Frequently asked questions about the UTQ

What is the UTQ?

UTQ stands for University Teaching Qualification. By obtaining the UTQ qualification, you are officially qualified as an academic lecturer. This title is recognised by all Dutch universities. During the programme, Risbo trainers will take you on a journey in which you will reflect on your vision on education and your own teaching skills, including in the field of course design and assessment. Click here for a visual representation of the route.

The UTQ is an English-taught course, so the goals are also in English:

  1. Write your personal vision on education.
  2. Design/or improve a course following the principles of constructive alignment.
  3. Deliver engaging education, that meet the students’ learning needs.
  4. Supervise student activities in such a way that the students improve their learning process.
  5. Design and construct assessment(s) based on the quality factors: validity, reliability and transparency.
  6. Reflect on the UTQ trajectory by showing your progress on the critical behaviors.
  7. Write a plan of improvement(s) for your course and how this relates to your personal vision on education.

We estimate a total time of about 70 hours, including attending the sessions. When registering for the UTQ, we would advise you to reserve 4-6 hours per week, so you can do the preparation work and keep up with writing the portfolio in addition to following the sessions.

Once you have registered for a cohort, you have to attend all sessions. Should you fall ill during the course, you can work out a solution with the trainer. If you miss more than 1 session, we request that you join the next cohort.

The entire UTQ trajectory takes about 6 months from kick-off to graduation. If you complete all assignments, you will complete the pathway within this time period. We apply a maximum duration of 1.5 years from the start of your program.

For whom is the UTQ intended?

Yes! Risbo offers the UTQ trajectory to lecturers inside and outside Erasmus University Rotterdam and has a strong team of professional education coaches who organize this trajectory several times a year. Lecturers from any university or university of Applied Sciences are welcome within our BKO trajectory. However, please consult your supervisor first. We also provide tailor-made programs for any type of institution and would be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.

For a succesful completion of the UTQ project, we recommend that you are teaching a course in the same period. We ask you to improve that course, with the knowledge you obtain in the UTQ. If you are not teaching, we suggest to discuss this in your own faculty, to see whether you can follow the UTQ path. Once you have permission to do so, ask the coordinator of the course you are involved in, if you may use (parts of) that course for the UTQ trajectory.

The UTQ is a qualification that cannot be obtained by experience. However, with previous courses or qualifications you may be able to demonstrate that you have already mastered certain UTQ competences. The UTQ institution committee of Academic Affairs will determine whether you qualify for this. If they approve, you can take an individual UTQ with us, in which case we will customize an individual trajectory based on the competences you still need to acquire. The individual UTQ leads to the UTQ certificate.

In some cases, you can be exempted from the UTQ requirement. This is determined by the UTQ-institution committee of Academic Affairs, based on your previous courses or qualifications. An exemption does not lead to a UTQ certificate. 

Would you like to apply for the individual UTQ trajectory or an exemption? Please contact the UTQ institution committee of Academic Affairs.

This is determined by the UTQ institutional committee of Academic Affairs. For lecturers with a previous teaching qualification, an exemption from the UTQ obligation is possible An exemption does not lead to a UTQ certificate. 

If your previous qualification does not cover all the competences of the UTQ, we also have an individual UTQ trajectory that is customized to the competences you still need to acquire. The individual UTQ trajectory leads to a UTQ certificate. 

Would you like to apply for an exemption or the individual UTQ trajectory? Please contact the UTQ institutional committee of Academic Affairs.

The sessions of the UTQ involve working on your own products, which you will create using the preparation materials. During the sessions there is room for getting feedback from peers and experts. There might be some content topics that are also covered during basic didactics. However, this will mainly save you preparation time for the sessions. The relevance of the sessions and getting feedback is still there, even if you have taken the basic didactics course at an earlier stage.

By completing the DDE trajectory, you will receive a partial certificate for the Delivery component of the UTQ. This means that during the UTQ you are exempted from taking the Delivery session, the MicroLab (Supervision of Formative Assessment), and the lesson observation. You also don't have to provide evidence for your portfolio for this part. We offer a discount of 1000,- on the participation fee for the UTQ. Please contact the course coordinator if this applies to you: you will receive a separate registration form.

What should I take into account when starting the UTQ?

During the UTQ we ask you to be involved in the coordination of a course/subject, to be able to (re)design a course during the UTQ. If you are not involved as a coordinator yourself, make sure you work closely with a coordinator of a course so you can make suggestions for the (re)design of the course.

We want you to carry out teaching during the UTQ. In fact, we want to come and observe at least one teaching moment. It is important that we see you interacting with students. This teaching moment can be a workgroup, lecture, guest lecture, practical, etc. and can also be separate from the course you (co)coordinate. 1-on-1 supervision of students is (therefore) not suitable for an observation.

The sessions are live at the EUR and we ask all of our participants to check their calendars beforehand. If you are not available for alle the mentioned dates in a cohort, we ask all participant to register for a different cohort.

Also, you have to be teaching somewhere during the UTQ. As an observation is part of the UTQ-trajectory, one of your trainers will attend your lesson and record you while teaching to be able to reflect on your teaching.

This is not possible, as we believe that you should put into practice what you have learned during the UTQ. We will schedule the observation during the kick-off session. 

Other questions

We ask you to engage a critical friend during the UTQ trajectory, so they are aware of your development. The person you choose is preferably your manager/supervisor but could also be a (senior) colleague who has obtained the UTQ certificate.

The time investment for your critical friend during your UTQ is 3 hours at most. They will read (a part of) your portfolio (1-2 hours) and will be present during your presentation on the graduation session (about 1 hour).

Signing by the dean is a national arrangement so that the certificates can also be recognised by other universities.

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