Lecturers on the Experience they Gained from BITF Targeted Scholarships
By providing targeted scholarships for lecturers for the ninth year in a row, the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation (BITF) has been able to support the modernisation of both social science and health care studies together with Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) and the RSU Alumni Association.
The scholarships are intended to further the development of innovative courses or to improve existing courses, as well as to support international experience exchanges.
2022 has so far proved to be particularly active for those RSU lecturers who have applied for BITF targeted scholarships at the beginning of this year in order to modernise a study course. The RSU Alumni Association and the Centre for Educational Growth has summarised some of the highlights that the lecturers found when evaluating their results.
Most lecturers acknowledge that working on modernising courses has provided them with positive challenges and growth opportunities, for example by working with different interactive tools.
It has been a fantastic experience because by improving the course, I am not only promoting it among students, but am also improving my own knowledge and skills. It is important to note that RSU is working in several targeted areas, and before applying for the scholarship I already had the opportunity to learn the basic principles of the H5P programme. This allowed me to create a modern, interesting, educational, and valuable course with different contents and simulations.
Lecturer Jolanta Dinsberga, Faculty of Law
In their feedback, most lecturers indicated that being able to work with supportive colleagues and RSU staff created a positive work experience, which in turn contributed to the quality of their work.
I believe that within the framework of the targeted scholarship it is possible to draw up a structured plan for modernising courses by following a specific time schedule. This can subsequently be implemented step by step with the support of your colleagues. The result is a complex set of digital marketing workshops that, in my opinion, go even further than planned in terms of content and technical aspects.
Lecturer Kristīne Blumfelde-Rutka, Department of International Business and Economics
The results, which went beyond the study process and beyond the borders of RSU, are very pleasing.
All histological and embryological micropreparations that the faculties of health use have been digitised, including some anatomy, embryology and histopathology macropreparations. Together with descriptions, these have how found a place on e-learning platforms and in the RSU repository forming the basis of the digitised morphology e-learning environment, which is increasingly being added to each call for targeted scholarships. News of these digitised collections has already spread beyond RSU. The Department of Chemical, Biological and Medical Sciences of the Latvian Academy of Sciences visited the Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology on 16 June this year to see the real and digitised material up close!
Asst. Prof. Zane Vitenberga-Verza and Prof. Māra Pilmane, Institute of Anatomy and Anthropology
An important benefit of these targeted scholarships is to stimulate lecturers’ motivation and desire to create a modern and student-centred learning environment.
Overall, the experience has been very successful. It has given us motivation to pool our energy and time in order to be able to invest in working more effectively with our students, as well as in creating more structured course content that is easier to understand. Interactive tools and video visualisations will continue to be used in the future for other subjects. Our colleagues’ examples create a desire to introduce new learning and teaching solutions into our own courses!
Lecturer Aneka Kļaviņa and Asst. Prof. Žanna Martinsone, Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine