22 SES 03 C, Academic Work and Professional Development
Parallel Paper Session
Throughout the last decades of higher education’s modernization process there have been important developments. The university teacher, as well as his training, competences, task and functions has reemerged as a key agent in this process.
The figure of faculty must change to fit into the new circumstances as the EHEA considers the student as the center of the teaching/learning process. Since the process is focused on the student work, the teacher’s figure must find its place in this “new” setting. At the same time, the teacher must take into account the changing context and the variety of tools and educational settings that can present themselves. Moreover, there is more attention dedicated to the quality of education as well as new demands for Universities, all of which ends up being the teacher’s responsibility. As the model changes, the assessments on the quality of the Universities processes and results, promotes the evaluation of teachers activities.
Therefore, it now seems to be suitable to try to identify the characteristics of these professionals, especially those which students consider relevant in their learning process. In order to achieve this objective, we designed a process with different phases. Through different sources, instruments and methods we obtain the required information. Amongst other questions, we intended to identify the elements which define excellent teaching, from the students and teachers point of view.
Our final goal is the elaboration of a model for the assessment of faculty competences. In order to propose this model we must first identify the characteristics which make a teacher excellent, as well as, which tasks and competences characterize them as a quality professor. The first step required is to clearly define the figure of an excellent professor on the basis of the contributions made by students and the highest rated professors. We must not forget that the most important criteria of teaching quality must be related with the quality of the students learning. The connection between the quality of education and how students learn must not be left out of any discussion about the assessment of teacher competences. Authors such as Trigwell (2001), Arreola (2007) o Murphy et al. (2009) stress that, if students get involved with their tasks, meaningful learning should favored by the courses structure design and the interaction with the professor.
On the basis of the information obtained, we pretend to identify the idea of excellence, as also, its singularities, depending on the area of knowledge and the type of institution (public or private).
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