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.

The main aim of attending the workshop was the training of OBE – SCL system in deep for the Afghan lecturers and to make them champions in order to run and transfer what they learnt from workshops in their own universities in Afghanistan. In fact, the workshop covered five sections (OBE overview, OBE assessment, SCL  part 1, SCL part 2, and blended learning), in which each part had the effectiveness of its own, the trainers had plenty of experience in implementation and training OBE – SCL practically in Malaysia who run the workshop with high standards. The practices and DEMOs done during the workshop were very interesting and enjoyable for me as learnt more, moreover, the feedback given by trainers after DEMOs were very much useful as most the gaps were filled accordingly. Most of formal and informal cooperative learning methods were tried to train practically to participants so as to deeply should be understandable, therefore the workshop was itself designed based on SCL concepts which was very much appreciated by participants, however the time for the workshop was short and the contents were more. During the workshop, I felt myself as a learner but the trainers’ feedback was on the level of lecturer on my performance. Based on our Demos and final teaching portfolios, we were evaluated through pre & post tests, and face to face interviews that hopefully I have been recommended to become a trainer and should continue to improve my understanding on learning theories.

As I have mentioned above that implementation of OBE – SCL is impossible to apply for technical disciplines, however by direct observation from ongoing OBE – SCL classes in different engineering fields specifically in mechanical engineering class which we had observatory tour there at UTM, and workshop, I have changed my ideas in this regard that it is possible to apply it for engineering programs with suitable manners with consideration of curriculum design, class environments and many other factors. In today’s world, technology is growing up fast and affects positively in different aspects, specifically in education process, so blended learning and using of various software in classrooms was my first ever experience on this workshop, which I understood as much as it was thought. Since the experience shows, Implementation of OBE – SCL needs long time, especially in Afghanistan, that for a long time, we have been using traditional system, so firstly it should be socialized from top to down, and convinced the authorities and the rest of faculties accordingly.

 

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