Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning | American University of Sharjah

About Us

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) supports the vision of American University of Sharjah to be globally recognized for outstanding and innovative teaching and learning, leading to positive and distinctive impacts on the region and beyond. The work of the CITL reflects the institutional values associated with providing a transformative student experience, maintaining an inclusive community and supporting intellectual inquiry.

Vision and Mission


The American University of Sharjah Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning aspires to promote innovative teaching for an enhanced learning experience at AUS.


The American University of Sharjah Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning provides a welcoming environment that promotes pedagogical innovation, provides opportunities for the effective integration of technology and supports all faculty in their efforts to enhance teaching and learning.

Core Values

The primary goals of CITL are aligned with the AUS institutional values:

Instructional Innovation (Transformative Student Experience)

  • Cultivating a culture of classroom innovation that equips faculty members with pedagogical tools, strategies and knowledge necessary to support the integration of educational technologies that foster an inclusive and engaging learning environment for students of different backgrounds, experiences, cultures and abilities

Faculty Diversity and Inclusion (Inclusive Community)

  • Providing faculty members with a mutually respectful intellectual environment in which diversity and inclusion are valued

Lifelong Learning (Intellectual Inquiry)

  • Promoting professional development opportunities in teaching and learning in order to expand scholarship, lifelong learning and career growth
  • Providing and transforming the intellectual academic growth and skill acquisition of our students
Main Roles
  • Support the development, delivery and evaluation of courses and programs 
  • Provide support for enhancing teaching and learning
  • Support efforts to improve the assessments of learning outcomes
  • Provide training and assistance with instructional pedagogies and technologies to faculty
  • Provide personalized support to instructors for new and/or revised courses delivered in face-to-face, online or blended formats
  • Assist in the development, use and evaluation of innovative learning environments
  • Work in coordination with faculty to set effective and efficient standards for the use of learning and teaching technology tools
  • Provide leadership in the development of coherent digital learning tools and platforms
What We Offer

Our services range from individualized support to seminars and workshops, all of which can help improve your teaching effectiveness.

  • Faculty consultations (including one-on-one, private and confidential sessions)
  • Mentoring program for junior faculty
  • Workshops on how to improve teaching skills and learning outcomes
  • Training programs on innovation, experimentation and use of technology to enhance teaching
  • Classroom visits and peer evaluation of faculty teaching
  • Personalized assistance for skill development
  • LMS instructional strategy (including assessment of students)

These resources are provided for some quick ideas on key teaching topics or starting points to explore various aspects of teaching. If you do not find what you need, contact us at [email protected] and we will help you individually.

Online Teaching Tools

Online Teaching Resources

Other Resources

We continuously collect research articles and training materials related to teaching effectively in the era of technological change. If you have areas that you would like us to explore, please let us know.

Certification Programs

CITL's teaching certificates programs are designed to promote pedagogical innovation and support faculty professional development. These programs are directly linked to AUS strategic plans, namely:

  • Strategy II.1.2. Enrich existing methods and explore innovative modes of course delivery
  • Strategy II.2.1. Value, promote and acknowledge excellence in teaching and approaches that support creative and critical thinking
  • Strategy II.2.3. Support the attainment of educational goals through providing effective spaces, resources and digital learning tools
Certificate in Teaching and Learning Excellence

The Certificate in Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) is open to all AUS faculty members and teaching staff who are interested in working with colleagues to discuss, share ideas and deepen their understanding of teaching and learning excellence. 

The selection of topics and activities offered in this certification program is related to successful teaching and professional development in higher education. Participants will have the opportunity to explore, evaluate and implement a variety of teaching strategies and pedagogical approaches, engage with scholarly literature and demonstrate effective teaching practices.

Participants who successfully complete this program will be eligible to apply for a fellowship* award by AdvanceHE: UK Professional Standards for Teaching and Learning. The award provides an international quality mark, enhancing participants’ professional profile and opening pathways for further professional and career development.


Participants who successfully complete this program will able to:

  1. identify the principles of learning and teaching and apply these principles to their own practice
  2. articulate their own personal theory of learning
  3. design learning activities that focus on active learning
  4. use appropriate approaches to teaching and learning to help students learn more effectively
  5. develop their reflective practice skills to help them evaluate and develop their own practice
  6. demonstrate collaborative learning

Program Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. discuss various learning principles, and contemporary debates and pedagogical

approaches within Higher Education generally and within their disciplines specifically.

