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AU’s new central teaching development centre is open for business. The centre will continue to prioritise close collaboration with teaching staff at the university – including during the merger process over the next few months.

2020.10.02 | Mathilde Andersen

AU’s new central teaching development centre, which opens its doors on 1 October, will strengthen university pedagogics research and practice. Archival photo: Lars Kruse

On 1 October, AU officially merged all of its teaching development resources into a single central centre: the Centre for Educational Development at Aarhus University (CED). 

The centre will boost the university’s educational ambitions, Pro-Rector Berit Eika said:

"That we now have a unified centre is a clear signal to the entire university that Aarhus University prioritises education and teaching development very highly. This will create greater visibility for the university's teaching development research and the many resources we offer our teaching staff, and I also believe that this will create an even stronger academic identity in regard to working with university pedagogy and didactics.”

Close contact with the academic environments

Centre Director Anne Mette Mørcke shares the pro-rector's academic ambitions, and she views continued close and regular contact with the departments, schools and teaching staff at AU as absolutely crucial:

"In the first instance, the academic environments should continue to work with their usual contacts, just as they did before the merger of the teaching development centres. In fact, I hope that a lot of people won’t even notice that we’re in the process of a merger over the next few months. In the long term, we will be able to support more flexible and more in-depth expertise than we can right now. In two years, our centre will be deeply anchored at AU – and at the same time, we will be a strong dynamo for Danish university pedagogy,"she says.

Collaboration on cross-university initiatives

At the same time, the centre will be the focal point for a number of cross-university projects. For example, in connection with the university teacher training course programme and AU’s LMS – both Blackboard and its coming replacement Brightspace.

"Even though every degree programme at AU needs to cultivate its own educational profile, there are also major cross-university implementation tasks that need to be carried out jointly. Here I see great potential. Another of our core tasks will be to strengthen the research foundation of university pedagogy and support the networks for educational knowledge and practice for teaching staff and degree programme directors at AU as a whole", explains Anne Mette Mørcke, who is looking forward to drawing on of the extensive knowledge and experience generated in the previous units (CUDIM, CUL, CESU, ST Learning Lab and the EDU IT Hub).

Central physical location on the Aarhus campus

The centre is comprised of three teams which will focus on teaching development, degree programme development and digital support respectively. In this way, the development of both teaching practice and entire degree programmes will be central to the new centre, and there will continue to be a general focus on the incorporation of technology in teaching and the organisation of degree programmes. The new management with Centre Director Anne Mette Mørcke at the end of the table will be in place by the end of October.

According to plan, all employees  will move into a single facility on Trøjborgvej in the summer of 2021, where the EDU IT unit is already housed. The delay is due to the necessity of renovating the building complex. The central location on Aarhus Campus will mean that the centre is close to the degree programmes in the University Park, the Nobel Park, the new University City and the University Hospital. 

In the meantime, all centre staff will continue working from their present addresses and can be contacted as usual. 

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