Under a Faculty’s Development Programme towards enhancing teaching excellence; a team of three illustrious educationists from prestigious University of Illinois (UoI), Urbana-Champaign, USA, did workshop on “Best Teaching Practices for Improved Learning” for the academic staff members of Lovely Professional University. Eminent workshop speakers from UoI were Ms. Cheelan Bo-Linn, Senior Specialist in Education, Center for Teaching Excellence; Dr Walter L Hurley, Professor of Animal Sciences, UoI’s Distinguished Teacher Scholar; and, Dr. Prasanta K. Kalita, Professor of Soil & Water Resource Engineering. More than 300 Deans, HODs, Professors & Lecturers of LPU attended the workshop, organized at SBRM Auditorium of the University, towards academic pursuits.
Feeling exalted on the presence of the prominent personalities from American University in the LPU Campus, the Vice Chancellor of LPU, Dr. Ramesh Kanwar informed: “Mainly and primarily this faculty development workshop was to explore and discuss the importance of the concept for effective classroom instruction and improved student learning. In this ever-changing environment, it is very important for faculty to upgrade their knowledge & teaching style. This Workshop helped the participants to identify preferred style of learning; how preferred learning styles are related to one’s teaching methods; determine a variety of instructional methods, assignments, and evaluations that will improve learning and retention for students. Continuing he said: “As each and every individual has a unique way of perceiving, processing and interacting with information; the workshop presented the most suitable and preferring ways that are to take-in and give-out information whilst teaching and learning.”
The contents presented and discussed during the workshop were-‘Responsive, Effective Teachers: Understanding How Students Learn’; ‘Teaching Styles – Learning Styles: Match or Mismatch?’; ‘Engaged, Participatory Students through Active Learning’; ‘Engaging Students in Active Learning and Effective Questioning’; ‘Engaged, Participatory Students through Experiential, Authentic Tasks’; ‘Experiential, Authentic Tasks in the Classroom’; ‘Experiential, Authentic Learning Using Problem-Based Tasks and Field Work’; ‘Creating an Environment to Promote Significant Learning Experiences and Enduring Understanding’; and, ‘Informal Timely Feedback for Teaching and Learning Enhancement’.
In this context, Ms. Cheelan Bo Linn said: “I and other team members from UoI are very happy to come to India for sharing the excellence in teaching and learning. No doubt, the teaching style is different in US and India; yet, the remarkable energetic zeal, here in India, to adopt the best of US pedagogy and other techniques to become more independent in learning is highly applauding. We will continue remaining in touch with LPU for further achievements through such more workshops, in future as well.”
Illustrative, Ms. Bo-Linn’s primary responsibilities are to provide consultation; and, to develop programmes for faculty, unit heads, academic departments. Her most recent workshop topics are on effective student teams, inquiry learning, student motivation, and teaching philosophy and portfolios. Co- ordinating with her, Dr. Hurley is author of over 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters; and, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Spatial Hydrology, Dr. Kalita is currently the Assistant Dean of Research in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois.