REFLECTION PAPER ON: ADVANCED OBE/SCL TRAINING WORKSHOP

by Younus Wafa

Introduction 

In the current century, the human beings are encountered with some global challenges (e.g: global sustainability, energy, global poverty and health and infrastructures) and they have to battle with so that to overcome on. These challenges cannot be solved without professionals and expert people and we will not have these professionals without a system of education compatible with the global system of education. Therefore, we must make our system of education as a global one to overcome on these challenges cooperatively with the world people. Thus, this paper mostly focuses on the reflection of OBE-SCL Workshop which will really produce such active professionals in a global level so that to take part for the solving of these global challenges.

Therefore, in this reflection paper I have started from my backward looking, continued with the inward looking and ended with forward looking on OBE-SCL workshop which has been conducted at UTM – Malaysia from 1st to 16th of April 2018.

Backward Looking

As a young lecturer, when I joined Kabul Polytechnic University (KPU) in 2007, I always was thinking about changing of the teacher centered method of teaching and learning to the student centered one, because I experienced during my higher education that with the teacher centered method, we cannot reach to our modern/global goals of teaching and learning and will be put in the backward of the global education.

Therefore, when I started teaching at KPU, I did not understand very much about OBE/SCL before joining to its workshop, but despite of this, I was somewhat implementing this method of teaching and learning in my courses unconsciously (without understanding the OBE-SCL terminologies). For example I was preparing a course policy and course outcomes for all courses to be taught by me at the beginning of the semester and distribute it to the students so that the students knew the goal and objectives of the course and each of them had to achieve the goal. As well as, I asked the students to actively involve the learning process inside the class through questions/ discussions and was trying to create an open space inside the class so that any students could participate to the certain discussion without any hesitation or scare. With such a method I thought that the lecture will not be boring for the students and they can learn and enjoy it. (more…)


Reflection Paper on Advanced ToT OBE-SCL workshop at UTM, Malaysia

By Mohammad Dost Safi

 

OBE and SCL Reflection

I attended the first OBE/ SCL training workshop in Nangarhar University. There were 14 lecturers from different disciplines. After the 12 days successful training workshop. The trainer asked us to write our teaching portfolio in the light of the materials and the training which we got. We wrote our portfolio and we submitted them to our HEDP representative at our University. Our portfolios were sent to the HEDP and HEDP forwarded them to UTM for the evaluation and reviewing. After the screening we were interviewed by HEDP by Skype. The final candidates were selected for the Advance OBE/ SCL training in Malaysia. As I mentioned earlier we got the basic OBE and SCL training in our University before the Advanced training.  We had using before the participatory learning methods in sometimes not like this.  When we got the Advanced OBE / SCL training in Malaysia our concept was much clear about it.

I can say that I can covey my message and concept to easily to others and I shared the experienced which I gained in the workshop. As I learned that OBE is

“An outcome is a culminating demonstration of learning; it is what the student should be able to do at the end of a course. Outcome-based education is an approach to education in which decisions about the curriculum are driven by the exit learning outcomes that the students should display at the end of the course”. Another way to define OBE is to consider it as “results-oriented thinking” where the focus is more on setting a set of outcomes from the start, and both teaching and assessment are based on these outcomes. A more clarifying explanation states that OBE “means clearly focusing and organizing everything in the educational system around what is essential for all students to be able to do successfully at the end of their learning experiences. This means starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing the curriculum, instruction, and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens.” (more…)


Reflection Paper by Ahmad Omid Tawakkoli

I am Ahmad Omid Tawakkoli, Dean of Economics Faculty in Faryab University and a member of the OBE/SCL champions’ community in Afghanistan. I teach Microeconomics and Theory of Economic Development.

It was in early 2017 that I understood that Higher Education Development Program (HEDP) with collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) is offering an advanced training of Outcome Based Education (OBE) and Student Centered Learning (SCL) in Universiti Teknologiy Malaysia (UTM). It was a quite interesting news for me and I could not ignore this chance as I knew the training would have tremendous impacts on me as well on my fellow colleagues and students in Faryab University.

As per HEDP’s requirements for the selection process, I had to prepare a well-structured teaching portfolio in English language that would present me and my experience in higher education as well as my understanding of OBE and SCL and teaching plan for the modules I was teaching based on that understanding.

