Pedagogy and Academic Development Training Center

Pedagogy and Academic Development Training Center at the University of Human Development provides aspiring teachers with the necessary training and qualification to make real differences in their classrooms and in the lives of their students. Notably, the University of Human Development is the first and only private university in Sulaymaniyah Governorate to have a pedagogy center which is recognized and directly guided by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The courses are instructed and managed by experts who were well trained by HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences in Finland as part of the Professional Teachers Development program run by the KRG Ministry of Higher Education. The center welcomes candidates, Masters and PhD holders, from all private and public universities. The mission of the center is quality of education and promoting a new approach of pedagogy through providing candidates with the information, training, guidance and support needed to meet the requirements necessary for teaching at Kurdistan universities ad institutions.

Course Programs

8 Weeks

First Module: Information Communication Technology (ICT)

Overall description of the module

Information Technology is a combination of communication, reservation, processing and multimedia capabilities. The main role that is played by communication networks is called information and communication technology. Today, information and communication technology (ICT) is of first-rate in education systems, but the origin of these saying is based upon scientific finding particularly training sciences, developmental psychology, knowledge and education capability. Under the aegis of IT, the inequities and hand can be reduced and educational systems can be promoted knowledge and skill of the learners thereby encouraging and improving creativity, critical thinking and learning how to learn. The most important benefit from ICT in education it is hoped for is improved learning outcomes. It would provide necessary skilled workforce for the knowledge society while boosting cost/benefit ratio. After the completion of this module, the teacher student is able to use pedagogically suitable digital tools to enhance learning.

Teaching Themes

Learning Platforms

It is an integrated set of interactive online or offline services that provides the teachers, learners, parents and others involved in the education with information, tools and resources to support and enhance educational delivery and management.

Online & Offline Digital Learning Tools

Online Digital learning tools refer to any program, application, or technology that can be accessed via an Internet or Intranet connection and enhance a teacher's ability to present information and a student's ability to access that information. Online tools can supplement teacher students’ ability to bring new information to their students while providing them with many different options for learning input and output. Offline Digital learning tools refer to smart tools (IT applications or programs) that can be used in class or lab without the need to access the internet. Most people or colleges do not have access to the internet during lectures, and sometimes teachers want to teach his students in a physical classroom, and he\ she prefers to use some of the digital learning tools to manage the class.

Research & Reference Tools

There are many research and reference software tools; which researchers can use to make and organize papers and thesis. This theme has been produced as a guide to assist teacher students to use some new reference and research tools effectively, such as dtSearch, Turnitin, Endnote, Mendeley, and others.

Basic IT knowledge

Information Technology (IT) refers to anything related to computing technology. In other words, it refers to the development, maintenance, and use of computer software, systems, and networks. Today, nearly every job requires a basic understanding of computers, and many jobs involve intermediate to advanced computer skills. This can include knowledge of specific software, applications or devices. It is essential for teachers to have a good idea about the basic IT knowledge, it will assist them to work smarter rather than harder, improving teachers’ IT skills will allow them to feel more confident in using emerging technology and they will become faster in finishing tasks, it will help them to solve a technical issue independently and increase their productivity. 

Basic Cyber Security (Information Security)

Cybersecurity is the protection of Internet-connected systems, including hardware, software, and data from cyber-attacks. It's also known as information technology security or electronic information security. Cybersecurity is basically related to the internet. Specialists and policymakers have shown concerns about the protection of information and communication technology systems from cyber-attacks that are purposeful attempts by unauthorized persons to access ICT systems in order to achieve the target of theft, disturbance, damage, or other illegal actions.

8 Weeks


Second Module: Student-centred Approach

Overall description of the module

This module deals with the key pedagogical, educational and philosophical dimensions of the student-centred approach with all the major learning theories and contemporary understandings of the processes of learning, teaching and education that have underpinned and enlightened this approach. This module also forms a foundation upon which teacher students can build and develop their theoretical and pedagogical knowledge, skills and competences that are more essential and compatible with the needs and developments of the twenty-first century teaching and education. Lastly, this module provides building blocks that will enable teacher students to embark on their journey of becoming effective learning facilitators, guides, mentors and counsellors.

Competence Objectives

The teacher student is aware of the key differences between teacher-centred and student-centred approaches. The teacher student also develops a clear understanding of the learning theories and is able to utilise the principles of these theories that are strongly aligned with student-centred approach. He/She is capable of constructing a pedagogical mindset or identity that allow his/her students to exercise greater learning autonomy.

