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Frequently Asked Questions about CoETaL

The mission of the University of Guyana(UoG) is geared towards the discovery, transfer and application of knowledge. In supporting this thrust of the UoG, the Centre will be designed to promote teaching and learning excellence through its faculty and other support units. Admittedly, the University already has within its different Faculties, Departments and Units, various faculty with the skill-set to deliver excellent teaching and learning within the academy. However, this is not necessarily consistent across the Campuses. As a result, teaching and learning must be managed in such a way that student excellence is achieved and staff are equipped with the competencies for excellence.

The CoETaL will be organized to seek out competencies to support teaching and learning excellence wherever it is located internally in the first instance, as a team approach is utilized to harness and transfer these competencies and skills. External collaborations will be sought to supplement the deficits if and when required. Importantly though, the Centre will be guided by evidence–based, innovative and creative but sustainable teaching and learning approaches giving due recognition to the Guyanese context and emerging needs.

The CoETaL will be the hub that supports excellence in teaching and academic leadership to enhance the experiences of students.

The University of Guyana is an institution that is “values driven”. The core values espoused to the first Education Resource Ambassadors Conference (Griffith,2016) are seen notable drivers of the Renaissance Culture at UoG in order to make it the premiere academic institution in Guyana. These values will be embedded in the work of the CoETaL as the academy strives for teaching and learning excellence.

  • Utilize the strengths of staff with the competencies to build stronger teachers in the academy.
  • Use innovative methods and technologies to improve the capacity of faculties in enriching the teaching and learning environment.
  • Work closely with the Office of Academic Engagement, Faculties, Library, Registry, Academic advising, CIT and Software in its programme delivery.
  • Build capacity of Faculty to integrate teaching, learning, internship and other related approaches in their course delivery.
  • Provide support for curriculum design and development for teaching in traditional, blended and e-learning environments
  • Guide programme evaluation in a structured way on all programmes when required (traditional, blended and e-learning environments).
  • Provide costed trainings and advisement to sister agencies and institutions as needed.
  • create opportunities to ensure respect for diversity and equal opportunity

The role of the CoETaL is to support the educational mission of UoG by providing professional development opportunities for Faculties which guides teaching staff in the design, development and delivery of teaching that is academically robust, evidence-based, reflective of the contextual needs and allow for student learning through a process which stimulates critical thinking. Resultantly, the primary roles and functions of the Centre in the first instance is geared to accomplish the following:
  • provide new faculties with the tools to exploit and use the knowledge, competencies and soft skills provided in professional development sessions to become excellent teachers.
  • create opportunities for knowledge sharing through continuing education (CE) sessions for all faculty as they learn from each other.
  • facilitate opportunities for faculties and students to enhance the teaching and learning environment through the use of innovative instructional approaches that led to teaching excellence and student success.
  • collaborate with the various internal faculties and units (FEH, Library and CIT, etc.).
  • foster external teaching and learning collaborations locally and transnationally.
  • create opportunities for enabling the integration of gender, diversity and inclusive approaches in teaching.

The Centre which falls under the OAE is led by a Director, an Assistant Director and supported by a personal assistant. Additionally, through the different faculties, the Centre seeks additional support for its programme delivery through student internship. Additionally, the Centre is guided by an Advisory Board which assisted in the design and development of programmes.

The Office of CoETaL is functioning within the Vice Chancellery under the Office of DVC Academic Engagement. Physically, there are two locations, one at the Berbice Campus and the other at the Turkeyen Campus. The Director or Deputy Director may be based at either Campus. When based at the Berbice Campus an active presence must be maintained at all times at the Turkeyen Campus where the majority of teaching staff are located. Every advantage is taken to utilize the electronic means of communication for meetings and consultations. However, this will not negate the physical presence of the Director as required. However, the long-term plan is to ensure budgetary provisions for a physical structure to be established to accommodate the Center at both campuses.

An Advisory Board was established for CoETaL? The Board is one aspect of the Centre’s collaboration initiatives designed to include other members of the University Community in the Centre’s leadership in promoting teaching excellence as it plans strategically with other units across the Campuses. Suggested representatives to the Board included FEH, CIT, FSS and Software among others. Membership to the advisory board is extended to strategic transnational partners such as the Ministry of Education, the Cyril Potter College of Education, UNESCO and other agencies where support for the work of the CoETaL can be enriched. The Board is chaired by the Director. As the Centre continues to grow, the Board meets at least once per semester or no more than two times. The role of the Board is to:
  • contribute to the planning activities inclusive of identification of speakers and presenters
  • make recommendations for the development of internship for students
  • contribute to the development of the annual work-plan
  • serve as reviewers for programmes and modules and papers developed
  • support as far as possible efforts to fund-raise
  • ensure that the programmes offered reflect gender sensitivity and cater for diversity
  • Overall, the members of the Advisory Board offer support to assist the Director in implementing the proposed plan for the CoETaL.