After submissions of the portfolio, I understood that luckily I had been selected for the face-to-face interview. Fortunately I could proceed further and got among the finalists who would travel to UTM for advanced ToT OBE/SCL workshop in Malaysia. (more…)


Reflection Paper by Shah Zaki

Education is one of the prominent and very important part of life in the contemporary world. Twenty first century is the century of technology, science and communication. However, people are completely equipped with all the necessities of today’s century, still there are some countries which are far back from the up-to-date technology. Afghanistan is one the countries in the central Asia which has been suffering from civil war for more than three decades. Not only this civil war ruined factories, governmental and private sectors’ offices and buildings, but also most of the scholars and educated people left the country. After withdrawing the Taliban Group from the power by national and international forces in 2000, the new page of life opened in Afghanistan. Since then the Afghan government especially the Ministry of Higher Education has been funding on upgrading academic capacity of university teachers by providing MA, PhD and short term educational programs. Recently, Ministry of Higher Education sent teachers from different universities in SCL and OBE workshop in Malaysia for two weeks. In order to reach for the right person, the selection process undergone several steps.

The university high authority introduced me officially to this program and pointed that there are some forms and questions to be answered, and the final decision will be taken by the university of Malaysia and Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan. I filled the forms and answered questions in an easy type. After being accepted in SCL and OBE program, I passed a skype interview in 2nd July 2017 which was the final process of selection and fortunately I was succeeded. (more…)


Reflection Paper on Advanced OBE/SCL Workshop, UTM

By Sadequllah Ahmadi

Backward-Looking

Enhancing the capacity of Afghan lecturers of national universities is in the priority of Ministry of Higher education (MoHE) of Afghanistan. Therefore, the lecturers were asked to take OBE/SCL training in their universities or where available and I took this training at Kandahar University. Hereafter, HEDP team at MoHE sent us as official latter to introduce lecturers for the Advanced OBE/SCL training which was going to be held at UTM. I and my colleagues were introduced to HEDP for the further process, after a series of evaluation I was selected to go to UTM in order to join the Advanced OBE/SCL training. I understood in the training taken at Kandahar University that OBE/SCL teaching and learning approach is the best solution for the transformation of Afghanistan higher education system. Before taking OBE/SCL seminar at Kandahar University I had some experience while attending courses during my master program at Ibaraki University, Japan. However, I was not confident that how to arrange such type of condition in a class.

Attending regularly the OBE/SCL class, discussing relevant issues in the class, practices by the participants, and homework was very helpful to get the OBE/SCL concepts. Whenever we faced with problems, the group members, class participants or trainer were asked to discuss and answer the queries. We took a look at those institutions who already started and still practicing OBE/SCL approach in their faculties.

Inward looking

The Advanced OBE/SCL workshop held at UTM was absolutely fruitful and wonderful. The Professors heading the training were so much professional and had experience of many years in this regard. We saw and listen to the facts from the actual people who started this journey decades ago and they well- known the challenges that they were faced with and that were very helpful to us. I enjoyed visiting the SCL class of the Engineering faculty and visiting the management staff of Science faculty at UTM. In the whole workshop, Demo Presentations were very helpful and was the best experience because the senior professors were closely watching, assessing and commenting on us to improve ourselves.

My main goals were to get more experience and learn much about OBE/SCL, see how they design the class, desired to compare a class at UTM with   my   class,   wanted   myself   to   be   assessed   by   UTM   Professors andfortunately, these tasks were achieved. As a lecturer, the workshop revealed that we have to struggle for the practice and extension of OBE/SLC approach at Afghanistan Universities. As a learner, I have yet to work hard for the better understanding and successful implementation. (more…)


OBE-SCL Reflection Paper by Saifurahman Rohi

Every teacher wants to use new techniques to improve and to have better outcome. Therefore, the process of selection for the program of OBE-SCL was competitive.  First of all was selection of candidates at Faculty level among lecturers. Fortunately, I was one of the lecturers at Education faculty of our university that all members of Academic Committee of the Faculty selected me for the program. Second step was according University level that HEDP members selected according to their submitted documents; which focused on written portfolio and other documents that we have submitted for the selection for the OBE-SCL.  The last step was interview that I answered to the entire questions well Alhamdullah. So, I got selection letter from the HEDP for the program.

 

It beginning OBE-SCL was only a new term that I heard and I was confused. After some research and studying about program, I got some knowledge. So, I was interested to participate in the program to get complete information about it. Before the start of workshop at Malaysia I participate at OBE-SCL workshop which was conducted by Mr. Maroof Khan Hamdard and M. Daud Shirzad at Paktia University. Thus, I had some information before about the program before going to Malaysia. (more…)


