The office is aimed at creating a comfortable environment for effective work and professional development of ITMO University's academic staff. Even though it mainly focuses on providing support to professors, all staff members of the university can turn this office for help.
“We wanted to free the academic staff from extra paperwork, organizational and administrative work so that they would have more time for their own professional development, students, new courses, and creative activities. Perhaps, other spheres require help, too, and we will be happy to find other ways we can make our staff’s lives easier,” says Kristina Ivanova, the head of ITMO’s Faculty Support Office.
Consulting the academic staff
The managers of ITMO’s Faculty Support Office are ready to answer any questions right on the spot or after a consultation with a senior staff member in case they need additional information.
“Professors no longer need to figure out who is responsible for what in administrative departments, they can come to us with any issue or questions. These can be personnel matters, questions about remote work, the grading system, teaching, or schedules – everything related to the educational process. We are now also responsible for the university’s classroom equipment. Therefore, if something does not work or someone needs help, we are always available by phone. The office’s staff will immediately come and set everything up. If the problem is complex or serious, they will request tech support,” explains Kristina Ivanova.
The office’s employees will also help professors deal with the technical side of the educational process. Professors or other staff members can dial +7 (812) 607-02-50 to receive the needed laptops, cameras, or clickers. On Lomonosova St. and Kronverksky Pr., they can also use scanners or printers to make copies of the materials necessary for classes, as well as take some stationery.
“This is also a great place for professors to work together. Here they can prepare for their classes or conduct a Zoom meeting,” says Kristina Ivanova.
Methodology specialists Ekaterina Bezyzvestnykh and Yulia Balabanova conduct one-on-one consultations on a wide range of teaching issues and give their advice on teaching classes or designing course programs. On request, they may attend professors’ lectures or workshops to give them feedback on what needs improvement and the ways to achieve it. Also, members or heads of the university’s units are entitled to contact the office for educational programs or professional development courses.
Educational courses and internships
The office offers various workshops and other educational events for the academic staff. On November 14, the training specialists are launching a course on advanced teaching skills that will be useful for those professors who want to improve their competencies, especially in the blended learning format.
More information about the office’s events and registration forms are available in the Professional Development (Профессиональное развитие in Russian) section in ISU.
As the number of free places is limited, most of the workshops and training programs conduct selections among participants. Therefore, when filling out an application, it is important to take the time and write a cover letter of over 150 words.
The office in collaboration with other university units organizes internships to improve the academic staff’s competencies both in Russia and abroad. This year, these internships will run online, however, the office’s employees continue looking for new opportunities and recruit professors for professional development programs. The application form can be found in the Advanced training and Internships section (Повышение квалификации, стажировки in Russian) in ISU.
The office is also responsible for the ITMO.Mentors program that lets students improve their teaching skills, while professors are matched up with teaching assistants who take over part of their responsibilities.
Award for Achievement in Education
Together with the Department of Academic Affairs, the office is launching the Award for Achievement in Education to raise the status of ITMO University’s professors and mentors. There, they will be able to present their accomplishments, receive feedback on their professional competencies and achievements, as well as share the best educational practices with their colleagues.
The competition has two tracks: EduStars and EduLeaders.
The EduStars track analyzes the teaching staff’s activities according to the 360 degrees feedback system. The assessment of professors will be based on feedback from their fellow professors, students, mentors, and employees who will attend their classes, as well as the recommendations of the dean, registration of calls to the Center for Educational Management and Quality Assurance and Student Services Office.
All assessment criteria focus on professors’ competencies: their subject knowledge, as well as pedagogical, soft skills, digital, and value competencies.
The ITMO.EduLeaders track is intended for those ITMO University professors who have original educational projects that will be implemented by December 2020 or has already been successfully implemented.
In total, the competition will announce 60 winners in two tracks. While winning professors in each of the categories will receive a 250,000 ruble reward (before taxes), winning mentors will receive internship and advanced training offers at leading universities in Russia and abroad.
In May 2021, the Open Education award will bring together ITMO employees who are ready to share and learn the best practices and projects in education.
You can learn more about the award’s deadlines and categories here.
Guide to ITMO’s scientific and educational activities
“We hope that it will answer many of the professors’ questions – everything from corporate sports to educational programs. It will show in detail the life and work of professors at the university and will be a great help not only for those who already work at ITMO University but also for those who are considering working here. The guide will let you learn more about opportunities for professors and understand the internal processes of the university,” comments Kristina Ivanova.
By calling +7 (812) 607-02-50 you will be able to contact employees on all campuses. For more information about the updates and events of the office, please follow our VK group and Telegram channel. If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.