The teacher student recognises the importance of creating both physical and virtual learning environments to be primarily student-centred through making use of various digital tools. He/She is able to apply student-centred pedagogy to support and facilitate the learning process. The teacher student also recognises the importance of psychology to the processes of teaching and learning.

Teaching Themes:

Learning Theories

This theme focuses on the major learning theories. Whereas this theme provides teacher students with some theoretical basis upon which they can develop their understandings of the learning process, the primary concern of this theme is to uncover the relationship between the different aspects of the learning theories and the student-centred approach. The theme includes six major theories that are behaviourism, cognitivism, constructivism, connectivism, socio-cultural theory and critical theory.  

Student-centred Approach

This theme covers two major aspects which include student-centred learning and student-centred teaching. The former entails all the techniques, methods and strategies that learners employ for their learning endeavor. Student-centred learning has also been referred to as autonomous learning, independent learning, self-regulated learning, self-study and so on. These terms are generally used to refer to the way students try independently to navigate their learning path and journey. The latter is mainly concerned with student-centredness as a teaching approach utilized by teachers to create a learning environment within which their students can take prime responsibility and a central role for their learning. Unlike teacher-centred method within which students are seen as passive receivers of knowledge, within student-centred approach, students become active participants of their learning.

Psychology of Teaching & Learning

The theme aims to provide an advanced knowledge of psychological constructs that may be important in educational settings; focusing on both cognitive constructs (e.g. working memory and executive functions) and non-cognitive constructs (e.g. motivation and personality). Each of these constructs will be considered in terms of its implications for educational practice. The part also aims to answer questions such as “how can teachers reduce the cognitive demands of classroom activities?” and “how can teachers nurture motivation in a way that improves students’ learning?” In addition, the theme intends to enable students to develop skills relevant to professional teaching practice.

8 Weeks

Third Module: Innovative Pedagogical Methods and Assessment Tools

Overall description of the module

What differs this module from student-centered approach is that this module works as a practical guide which focuses on concrete and applied teaching and assessment tools. This module includes three major themes, namely teaching methods, assessment tools and creating learning environments. The theme of “Teaching methods” looks at varied teaching or facilitation techniques and applications that are aligned with student-centered approach to allow teacher students become familiar with the key pedagogical tools to meet the individual needs and of their learners. As for the second theme, this module tries  to introduce various innovative assessment tools within which the focus mainly goes to formative assessment with an intention to reduce the reliance on summative assessment. Finally, this module addresses the importance of “creating learning environments” through utilising both physical and virtual platforms, especially the use of digital tools for creating online learning environments.

Competence Objectives

The teacher student is capable of making pedagogical choices and decisions that are consistent with student-centered approaches of teaching and has the ability to assess students’ learning using multiple assessment tools to support deep and independent learning. He/she is also able to create suitable learning environments both physical and virtual through making use of the digital tools and platforms. The teacher student is deeply aware of the moral and ethical aspects of their teaching and assessing processes.

Teaching Themes

Innovative Teaching Methods

There are many new teaching methods to help instructors deliver their messages. The messages can be knowledge skills and professionals in a more creative way. In turn, students will acquire the knowledge and the required skills to be an effective individual in their societies. Relying on novel teaching methods depends on the nature of the subject and the scenario of teaching designed by teachers.

Creating Learning Environment

Creating a classroom community and culture remains as another necessary and essential aspect when fostering a safe learning environment. This theme focuses on establishing a supportive learning culture. Each member of the learning community should have the feeling of connectedness.

Assessment Tools

There are various tools to evaluate and assess students and the assessments should be employed for better learning. Under this theme, light will be shed on three main areas of assessment, namely assessment of knowledge, assessment of performance and assessment of attitudes. For each of these areas of assessment, various assessment tools are used that should be in line with the innovative pedagogical methods and that can be employed to assess the learning outcomes. Under this theme, attention will also be placed on the importance of involving students in the assessment of their own learning through self-assessment and peer-assessment. Meanwhile, greater attention will be given to formative and continuous assessment tools instead of relying completely on summative assessment.