Reflection Paper by Heymayatullah Ahmadi

I have been informed about Advanced OBE – SCL Workshop at UTM in Malaysia through an official letter sent by HEDP to Kabul Polytechnic University, most of the lecturers who met the requirements had applied to workshop, however 15 of them were shortlisted for the interview by reviewers from UTM and HEDP, upon the transparent and peer reviews of all documents and teaching portfolios, 5 lecturers from KPU have been selected to attend the workshop. Before attending the workshop, I had the general concept of OBE – SCL but not in details, as during my classes in KPU, I have divided the whole class into several groups by different assignments till end of the course, however this division was not based on the regulation and standard of SCL because I did not have full understanding of this approach. In addition, I have been the member of our department in developing of our curriculum that recently has been updated by cooperation of GIZ, during the working on our curriculum; I have got acquainted with some principles of designing the program objectives and outcomes, also course outcomes based on Blooms Taxonomy.  In fact, while I was attending the workshop, I was not fully assured to be the one of the participants, as the expectation of trainers was high as upon completion each participant must be able to train other lecturers and convince others to implement OBE – SCL. Hopefully I searched the materials related to OBE – SCL from ex participants and studied all four sections, but still I had some confusion whether how to implement OBE – SCL for technical disciplines, and how to convince others to accept and belief on  this approach which is effective based on the past experiences of countries. (more…)


Reflection paper Based on OBE-SCL workshop by Javid Ali

Backward-Looking:

  1. What process did you go through to that you were selected for this program?

At the end of the year 2017 the first training on OBE-SCL was held in Ghazni University that I have participated in. The workshop lasts for 16 days and I attend entire training workshop. Consequently we (the participants) have got the certificates of completion it was the beginning of the selection process thus after the training; the trainer has taken the first steep of selection process. The eligibility criteria for the first round of the selection were the fallowing

1) Regular attendance.

2) Master degree.

3) English language proficiency.

4) Motivation and Activities in workshop.

According to these criteria 8 of the participants (lecturers) introduced to the HEDP office of MOHE, each one was given the application packages (application form, portfolio format, application guideline, information on champion responsibilities) the trainer recommended candidates to fill out the application carefully, work portfolio effectively and study the information sheet and guideline because the documents will be sent to the HEDP to be judged for your selection. (more…)


Reflection Paper on Advanced OBE-SCL Workshop by Abdul Latif Zahid

Kunduz University

Introduction

In today’s world, all the affairs of life are depended on knowledge and modern sciences, and no human affairs can be run properly without science and technology. Also one of the innate inclinations or tendencies of mankind is truth searching, knowing facts, knowing oneself and the world, as well as knowing oneself and the others.

Furthermore, development in different spheres of world is achieved due to the development in education, and every country tries to progress in various fields. Afghanistan also needs to be a progressive country like other countries in the world.

Thus, if we want to build Afghanistan, we have to improve its educational system, particularly higher education system, because higher education is the milestone of all progressions in a country. So, we have to adopt new approaches, such as OBE, in our higher education system to make better the quality of our education. OBE is one of the very successful teaching approaches. Or in other words, Outcome Based Education is an educational approach which bases every part of an educational system around goals, and it emphasized that every teacher has to achieve the goal intended for each lesson. Thus, outcome based education states that every lesson must have a clear objective, and this learning outcome has to be shared with the learners during the class instruction. Also there must be alignment between outcome, instruction and assessment.

OBE, SCL Workshop

In recent years, Ministry of Higher Education of the country has opened an office by the name of Higher Education Development Program (HEDP) which operates to improve the quality of the education in public and private universities across Afghanistan. HEDP has been able to provide the opportunities of short term and long term programs for young afghan lecturers both inside and outside of the country to gain more knowledge and to develop their teaching skills. One of these programs is the basic and advanced OBE-SCL workshops which were launched both in Afghanistan and in Malaysia. (more…)


Reflection Paper on OBE-SCL by Javed Sahibzada

Reflection on OBE-SCL Advanced Workshop in UTM Malaysia

  1. What process did you go through to that you were selected for this program?

I have participated in OBE-SCL training held at Kandahar University where I found the effectiveness of OBE-SCL and it became my inspiration for enhancing my knowledge furtherly. The requirement for the advanced OBE-SCL workshop in UTM (University Technologi Malaysia) were to write teaching portfolio which demonstrates my knowledge, reflection, vision of teaching, my motivation for OBE-SCL concept and future implementation. Successfully demonstrating all these had enabled me to be interviewed for advanced OBE-SCL workshop which was to be held in UTM.

  1. How much did you know about the OBE-SCL before the workshop started?

Since I had taken workshop on OBE-SCL before taking advanced workshop, I had the basic knowledge and concept of OBE-SCL, but I needed to get advanced training for those things which have lift unlearned and doubtful. for example, I knew about formal cooperative learning method theoretically as a competence knowledge and was not able to Implement them practically. OBE-SCL advanced training have provided me opportunities to understand them with practical use. Beside cooperative learning, I had also problem in setting of PEO (program Educational Outcomes) and aligning them with POs (program outcomes). I knew about bloom’s taxonomy before getting advanced training, yet these were only understanding and to consider them at every level of teaching and using them into my assessment process was the key achievement in the workshop. (more…)