The Teaching Innovation Unit
at the Reichman University (IDC Herzliya)
In recent years, the academic world has been facing complex challenges. A rapid plethora of technology changes have led to the ubiquity of knowledge, which is readily available for all.
In addition, lecturers are forced into a battle for the students’ attention versus myriad technological devices (computers, tablets, smartphones), and diverse content platforms (Facebook, YouTube, etc).
In line with the new reality, the Reichman University (IDC Herzliya) has resolved to establish a “Teaching Innovation Unit” (TIU), whose mission is to shape and realize the university's vision regarding the future of teaching and learning.
Implementation of Teaching & Learning Technologies in existing courses
The TIU explores and analyses various cutting-edge technologies from around the world and classifies them into key pedagogical-didactic categories (classroom interaction, communication and cooperative learning, etc.) – The product of this work is “The Lecturer's Toolkit”.
RUNI’s lecturers receive personal guidance to employ these technologies in their courses.
Development of new courses, based on innovative teaching models
The TIU develops new courses which are based on innovative teaching models: Distance Learning, Hybrid Teaching, Flipped Classroom, etc.
Many of these courses are based on high quality instructional videos, and contains diverse and engaging learning & evaluation activities, focusing on higher forms of thinking.
Promotion of quality teaching by providing continuous professional development
The TIU provides the lecturers two complementary professional development services.
A) Practical workshops that cover various topics related to teaching and learning.
e.g.: “Class interactions”, “Encouraging students self-learning”, Learning Sciences, etc.
B) A "pedagogical counseling" channel, designed for lecturers who need counseling in any need / dilemma regarding teaching.
C) Didactic feedback on "teaching in lessons", designed for lecturers who are interested in personal recommendations for improving their teaching.
Design of the University's Learning Management System (LMS), to improve the learning experience
The head of the TIU functions as the LMS product architect. This responsibility includes: Planning & monitoring the road map, approving functional specifications and UX design, and prioritizing needs, requests & "bugs" reported by the main users.
In addition, the unit operates an "Information and Training" website that helps faculty make optimal use of LMS capabilities.
Development of a new teaching model
As part of the desire to strengthen the important “face to face” encounter between the lecturer and the students, the TIU has developed a new teaching model called the multi-directional teaching model. This model encourages students to share their thoughts, questions, feelings and knowledge, with their peers, and with the lecturers.
Measurement and Evaluation
At the end of each semester, the unit identifies the main experiences and conducts a thorough Measurement and evaluation process. This process includes: collecting students’ feedback, initiating “focus groups”, and conducting a summarizing dialog with the lecturer.
At the end of this procedure, the unit produces a report detailing the insights and recommendations.
Research & Development
Ongoing research and monitoring of leading trends and new developments in the fields of learning technologies & teachings methods in Israel and around the world.
A glimpse to our work
Concept video: 21st Century Challenges
Promo video: Systematic Creativity