Celebrating our teachers
In August this year, the Navitas teacher community passed a new milestone: 10,000 hours of participation in professional development events, courses and workshops since Learning and Teaching went global last year! That’s 10,000 hours spent learning, connecting and reflecting on how to have a greater impact on student learning, experience and outcomes.
Why is 10,000 hours remarkable? If it feels like a significant number perhaps you’ve heard of the ‘10,000 hour’ rule – all that stands between you and mastery of a skill is 10,000 hours of practice! Well, before I could finish writing this, we’re closing in on 12,000 hours and well past our first collective mastery milestone!
On a serious note, we are continually inspired by Navitas teachers’ commitment to ongoing professional development of their teaching practice. Did you know that over 150 people are now sharing their contributors to this website? Their enthusiasm powers the global L&T community and reflects a fantastic dedication to improving their impact on student outcomes and experience.
What are teachers engaging with?
This website surfaces just a fraction of the great practice within our global teacher community, as well as webinars and courses for teaching staff to build and extend their skills.
A quick browse of this website identifies colleagues all over the world making Welcome Videos, running art therapy, and designing virtual reality learning activities, to highlight just a few recent examples.
“Drop in regularly, and this space can feel like a big, virtual staffroom packed full of experienced mentors.”
L&T Services provide a range of Professional Development (PD) activities to support divisional and college priorities, as well as teacher needs. Activities available for Navitas teaching staff globally include:
- Tailored PD courses and sessions to respond to identified needs in colleges or businesses, building long-term teacher capability, often as part of transformation projects such as the SIBT Curriculum Transformation.
- Regular courses designed and facilitated by Navitas L&T experts, lasting 4-5 weeks with assessed tasks; courses in 2016-17 included ‘Blended Learning Essentials’, ‘Assessment, Marking & Feedback’ and ‘Engagement & Motivation’, as well as ‘Building in Moodle’ to support Moodle upgrades and rollouts.
- PD events which showcase experience, reflection and learnings from the global teacher community, allowing teachers to present, discuss and connect with colleagues around the world to leverage good practice and innovation.
Breaking it down into the specific topics being explored, there are certainly a few key areas that have received high engagement this year:
- Teaching with technology. This includes courses for Navitas technologies like ‘Building in Moodle’, tailored PD courses and workshops that support digital transformation projects, as well as shorter sharing events like the ‘Appsolutely!’ series where teachers reflect on apps they use in their practice.
- Engaging learners. Our strength and expertise at Navitas lies in recognising and meeting the needs of our unique group of learners, which often includes non-traditional students and international students from countries all over the world. Courses like ‘Engagement and Motivation’ encourage reflection on the effectiveness of teaching methods, for example. Other experienced teachers share practical tips on maintaining awareness of teacher talk time and common topics like culture shock for our students.
- Designing learning. This is a topic of increasing engagement for teachers, from those working through the FoLTO Learning Design courses to those collaborating on course and curriculum developments in large-scale digital transformation projects. Keep an eye out for some great resources on lesson planning soon!
What next for Professional Development?
Participating in Professional Development is a win-win for teachers, students and all of our colleges collectively, with career development benefits as well as personal and professional growth. Teachers have told us about tangible impacts on student engagement, greater personal satisfaction in their work, and rewarding connections with colleagues both near and far.
Navitas Learning and Teaching Services have also been developing a structured program where teaching staff and academic managers will be able to plan, track and manage their Professional Development through a framework called ‘Teaching Excellence at Navitas’. This consolidates teacher Professional Development offerings into a flexible, modular, trackable program with options for both internal and external accreditation through the UK’s Higher Education Academy (HEA). We’re excited to be able to recognise the immense efforts and enthusiasm of our teacher community – keep an eye out for how you can be part of it in 2018!