As far as my understanding concerns, I think, I went through many processes; initially to be selected here by HEDP in MoHE. The grounding for the advanced OBE, SCL and Blended Learning workshop in UTM, perhaps tied with my primarily participation on OBE and SCL workshop which conducted in our university (Parwan University). I believe that was the icon of my faith which shaped here. Next, writing the Teaching Portfolio was the other vital step for selection in HEDP which transparently and competently done by Mr. Habibi. Then, we are interviewed by the HEDP Senior Training Manager for further qualification and checking our English proficiency and Teaching Groundings. Finally, we could take as qualified training candidates to go to Johor Bahru, Malaysia which has done just in October, 2017 and had the privilege of attending the workshop in UTM.
As a matter of fact, I knew the major concepts of OBE and SCL before attending the Advanced OBE and SCL workshop in UTM, because I primarily participated in OBE and SCL workshop which taken place in our university. (Parwan University) I discerned some of the concepts and notions at surface level such as: OBE and its common interpretation, SCL activities, Constructive Alignment, Zone of Proximal Development, Learning styles and etc. But it must be confessed that all these and the respected core issues were not deeply felt and realized by my heart and implemented effectively, whereas now I can dare to advocate each concept and apply or implement in the light of conscious understanding and realization.
Surely, I have been used similar activities, methods and procedures since 2011, just I assigned as a new lecturer in English Department, Languages and Literature Faculty, Parwan University. The TLA (Teaching Learning Activities) which I have been used can be summed up as follow: graded discussion, role play, paraphrasing, writing reflections, group work, pair works, individual and group presentation, interview, modeling and some other informal cooperative activities and it must be noted that my teaching activities differ with consideration to the nature of subjects.
I have understood now, what OBE is and its genuine essence and nature and how it can be implemented effectively with consideration to environmental factors, needs, levels and interests of our students. Moreover, I can dare to claim that now I can design any course related to my field with full involvement of OBE and SCL‘s concepts and notions. Next, I got plenty information and experiences of respected professors in terms of constructive alignment and I have to highlight that Inshallah, I can draw a parallel among learning outcomes, instruction and assessment. The other important areas which really grabbed my attention were HPL (how people learn) and ILS (index of learning style) which are quite vital in developing curriculum, delivering syllabus and deigning down activities.
I really had problem with PEO (Program Educational Objectives), PO (Program Outcomes), and Course Outcomes mapping and their alignment with instruction (teaching and learning activities) and assessment. It must be also said that I personally faced with some confusion in some of the PPTs and slides that covered by some of the professors at UTM but hopefully, I have overcome them thorough asking for further clarification regarding the ambiguous concepts from the concerned professors at tea breaks and in another spare times. Lastly, it must be noted that the contribution of Mr. Hekmatullah Habibi and Shahid Mahmood Wager Sahib that I went to their rooms and they clarified and elaborated the concepts and instructed how PEO, PO and CO can be mapped and aligned with instruction and assessment cannot be ignored. Finally, let it be said that through colleagues’ contribution and professors’ further elaboration to many unknown or confused concepts, certainly helped me to be cleared enough.
In relation to the resources, I could dare to say that I used my personal laptop, the four books of OBE and SCL, notebook, slide shares from Google in relation to OBE and SCL, and also utilized from our colleagues’ and Malaysian Champions’ experiences, ideas, understandings and PPTs and slide shares. I shall claim that constructivism helped me a lot to go to the depth of some of the major concepts and came up with unified understanding and conclusion of concepts. Next, it can also be said that I collected many meaningful information in the regard from internet and I tried a lot to merge with colleagues and professors explanations and also share my own understanding and beliefs as well.
