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Best practices in learning and teaching

The new semester brings new opportunities and at the threshold, it would be wise to take a moment and think about the essence of learning. Learning, which is a complex and multifaceted process, can mean different things to people with different prerequisites and experiences. It is for this reason that we have written down the best practices of learning and teaching.


Best practices are not a learning resource for daily guidance. Rather, they can be compared to a roadmap that, when reviewed from time to time, guides us to discover new paths and helps us to gain a deeper sense of learning and teaching. Best practices can also be like a bridge that facilitates dialogue between learners and the teaching staff, and helps to create a common understanding of the role we each play in the learning process. Although best practices are not strictly necessary for setting goals and understanding learning and teaching, they do give us the impetus and opportunity to do so on the basis of common grounds.

As you embark on a new semester, take the time to (re)familiarise yourself with the best practices of learning and teaching and let them serve as a guide for you. We should all find an idea in the best practices to accompany us this semester and help to create an enriching learning environment together.



BEST PRACTICES IN LEARNING AND TEACHING


Good practice in learning and teaching is an agreement within the Tallinn University of Technology community with the aim of promoting and supporting learning and teaching. Following good practice in learning and teaching is a part of academic culture. It is based on the best practices in learning and teaching. In designing the learning process, the lecturer takes into account the functional needs of teaching the subject and relies on professional skills. The learner uses conscious learning methods in accordance with the lecturer's recommendations.


Learner-Centeredness and Research-Based

Teaching is based on research and evidence-based teaching methods that support learners in achieving learning outcomes and take into account the specifics of the subject. Effective learning methods are used to lead to deep learning. An essential part of learning is independent work by the learner. The lecturer supports the development of the learner's independent learning skills. The lecturer's responsibility is to create an environment that promotes learning and supports critical thinking among learners.


Responsibility

Learning and teaching are a continuous process involving a dialogue and regular feedback between the learner and the lecturer. For the process to work, it is necessary to have a shared understanding of learning by both the learner and the lecturer, based on modern learning theories. The lecturer is responsible for creating the conditions necessary for effective learning, while the learner takes responsibility for their learning. Sharing responsibility requires self-management and reflection from both parties.


Collaboration

Mutual respect and cooperation are the basis of learning. Collaboration takes place when setting learning objectives and making agreements regarding the teaching process, both in individual classes, the entire subject, and in the guidance process. Learners collaborate with each other, both voluntarily and under the guidance of the lecturer, to develop social and communicative skills. The goal of learners' collaboration is to achieve a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the subject. The lecturer considers the role of their subject within the curriculum. To achieve the learning outcomes of the curriculum and increase the cohesion between subjects, the lecturer collaborates with the program manager and other lecturers.


Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and Ethics

All parties involved in the learning process understand that education is not only knowledge and skills but also values, attitudes, and ethical beliefs. Educational activities support and value learners' entrepreneurship, creative and innovative thinking, purposeful action, and solving complex real-life problems. Teaching and learning recognize the initiative and collaboration of all parties.

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