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.

Course Certification Program

CITL is launching two new teaching certification programs beginning in Spring 2021. These teaching certificates 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

Faculty Certification and Course Redesign Program

Faculty Certification and Course Redesign program (FCCR) focuses on 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 FCCR program is designed to support instructors who are new to the online teaching environment, as well as those who are seasoned veterans. It was developed through peer-reviewed research and best practices in course design and is open to all AUS faculty.  

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 January 17, 2021.

Program Dates
Delivery Method: Online
Date: January 12–13, 2022
Duration: Three live virtual sessions via Blackboard; self-study guide during week 7; course review session in week 12.

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 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 
  • Participation in the Blackboard Exemplary Course program

Apply Here


Email [email protected] for more information.

  • 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.

Director's Message

Welcome to the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL) at American University of Sharjah (AUS). 

On February 7, 2021, we officially launched a virtual rebranding event of the center. The new name, Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning (CITL), reflects the current vision, mission and value of the center, in alignment with the AUS strategic plan. It focuses on our relationship with the entire AUS community and serves as a hub of pedagogical innovation for new teaching approaches and ideas that improve classroom experiences for students.

Let’s step back and recognize the myriad of ways in which we have been able to access new opportunities and collaborations over the years. Together we demonstrate our commitment to students in so many ways, such as exploring effective uses of teaching technologies or working toward creating more interactive classrooms. It has been an honor for all of us at the CITL to work with the AUS community of educators in various events including our weekly virtual lounges, workshops, seminars, certification programs, class visits and many more.

I welcome everyone to join us in our quest to further improve the state of education at AUS. Stop by and listen to one of our seminar speakers, join us for a rousing discussion at a Pedagogical Social Hour, or just come chat with us about your ideas and how we can work together. We look forward to seeing you and hearing your innovative ideas for excellence in the teaching and learning transformation!

Thank you all for your support this year! Wishing everyone a wonderful semester and hope to see you at our upcoming events.

Best wishes,
Dr. Norita Ahmad
Director, CITL

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.

Apply to be a Faculty Fellow (Applications are now closed for Academic Year 2021­­–2022).



Dr. Igor Peraza | CAAD

Dr. Igor Peraza
Professor of Practice, | Architecture
College of Architecture, Art and Design

“Interdisciplinary studio teaching and lecturing activities, together with highly focused research expertise and practice, are centered on my long-standing interest in Future Low-Carbon Cities, Sustainable High-Performance Architecture and Urban Form, the Changing Role of Public Buildings and Public Space, Principles of Sustainable Urban Design, Future Interdisciplinary Practice of Architecture and Green Campus Planning and Mobility among others. I genuinely believe that architectural education needs to be an open-ended and less predictable field. I hope to challenge the students with a broad and diverse range of means to engage in the practice of architecture. The essential matter is teaching our students to be critical thinkers and actively engage in learning.”

Having 30 years of distinguished career as a practicing architect, Dr. Peraza has always been a strong advocate for education. He is an ambassador of sustainable design principles who enjoys working in different cultural contexts to experience various cities and cultures. Since 2000, he is a licensed architect with the Architecture Association of Catalonia, COAC, Spain. Dr. Peraza regularly lectures and serves on design juries around the world. 

Dr. Vian Ahmed | CEN

Dr. Vian Ahmed
Professor, Industrial Engineering
College of Engineering

“The industry is in constant need for individuals who are well equipped with intellectual and experiential skills. However, the dynamic changes in the world add constant pressures on higher education to equip the future generation of graduates with relevant demands of the industry.  Although the technology has long been there, unfortunately it has not been fully utilized in higher education. However, COVID-19 has made higher education (now more than ever) ready to move on to greater platforms that will enable more flexible, ambient and diverse learning. It is therefore through self-reflections and perseverance of the academic community and the belief that technology is there to serve us, we will serve our educational goals with greater successes.”

