TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF BSU INTERVENTIONS ON TEACHING AND LEARNING AT SUA
Building Stronger Universities (BSU) is a DANIDA-funded project with the aim of strengthening the capacity of selected universities in the south to develop and implement education and research programmes and effectively disseminate the research results. The project includes the strengthening of capacity in the partner institutions to effectively deliver on research, training and outreach. Thus, amongst other initiatives, BSU has been supporting Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning through capacity building of staff in new innovative pedagogical methods.
The capacity building has been through a series of training programmes (see Appendix 1) to SUA staff delivered by Danish experts especially aimed at introducing more innovative teaching and learning approaches and to reduce the reliance on the traditional lecture method that has dominated teaching at SUA so far and which has been proven to be sub-optimal in producing graduates that are well prepared for the world of work. The training programmes were implemented between 2011 and 2017, during the first and second phases of BSU. The third phase of BSU running from 2017 to 2021 is aimed mainly at institutionalizing and out-scaling the initiatives that were earlier implemented in the project mode.
Objectives of the assessment
As we attempt to out-scale the improved teaching and learning approaches introduced through BSU, to-date there has been no follow-up to find out how the staff and students are responding to the new teaching and learning approaches. It is not clear if the training programmes improved the teaching and consequently the quality of graduates as was expected. Therefore, as we plan to up-scale the new teaching and learning approaches, it is important to answer the question: “In what ways did the training in new teaching and learning approaches influence the teaching methods at SUA and how have these approaches influenced students’ learning?”
So we want to assess the extent to which these training programmes have translated into changes in the way staff actually interact with students in their teaching. Specifically, the assessment will try to answer four questions:
- To what extent are staff using new and innovative teaching and learning approaches?
- What are the staff's opinion on the usefulness of the training received?
- What are the students' assessment of the various teaching and learning approaches currently used by staff?
- What are the challenges faced by staff and students in applying the new teaching and learning approaches?
- Based on answers to these questions, what recommendations can be made for further improvement of the way teaching and learning is organized here at SUA, including ways to institutionalize new and improved teaching and learning approaches?
Proposed methodological approach
In undertaking the study it is expected that the researcher will sample a group of staff who participated in some of the listed courses (Appendix 1) as well as a group of staff who did not participate in any of the listed courses in order to determine the extent to which the actual teaching practices differ. Furthermore, it is expected to get views of students in the courses taught by the two categories of staff with respect to any perceived innovativeness in teaching
these courses. Lastly, the researcher is expected to seek views from key stakeholders including Heads of Department, Principals, Dean, Directors, DVCs, QAPB, and student leaders on how innovative teaching and learning approaches could be institutionalized at SUA.
Expression of Interest
Any staff interested in undertaking this study is invited to submit a letter of expression of interest to:
Dr. Daniel Mushi
Department of Animal, Range and Aquaculture Sciences
Please note that detailed formulation of the methodology and budget will need to be done in close consultation with the BSU Coordinator and the BSU Thematic Area Leaders.
The deadline for receiving expression of interest is 29th May 2019.
Training programmes organized for staff and students as part of capacity building of SUA by the BSU project
- Standards and Access to Markets - not specifically for SUA staff
- Entrepreneurship and Innovation - for SUA staff
- Environmental Life Cycle Management - for SUA staff plus others
- Problem-based Learning (PBL) and e-Learning in 2016 for SUA staff.
Under Aquaculture Thematic Area:
- Didactics and Pedagogical Skills - for SUA staff
- Experimental design and Statistical analysis - for SUA staff and students
- Fish nutrition and Bioenergetics - for SUA staff and others
- Scientific Communication - for SUA staff and students
- Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) - for SUA staff and students
Under Agro-ecology Thematic Area:
- Multivariate Data Analysis - for students
- Hydrological and Agro-ecological Modelling - SUA staff and others
- Holistic and Systems Thinking and Analysis - SUA staff and others
- Agroecosystems and Climate Change - for SUA staff and others
- Integrated Crop-Livestock-Aquaculture Biosystems - for staff and others