The Directorate for Teaching and Learning runs teaching and learning induction retreats for new academic staff and for Heads of Departments each year.
Retreats for academic lecturers and new staff
The retreats are typically 3-days long and comprise a series of intensive workshops where participants work through a collaborative and facilitated process of curriculum alignment. This process is designed to help academic staff develop and design constructively aligned curricula that have clear learning aims; relevant teaching, learning and assessment activities and tasks that will work towards achieveing the aims; and meaningful evaluation strategies that promote reflexive engagement with students and the course materials and aims. The retreats are part of the implementation of the University's Strategic Plan for Teaching and Learning, and have proved thus far to be a valuable resource for academics and a site of community-building and sharing of practices.
Retreats for HODs
The retreats are also 3-days long, and equally intensive, but the focus is slightly different. Participants are guided through the process of constructive curriculum alignment in ways that will enable them to guide academic lecturers in their own departments, so that the process will continue beyond the retreats, and so that all academic staff at UWC can be guided and supported through this process, whether they are able to attend retreats or not. HODs are a crucial part of creating and sustaining departmental cultures and environments that are supportive of and innovative about teaching and learning.
Curriculum alignment, and renewal of all elements of a successful curriculum, is an ongoing process, and UWC's plan, through these induction retreats is to build capacity within departments and faculties, so that those academics who do come on the retreats will become champions for teaching and learning within their departments, and will be able to mentor and partner with colleagues.