Hilary Ballon Centre for Teaching and Learning opens at NYU Abu Dhabi

Hilary Ballon Centre for Teaching and Learning opens at NYU Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, 17th January, 2021 (WAM) -- NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced the official opening of the Hilary Ballon Centre for Teaching and Learning (HBCTL), which aims to promote excellence, inquiry, and innovation in teaching and learning at NYUAD.

The centre provides NYUAD faculty and instructors with the latest resources and tools to inspire inclusive and well-organised teaching and learning, bringing the mission and vision of the university to life in the classroom, said an NYUAD press release issued on Sunday.

The Hilary Centre will explore new teaching approaches and encourage experimentation, technology integration, and new pedagogies. Tools and training modules include those on course design, methods, pedagogy and technology, grading and assessment, diversity and inclusion, student support, core curricula, and teaching evaluation.

The centre is named after Hilary Ballon, the University’s late Deputy Vice Chancellor and a founding member of the original planning team for NYUAD. Ballon was involved in all aspects of the university’s development, with particular responsibility for the design of a new, globally oriented curriculum and its state-of-the-art campus.

NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann said, "In April 2017, the faculty and leadership of NYU Abu Dhabi made the decision to establish a Centre for Teaching and Learning, and unanimously agreed that it should be named for Hilary Ballon. No choice could have been more apt. Hilary was a founder of NYU Abu Dhabi. She was also a consummate, dedicated, and brilliant teacher."

She added that the centre began its activities in the fall of 2019, and is now here to build upon our foundational first decade of innovative teaching and learning.

Westermann also announced that Hilary Ballon's family have decided to give her academic library, a collection of books, periodicals, and ephemera on architecture, art, cities, sociology, technology, universities, teaching, learning, and much more, to NYUAD's Library.

Of special contemporary relevance at the centre is the strategies for course design to support learning during trauma, including flexible options that allow students to use their voices to make choices about their learning.

In addition, the centre's extensive resources and tutorials help deploy online tools for the remote delivery of course material. These functions are increasingly important, considering the anxieties and dislocations brought on by the pandemic, said the press release.