T4L® Change Agents @ Unipd

Change agents

In ‘Universities without walls - a vision for 2030’, a document drafted by the European University Association, it is highlighted how crucial, among the priority missions to which universities must aim by 2030, is the development of a teaching and learning system capable of leading to the formation of "students who are creative and critical thinkers, problem solvers, and active and responsible citizens". This, in a process that must involve not only the entire university community but also external stakeholders, driving the transformation towards an open, transformative, transnational, inclusive, and sustainable university.

How to ensure the achievement of these goals? How to make the resources allocated to universities and their activities sufficient with a view to staying abreast of the times and revisiting methods, tools, mentality and culture of faculty and students? To respond to these needs, the University of Padua has chosen to adopt a participatory and widespread approach, implementing the spirit of collaboration, and equipping itself with a community of Change Agents.

Who are the Change Agents?

Change agents are motivated teachers, already in possession of a T4L® Open Badge (a digital certificate that highlights the skills and abilities acquired), who, after having followed a training course aimed at learning how to disseminate successful teaching practices - community building, leadership, active learning - make themselves available to their department and support their colleagues in professional development paths. Their ultimate goal to stimulate a constant process of improvement and modernization of teaching.

This trans-disciplinary community is unique in Italy and was among the elements that ANVUR (National Agency for the Evaluation of the University System) marked as distinctive trait of the University of Padua (as emerged during the visit of the Commission of Experts for Evaluation in 2018), contributing to the top ranking of our University. The effectiveness of this figure was even more evident during the confinement and following the restrictive measures adopted to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, it was the Change Agents who managed the appointments of the "T4LTogether", activities that allowed the faculty members to share their first experiences of distance learning and to discuss what expedients to adopt to improve and smooth the teaching/learning process in times of synchronous and asynchronous lessons.  In just a few weeks, 24 meetings were organized, involving more than 420 teachers at the University - almost one out of five - from all departments, and allowing for the rapid and transversal dissemination of the information necessary to implement the best strategies.

The figure of the Change Agent was introduced in the University of Padua as early as 2018, when the first training cycle reserved for those teachers who, having already attended Teaching4Learning courses, had been able to demonstrate their interest in becoming an active part in promoting teaching improvement and innovation was launched.

This path is part of a more global commitment of the University of Padua to ensure the continuous and constant improvement of the quality of teaching, in the full knowledge that investing in improving teaching practices will optimize the learning of students.

List of the T4L® Change Agents @Unipd

Ufficio Offerta formativa e assicurazione della qualità

Settore Assicurazione della qualità

Tel.  049 827 1246 - 6280
Email: teaching4learning@unipd.it