Ford Foundation contributes to learning assessment inititative

The Ford Foundation recently provided its enthusiastic support to LAU for its plans to develop an innovative and important new institution that will focus on improving the way that teachers teach and students learn at universities across the Middle East. The Center for Teaching Learning & Outcomes Assessment at LAU will take a pioneering approach toward the support and development of both faculty and students at LAU and other institutions of higher learning throughout the region. The Ford Foundation, which funds just five percent of its grant requests, has approved a $200,000 grant for the project which will be funded over a two-year period.

The Center for Teaching Learning & Outcomes Assessment will draw upon LAUs long legacy as an American institution of higher learning as well as its established role as a provider of liberal education in Middle East. The Center’s goal will be to train and support a core group of faculty members from LAU, and other institutions, in the fundamental principles of “intentional practice”—a method of teaching that emphasizes the student/teacher interaction and sees it as the most fundamental aspect of the educational process. It is from this relationship, according to the theory, that all quality institutions derive.

The Center hopes that, through its efforts, highly talented scholars will be better able to hone their teaching ability in a way that will allow their students to learn in the most effective and efficient way. While special focus will be placed on general and liberal education, the Center also expects to serve faculty members in other areas, including professional schools.

The Center is expected to be directed by an LAU faculty member and an Advisory Committee that will report to the Vice President for Academic Affairs of LAU. The Committee will be composed of faculty and administrators from each of the collaborating institutions. Once it is operational The Center will conduct workshops and conferences and have a thoroughly interactive website to help it achieve its goals. The Center is also expected to produce materials that will assist faculty members and help provide assessments.

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