  1. assess suitable technology in terms of its relevance to enhancing teaching effectiveness in courses taught
  2. reflect upon personal values and beliefs about teaching and learning
  3. design class activities that engage students and promote active learning
  4. adopt relevant contemporary methods of learning assessment

Next Cohort: Fall 2024

Applications are open every fall.

Email [email protected] for more information.

*Fellowships are embedded in the UK and have been adopted by increasing numbers of higher education.

Course [Re]design Certification

The Course Redesign Certification (CRC) focuses on the pedagogies associated with the use of digital learning technologies. While the focus will be on instructors teaching online and blended courses, the program will cover learning theories and learning principles that go beyond a digital environment. The CRC program is designed to support instructors who are new to the online teaching environment, as well as those who are seasoned veterans.


Participants who successfully complete this program will able to:

  1. increase transparency in course-level and assignment-level learning objectives
  2. adapt assessments to be more effective for student learning and equitable for all modalities of instruction
  3. identify opportunities to scaffold learning and build a learning community through thoughtful synchronous (and asynchronous) activities
  4. create a sustainable teaching plan to collaborate effectively with TAs/GAs, students and other members of your teaching team to implement course revisions or new courses that allow all students to demonstrate their learning through high-impact practices and teaching strategies that are transferable across disciplines, departments and schools/colleges

All you need is to select one of your own courses to evaluate or redesign and attend the program. Space is limited so please register early. Registration closes on January 15, 2024 for the Spring 2024 cohort.

The Program

  • Offered across multiple semesters at different times and via different mediums
  • Utilizes a guided course review and self-evaluation component
  • Contains presentations on course design best practices and online pedagogies
  • Involves collaboration and communication with an instructional designer
  • Provides a model course to begin the redesign process

Expected Results

  • A better understanding of course design and (online) teaching pedagogies
  • A newly redesigned/improved course
  • A certification from CITL 

Next Cohort: Spring 2024

Now Accepting Applications to the CRC Program

Apply Here


DEADLINE: Monday, January 15, 2024

Email [email protected] for more information

Certificate in University Teaching for PhD Students

The Certificate in University Teaching (CUT) program is designed to provide PhD students at AUS an opportunity to develop their teaching skills through innovative pedagogical and reflective practice.


The CUT program will:

1. provide exposure to college-level teaching and learning

2. promote effective teaching practices

3. encourage the use of pedagogical practices that engage students and promote active learning.

Next Cohort: Spring 2024

Now Accepting Applications to the CUT Program

Apply Here


DEADLINE: Monday, January 15, 2024

Email [email protected] for more information

Director's Message

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the CITL team, I welcome you to the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL).

I wish to take this opportunity to share with you the many opportunities CITL offers AUS faculty. As we seek to engage with the opportunities and challenges facing us today, we continue to dedicate ourselves in investing our time and effort in teaching and learning that strengthen our learning community, and create an environment for faculty and students to pursue their passions, positioning AUS as a leading university in the region. Among these opportunities are our three certification programs: the Certificate in Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), the Course [Re]Design Certificate (CRC) and the Certificate for University Teaching for PhD students (CUT). We also engage the extraordinary talents and resources of our faculty fellows to support many of the activities that we offer, including the three certification programs. Serving as our faculty fellows for Academic Year 2023-2024 are Dr. Alaanoud Abusalim, Senior Instructor Writing Studies; Camilo Cerro, Professor of Architecture and Interior Design; Dr. Mahmoud Ismail Ibrahim, Professor of Electrical Engineering; Dr. Emin Gahramanov, Professor of Economics; and Dr. Thomas Christian Wunderli, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics.

This is an exciting time for AUS as we engage the opportunities and challenges facing higher education worldwide. I am deeply grateful to each of you for your contributions and extraordinary dedication to our students; I am honored to be playing a role as a Director of CITL and be a part of such a remarkable and talented community. I hope you will join us in many of our exciting events.

