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Alia Pike gains new Youth & Community qualification

News — 3rd June 2018

Alia Pike, Youth and Community Course Coordinator at NTC, has completed a teaching qualification with the Higher Education Academy. The qualification will not only improve the quality and style of how she teaches, but also grants her Fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy.

“The qualification shows that you are teaching to a high standard, that you understand the knowledge and skills needed to be able to work at this level,” explained Alia.

Alia’s course focused on finding new and creative ways for students to engage with course material.

“There is a real move in higher education about teaching and learning,” said Alia. “And that it is not just around the idea of the lecturer standing at the front and talking at the students, it is about a dialogical experience.”

The course showed that group projects, class discussion, and dialogical feedback could be ways to engage the students’ understanding of the subject. Linking real world application to course work is another way.

There is a real move in higher education about teaching and learning…And that it is not just around the idea of the lecturer standing at the front and talking at the students, it is about a dialogical experience.

“It’s enabling the students to put what they have learned into real world experiences, combining all the different aspects of learning while here at NTC,” she said. “What they learned in their Theology course relates to what they’re doing in their Youth Work course, or what they are learning about understanding people relates to how they understand who God is. It is about trying to get them to bring two areas of study together.”

In December of 2016, Alia was promoted to her current role at NTC and knew she’d be taking on more teaching responsibilities. NTC saw the value of the qualification in conjunction with her teaching and made it possible for her to have the time and resources to complete the course.

“The course is an accredited route to fellowship with the Higher Education Academy and that’s something that the Quality Assurance Agency of Higher Education is really keen to see.” said Alia. “And it’s something that the University of Manchester wants to see in all of the teaching staff here at NTC.”

The Higher Education Academy is a professional body that speaks into higher education by producing research, providing resources, and helping to maintain best practice. Being a fellow of the Higher Education Academy means having access to the research, resources, training events and community forums.

The course took one year to complete, with Anglia Ruskin University. The distance learning course included webinars, personal studies, forums, discussions, and observations of my teaching which were followed up with a discussion with the person observing, along with a written report.

“The course has really helped me to think about how I am assessing the students and what they are learning during the class. Overall the course has strengthened me as a teacher and as a person and will hopefully benefit all my students here at NTC.”