Dr Chandre Honeth started as Viticulture and Wine Science Lecturer at Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) in 2019, after having spent years studying and completing her PhD. EIT requires new teaching staff to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching (Level 5) which prompted Dr Honeth to enrol with eCampus NZ to complete requirements.
Dr Honeth said the New Zealand Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Teaching (Level 5) has provided her with a new teaching perspective as well as tools that she can use in her teaching practice.
“I was used to 45-minute lectures, where the lecturer stands at the front and talks at you, leaving it up to the individual to do the rest. The style of teaching at EIT is a lot more interactive and engaging than that, with students more active in their own learning. This has been quite a mind shift for me. My classes are viticulture and soil science, so they are very science-based fields and there is a lot of complex content to cover. Finding ways to engage students in the topic, while delivering core course content can be challenging. Completing the certificate course helped with techniques and knowledge to improve delivery.”
Dr Honeth said that when teachers come from an industry background where they have no previous teaching experience, a course like this is essential in introducing different styles of teaching and methods to help students get the most out of their courses.
In the year that she has been teaching Dr Honeth said an interactive style of teaching has worked well for both her and her students.
“Students need to be engaged and participating in activities and it helps them develop important secondary skills. They learn about teamwork, communication and presentation skills and how to use online tools like Google slides as well as other interactive and collaborative online technology. So going from talking at students, where all they are getting is verbal information from you, to more active learning, where they are engaged in their own learning and receive information from a range of sources and styles, helps them learn other skills.”
Dr Honeth said it has also been interesting learning the psychology behind teaching in the course.
“It is amazing how the mind works and how you can use this information to your advantage to ensure that your students are getting the most out of your classes. Obviously, every student is different, and you need to be able to meet their individual learning needs, but understanding the science behind this was useful to me and has provided context to my teaching practice.”
Dr Honeth said the eCampus NZ system was a relatively user-friendly system and that the tutors were helpful and understanding about her status as a new teacher who is learning. She said that overall, the workload was manageable and she would recommend the certificate to others in the teaching industry.
“There is a lot of useful information and as a new teacher and someone who hasn’t been involved in the field before, it definitely gives you a fresh perspective on teaching and a lot of good information and resources that you can use when starting out. It is a useful course to complete.”