8 Weeks

Forth Module: Competence Based Education (CBE)

Overall description of the module 

CBC is divided into three themes: competency based education, Competency based curriculum and Key & teacher competencies. The aim is to introduce the teacher students to a higher education system that keep up with the changes in the job market and a higher education system in which students deserve freedom to improve certain competencies that fit their target professions in the labour market.

The curriculum the teacher students pursue during their studies should be tailored to a certain job of the students’ preferences. This is in conformity with both student centered learning and The Bologna Process.

Teacher students need to be introduced to all the key competences that they need to have. They will also be introduced to the competencies teacher students need to master in order to become effective teachers.

Competence Objectives

CBE primarily tries to draw attention of the teacher students to the strong bondage between curriculum in higher education institutions and the job market. Thus, it trains the participants of the course to design a curriculum that answer the needs of the local area and simultaneously justifies the existence of the universities. It establishes a closer link between educational programmes and societal requirements and enhances interaction with all stakeholders, including the world of work and wider society. Some competences are subject-area related (specific to a field of study), others are generic (common to any degree course). It is normally the case that competence development proceeds in an integrated and cyclical manner throughout a programme.

In CBE, Assessment is not through abstract methods such as exams. Rather, it assesses learning through authentic assessment. The participants of this module will be provided with  the competency to assess through different methods such as exams, test, competence-based, portfolios and learning diaries. Assessment is based on real world examples and the results are either achieve mastery or not yet. The teacher trainers will be learn that assessment has many sides such as self-assessment, peer feedback, formative, diagnostic, and summative. 

The teacher trainers will be trained to be familiar with different layers of competencies (soft skills). 1. The competencies needed for each citizen such as digital competencies, team work, math, science. 2. Teachers need to have some competences to work professionally. This includes effective communication, digital competency, the ability to assess and give feedback. 3. And finally there are some subject-specific competencies. A teacher of history or physics should have special competencies in his/her own discipline.

He/She is capable of engaging in multidisciplinary cooperation to achieve the students’ vocational objectives and to promote their well-being.

The teacher student is able to utilize pedagogical models and methods in teaching. He/She is able to assess the learning and competence of students as well as comply with the prin-ciples of recognition and accreditation of prior learning applicable to the relevant level of education.

Teaching Themes

First Theme: Competency Based Education

The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) defines competence as the ability to use knowledge, skills and personal, social and/or methodological abilities in work or study situations and in professional and personal development. In the context of the EQF competence is described in terms of responsibility and autonomy.

CBE, according to The US Department of Education, is defined as “Transitioning away from seat time, in favor of a structure that creates flexibility, allows students to progress as they demonstrate mastery of academic content, regardless of time, place, or pace of learning.” It establishes a closer link between educational programmes and societal requirements and enhances interaction with all stakeholders, including the world of work and wider society. Some competences are subject-area related (specific to a field of study), others are generic (common to any degree course). It is normally the case that competence development proceeds in an integrated and cyclical manner throughout a programme.

Competency-Based Education can be understood and approached in two different ways. First, as an education system where students have personalized learning opportunities and freedom to study what to study and how to study it. This education system flourishes in a system where universities have autonomy to choose their curriculum and foster relationship with the labour market.

Second, competence is a quality, ability or skill that is developed by and belongs to the student. The competencies can be classified into Transversal Competences which is required from every citizen to master such as the ability to learn, digital competencies, communication in native and foreign language and so on. On the other hand, each degree programme is based on a set of Key Competences to be developed by the learner in the framework of the degree programme.

Second Theme:  Competence Based Curriculum

CBC should introduce how the curriculum answers the needs of the local area. It should also state how the learning path highlights lifelong learning. In other words, how the early stages of education such as undergraduate studies pave the way for postgraduate and further studies. Another important aspect of CBC is how flexible and individual learning paths take place. Such as recognition of prior learning or allowing students to take a quicker or slower learning path. This can be done through credit based system. Analyzing and designing the alignment of learning outcomes, assessment, learning environments and pedagogical practices.

The structure of a Competence based Curriculum prompts the mobility and multidisciplinary nature of the study path. In practice, students can study relevant modules from different programmes based on their individual learning path. The best way to ensure universities are the promoters of employability within the surrounding region is to organize the content of  its degrees in accordance with the choices made by the university itself. CBC should not relay on one type of learning environment. Students can learn in classroom, online learning and workplaces. Also, CBC accommodates the diversity of the abilities of students. Students do not have to finish the program’s degree in a certain time. Students who can work hardly and do better can get the degree in relatively shorter time.