I think OBE and SCL is the key to the lucks of many countries’ education system who aspire a shift from traditional approaches to contemporary approaches. I fall in love with OBE, SCL and Blended Learning because what I was looking for or what I missed in my Teaching Philosophy was the shift, OBE and SCL offered many opportunities for learners to internalize, construct and relate the lesson to the real life. OBE gave me the feeling that the class shall be peaceful and phobia-free environment for learners. In addition, I would like to say that firstly, if I could realize the genuine nature of OBE and SCL and its major concepts and through actual execution, I will feel OBE and SCL more interesting than now and yet. I am sure that through effective implementation and long-term support of OBE and SCL I will ascertain my feeling and attitude regarding OBE and SCL and Blended Learning as well.
Constructive Alignment sounds really good and meaningful to me because the very pathway and roadmap for our progress and meeting the demand of job market will be insured through constructive alignment. If I am not exaggerating, it must be said CQI grantees the future of our good learners.
I really like HPL, in which I came up with this conclusion that if my students are failing or not enough active in the class, this is not only their fault but I am also part of the fault or my way of teaching has also its own scarcity (leakage) so I shall realize and find how the learners learn. Secondly, I am impressed by ILS which I just started working with my students that what kind of learners are they. And what should be done in advance in order to balance the learning level and draw parallel among all four common types of learning styles.
I truly enjoyed working with colleagues and shared my concerns and confusions with the respected professors in terms of OBE and SCL. Next, I really enjoyed discovering the way; they were teaching and coming up with realization of my own potentials. Then, it can be also addressed that I certainly enjoyed being part of the 22 Afghan Champions and found my own place among them. Eventually, it can similarly be claimed that I can feel OBE and SCL principles through actual implementation in my classes.
I found mapping PEO, PO, and CO very frustrating and quite confusing because it did not run cooperatively or in team working, we in fact, were ignored in some important aspects and surely one of them was mapping PEO, PO, and CO which very typically remained un- answered. Secondly, professors’ surface undergone of important notions of OBE and SCL and their inconsideration of our questions really frustrated me. Lastly, their attitude towards Afghans and Afghan champions sometimes really made me disappointed. The typical view of some of our Afghan champions regarding core principles of OBE and SCL in the workshop and ignoring the value of training also added to my frustration. (Negative attitude regarding effective implementation of OBE, SCL and Blended Learning)
Definitely, the advanced OBE and SCL workshop have met my standards which I desired in professional and academic life. As far as the fact concerns, the workshop changed my view to look to teaching, learning and assessment from a more constructive and aligned dimension. Following the training, I committed to myself and to my students that let’s do the funeral ceremony of lecture-method and other conventional techniques together. We are in twenty first century and conventional methods and approaches are no longer dealt with our contemporary needs. Further, it shall be confessed that the workshop gave me the spirit of collaboration and cooperation with students and colleagues to take steps forward positive changes and betterment in the world of learning and teaching. Part of the standards which I was expecting was finding self from the evaluation of Malaysian champions. In fact, the workshop was a significant motive for me to go shoulder by shoulder with contemporary educational technology and methodology in which we are compelled to be updated and tentative in terms of designing syllabi and delivery of the activity.
The main goals which shaped the very motivation of mine for participating the OBE and SCL Workshop were: to become good champion (in order to develop curriculum in the light of OBE and SCL), to utilize from oversea professors’ and champions’ experiences, understandings and impressions in relation to the contemporary approaches and educational systems, to change the current outdated teaching and learning approaches which sovereign in Higher Education of Afghanistan, to be a good lecturer and etc. Putting all these goals together indeed, led my destiny for participation of advanced OBE and SCL workshop in Malaysia. I can dare to say that my goals were modified following my participation of the workshop. Some of my goals were reinterpreted by the expectations of the workshop such as development of curriculum, crucially demands the full and appropriate understanding of OBE and SCL and the further actions should be taken in consideration of environmental factors and teaching learning materials.
The workshop gave me the sense of responsibility regarding accomplishment of a tough but vital mission in my career which means as a lecturer I have to tirelessly work to change, to enhance, update, and tentatively move forward in the realm of higher education and teaching learning process. I as a lecturer have a lot ahead to do in order to implement OBE and SCL effectively in my country and particularly in my university. As a lecturer, I shall regularly conduct researches in terms of updating and redefining the process of learning. Furthermore, I reached to the conclusion, that shifting cannot be happened over a night but it takes duration, time to institutionalize the system in Afghanistan. As a learner, I found that it is a long life process to be learnt and follow such precious alternatives for shifting and moving to contemporary world of teaching and learning. As a good learner I fully evaluated myself and realized that I have to be smart because I shall work smartly to learn more in the respect and apply in the actual world (classroom).
I have learnt that I shall try my best and work smartly to enhance my teaching skills and follow workshops and trainings in the regard. Second, I came up with the notion that I have to make network and interact with other qualified figures to enjoy from their constructive suggestions and remarks regarding my improvement. Next, I understood and assessed my strengths and weaknesses in the realm of teaching, learning and assessment and what shall be done to have fruitful outcomes of our efforts. Last, I learnt that through collaboration and cooperation we can improve and build capacity in terms of national level.
I hope, I may not exaggerate and overrate my perception of OBE and SCL and to be honest, I can dare to claim that OBE and SCL changed my terminology of teaching, learning and assessment. The Advanced Workshop helped me to redefine many core concepts of teaching and assessment from a contemporary attitude. Now and yet, many concepts of OBE and SCL cleared to me as I consciously undergone through internalizing the concepts and contextualized them. For instance, my understanding and realization of Constructive Alignment, CQI, PEO, PO, CO and ZPD changed constructively. (PEO, PO, CO, CQI and mapping all of them)
One thing which I really enthusiastic to improve is constructive alignment because If I cannot accomplish the desired goals and outcomes than I perhaps rethink over my instruction and assessment to discover the very barriers alongside outcomes attainment. Let it be also said, that the second and for most important part of my attention will be CQI.
If possible, there should be more chances for sharing participants’ experiences and understandings and the lead should be taken by the thoughtful participant of champions to come up with their united understanding of concepts and notions. Second, suggestions, recommendations, and remarks of participants shall be considered vital for the workshop betterment. Next, if possible every participant shall be asked to writer reflection on everyday participation and engagement. Team work has to be supported and conducted by Malaysian Professors Champions in order to make sure whether they learnt or still slipped away.
To be honest, I have little confusion in terms of mapping PEO, PO, CO, CQI and drawing parallel among learning outcomes, instruction and assessment. I would like to follow further trainings in the mentioned areas in order to consciously realize and apply them.
I found advance OBE and SCL workshop one of the meaningful and constructive events of my life because it genuinely helped me to view teaching and learning from a different and very positive perspective. In terms of effective implementation of OBE and SCL, I would like to say that I have been started implementation of OBE and SCL just by my arrival and joining my classes. In addition let it be noted that I putted dot (full stop) to lecture method and the rest teacher-centered methods and techniques which I have been used. Therefore, I alternatively used OBE and SCL in my own classed and I found the mentioned approach interactive and students welcomed it.
Inshallah, I will support and nurture OBE and SCL through conducting research in the regard and holding workshops at faculty and university level. Moreover, it is also mentionable that through actual performance in my classes in the light of OBE and SCL, I can also change the stereotyped mindset about OBE and SCL implementation.
As I clearly advocated OBE and SCL as the contemporary approach to substitute the conventional approach and certainly will have fruitful and meaningful impact on the process of learning and teaching. Furthermore, I will also discuss and convince them based on my actual results and improvements which are indebted of implementation of OBE and SCL in the course of classroom performance.
I think, OBE and SCL can be institutionalized if the Ministry of Higher Education truly supports the notion of OBE and SCL through financial and academic support in terms of conducting researches by the champions and holding conferences and trainings about OBE and SCL. In addition, I can also dare to expect that Ministry of Higher Education can coordinate and invest on champions in national level in order to substitute OBE, SCL and BL (blended learning) instead of traditional approaches. Last but not least, it can also be institutionalized through paving the ground for champions for further and advance workshops in Malaysia and oversea to generalize the ap