UniPed is a unit that helps the University of Stavanger (UiS) achieve excellence in education. UniPed’s goal is to foster a culture of quality-centred teaching that benefits both students and staff.
Striving for excellence in learning
The University of Stavanger aims to provide a high-quality learning environment and teaching for its students and staff. To achieve this goal, UiS has established UniPed, a unit that is responsible for developing and supporting educational activities at the university. It develops and implements quality standards and policies for teaching and learning at the university. It also provides professional development opportunities and support for university employees who are involved in educational activities.
Course Offerings from UniPed
Uniped offers courses to UiS employees, both on a basic level and also for further professionalization. These are divided into core courses and professional development courses. Some of the courses are:
Two courses open to all staff concerning digital competence in teaching are DigiSkills and Digital Literacy.
Professional Development Courses
In response to the growing demand for learner-driven activities in higher education and the increasing emphasis on autonomy in professional development, UniPed presents its Hyflex program. Here, you drive the process of your own learning, working collaboratively with us to experience a meaningful and contextualised professional development. Hyflex professional development is a versatile and adaptable process designed to empower you to define your professional growth while teaching at UiS.
The course consists of five parts:
- Inviting a University Pedagogy (UniPed) Supervisor to Your Class
- Become a Peer Observer
- Become an Action Researcher
- Become a Challenge-based Learning (CBL) Practitioner
- Become a Syllabus Designer
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The course is a certified progression in teaching by enhancing university teachers’ roles to ones with increased academic responsibilities through the dynamics of collaboration and professional development in UiS’ community. The 25-credit-hour course offers a theoretical overview of supervision along with practical applications within a range of disciplines.
The DigiSkills course is a 20-hour online basic module concerning how to use and integrate basic and essential digital tools into university teaching. It is a self-paced and self-directed online course designed within CANVAS, which needs to be completed in 40 days after your registration.
Successful completion of the course will be recognized as part of your professional development towards the UiS requirements (50 hours of professional learning every 5 years).
The course will be run online and be open for participation from the 1st of November, 2020. To be able to register in the course, you need to provide the following information so we can invite you to the Canvas platform.
- Digital Literacy Development for University Teachers
Digital literacy is an online course that aims to help you develop your understanding of the process of digital integration into your teaching. Through the course we offer reflective and active engagement in understanding the concept of digital literacy in relation to digitalization of course context, course delivery, assessment & evaluation, and sustain digital pedagogical practices. The development of the course has been funded by DIKU
- Hybrid Teaching in Higher Education
A self-paced course that introduces the concept and practice of hybrid teaching to help university teachers develop a course plan, design, delivery, and assessment for hybrid environments where they teach online and on-campus students simultaneously.
Uniped offers two core courses for UiS employees. NyTi focuses on didactical issues for newly appointed staff, whereas the Basic course focuses more on higher education pedagogy and didactics in general.
NyTi is a 50-hour mentoring program that instills teaching-related guidance for and with new employees. Eligible employees must have a minimum of 50-percent position and the employment is valid for a minimum of 12 months.
The guidance is centred around and reactive upon the teaching practice of each individual new employee. Regardless of basic pedagogical competence, all new employees in both permanent and temporary positions from the autumn of 2012 have participated in a mentoring program (NyTi). All the supervisors in the NyTi Program have completed formal training in providing professional guidance.
The University of Stavanger’s strategic plan focuses on Core Course teaching quality through conducting and development of teaching methods, including the use of digital learning platforms. UiS staff are expected to support this strategy, and to participate in and contribute to activities within and between departments.
NyTi starts at the beginning of a quarter of a new semester.
The target group for this course is permanent scientific staff without documented experience of prior pedagogical competence. The 150-hour course can be counted towards your workload.
Discussed topics in the course have been concerning course planning, implementation and evaluation of subjects and teaching, students’ active learning, and how to prepare for lectures, assessment and examination. Another important area is peer learning and the use of colleagues as "critical friends".
UiS emphasizes good teaching quality and demands that teachers have higher education pedagogical and didactic competence. Pedagogical competence can be documented with a diploma / course certificate from relevant formal higher education pedagogical institution. Didactic competence can be also documented in the form of varied didactic work in higher education
On October 31, 2019, the University Board decided to introduce a comprehensive career policy that includes a merit scheme for teaching. UiS has had two calls for proposals so far and 12 colleagues have been awarded the status as merited teachers.
Following an evaluation of the scheme in 2021, the Board decided in the spring of 2022 to move forward with annual calls for proposals. At the same time measures to improve and develop the scheme were adopted (see US 25/22, in Norwegian only).
The merited teachers will be presented and approved by the university board in March of the following year. They will be rewarded with an annual sum of NOK 50,000 bto. The scheme comprises four academic categories: Førsteamanuensis, førstelektor, professor and dosent. The criteria are the same across these categories, but the assessment will be conducted in light of individual educational context and academic category. Development and quality of activities related to teaching and mentoring must be documented.
CARNorge (Collaborative Action Research Network in Norway) is an open and inclusive network for supporting Norwegian action research activities.
A professional development course designed for student assistants at the University of Stavanger, with the aim of offering foundational insights into pedagogy, advisory theory, and the facilitation of peer-supported learning within individual study programs. Spanning three modules, an exploration into higher education teaching dynamics, Norwegian mentoring traditions, and the ethical and legal responsibilities inherent to the student assistant role will be provided.