Third Theme: Key and  Teacher Competencies

Acquiring key competencies provides students with the basic knowledge, abilities and qualities required to translate competences into suitable behaviour for organizational purposes. The key competencies should be included in the compulsory education to guarantee that every member of society is functioning according to them. Although national education systems in Europe may have slightly modified them, EQF adopts eight key competencies. The teacher should support and encourage the students to communicate effectively with him/her and among themselves both verbally and in a written form.

Based on the level of the student, the teacher should support the students to gain math, science and digital competencies. These competencies are essential for almost all jobs in today’s world. The teacher should also train students to be positive members of their community by looking after public properties and function well in their societies. The teacher should also raise the students awareness to respect different beliefs, cultures and customs in society. This can be done when the students are able to be express themselves without offending anyone. The teacher needs to inject self confidence in the students in such a way to be proactive and to have initiatives. This includes being able to venture their own jobs by having a sense of entrepreneurship when they find a gap in the job market. Learning to learn engages learners to build on prior learning and life experiences in order to use and apply knowledge and skills at home, at work, in education and training.

8 Weeks

Fifth Module: Edupreneurship

Overall description of the module

Entrepreneurship education (EduPreneurship) is the combination of enterprise and entrepreneurship education. EduPreneurship refers to development of skills, knowledge and mind-set for the purpose of turning ideas into entrepreneurial action. Teachers here develop individual key competencies to encourage active citizenship, employability, public participation, personal development and individual autonomy. These competencies are keys to personal development and relevant across the lifelong learning in all fields and forms of learning, education and training. The concept of entrepreneurship education includes student-centered learning and competence based education that leads to value creation in authentic learning environment. In the other words, entrepreneurship education activates students and facilitate methods to transfer their knowledge, skills and attitudes into action. In such cases students become critical in their thinking and creative in their work. Students’ knowledge, skills and mind-set is developed through entrepreneurship education that leads to idea generation and transfers students’ ideas into action. Teachers are playing a key role here to facilitate learning environment that helps students to be creative in their own way. Entrepreneurs are usually visualize their ideas and combine different entrepreneurship related competencies  such autonomy, innovation, reactiveness, risk taking, competitive aggressiveness, uniqueness and intellectual capital into holistic realities to create something new. The learning environment plays a major role in facilitating the entire process by helping students and encouraging them to become active citizen.  

Competence Objectives

·       Assist students to become a problem solver and active learner.

·       Identify the existing gaps in the market and develop new methods to fulfill market needs.

·       Pursue collaboration rather than competition.

·       Encourage active citizenship and social inclusion.

·       Facilitate placement and career development.

·       Support new economic realities, technological development and deeper learning outcomes.

Teaching Themes

Market-Oriented Education

The market oriented education refers to the relationship between universities and work environment and encourage mutual cooperation to support students future career. In fact, the major contribution of education institutions is to prepare students to the market and assisting students to find relevant career or to start their own business. The learning outcome of education program will be likely if facilitators creates a relevant environment for the students to develop their work life competencies and update their skills. If quality of education program and curriculum designed based on the market need, students will be able to tackle opportunities and find possible career. So, market oriented education should become a central principle for the academic institution in Kurdistan and it’s one important aspect of Bologna process that allows student to tackle opportunities through project and problem based learning (PBLs) and independent work. So, what constitutes a career, has been turned on its head as it can solve unemployment issue and fulfill global and technological needs. Students through market education programs could be trained to have impact and pursue a kind of learning that embraces complexity results in deeper learning outcome and knowledge creation to initiate business and possible changes.

Intellectual Capital & Innovation Management 

The main source of innovation is the capital possessed by individuals known as intellectual capital or human capital. Intellectual capital includes the human capital which could be invested in academic institutions. Students could be enriched with specific knowledge, skills, and competency to survive in their future career. In the absence of concreate human capital investment, its not possible for students to gain competencies needed to perform their tasks and become innovative. The objective of this theme is to understanding innovation as a systemic phenomenon involving the creation to confront and analyze different models. This theme suggests the proper tools for specific situations. Organizational knowledge and managerial approach to innovation may create new value for the students to deal with opportunities.

