About KOLT Koç University Office of Learning and Teaching (KOLT) was established in November 2009, becoming the first office of its kind in Turkey. The mission of KOLT is to lead and support continual development of learning and teaching in KU. To achieve this mission, KOLT provides services to:
- Faculty members
- Graduate students who are working as teaching assistants at Koç University.
For students, KOLT provides:
1. Academic tutoring in most subject areas, including almost all core courses. Academic tutors conduct their tutoring sessions one-on-one with a student or in a small group of students. Students don’t have to book appointments in order to attend a session as most sessions are walk-in. In addition to tutoring, KOLT periodically organizes review sessions for some courses in coordination with the faculty teaching those courses.
2. Conversation Circles (CC) to promote fluency in spoken English, French, German and Spanish. The circles are moderated by native speakers of these languages.
3. Face-to-Face and Online workshops for basic academic skills:
◦ how to read and notes effectively in college courses,
◦ how to manage time effectively, ◦ how to prepare for an exam,
◦ how to take an exam,
◦ how to adjust to academic life at Koç University,
◦ how to avoid plagiarism, ◦ how to overcome procrastination,
◦ how to take an exam, ◦ how to develop a project,
◦ how to give presentations by using PowerPoint.
For Teaching Assistants (TA’s), KOLT provides:
1. TA training workshops that usually include the following items:
• tips for effective teaching,
• clarity in teaching,
• classroom management,
• grading fairly
• emphasizing important topics,
• motivating students,
• encouraging class participation,
• ethics in teaching and learning.
2. Group/Individualized microteaching sessions to enhance the quality of PS, DS and Labs,
3. Resources of books and videos on various aspects of teaching.
For Faculty, KOLT provides a range of services that support excellence in teaching that match our university’s rigorous standards of research. These services include:
1. Designing and leading new faculty orientation programs in effective teaching,
2. Organizing and delivering seminars and workshops in various aspects of higher education teaching and learning.
3. Providing assistance in the use of Koç University Learning Management System (KULMS_Blackboard).
4. Assisting faculty members to design MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
5. Guiding the faculty with the use of educational technologies including various digital tools (clickers, tablets and notepads),
6. Mid-semester course evaluations which report the students’ feedback in terms of good features of classes and the students’ suggestions for improvement. Faculty members may request individual consultation afterwards,
7. Offering Teaching Innovation Grants (up to 5,000 TL for each semester) for the following items:
• Preparing a new COURSERA course (a massive open online course);
• Course design that uses educational technologies (course videos, online quizzes, clickers, vPads, wikis, blogs, podcasts, e-portfolios and social media) to develop online supplementary course resources, online assessment methods, collaborative activities on Blackboard or Moodle (Koç University Learning Management Systems);
• Course design that promotes “flipped classroom” by using Blackboard or Moodle;
• Joint teaching projects within Koç University or with external partners to start interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary faculty collaboration;
• Course design that promotes active learning and critical thinking;
• Curriculum enhancements by faculty from different departments: qualitative and quantitative evaluation (survey, focus groups, interviews and observations) of courses in terms of learning outcomes, content, delivery and assessment to strengthen the link among sequence of courses;
• Any innovative solution to the problems raised in the mid-semester course evaluation of the faculty applying for the grant.
8. Providing individual consultations for the following items:
• syllabus and content design,
• in class activities,
• student engagement and interaction,
• video recording of classes,
• improving courses and teaching skills.
9. Providing assistance in use of interactive teaching resources (Metalog tools, digital resources, etc.)
10. Providing video recorded feedback on classroom activities,
11. Providing resources of books and videos on various aspects of teaching.
Our Approach to Teaching and Learning
All of KOLT ’s activities are guided by a focus on effective learning. We strive to support all teaching and learning approaches that contribute to effective learning as documented by valid educational research. Most effective teaching and learning approaches emphasize active student engagement as a key that promotes learning.
Active learning happens more readily when students have a role in setting their own educational goals, when students have an awareness of their own individual learning needs and learning preferences, and when students can evaluate their own learning progress than when their goals, needs, preferences, and evaluations are dictated to them. We are committed to develop a learning environment that help KU students gain the skills necessary to achieve awareness in these domains.
Active learning happens more readily when the students can engage in learning in a way that accommodates their individual differences in learning preferences (or styles) than when information is offered in a single format. Thus, as KOLT, we support teaching and learning methods that vary from teacher to teacher, subject to subject, and student to student. Awareness of these differences by the students themselves and by the faculty will facilitate learning across the curriculum.
Active learning happens when the students can observe examples of how to apply newly acquired information to problems that are relevant for them, when students have an opportunity to apply such information to solve real problems, and when students can discuss newly acquired information with their peers. We support the development of curricula that promote active learning by providing structured opportunities for these activities.
Active learning happens when technology is integrated into courses to enhance student engagement and interaction. KOLT has acknowledged the indispensable role of technology in effective learning by assuming a key responsibility in the establishment and the integration of educational technologies into Koç University courses offered to students at all levels. Our activities in educational technologies are detailed in the following link: http://ltt.ku.edu.tr/