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.

The second round of the selection process was the result of the application and portfolio that was evaluated by the HEDP eventually after the application review 5 of the applicants (including me) was shortlisted for the interview and it was the third and last round of the selection process. After some days the interview take place through Skype between applicants and HEDP officer Mr. Ehsan Habibi. Finally three lecturers (three of the 5 shortlisted applicants) successfully passed the interview and introduced to the OBE-SCL workshop that was held during April 2018 in Malaysia UTM. The selection process was entirely transparent and clear to all the applicants.

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

I did know some basics and fundamentals about to OBE-SCL before workshop started but I had not detailed knowledge hence various factors was important regarding the learning level.

  1. Have you had or done a similar kind of teaching & learning activities in the past (in your courses at the university)?

Yes but not holistically on OBE-SCL level; main was mostly close to “student centered learning” my teaching methodology, behavior and other class activities was covering students of various level of abilities. It was dominantly reflected by students during my self-assessment. Other SCL value in my class was making students to share their idea regarding the subjects in the lessons, also different types of assessments during the semester and making students groups in the class and letting them to discuss the issues.

  1. In what ways have you gotten better at the OBE-SCL concepts?

Firstly keeping the atmosphere of the class open to students till they can ask question without any stress and also openly participate to the class discussions and share their Idea, this manner helps teacher to know and understand what is important to the students as well as their ability levels. Secondly daily assessment in different ways present the core points in OBE-SCL modals, group work, practical field works and understanding the students trends; these all were the ways that made me to get better at OBE-SCL concepts.

  1. What problems did you encounter while you were attending the workshop? How did you solve them?

Actually the problems were not too remarkable, but the intensive atmosphere of the training was a problem; the training was going too fast, it was a little boring; even on holidays we were in the workshop. I think it was possible only with this training and I believe nowhere the people neglect the holidays, It was really abnormal.

The other problem was the methodology of the trainers they were mostly sipping the topics and going ahead to the next topics on the other hand some concepts were not clear even with the professors. By the way I solved the problems by asking questions even repeatedly from the trainers and participants.

  1. What resources did you use while attending the OBE-SCL Workshop? Which ones were especially helpful?

The resource that we used were enough in availability. Namely; OBE-SCl text books, laptop and projector was very helpful. The other resources was Pens, Pencils, markers, papers, notebooks and other types of the stationary.

Inward-Looking:

  1. How do you feel about the OBE-SCL Workshop? What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike?

I have got a really happy feeling while understanding what “OBE-SCL” is. OBE-SCL is up to change the focusses of the schools and universities form teaching to learning and also give the chance to the students to be the active participants on their own purpose rather than being the passive receiver of information in the class. The entire content of the workshop were convenient and proper to be adopted in the universities, educational institutes and schools in our country. Cooperative learning, Bloom`s taxonomy, constructive alignment were special to me.

  1. Why? What did/do you enjoy about/in the workshop?

Firstly I enjoyed introducing with many lecturers from Afghanistan, secondly during the workshop I find myself in a new environment it was really surprising. I had have heard about Malaysia, when I visit there it was totally motivating to me. Getting familiar with Malaysian professor was also a sort of enjoyment; I have got many important points about their teaching methods, class management and educational system. Crucially the OBE-SCl content in the workshop was enjoyable and energetic to me.

  1. What did/do you find frustrating about it?

At all the training sparks hope and Ideality for me; despite of the many negativity by the participants; nowhere of the workshop was frustrating because I was motivated from the beginning of the OBE-SCL workshop in Afghanistan and even many years ago when I was a student, student centered learning was my dream, hence I wholeheartedly welcome this model and any other constructive reform in our educational system.

  1. Did this workshop meet your standards?

Yes, in a wide extent the workshop meets my standards that I have been expected due to my “student centered learning” Ideology. I believe, if we bring these reform in our educational system; big changes will appear in the quality of our education system and the expected outcome can be achieved.

  1. What were your main goals for attending the OBE-SCL Workshop? Did your goals change as you attended the workshop?

My goals and aiming was to understand more about OBE-SCL in Malaysia where the expertise train the trainers. By the way I learn many things that was fundamental and new for me. I was motivated previously my goal trends gone steady and not changed any more.

  1. What does this Workshop reveal about you first as a lecturer and second as a learner?

The workshop affirm many new things; as a lecturer I get to know about the methodology in Malaysian universities, their educational reform modals namely “OBE-SCl”. Also the environment of the workshop was Instructive and informative to us. In addition the lecturers also have got Ideal and good images of professors, especially many times I have received their appreciations regarding my activities in the training class. As a learner I have found myself in a really student centered learning class during the training where the class atmosphere was open to discussion, question, cooperation and sharing.

