW showed us various techniques to convey material and articulate questions. I have seen students
interacting more. So, it seems to me that they are more enthusiastic and involved during class.
My lab sessions became more structured and more interesting. I don't hesitate to try new techs and
approaches during my labs.
Being more aware of the importance of reflection on students' learning
ISW - is an opportunity to develop different kinds of tutorials, to understand own role within student
groups, and set goals for next steps of personal improvement
I'm glad to do this training
Very powerful and useful technique
Sometimes it just needs much time than actually available.
Now is much easier to make plan of the lesson. Before I did it intuitively.
Apparently, after the ISW I started applying some of its practices unconsciously.
I gained more confidence in my teaching and planning
It added mindfulness both to teaching and life
Met a great diversity of colleagues that definitely has broadened my understanding about effective teaching
Another evidence of ISW impact on improvement of teaching quality at the organization level is
that TAs and instructors who received Teaching Awards in 2017 and 2018 were ISW
participants. Further, CS Dean has applied for ISW Facilitator certification, and the Head of
Faculty Affairs is launching ISW as a part of Students’ Clubs leaders training (Students’ Clubs
are part of informal education), thus ISW at IU is perceived as a worthwhile practical technique.
Discussion
As the result of the first year of implementation, the peer-based faculty professional development
model proved to work well for Innopolis University for several reasons: it closely addresses local
needs; it improves instructional practices; it allows for creating a community with shared values;
it is cost-efficient. The obvious challenge is extra workload for the faculty. However, the
challenge can be addressed by certifying a group of facilitators, the size of it being sufficient for
fair and manageable distribution of the workload.
The following six items should be considered while ISW launch:
1. Scheduling (days and timing per day) - the workshop lasts 24 to 36 hours and requires
full participation, as well as reflection and preparation, which are essential in this
workshop. The best time is when participants have no teaching responsibilities, e.g.
before semester start, or during a Professional Development Week.
2. When should there be the involvement of new Faculty - before or after they have taught
their first class? - there are some benefits and risks in both cases. Some faculty have
never taught before, or have never taught in English before, and they appreciate a chance
to role-play teaching before they actually teach in real class. However, for some faculty it
is better to first teach a real class and realize what is difficult for them in terms of lesson
planning and teaching, and then attend the workshop. At IU it is preferred that faculty
attend ISW before starting to teach.
3. The risk with obligatory training is obviously lack of motivation resulting in disruption of
group work. We addressed this challenge by involving management as role models
(Provost for Education, Dean, Head of an Institute participated in ISW); by allocating
effort during each workshop day for personal goals setting.
4. Facilitators should be selected not only based on the criteria of their teaching skills and
how likely they are to work long at the university, but also considering if they share ISW
values and how likely they are to promote them.
5. Due to contractual obligations and the lower attrition rates, it is best of the facilitators are
primarily drawn from the body of professors or administrators.
6. The program should be publicity announced to the faculty and communication regarding
program implementation should be expressed centering on the aspects of continuous
improvement rather than this as an evaluation in order to have buy-in from the
participants and their direct supervisors.
Conclusion
The ISW has led to a marked improvement in the teaching processes at Innopolis University
supported by both qualitative measures in the response from the faculty and administration. The
current direction of the internal team of ISW Trainers is to improve the program via an increase
in the number of trainers, the development of consulting programs, and the creation of Innopolis
as a location of a Symposium to draw in local and international partners.
Further, initiatives have been made to distribute the program in the local community as an
outreach to other secondary (Lyceum) and post-secondary institutions in the local area (KAI).
To expand this outreach, it is planned for training materials to be translated into Russian. Further,
there is a goal to make the training cost neutral by consulting for hire to other institutions and
industry partners in the region.
The administration and the faculty have also been expressing an interest in moving the ISW to
mandatory training for all new faculty (i.e. not just the incoming teaching assistants) which will
require a further increase in the number of trained facilitators.
Acknowledgements
We would like to express our gratitude to Rupi Natt, who assisted us with the survey questions
preparation; to in-depth interviews participants, based on whose responses the survey questions
were formulated; to 22 IU ISW participants who spent their time responding the survey
questions.
References
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Appendix 1
Needs assessment findings. Teaching related activities TA’s reported being involved into.
