Farewell Speech from Prof. Spencer Benson, Former Director of CTLE

Next Steps “If we are not learning and changing we are not living”

It’s a time of transition at UM. In a few weeks’ classes will start, bringing in new academic year which will see changes at many levels; a new general education program, a number of senior administrators including; RC Masters, Deans, Directors and a Vice Rector will depart from UM myself included. I would like to take this opportunity to wish students, faculty and staff a successful and joyful coming academic year and thank everyone for making my last four years at UM and CTLE enjoyable, challenging, rewarding, and fun. CTLE is in good hands with Prof. Katrine Wong (FAH-ENGL) taking over as DCTLE to help guide the Centre as it continues to promote enhanced learning through innovated teaching. The CTLE staff has already lined up a full slate of workshops and activities for the Fall semester starting with a Full Day Workshop on Aug. 30 (see https://ctle.umac.mo/event/ctle-full-day-faculty-development-workshop-fall-2017/ ). I encourage everyone to attend this important start of the semester event. The speaker list has something for everyone and brings together international GE experts from Hong Kong, the US and UM experts.

A second important development is the launch of the newest version of Moodle which is much more mobile friendly for both students and faculty. Check out the webinar on Aug. 17th to see how you can incorporate Mobile-Moodle into your classes. Since this is a webinar you can connect and participate from your office, mobile phone or home (see https://ctle.umac.mo/event/webinar-activities-on-the-moodle-mobile-app/)

Lastly but equally important is the continuation of CTLE’s TA training workshop series to help incoming and existing PG students better understand how to be an effective TA and develop into a new breed of future faculty trained in how to teach as well as how to be a discipline researcher/expert.

As I transition to active retirement back in the US, it is a bitter-sweet time since I will miss my friends and colleagues at UM. I leave with fond memories and a sense of pride with respect to the accomplishments that CTLE has achieved over that last four years. Certainly the level of faculty awareness of what good teaching entails and how one approaches educating 21st Century students has increased, as well as the community of exemplary UM teachers that interact and support each other. These accomplishments are the result of the support and contributions from many sectors of the university; the VRAA’s office, the CTLE advisors, the Blended Learning FLC, ELC, the RCs etc. However, the real credit belongs to the CTLE staff who always make things happen and ensured that the Centre is a model for how teamwork can solve even difficult challenges and problems. I will miss being a part of CTLE but know that it will continue to be a beacon that helps to illuminate what is needed, what is possible and what is takes to makes 21st Century Teaching and Learning at UM a reality. UM has a long way to go to achieve the commitment and implementation of high quality teaching and learning that is a hallmark of a great university. In the past four years UM as moved forward in this regard and I wish all at UM the best of success in making its unique Four-in-One educational model a success. The challenge is effective faculty and student buy-in, an effective implementation policy and quality assurance, these difficult but essential components for long term success.

I look forward to following how UM transitions, changes and continues to evolve as Macau’s premier educational institution.

Best Wishes and a Warmhearted Farewell


By | 2017-08-31T11:17:21+00:00 August 16th, 2017|T&L Blog|0 Comments

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