Dr. Norita Ahmad
Director, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Professor of Information Systems and Business Analytics
School of Business Administration

CITL News Highlights

Read the latest news and updates from the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

Faculty Fellows Program (FFP)

The Faculty Fellows Program (FFP) is designed and facilitated by fellows from schools/colleges across campus. Faculty fellows are full-time faculty members who have demonstrated leadership capacity in the areas of teaching and learning. Faculty fellows also help to address teaching, learning and technological challenges within their individual schools/colleges.

Faculty Fellows' Commitment

Faculty Fellows commit to the following:

  • serve as liaisons between the faculty of the school/college and the Director of the CITL to promote the continuous improvement of teaching and learning
  • identify school/college specific interests and needs for best teaching practices
  • develop a collaborative network of faculty committed to excellence in teaching and learning
  • submit a progress report of your initiatives and activities at the end of every semester
  • organize and lead teaching development events such as seminars and workshops:
    • suggest qualified moderators and panel members for CITL events
    • attend all CITL events
  • stimulate cross-disciplinary interaction event topics around the use of technology in promoting active learning, student-centered approaches and evidence-based teaching pedagogy relevant to your school/college/department
Benefits of Being a Faculty Fellow

The benefits of being a Faculty Fellow are:

  • a stipend for each academic year of service
  • use of CITL as a support platform for teaching and learning projects in your school/college
  • the opportunity to serve up to two academic years (upon approval of their renewal application)
  • priority enrollment in all CITL programs
  • recognition as a Faculty Fellow and leader supported by your school/college in ways that advance your university-level service record
  • the opportunity to develop a network of engaged educators to support the AUS educational mission towards a transformative student experience
Application Procedures

If you have an interest in promoting active learning, student-centered approaches, evidence-based teaching pedagogy and academic technologies, you should apply to be a Faculty Fellow.

Fellowships require at least a one-year commitment.



Dr. Alaanoud Abusalim | CAS

Dr. Alaanoud Abusalim
Senior Instructor, English
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Alaanoud Abusalim, Senior Instructor in the AUS Department English, holds a Master's in Rhetoric and Composition from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Focused on L2 Writing, ERPP, Instruction, Curriculum Design, Excellence in Teaching, and Research Evaluation, her notable publications include "Fake It till You Make It: Predatory Publishing Realities in the Arab World" (August 2023) and "Coloniality and Social Sciences Research: ERPP Realities and Border Thinking in the Arab World" (English for Specific Purposes, April 2023). Dr. Abusalim has presented at conferences, receiving the Christopher N. Candlin Award for the Best Paper by Early Career Scholars in 2023.

Dr. Alaanoud Abusalim is an active member of prestigious associations, including the Lancaster University Alumni Association, MENAWCA, Fulbright Alumni Association, and the Southern Illinois University Alumni Association. Her academic journey reflects dedication to writing studies, a commitment to research, and a passion for fostering excellence in teaching.

Dr. Emin Gahramanov | SBA

Dr. Emin Gahramanov
Professor, Economics
School of Business Administration

Dr. Emin Gahramanov is an economist with teaching experience in three countries: the United States, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. This experience has taught him to appreciate cultural diversity and tailor his teaching style to optimize the learning experience for his students.

Dr. Gahramanov is a firm believer in the importance of understanding the subject matter, no matter how difficult, as opposed to merely memorizing it. Thus, he invests a significant amount of time in helping his students understand the learning materials intuitively through easy-to-follow examples. This deep understanding then serves as a foundation for building technical skills and competence, as ultimately, the market rewards technical skills.

In a nutshell, Dr. Gahramanov employs a dialogue-based, interactive, and reflective pedagogy to help ensure that what is taught to students becomes ingrained in their long-term memories, rather than fading away in the short term.

"An outstanding economics teacher is someone who can explain all complex concepts in plain language, even to those who have never studied economics before."

Camilo Cerro | CAAD

Camilo Cerro
Associate Professor, Architecture
College of Architecture, Art and Design

Camilo Cerro is an award-winning eco-social designer, sustainable living researcher, author, cultural nomad, design tinkerer and Associate Professor of Architecture and Interior Design at AUS.

