Reflection on OBE-SCL Advanced Workshop in UTM Malaysia
- 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.
- 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.
- Have you had or done a similar kind of teaching & learning activities in the past (in your courses at the university)?
I was always trying my best to be innovative in my teaching by creating an environment to engage my students in teaching and learning process where individuals participate actively in discussion and take responsibility of on their shoulder. I always motivated them and reminding them their responsibilities in society but I was vain of meeting my expectation, though I was teaching honestly and never felt lazy in duty. I have taken teaching as my responsibility and passion. The mismatch of my hardworking and students’ unexpected result disappointed me. I was blaming my students for not having motivation yet I found that I am playing blaming game by putting all blame on students’ shoulder. For example, I have assigned senior students in course of research to conduct group research project. I was constantly giving them feedback but in final these were all the same except few students who were trying their best but the rest were just eater of the prepared food.
- In what ways have you gotten better at the OBE-SCL concepts?
The Concept of OBE-SCL helped me in many ways. First of all, it helped me in process of teaching and learning. I believe teaching is fun and it’s a process of teaching and learning, in which there are numerous experiences for a teacher with even almost forty years of experiences. In my seven years of teaching experiences, I have learned many things and my experiences constantly changed. I can see the differences one year from the others in my teaching career. But the experiences I got from OBE-SCL advanced workshop helped me in creating effective learning environment, assist me in technology enabling learning. It thought me to take formative assessment as vital part of my teaching and as well taking into consideration the principle of cooperative learning.
I have realized my weak points I had in teaching and ways to improve them. It guided me in curriculum development process particularly, designing PEOs, POs, COs and LOs for my department and courses. Beside teaching the concept of OBE-SCL inspired me for transformation of higher education from the current system into a system where individual have the development capability. It helped me to analysis the global trend in higher education and to understand our own context for beginning points and what steps to be taken furtherly for transformation of the current system. CQI is the heart of OBE and we have always done non-stop and countless efforts for quality enhancement in our university and I have learned how to measure vision, PEOs POs and set indicators and to ensure their achievements.
- What problems did you encounter while you were attending the workshop? How did you solve them?
Before attending the workshop, the strange faces of my colleagues seemed difficult to adjust, since there were few of them I knew. The cooperative learning was the best method, which made me close to all and made some close friends as well. I have learned a lot even from the last final moments of the workshop even the final interview has corrected the misconception I had.
- What resources did you use while attending the OBE-SCL Workshop? Which ones were especially helpful?
we have used the manual of part one OBE introduction, part two OBE Assessment, introduction to SCL part one and introduction SCL part two and blended learning. They were all useful and equally important, but most important were formal and informal cooperative learning. OBE concept was very important since it was new to me and useful for my job as a teacher.
- How do you feel about the OBE-SCL Workshop? What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why? What did/do you enjoy about/in the workshop?
OBE-SCL advanced workshop have provided me the opportunities to meet different people and exchange our experiences. The workshop was as effective learning environment, where individual was learning from friendly facilitators. Beside learning from friendly trainers, they have created a learning environment with many opportunities to learn fruitfully from each other with best practiced of cooperative learning. We were feeling that we were almost at home and the learning environment seems almost second home. These all parts were our job relevant and we have learned best and update methods practiced in world based on market demands of 21st century.
- What did/do you find frustrating about it?
Insufficient time given to the training and the over load of work make us tired since based on requirement there were much assignments given to us for doing them on time. And it seems very frustrating to me as student when teacher asked me about assignment on due date and I didn’t do it yet. I have worked hard in order to meet the due dates and did all the assignment on time but if I could have enough time the outcome might have more effective than they are.
- Did this workshop meet your standards?
As a teacher I was always searching for best methods that could be suitable for the content and students level, so that my students have gained the ability of working by themselves not to be dependent on someone else for achievement. I believe there is no perfect method which can be best anytime and anywhere. Every method has its own limitation best on environment and context matters. That is why I was always using eclecticism best principle from every single method. OBE-SCL Advanced Workshop has helped me to see practically the usefulness of the concept OBE-SCL by experiencing them as real life application from our own training class and as well through class visit where they were using these methods.
- What were your main goals for attending the OBE-SCL Workshop? Did your goals change as you attended the workshop?
