The Graduate Certificate (Higher Education) accelerates your teaching and career

“I would recommend the GradCert to anyone involved in Higher education teaching. It really opened my eyes about teaching and provided me with invaluable insights and thought provoking exercises into teaching theory and practice.” Nils Eberhardt from the Sydney Business School is currently undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) and is already applying what he has done in the Grad Cert to his teaching to improve student learning and, importantly, his own teaching experience.

Enrolments for the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education) will close soon. This program is free for University of Sydney staff who will be engaged in teaching Sydney students, and covers a range of pressing issues, practices, and theories of learning and teaching in higher education today. The program is comprised of four units, with two offered each semester. The face-to-face sessions run on Friday afternoons during semester, where you’ll have the opportunity to deep-dive with like-minded colleagues into the complexities of teaching. A senior lecturer from the Sydney Medical School says:

The Grad Cert course has given me the opportunity to meet regularly with academic colleagues, all of whom share a common goal to improve our teaching. I have learnt a lot from the interactive teaching sessions with the course academics, but also a lot from fellow academic attendees, who share their good practice and dilemmas in a supportive atmosphere of learning.

Dr Arne Geschke, an Academic Fellow from the School of Physics, initially took the Grad Cert as a requirement of his probation. “Initially, the concerns about the additional workload outweighed my curiosity and enjoyment of the course, but this ratio was quickly reversed. I had never received any formal training in teaching, and the GradCert made me reflect and think about the way I teach, and offered exciting pathways forward to enhance the learning experience for my students, and also the teaching experience for me. I completely restructured my lectures and, moved towards more interactive and engaging teaching approaches, and employed a much more student-focussed philosophy. I would encourage every staff member with a teaching component to take the GradCert – you will end up delivering better lectures and you will also have more fun teaching.”

I would encourage every staff member with a teaching component to take the GradCert – you will end up delivering better lectures and you will also have more fun teaching.

The four units are practical and project-based, giving you an opportunity to take pressing learning and teaching issues and consider how to transform your students’ learning experiences using evidence-based approaches. They also help you to think more deeply about your teaching, and the capstone unit EDPR5003 encourages you to write about your teaching practice as an award, promotion, or fellowship application.

Danielle Resiak from the Faculty of Health Sciences says “this course will challenge you to consider your teaching practice from new perspectives, while encouraging you to become familiar with your teaching philosophy and how it develops and changes over time. My experience in the Graduate Certificate of Education Studies (Higher Education) was a rewarding one. I was taught the importance of becoming a critically reflective teacher in the pursuit of teaching excellence.  If you have ever considered ways in which you could improve your students learning experience, look no further than enrolling in this course. With the expert guidance you receive along the way, once you start it, I can’t imagine you would look back. It will completely change your perspective on teaching and learning.”

It will completely change your perspective on teaching and learning.

Associate Professor Keith Willey from the Faculty of Engineering and IT, who is also a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK and an Australian National Teaching Fellow, is undertaking the Grad Cert this year. “Personally I believe that every academic should undertake a course like the graduate certificate. However, you will only get out of it, what you put into it. If you undertake it with the expectation that you are going to be taught/shown how to be a better teacher, then you will probably be disappointed and I suggest this isn’t the course for you. If you want to be a reflective and more effective teacher then the graduate certificate is a great opportunity. That is, if you want to use the lectures, discussions and other resources to broaden your awareness’s and perspectives, introduce you to pedagogical concepts and terms that may be new to you and use the assignments as opportunities to reflect on, receive feedback and improve your teaching practice, then the graduate certificate has a lot to offer. It provides an excellent forum to hear from, learn from and discuss learning with peers from other faculties. I found the conversations around the lectures and assessments extremely valuable, while the word limited assignments made me reflect on my practice and understanding to be able to articulately and succinctly express what I had to say. An additional benefit is that on completion, you will be awarded a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy FHEA, an internationally recognised acknowledgement of your competence and achievement.”

In addition to graduating with the Graduate Certificate, all completing participants will also automatically gain an internationally-recognised status as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK, an increasingly important factor in academic position descriptions worldwide.

To find out more about the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (Higher Education), check out the Sydney courses page. This page also allows you to commence your application for enrolment. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the program director, Danny Liu.

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