  1. What did you learn about yourself as you attended this workshop?

During the training I understand and find my strength and weaknesses due to the existing education system in our country that affect the teaching methodology in the universities and educational institutes and I leant to enhance SCL and institutionalize OBE-SCL in our education system.

  1. Have you changed any ideas you used to have on the concepts of OBE-SCL?

Yes, primarily I thought that the modals OBE-SCL are too complicated to be learnt and institutionalized but it was not a good judgment on OBE-SCL. In the workshop I find that OBE-SCl is suitable and easy to implement. The only things that are crucial to institutionalize OBE-SCl; are motivation, commitment and effective management that these all are human resource and potentially available.

Forward-Looking:

  1. One thing I personally would like to improve upon is …

What I want to personally improve upon is the concept of OBE implementation, I think still it needs time to be applicable. I strongly believe that no one of us can improve until we practically involve OBE-SCL in our academic environment (universities, educational centers and schools).

  1. As a participant of the OBE-SCL Workshop, what are your suggestions to further improve the workshop?

I think that everything was good regarding workshop but to be perfect I have some suggestions;

  • I suggest the topics in the training modules should be present in details; not to be skipped.
  • I suggest that the documentations and formats of the OBE-SCL procedures in one of the Malaysian university (UTM) should be introduced to the participants practically and to be observed systematically.
  • The training modules are too much for this particular two weeks’ time, in order to reduce the heaviness of the workshop, more time is needed, I suggest the workshop to be at least three weeks.
  • The holidays to be always considered, otherwise a boring points will always be exist.
  1. What things and concepts related to OBE-SCL you might want more help with?

The first concept is credit system in the universities of Afghanistan; to enhance and institutionalize credit system in full form itself is a concept to help OBE-SCl possibility in Afghanistan. The other important concept that can help OBE-SCL implementation is standard classes in the universities to be sited.

  1. What is your overall experience and implication of the OBE-SCL Workshop?

I experienced many memorable, constructive and informative things, through workshop firstly visit of a country like Malaysia was an important experience and then our main goal “OBE-SCL” workshop was a really positive and productive experience. Also the visiting of faculties and UTM compass. I learn many things from the workshop in the new academic environment. Additionally Malaysia as a fast growing country sparks many Idea and motivation in me. I find that Malaysia is expand of cultural and religious diversity where nationals and ethnicity live together in a peaceful environment respecting each other’s.

  1. How will you support the implementation of OBE-SCL at your department, faculty and university?

The first starter and sparker is I myself’ as a trained person who know the possibilities of the implementation of OBE-SCL. I have to implement it in my classes, until approve and understand other departments and lectures that it needs commitment and motivation. Then it will progress in faculties’ level. It is possible if firstly the trained academic members want to motivate the other showing their practical efforts and commitment and basically the leadership and administrative unite is also important to support the reforms.

  1. How will you motivate other lecturers at the university to attend the OBE-SCL workshop conducted by you and implement it in their courses?

I think of many ways to motivate and persuade the faculty members to participate actively in the OBE-SCL workshop.

  • To inform the professors that the certificate of OBE-SCl can will be a part of you promotion that approve your academic achievements (Recently I talked to the vice-chancellor about the OBE-SCL concepts; He accept the decision).
  • To understand them that the universities in Afghanistan cannot continue with the traditional or teacher centered learning.
  • To aware the teachers that OBE-SCL is to be implemented as a governmental concept and it is a must; better to be equipped with.
  • To motivate them that OBE-SCL concept is the needs of today’s Afghanistan that can make possible continues quality improvement, expected outcome, academicals growth in the region, economic growth and development in the country.
  1. As a Champion, how do you think OBE-SCL can be institutionalized in Afghanistan Higher Education?

Firstly to keep in mind that at the beginning every new phenomenon attract the resistance of the society to deny but cannot resists, so day by day once the people know the values of that; on that they soon become agree to accept the change. The same manner will goes with the implementation and institutionalization of OBE-SCL concept. To conclude I can say yes it can be institutionalize although it will get long time. Foreseen of the successful institutionalization of the OBE-SCL is very clear expected outcome of the program should be understand and explained clearly to the teachers and administrative units in all the universities in our country. I think that the role of MoHE can be very effective.

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