Leadership and Interpersonal skills 

 This theme can be taught as one unit or can be separated to Interpersonal Communication Skills and Entrepreneurial Leadership. This theme helps to recognize a variety of leadership theories and demonstrate the ability to use theories in the practice of and entrepreneurial leadership. For a successful and high performance entrepreneurial leadership and team work, there are vital components to be taught in this theme such as: collaborative teamwork, Mutual trust, Open communication, Creative problem solving and Shared accountability. The Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education specialization offers a unique opportunity for universities and other educational organization leaders. Participants will develop their knowledge, skills, and dispositions as they engage in leading efforts to build new venture opportunities in varied educational organizations. Through their role and motivations, teacher students will be able to build prosperous society and overcome contemporary problem.

8 Weeks

Sixth Module: Applied Research

Overall description of the module

Ministry of higher education has established a new regulation for doing research and publications, such as funding and enhancing the researchers in the universities to publish their papers in high impact factor journals.

Competence Objectives

●     Identifying the main ethics principles and to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

Within the research-oriented teaching, teacher students have an opportunity to develop and process research questions in different teaching and learning formats, thereby acquiring research competencies on a targeted basis. A generic competence model consisting of research skills and content knowledge that transcends the cultures of individual disciplines supports the link between research and teaching, defines the goals of research-oriented teaching, and forms the basis for evaluating those goals.;

●     A researcher should able to have the understanding of selecting and executing an appropriate method to conduct the study based on the research questions within the research environment they are in. Inclusive of the method is on the knowledge to use appropriate instrument for data collection including the knowledge and skills of the data analysis.

●     To change the mindset of some researchers toward recent works and ideas, and this will happen through clarifying the recent orientation of research. Moreover, through this module, we can explain the concept of market-oriented research to our researchers.

●     Focusing on the research of the specific field of teachers, for example, teachers in geography perform a study on how to teach in geography. This will enhance teachers to redesign their curriculum based on needs and research. For this purpose, both students and teachers are participating to develop their field.

●     High quality teaching is now widely acknowledged to be the most important university-level factor influencing student achievement. This in turn has focused attention on the importance of teacher education, from initial training and induction for beginning teachers, to on-going professional development to help update teachers’ knowledge, deepen their understanding and advance their skills as expert practitioners. Moreover, to tackle misinformation about what works in teaching, universities must find effective ways to help teachers understand the implications of research.

Teaching Themes

Research Introduction

This theme introduces research in general as they apply to the higher education field of study.

Academic Integrity and Research Ethics

This theme focuses on the structure and development of a research article and introduces teacher students to the key philosophies, approaches, methodologies and methods in educational inquiry. The aim is to assist teacher students in developing their research proposal. This includes defining and finding a good research question, conducting a literature review, identifying and selecting an appropriate research design, drafting an appropriate theoretical/conceptual framework, collecting and analysing data as well as taking into account issues of validity, reliability, ethics and politics.

Research Methodology  

This theme focuses on the structure and development of a research article and introduces teacher students to the key philosophies, approaches, methodologies and methods in educational inquiry. The aim is to assist teacher students in developing their research proposal. This includes defining and finding a good research question, conducting a literature review, identifying and selecting an appropriate research design, drafting an appropriate theoretical/conceptual framework, collecting and analysing data as well as taking into account issues of validity, reliability, ethics and politics.


Scholarly publications in the forms of the journal or conference papers have been considered the most significant parts of achievements of a university professor. Therefore, a theme for all teacher students to give an implementable method and guidance for scientific publication is necessary. The intent is to help the teacher students increase their chance of publishing manuscripts as a new faculty member. The course will apply an interactive step-by-step approach through real practice to enable students becoming familiar with research related journals in their fields, developing a manuscript from concept to final version, providing peer reviews of colleagues’ papers, and submitting for an international conference or a journal.

Research Orientation      

We differentiate four orientations of research: academic, civil society, state governmental and entrepreneurial. These orientations are comprised of different conceptions regarding the primary reference group of research. In each orientation, the audience for the research, the nature of knowledge produced, as well as the motive for doing research, are different.

Trainer Profile

Assist Prof. Dr Rezhn Harun
Assist Prof. Dr Ahmad Omar bali Director of Pedagogy and Academic Development Training Center
Mr Areean Mahmood
Assist Prof. Dr Kazi Saleh

Pedagogy Alumni

Pedagogy Center Office Contact

Contact Us

Address: The University of Human Development Sulaymaniyah - Iraqi kurdistan