IIE-SRF held a conference and training workshop on modern teaching methodologies and excellence in university teaching from January 28-30 2013 in Erbil, Iraq. The conference provided participants with an overview on current thinking related to effective teaching methodologies with a particular emphasis on new strategies for improving teaching and learning in higher education settings and the use of technology in the classroom. The goals were to provide Iraqi participants with an understanding of the research underpinning student-centered learning methodologies and approaches in higher education and to suggest strategies, tools and resources suitable to the Iraqi higher education sector. Presentations and breakout sessions focused on topics such as: shifting instructional paradigms; exploring teaching practices that foster student engagement and deep learning; developing student learner outcomes and designing courses and syllabi that promote student involvement and interaction; and utilizing technology both in and outside of the classroom. The activities of two U.S.-Iraq university partnerships – between Michigan State University and Dohuk University and University of California, Los Angeles and American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) – were examined. Both partnerships focus on curriculum design and teacher training opportunities.
The conference also included a discussion on the current state of teaching and learning in Iraq as well as observations from Iraqi scholars who have worked at higher education institutions outside of Iraq on practices they see as illustrative for the Iraqi university sector.
Read SRF Executive Director Jim Miller’s blog about conference here.
Pictured below: Group photo of attendees for the January 2013 Conference.