In the present context of the rising awareness of ecological issues and the development of emerging technologies, his current research interest focuses on the study of how formal and informal networks can be transformed through an undertone of sustainable technologies, into interdependent systems designed to better the quality of life for individuals and communities. With the aim of moving towards a convergence between the built environment and nature, his research proposes a hybrid that uses ethical design ideas as a process to contextualize design in culture, developing sociopolitical and site-specific answers to real problems. This approach is not looking for formal studies, but a cohesive system that works at every scale and keeps evolving dynamically through the social interactions they generate. He has lectured on his research internationally and published widely.

Cerro earned his Master of Architecture degree at Columbia University in the city of New York, where he was the recipient of an honor for excellence in advanced architectural design and the William Kinne Memorial Fellowship and his undergraduate degree at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. With over 20 years of professional practice in the fields of architecture, interior, product and furniture design, he is the founder and principal of Dharmatecture LLC in Brooklyn, New York. As an associate professor he teaches both in the architecture and interior design programs at AUS and has coordinated twice the Study Abroad Program that AUS has in Barcelona, Spain.


Dr. Mahmoud Hamed Ismail Ibrahim | CEN

Dr. Mahmoud Hamed Ismail Ibrahim
Professor, Electrical Engineering
College of Engineering

Dr. Mahmoud Hamed Ismail Ibrahim earned a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mississippi in 2006. He has taught for over two decades at Cairo University, University of Mississippi and AUS. His areas of teaching interests are communication theory, electric circuits, wireless communications and statistics. He completed the Faculty Teaching Certificate Program (FTCP) offered at AUS in AY 2015-2016. His research interests are in the areas of B5G cellular systems, cognitive radio, vehicular networks and spectrum co-existence. He has received many awards for his research work and has consistently received excellent teaching feedback from his students.

"My teaching philosophy is deeply rooted in the transformative potential of education. With a focus on the dynamic field of electrical engineering, my approach is multifaceted and driven by a commitment to nurturing the intellectual growth of my students. At the heart of my philosophy lies the belief in the efficacy of active learning. I firmly hold that education is most effective when students are not just passive recipients of information, but active participants in the learning process. I actually believe that students should be steering the classroom activities and not the instructor. To this end, I curate classroom experiences that encourage students to engage, explore and experience electrical engineering concepts firsthand. By incorporating interactive discussions and collaborative projects in my courses, I create an environment where theoretical knowledge seamlessly converges with practical application. In the ever-evolving landscape of electrical engineering, adaptability is paramount. Therefore, I am dedicated to staying abreast of the latest advancements and trends in the field. By infusing my courses with contemporary examples, real-world challenges as well as field trips, I ensure that my students are not only equipped with a solid foundation but are also prepared to navigate the complexities of the modern professional world.

Furthermore, my role goes beyond the classroom; I view myself as a mentor and guide on each student's educational journey. Through open-door policies, one-on-one consultations and a genuine
willingness to invest in their growth, I aim to create a supportive and inspiring learning community. By understanding their unique strengths, aspirations, and challenges, I tailor my approach to meet
each student's needs, fostering a sense of belonging and motivation."

Dr. Thomas Wunderli | CAS

Dr. Thomas Wunderli
Associate Professor, Mathematics and Statistics
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Thomas Wunderli has been a member of the mathematics faculty at AUS since 2004 and has extensive experience teaching mathematics courses at AUS at all levels, including a wide range of undergraduate courses and graduate courses. He strives to help students develop and reach their potential for learning by encouraging an interest in various areas of mathematics. His research is focused on partial differential equations and nonlinear analysis, and his work has been published in several notable mathematics journals.

“As a university instructor, it is essential to keep students interested and engaged in a way that learning will always be something to look forward to, even outside of the university environment. It is also important, as instructors, to create an environment to foster creativity, independent and critical thinking in our students, as these are skills that will always be important throughout one’s lifetime.”

Information for New Faculty

Welcome To Your New Home!

You have just joined a vibrant, multicultural community. As faculty and staff residents comprise an integral part of our lively campus community, the university provides a wide range of facilities, services and opportunities that cater to the needs of our community members.

