As an executive officer of a center for teaching excellence, Prof. Grant argues that the resources to build such a center are humans, facilities, time, awareness and incentives. As for human resources, besides lecturers, there are managers and curriculum designers. Facilities comprise classrooms and technologies, while time means short-term and medium-term plans oriented towards long-term strategies. Such a center and its services should be known to faculty through a variety of media channels and ways to attract them.
In terms of teaching support, Prof. Grant said that his center at the University of South Carolina was working on teaching design, orientation, organizing workshops and seminars, research access and recommendations on teaching innovation, and at the same time, guiding faculty in their teaching process.
In addition, one of the essential areas that the Center covers is to establish a communication system to encourage the participation of faculty. The target of that system is lecturers, both new and experienced, managers and especially graduate students, who might be future lecturers. Communication tools of this system are face-to-face meetings and seminars, in addition to email, website and social media.
Besides sharing on the activities of a center for teaching excellence, Prof. Grant brought up an interesting topic for VNU lecturers - the building of a teaching philosophy and teaching style. This is an issue that he thinks every teacher should take into consideration to be able to transform teaching from an instinctive into a purposeful process. The teaching philosophy, according to Prof. Grant, needs to answer such questions as: why we teach, what we teach, how we teach, and how to measure the effectiveness of that teaching. The result of a lecturer’s implementation of the teaching philosophy is also the creation of his teaching style. Prof. Grant also recommended that lecturers review their teaching philosophy once a year to make appropriate adjustments and persistently aim at their goals. Besides, faculty are encouraged to observe others’ teaching styles to acquire and experiment the ones suitable for them.
From February 19 to February 21, 2020, Prof. Grant August Edwin from the University of South Carolina will talk to VNU staff and lecturers on new topics focusing on increasing the participation of students in the classroom, teaching technologies and assessment of teaching activities.
Prof. August (Augie) Grant, Director of the University of South Carolina Center for Teaching Excellence
Prof. Grant has been teaching at the university level since 1983. He earned his Ph.D. at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, and has spent the past three decades teaching, consulting, and researching emerging communication technologies and their application to business, education, and social institutions. Prof. Grant is best known as Editor of Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, which he created in 1992.