All of our teaching staff are experts in their fields, with academic and industry experience. Recently, many have been working to upskill themselves by completing the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education through Otago Polytechnic.
This week we’ll introduce you to three staff members who have recently completed the diploma and outline how the experience has shaped the way they teach.
Construction Lecturer Dr Don Samarasinghe says the Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education taught him about effective learning and teaching strategies.
He learned to design and deliver an inclusive curriculum to address the diverse needs of learners.
Additionally, he can now construct and implement effective assessment practices for assessing learner progress and achievement.
“Through this qualification, I am now confident to deliver better quality service to my students and OPAIC.”
Don says he has transformed into a class facilitator who is far different from who he was before completing the GDTE.
“I think now my presence in the class is warm and relaxed, allowing students to feel comfortable, which encourages them to be active participants in the lesson.”
He believes that making students feel comfortable, safe and included promotes learning. Don says he acknowledges each student and they, in turn, support his teaching.
“I use experiential learning activities integrated into my teaching style to bring high levels of student engagement.”
Don gives his students opportunities to ask questions and get clarity.
“I have become a person who regularly reflects on thoughtful feedback received from the students.”
He’s learned about employing reflective processes to improve his practices and respond to relevant trends within the tertiary education context.
“I believe that reflection supports sustainable education. My vision in my teaching career is to become an example of an educator who is knowledge-driven, research-active, creative, personable and supportive.”