Erasmus Scientific Days 2022

AUA Represented at Erasmus Scientific Days 2022

3 min read

MARRAKESH, Morocco On October 17-18, Dr. Brent A. Anders, director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, Center for Teaching and Learning at the American University of Armenia (AUA), represented AUA at the first-ever European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (Erasmus) Scientific Days international conference. The theme of this inaugural conference was “Cooperation and research for higher education and innovation,” with the objective to purposefully create synergies between research and education.

The conference was attended by the EU Ambassador in Morocco H.E. Patricia Pilar llombart Cussac, Morocco’s Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation Dr. Abdelatif Miraoui, and over two hundred participants from around the world, including representatives from Europe, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Republics. Hosting Erasmus officials expressed that “… the Erasmus Scientific Days’ aim was to bring together researchers and professors, university officials, institutions, and organizations working for and with higher education in order to present innovative initiatives and research aimed at building and strengthening the capacities of institutions, staff, students, and higher education graduates … and to respond to the challenges of higher education and scientific research.” 

In the workshop segment of the conference, Dr. Anders presented his case study research titled “Using a Focus Group to Enhance Course Evaluation Inclusion and Feedback.” His research identified how, using scenarios and role-playing, a focus group could be conducted to obtain enhanced end-of-course feedback from students. Through the strategic implementation of breakout groups, group discussions, carefully crafted questions, and personal interactions, this technique was shown to repeatedly produce favorable results. This novel technique greatly improved student engagement and inclusion, resulting in a deeper understanding of student phenomenology (lived experience within the course and with the instructor). 

“I was honored to represent AUA at this international educational event,” said Dr. Anders. “I was eager to present my research, as it is an interesting method that any instructor can use to obtain deeper course feedback while increasing engagement with every student. This provides a more well-rounded and inclusive understanding of students’ perceptions of a course and instructor than the traditionally offered optional online end-of-course evaluations.” 

Dr. Anders also commented on the opportunity to meet educators from many parts of the world. “It was great to exchange ideas with other university representatives and instructors,” he said. “I hope they can use this novel instructional feedback technique that we at AUA designed. I also enjoyed hearing what our peers throughout the world are researching. It was interesting to learn that they are dealing with similar challenges and issues that we could examine together to find the most optimal solutions. Whether through the use of enhanced training, new processes, or AI integration, I learned a lot about possible ideas to potentially implement at AUA.”

Regarding his favorite presentations, Dr. Anders replied, “There were several informative presentations dealing with online learning of which I took special note. I was interested in research that discussed presenting online learning in different ways, synchronously or asynchronously, or fully online or blended with some face-to-face sessions. I was curious to hear about students’ preferences and perceptions, as well as best practices in implementation and quality assurance. My goal is to become an expert in this subject matter and remain abreast of new trends as well as scientific evidence in the field to consider moving us into these types of offerings.”

Information about Erasmus in general and the Erasmus Scientific Days international conference is available at:  Videos, photos, along with the overall program and a book of abstracts are available on the site. Additionally, Dr. Anders hopes his presentation and research will be selected for special publication in an indexed journal through the Erasmus program. 

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) supports faculty to inspire, cultivate, and continuously enhance the educational process and student experience through research-based, creative, pedagogy and instructional design. More information can be found at and