In higher education, the most important component of quality indicators is increasing the teaching competence of academic staff and understanding the needs of both university students and faculty members during the learning process. By determining and analyzing faculties’ needs, the Training of the Trainers Faculty Support Program is developed as an exemplary model for all universities in establishing a learning community. It has been implemented as a program covering one academic year to support our faculty members who work at Istanbul Okan University in developing teaching competencies and gaining educational leadership skills. The Faculty Support Program is developed by Prof. Dr. Aytaç Göğüş the Dean of the Faculty of Education, the specialist in the Instructional Design, Development, and Evaluation domain, it is implemented by pioneering by Prof. Dr. Mithat Kıyak the Vice Rector, the head of the University Quality Commission, and supporting with all faculties.
Within the scope of the Training of the Trainers Faculty Support Program, it is aimed to establish a learning committee of academicians for improving the quality of education and training processes. The main achievements of the program are:
The program is carried out twice a month, with a total of 16 sessions in one academic year, with a fixed group of volunteer instructors. In addition to face-to-face workshops, all the sessions of the program, the materials, the videos, and the resources are accessible to the participants via the O’Learn, learning management system. In the 2020-2021 academic year, during the program design phase, a needs assessment questionnaire was conducted with the participation of volunteer lecturers, as well as group interviews and meetings with the members of the quality commission and deans for determining and addressing needs between current conditions and desired conditions. The design of the program, the revision of the content of the program prepared according to the need assessment, the implementation of the program, and the post-implementation evaluation processes were carried out by Prof. Dr. Aytac Göğüş. In the 2021-2022 academic year, the first implementation was carried out as a one-year program and the program has been implemented again with different group members in other academic years. Academicians who actively participated in most of the program were entitled to receive the participation certificate at the end of the program. It is expected that at least one volunteer representative from each faculty or department participates to the program as the "instructional leader" and a permanent participant in this program for one year, and lead in improving the teaching environments in their departments.