The Hellenic American University Center for Teaching Excellence supports the ongoing professional development of the University’s faculty as informed, reflective, and effective educators. Through its training, mentoring, and consulting services, the Center seeks to heighten the quality and effectiveness of instruction and cultivate a shared enthusiasm for excellence in teaching within the University’s faculty.

Advocacy and Support for Excellence in Teaching

The Center pursues its mission by:

  • Providing guidance, resources, and practical help to faculty members as they explore and use new pedagogical approaches and instructional technology in their teaching.
  • Fostering a climate of on-going self-assessment, in which faculty systematically reflect on the impact of their teaching practices.
  • Building and sharing a repository of knowledge resources on teaching and student learning in higher education, such as best practices, case studies, research articles, templates and rubrics, course design guidelines, and other training material.
  • Supporting the introduction of new instructional media, learning environments, teaching instruments, and assessment technologies through training and mentoring.
  • Sharing strategies and best practices for designing creative, appropriate, and actionable assessment of student learning.

Services and Resources for Faculty Development

The Center works with the Provost and other academic officers to implement the University’s Faculty Development Plan. Services range from workshops and demonstrations to one-on-one consultation and mentoring.

Training workshops

The Center offers an annual program of training workshops for faculty in a broad range of topics.

Monthly tips to faculty 

The Center issues monthly tips to faculty on the pedagogic use of selected platform functionalities. More specifically, so far pedagogical suggestions have been communicated:

  • regarding the set up and use of Breakout Rooms
  • how to produce reports and evaluate student engagement
  • how to share content during a session and monitor student activity, learning, collaboration, and involvement
  • how to set up and use polls to enhance student contribution and evaluation of their performance
  • how to use safe assign to teach students to refrain from intentionally and unintentionally plagiarizing their submitted work
  • how to initiate threaded discussions and promote interaction and constructive feedback amongst students
  • how to create assignments of different types and connect them to assessment rubrics that support fair, transparent, and effective assessment 
Systematic classroom observations and one2one trainings with instructors 
  • Staff from the Center observes classes after invitations from faculty members and/or program directors and recommends improvements in teaching and pedagogy, and course design.
  • Also, faculty meet with center staff and discuss issues that concern their classes ranging from designing interactive activities to creating and using assessment rubrics to administer tests and exams via digital proctoring.
Outreach workshops 
  • A workshop addressed to teaching professional was organized in April focusing on student engagement techniques, strategies, and methodologies. More than 60 people attended this workshop.
  • Another workshop is scheduled for the end of June on online teaching and testing 
Seeking external evaluation of course design pedagogy and effectiveness  The Center will participate in the Exemplary Course Program (ECP) launched by Blackboard globally. The ECP began in 2000 with the goal of identifying and disseminating best practices for designing high-quality courses in higher education. The core of the program is the Exemplary Course Rubric that defines key characteristics of high-quality courses within the framework of Course Design, Interaction and Collaboration, Assessment, and Learner Support. The rubric is offered under a Creative Commons license, and the aim is for universities to reuse and remix it as part of their own discussions on quality course design.  

One-on-one consultations with Center staff

Center staff can meet individually with instructors to help on issues they may be facing in their teaching, from designing course material and assessing learning outcomes to promoting student engagement and inclusion.

Staff can also help instructors stage and record short videos of them teaching allowing prospective students to get a sense of what it is like to be in our classes.

Classroom observation

Faculty can choose to pair a classroom observation with their consultation, inviting a Center staff member to observe a class session to provide additional context, suggestions, and advice.

Outside talks

The Center invites scholars from outside of the institution to deliver workshops to the faculty, students, and staff.