Dr.Ahmed comes from a construction background with over 23years of academic and industrial experience within the engineering discipline. She is very passionate about the use of technology to support engineering education, with a vast number of publications that relate to the understanding of learning theory, students’ learning styles and the role of the technology in facilitating experiential learning. Her recent work on the impact of the sudden migration online amid COVID-19 showed that the academic community faced a number of pedagogical, technological and psychological challenges; however, through sheer determination of both students and faculty, there were a number of good practices, too, that helped the continuity of the educational process at AUS. Dr. Ahmed believes that it is through innovation and creativity the use of technology supported learning tools can be a vehicle for diversifying the curricula and meeting different educational needs.

Dr. Mark Aveyard | CAS

Dr. Mark Aveyard
Associate Professor | International Studies
College of Arts and Sciences

 “The human mind evolved over millennia with certain ‘programs’ or systems that make learning possible. These systems are uniquely flexible and dynamic, but they remain bounded as well, with important constraints that involve emotion and other processes. Teachers and technologies should facilitate learning in sync with these evolved systems.”

As a founding faculty member of AUS’s undergraduate psychology program, Dr Aveyard’s approach to teaching and learning focuses on learning principles derived from research in psychology, neuroscience and related disciplines. Helping students “learn how to learn” is a priority in every course Dr. Aveyard teaches, so that education becomes a self-driven activity that endures beyond university.


Ms. Cindy Baker | SBA

Cindy Baker
Senior Instructor | Department of Management
School of Business Administration

Technology is a part of our lives, it is here to stay, and moves faster than we can keep up. But, the rapid pace of technology does not mean that we can ignore it; quite the contrary, we need to embrace change as much as we can. We are educators but we also must be learners. We need to continue to grow our skills, update our teaching styles, and equip our graduates with technology solutions so they can compete well upon graduation.

With over two decades of experience in industry and teaching, Cindy Baker strives to build a bridge between the classroom and the board room. Using technology as an inroad, she desires to equip SBA graduates with technology skills so they can compete well in the business world. With a fundamental belief that education is an avenue to success, she is a lifelong learner and seeks to instill the same in her students.

Ms. Jenifah Hassan | AABP

Ms. Jenifah Hassan
Senior Instructor | Achievement Academy

“Sometimes people ask if I get bored doing the ‘same thing’ again and again. I tell them, ‘You never stand in the same river twice. I have never stood in the same classroom ever; every semester brings new experiences, new pedagogical methods, and most of all new students. The world is constantly changing, and students today are not the same as those 20 years ago, or even a year before. Students are always evolving; and because they do, we should, too.”

Ms. Hassan has been teaching both English and mainly English as a Second Language (ESL) for over two decades. In the world of ESL, teachers can pick from a variety of content materials (e.g., the sciences, arts and business). She enjoys looking for diverse materials that make her students think critically (getting to those “ah-hah!” moments). At the same time, it is also important to choose resources that will guide students towards significant soft-skills such as communication, problem-solving and people skills that will help them develop into well-rounded adults. She is also very active in her role as AABP’s Student Activities Chair and is always encouraging her students to become committed leaders.

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.

Fall 2021 Events

The CITL offers a variety of classroom-focused teaching and learning hours, technical workshops and Virtual Lounge. The purpose of the teaching and learning hours (workshops) is to provide AUS faculty with professional teaching support programs and to encourage teaching effectiveness and innovation.

Click on the links below to watch these helpful workshops.

TEACHING AND LEARNING HOUR SERIES: Pedagogies and Best Practices in Teaching and Learning

TECHNICAL HOUR SERIES: Digital Tools for Enhancing Teaching and Learning

Latest Events and Updates

Get in Touch

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

Walid Alieldin
Instructional Design Manager
Tel | +971 6 515 2148
Fax | +971 6 515 2800
Email | [email protected]

Michelle Jimenez
Instructional Design Assistant
Tel | +971 6 515 2343
Email | [email protected]

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