H.E.L.P. (Helping Educators Learn Pedagogy) is an eight-week program developed by faculty at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences specifically for pharmacy educators.
The program provides educators with strategies and tactics for becoming more effective in a classroom or laboratory setting. The program typically begins in mid-late May (following the conclusion of the academic year) and and runs through mid-late July.
H.E.L.P. offers a unique methodology that approaches teaching from a learning perspective, helping participants develop lessons and assignments that increase student engagement and enhance understanding.
With all work conducted online, H.E.L.P. offers each participant the flexibility to pursue their studies when it is convenient for them. Visit the Schedule and Format page to learn more about the program's structure and modules.
Whether you are new to academia or a seasoned faculty member, H.E.L.P. can help you become a better teacher.
Upon completion of the H.E.L.P. program, participants will be able to:
- Apply pedagogical strategies and principles that make learning meaningful
- Create practical and manageable lessons to use instantly in your teaching
- Adopt a variety of assessment strategies
- Integrate appropriate technology into teaching
- Engage in reflective dialogue with colleagues regarding pedagogy
Schedule and Format
H.E.L.P. is an online program comprised of six modules.
Participants begin by selecting an existing assignment, task, lesson, etc. that they previously used in their teaching careers and reworking it throughout the program.
Each of the modules builds off the previous one, so that by the end of the program, participants will have a revised and polished product to immediately implement into their teaching.
The typical schedule for the program's six modules is as follows:
- Teaching and Learning Relationship (1 week)
- Assessment Strategies (2 weeks)
- Lesson Planning (2 weeks)
- Teaching Methodology (1 week)
- Using Technology (1 week)
- Putting It All Together (1 week)
It is recommended that participants dedicate 5-6 hours per week to fully benefit from the program. H.E.L.P. facilitators are available to set realistic guidelines with each module and monitor your progress.
Module 1: The Teaching and Learning Relationship
This session will explore the unique and interconnected role of teachers and students through major theorists and theories in education (constructivist, behaviorist, cognitive, design-based, and humanistic). A visual framework will be developed for each participant, as they contemplate how to teach their students and create learning environments. The goal is to recognize and explain theories, practice, research, and ethics of each assumption. This module is instrumental in building a good teaching foundation and will provide the architecture necessary for the other sessions.
Module 2: Assessment Strategies
With the push for assessment-based planning and assessment-based change, teachers frequently find themselves asking how they can more thoroughly assess their students in a realistic way. This module explores other assessment options such as rubrics, self assessment, and peer assessment as ways to provide valuable feedback on student learning.
Module 3: Lesson Planning
There is more to teaching than explaining and summarizing content. Considering the learning goals, standards or outcomes is of prime importance when developing an effective, assessment-based curriculum. This module reviews a strategy for developing a lesson with the endpoints in mind from the beginning. Creating a map which outlines all classroom tasks (objectives, activities, technology, assessment, feedback, reflection, etc.) is not new, but higher education faculty may not formally do it. It is a necessary step in teaching and planning.
Module 4: Teaching Methodology
The goal of this module is to provide a thorough understanding of the multiple philosophies that propel different pedagogies of teaching and learning. Through their studies, participants will identify which teaching methodologies closely mirror their own philosophy, and how they can build upon that in the delivery of their lessons.
Module 5: Using Technology
The push for technology has expanded into the educational arena. Now that participants have a pedagogical framework for teaching and a newly revised lesson plan, technology options will be explored to help in the creation, packaging, delivery, and assessment of the curriculum.
Module 6: Putting It All Together
This time is built into the program to bridge the gap between theory and application. Participants will be working on their own to incorporate each module above into part of their course curriculum. Facilitators will be available during this time to assist participants and provide tips towards successful implementation. Presentations from experts and new content will be delivered through both live and self-paced forums to enhance the overall experience.
Costs and Registration
Registration for the 2017 H.E.L.P. program will not open until spring 2017.
Fees for the program are determined on an annual basis, but as a point of reference, the fees for the 2016 program were $699 for an individual and $2,500 for a group of four from the same institution.
Continuing Education credit is also available for completion of the course.
Since the H.E.L.P. program's inception in 2011, there have been 235 pharmacy faculty from around the country who have graduated from the program.