Coming to a new country and new position can be a stressful time for everyone concerned, especially if you also have family to consider. AUS faculty members come from many countries and cultures. Some are already acquainted with the Middle East. For others, this appointment introduces a completely new dimension to their lives. You will want to know what to expect and how to make the transition from your country to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and AUS. While you will enjoy the general atmosphere of conviviality and warm hospitality that prevails here, there will always be cultural and behavioral differences that will take time to assimilate and accept. The CITL will attempt to answer the many questions and concerns you may have as a new faculty member at AUS.


Pre-Arrival Information

Your contract has been signed and returned to the Office of the Chancellor, and now the process of getting to AUS commences. You should have received a welcome letter from Human Resources (HR) along with forms to complete and a list of required documents to be sent. For more information, download our New Faculty Welcome Kit. This guide contains useful information about these services to help with your transition to AUS and the UAE.



The New Faculty Orientation is a week-long event designed to help new faculty transition to living and working at American University of Sharjah. 

Download our New Faculty Welcome Kit.

Workshops and Events

Fall 2023 Workshops and Events

In Fall 2023, CITL embarked on a season of educational growth, exploration and collaboration. Our lineup featured a diverse range of workshops and events designed to ignite creativity, foster effective teaching strategies, and harness the power of innovative technologies in education. These were all offered to seasoned educators and new joiners of AUS as we strive to create dynamic and engaging learning experiences for all.

Please click here to view the lists of workshops for Fall 2023.

Spring 2023 Workshops and Events

The lineup of workshops and events held in Spring 2023 offered faculty an enriching and collaborative learning experience. Our carefully curated sessions aim to empower educators with innovative teaching strategies, cutting-edge technology integration, and a supportive community to enhance the educational landscape. As we ushered in a new season, we were thrilled to be a part of our teaching community’s professional growth as we aimed to create dynamic and engaging learning environments.

Please click here to view the lists of workshops for Spring 2023.

Fall 2022 Workshops and Events

With CITL’s commitment to provide support and promote effective teaching and learning across the entire AUS community, we are very excited to be facilitating face-to-face and virtual workshops on various topics this Fall 2022. We look forward to your participation in our events and workshops.

Please click here to view the lists of workshops for Fall 2022.

Spring 2022 Workshops and Events

CITL always strives and makes its utmost efforts in accomplishing its goal in sharing best practices, methodologies and knowledge on technology tools for enhancing teaching and learning to the AUS community. In Spring 2022, nine informative and interactive sessions were held, each of which was categorized as one of the following types of workshops: Teaching and Learning Hours, Technical Workshops and Virtual Lounge Sessions. The overall theme for the fall semester was "Best Practices for Assessment.. Through this theme, our panelists were able to share some of their insider tips, tricks, practices, habits and ideas that helped them successfully implement appropriate assessments into their classrooms. Remarkable feedback and appreciation from participants was received.

Click here to view the CITL Spring 2022 Workshops.

Fall 2021 Workshops and Events

As CITL is committed to supporting and promoting effective teaching and learning across the entire AUS community, 12 informative, meaningful and interactive workshops were conducted in Fall 2021. To provide better organization of these workshops, the following categories were used: Teaching and Learning Hours, Technical Workshops and Virtual Lounge Sessions. The purpose of the Teaching and Learning Hours Workshops is to provide AUS faculty with professional teaching support programs and to encourage teaching effectiveness, creativity and innovation. While the Technical Workshops focused on the practical application of various selected topics by CITL and/or faculty fellows. Participants will participate in a guided discussion about how to apply the demonstrated strategies in their classrooms. The Virtual Lounge (VL) is an interactive online meeting room where faculty and teaching staff across AUS campus discuss and reflect on the challenges and experiences related to teaching and learning in a virtual environment. The main objectives of this lounge are to support the development of excellence in teaching, and to establish best practice.

Click here to view the CITL Fall 2021 Workshops.

Get in Touch with Us

Norita Ahmad
Cell | +971 50 108 7484
Fax | +971 6 558 5065
Email | [email protected]

Josiah Jodrey
Teaching and Learning Coordinator
Tel | +971 6 515 2148
Email | [email protected]


Cleofi-Krista Capili
Teaching and Learning Assistant
Tel | +971 6 515 2279
Email | [email protected]

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