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Continuing Education and Training of Academic (Teaching) Staff and (Teaching) Change Agents for Engineering Education: Concept and Program for Developing Teaching and Improving Learning at University (Name)

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

New Engineering Educators Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.402.1 - 26.402.14



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Paper Authors


Monika Rummler Technische Universität Berlin

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Working at its Centre for Scientific Continuing Education and Cooperation, I am responsible for the Continuing Education Programme for the Scientific Staff of TU Berlin.
Main Focus is Academic Staff Development in the field of Teaching in Higher (Engineering) Education; other fields are Research Management, Science Communication, and Working and Management Techniques.

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Petra Nikol Technische Universität Berlin

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- Working at the Centre for Continuing Scientific Education and Cooperation at TU Berlin
- since 2012: project coordinator of tu wimi plus (a program for the development of change agents to improve the quality of teaching and learning at TU Berlin)

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Key Words: Aspects of managing classroom and research (learning) group activities; pedagogy for the newengineering faculty; novel classroom techniques Training of Academic Staff and Change Agents for Engineering Education: Concept and Program for Developing Teaching and Improving Learning at UniversityOur university (name), one of the largest technical universities in Germany, is qualifyingabout 30 000 students. In addition to about 300 full-time professors teaching 9 hours perweek, the teaching staff comprises nearly 2500 research and teaching assistants, normallycontracted for 5 years. Besides working on their doctoral thesis, they are obliged to teach atleast 4 hours per week. High numbers of first-year students, 1000 or more in introductorySTEM-lectures, make teaching and learning often challenging for both students and teachingstaff. In many cases, the latter have neither didactic nor pedagogic qualifications.How can our teaching staff be trained for this environment?How can an innovative and interactive teaching and learning culture be improved by a studyreform?We focus on enhancing the quality of teaching and learning as well as the satisfaction ofteachers and learners. Our solution is to train the teaching staff individually to develop theirteaching competences theoretically and practically and to train additional teaching assistantswho are supposed to spread good practices in teaching methods among their fellow teachingstaff. However, the implementation of the necessary change requires organizational andcurricular developments in addition to staff development.The long-term goal is to qualify all teaching staff during all phases of their teaching career,corresponding with a student-centered didactic approach, the impact of lifelong learning andprofessional support structures at university and in faculties.Furthermore, we focus on additionally employed teaching assistants, contracted to function asa kind of change agents for the study reform. They are also the key success factors of ourproject (name) which is one of the projects – funded by the German Federal Ministry ofEducation and Research – to provide better study conditions and to improve the quality ofteaching and learning at our university (name).Training for teaching in higher education and professional counselling is offered to thechange agents to ensure quality enhancement in their teaching. The content of the training forour change agents is based on the existing certified program for teaching and learning(accredited by the German Association for Academic Development) and complemented bytailor-made offers, supporting individual needs. With these competences and their acquireddidactic knowledge they act as disseminators within the faculties and departments. Their taskis to provide counselling and workshops about good teaching practice in their fields tocolleagues. They also develop innovative teaching concepts for their own subject-specificteaching. Thus, they make staff and organizational development work hand in hand and closethe gap.The paper will describe the curriculum for the qualification of academic teaching staff ingeneral and an exemplary curriculum draft for the qualification of such a change agent profile.A desirable profile of competences will be outlined. Finally, the change agents´ role and howthey prepare in their qualification process to act as consultants and disseminators to theirteaching colleagues will be discussed. 1

Rummler, M., & Nikol, P. (2015, June), Continuing Education and Training of Academic (Teaching) Staff and (Teaching) Change Agents for Engineering Education: Concept and Program for Developing Teaching and Improving Learning at University (Name) Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23741

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