Course design:
participate in course team meetings
participate in the meetings with the Students Representatives
Materials development:
slides preparation for labs/tutorials
preparing visuals for professor's lectures
work with LMS (Moodle; upload slides, assignments, grades)
preparation of the labs/tutorials assignments
preparation tasks for final exams
preparing room and equipment for the professor’s lectures
proofreading presentation, tests, exams papers
Front teaching and consultations:
recitation lectures
conducting labs/tutorials
students help during office hours and via email and telegram messenger
lecturing (occasional substitution)
Student performance assessment:
checking and grading the labs/tutorials assignment
giving feedback to the students on their performance
grading thesis, course papers, projects
participation in appeal sessions
Student research supervision:
thesis, projects, course papers co-supervision
Appendix 2
Needs assessment findings. TA’s reported training needs.
Planning and preparation
Current TAs training needs:
· Course content: sometimes TAs do not have deep knowledge of the course.
· Lesson planning: preparing challenging tasks and allocating appropriate time, appropriate
order of activities. Preparing enough materials.
· Slides preparation how much text, how much animation.
· Communication between TAs and the course instructor.
· Ways to better explain concepts.
New TAs training needs:
· The importance of good preparation, including technical check.
· Time planning.
Teaching
Current TAs training needs:
· How to keep students involved and motivated during classes and course.
· How to stimulate discussion.
· How to make a lecture interactive.
· Public speaking gestures, voice etc.
· How to check students’ understanding.
· How to deal with mature students confidently.
· How to deal with the questions you don’t know the answers to, confidently.
· How to deal with a group of students with a huge diversity in their level of knowledge.
· How to utilize pair and group work.
· What is learner centered approach in more details.
New TAs training needs:
· Coping with stress.
· Public speaking.
· Dealing with ‘naughty’ students.
· Giving instructions.
· Teaching in English.
Assessment and feedback.
Current TAs training needs:
· Understanding grading criteria.
· How to grade fairly and give feedback confidently.
· How to give feedback that motivates.
· How to encourage students to ask questions.
New TAs training needs:
· LMS (Moodle)
Communication with the students
Current TAs training needs:
· Appropriate communication styles with the students.
· Telegram messenger policy (students will send messages out of business day).
Communication with the faculty, course instructors
Current TAs training needs:
· Team work while delivering a course.
· Appropriate communication styles with the Professors, other TA’s.
New TAs training needs:
· Taking over course materials.
Other training needs for the current TAs:
· General pedagogical knowledge.
· Teaching at the university level.
· Coping with the fatigue - techniques to quickly restore the energy.
· How to assess the validity of the tasks while preparing them.
Other training needs for the new TAs:
· Choosing your teaching philosophy.
· Code of conduct.
Appendix 3.
TA’s training needs identified as a result of TAs’ classes observations (N20) by a project manager, during
needs analysis in Fall 2016 semester:
Preparation and planning:
· Planning lesson structure.
· Preparing room and space furniture arrangement, light, equipment, clean
whiteboard, markers.
· Sticking to the course rules language of instruction, taking notes policies.
Teaching:
· Interaction patterns for better students’ involvement asking questions, pair and
group work.
· Monitoring class.
· Checking students’ prior knowledge and understanding.
· Dealing with early/late finishers.
Assessment and feedback:
· Giving formative feedback on students’ performance during the class.
· Encouraging peer feedback.
Mentor observations recommendation for TA’s training needs, collected in Spring 2017 semester.
22 TA’s were observed by 8 course instructors; 18 observations got verbal comments. The table below represents
the number of times a particular training need was mentioned in the course instructors’ reports.
studentsengagement
13
checking students understanding
2
instructor-students interaction
1
pair/group work and monitoring class
1
teaching in English
3
time management
2
space organization
1
whiteboard usage
2
speech - voice, pace
2
Appendix 4.
2017-2018 academic year ISW participants’ self-assessment of ISW impact on their instructional
practice.
Likert scale (-2 to 2) was utilized in the survey. 22 responses have been collected. Extreme disagreement
equals -22, extreme agreement equals 22.
Question example: Before/After ISW I was/am limiting the amount of content covered in the class or
course and focus more on students’ understanding.
Survey questions
Paying sufficient attention to students’ learning results
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Limiting the amount of content covered in the class or course and
focus more on students’ understanding.
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Being learner-focused
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Tend to teach in an interactive way
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Setting clear objectives in terms of what the learners will be able
to do/know/value by the end of the class
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Manipulating with the space in my lessons
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Allocating appropriate time for post assessment activities
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Always giving my students chance to understand and articulate
what they have learnt
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Consciously aiming to make sure that there is an alignment
between lesson objectives and post-assessment
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Giving students chance to summarize what they have learnt
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Communicating with my colleagues in my course easily, because we
use the same instructional terminology
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Giving feedback to my colleagues and students comfortably
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Listening attentively and thus giving meaningful feedback and
advice to my students/learners
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Asking questions to my students during my classes
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Regularly collecting feedback from my students
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Utilizing students’ group work in my classes
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Experimenting with teaching techniques in my classes
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Varying teaching techniques in my classes
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Using clicker for changing presentations slides in my classes
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Wanted my colleagues to observe my classes and provide peer
feedback
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
Willingness to participate in professional development workshops
count disagree
count neutral
count agree
The share of ISW participants reporting a change in their instructional practice.
Item
Share of
participants
setting clear objectives in terms of what the learners will be able to do/know/value by the end of the class
82%
ensuring alignment between lesson objectives and post-assessment
73%
experimenting with teaching techniques in my classes
68%
allocating appropriate time for post-assessment activities
68%
varying teaching techniques
64%
limiting the amount of content covered in the class or course and focus more on students’ understanding
59%
always giving my students chance to summarize at the end of the class and tell me what they have learned
59%
teaching in an interactive way
59%
manipulating with the space in my lessons e.g. could shift desks or teach outside of the regular study
room etc.
59%
feeling comfortable giving feedback to colleagues and students
50%
listening attentively and thus giving meaningful feedback
50%
paying sufficient attention to students’ learning results
45%
letting students to articulate what they have learnt
45%
willing that my colleagues observe my classes and provide peer feedback
45%
being learner focused
41%
regularly collecting feedback from students
41%
utilizing group work
41%
willing to participate in PD
36%
being comfortable to communicate with colleagues, due to shared instructional terminology
32%
asking my students questions during my classes
18%
using clicker for changing presentations slides in my classes
9%
Overall delta based on 22 responses. Extreme sum disagreement with the statement equals -44,
extreme sum agreement with the statement equals 44.
Item
SUM
BEFORE
SUM
AFTER
DELTA
experimenting with teaching techniques in my classes
1
28
27
ensuring alignment between lesson objectives and post-assessment
0
26
26
varying teaching techniques
1
26
25
allocating appropriate time for post-assessment activities
-7
17
24
setting clear objectives in terms of what the learners will be able to
do/know/value by the end of the class
5
29
24
always giving my students chance to summarize at the end of the class and tell
me what they have learned
-4
14
18
manipulating with the space in my lessons e.g. could shift desks or teach
outside of the regular study room etc.
6
24
18
teaching in an interactive way
13
31
18
feeling comfortable giving feedback to colleagues and students
13
31
18
utilizing group work
6
22
16
limiting the amount of content covered in the class or course and focus more on
students’ understanding.
11
27
16
regularly collecting feedback from students
8
23
15
listening attentively and thus giving meaningful feedback
14
29
15
letting students to articulate what they have learnt
5
19
14
willing to participate in PD
15
26
11
being learner focused
16
26
10
paying sufficient attention to students’ learning results
19
29
10
willing that my colleagues observe my classes and provide peer feedback
5
13
8
being comfortable to communicate with colleagues, due to shared instructional
terminology
13
20
7
asking my students questions during my classes
28
33
5
using clicker for changing presentations slides in my classes
-1
-1
0
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  • A Dolgoborodov
  • S Masyagin
  • M Mazzara
  • A Messina
  • E Protsko
S. Karaperyan, A. Dolgoborodov, S. Masyagin, M. Mazzara, A. Messina, E. Protsko. "Innopolis Going Global: Internationalization of a young IT University". In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference in Software Engineering for Defence Applications (SEDA), Rome, 2018.
A Partnership Between the Republic of Tatarstan, Carnegie Mellon University and iCarnegie Global Learning, iCarnegie
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G. Taran et al., "Assessment Report", A Partnership Between the Republic of Tatarstan, Carnegie Mellon University and iCarnegie Global Learning, iCarnegie, Pittsburgh, PA, 21 December 2012.
How learning works: Seven researchbased principles for smart teaching
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S. A. Ambrose, M. W. Bridges, M. DiPietro, M.C. Lovett, M. K. Norman, How learning works: Seven researchbased principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2010.