I am always eager to learn new things for bringing changes in myself for my special purpose of being generous on sharing knowledge with others. By doing this I can change the society through sharing what I have learned with my students. For the same purpose I am taking parts and all those opportunities which seems helpful for my goals. I have found the concept OBE-SCL useful and job relevant in a training held in Kandahar University for one day only. Since it was only one-day workshop and I have planned to go further and gain knowledge about those which I have not yet fully nurtured. the main goal from this workshop was to learn the new concept of OBE and SCL and as well learn new techniques and approaches of active learning both formal and informal cooperative learning for both small and large number students’ classes. In addition to be a master trainer of OBE and SCL for the extension of new concepts. Beside it my inspiration to take the opportunity of learning and the useful ways of curriculum designing have achieved somehow with other parts, but there are still I need to go further for example, I was not sure about PBL and its still doubtful after attending the advanced workshop.
- What does this Workshop reveal about you first as a lecturer and second as a learner?
I have found in this workshop the shortages I had and the answers to the questions I had, I was always searching for. “Why I am not getting the same results the way I am teaching?”. As I was always teaching honestly and did try my best but still was not able to get the same result which I was expecting. “We are learning from our own mistake”. But there should be someone or something to show us our mistake. I have realized my mistake in OBE-SCL workshop, where I have learned that although I was given my students constant feedback but I didn’t use the formative assessment and peer assessment to highlight individual contribution. As there is difference between cooperative learning group and traditional group which I have assigned them. I realized that the important principle and pillars to be considered while assigning my students into groups. I also have found out that, I should have considered the principle of cooperative learning and the important pillars positive interdependence which students would have depended on each other positively. I should have divided the task and recourses among them, so that they could positively depend on one other. I should have considered individual accountability so that as an individual they have felt the responsibility for achieving high level of performance. I would have taken into accounts promoted interaction since it is important for group members to feel that they should work together cooperatively and think that the success of team depend on contributions of each members.
As a student, I have corrected the things I have misunderstand the basic things in OBE and these has reveled in last interview parts of training. OBE-SCL advanced workshop has leaded me to enhance my knowledge to design PEOs and POs for my department for the first time and align them with COs (course outcomes) of a course as a templet and single LO (learning outcomes) I have learned to aligned single activity from each day directly to LOs and COs indirectly to POs and PEO and ensure the achievement of them through various types of assessment for scaffolding or guide them to the next section.
- What did you learn about yourself as you attended this workshop?
I have learned the way I was suggesting my other colleagues not to be over confident and I have found that I myself behaving overconfident which was a negative attributes of mine and that thought me unrevealed lesson. Beside this I have learned my level competence knowledge from others the things I am good in it and the things I should improve.
- Have you changed any ideas you used to have on the concepts of OBE-SCL?
Difference between formal cooperative learning groups with traditional groups and the SCL as a tool used for OBE were the misunderstanding parts I had and have been corrected in workshop. my belief on group work has changed as every group cannot be successful if the principle and pillars of cooperative learning groups are not considered.
- One thing I personally would like to improve upon is …
I believe I understand a lot in parts of developing PEOs and POs but these should not be only lift in theoretical based. They should be taken into practical work to actually design curriculum which will be helpful not only for champions enriching knowledge but also helpful in transforming the education system and adjust them with OBE. We are setting the vision statements PEOs, POs and yet whiter we have achieved them or not these parts are week in most institutions of Afghanistan. We have received a training in CQI yet we actually need a training on how actually we use these data.
- As a participant of the OBE-SCL Workshop, what are your suggestions to further improve the workshop?
The overall context of workshop was learnable and effective yet there are some suggestions which may make the workshop more effective and enjoyable. First, the time of workshop should be increase. Secondly, the participant should be given more opportunities of task performing. The context of the workshop should be more like workshop then presenting power point lecture.
- What things and concepts related to OBE-SCL you might want more help with?
I am willing to help more on every aspect of OBE-SCL since I am inspired to for the change we need. It is the only opportunity where I could contribute in every discipline by training lecturers from them. I have been motivated and suggested by Malaysian trainers while I was giving teaching demo on assessment parts to take assessment parts while training. Also when we were distributing the issues among champions in our university all has taken the other issues and they have lift assessment to me.
- What is your overall experience and implication of the OBE-SCL Workshop?
I have taken the trainings but not yet trained the others formally. We have planned to provide training for lecturers of Kandahar university in this summer to include one hundred fifty lecturers of Kandahar university in two times 75 each. The first time training will begin at July 7th. However, I have implemented OBE-SCL in my return of advanced workshop. After taking advanced workshop, I have used informal cooperative learning in my every class beginning with advanced organizer to know about their understanding of the concept, I have given the chances to students through intermediate discussion and ended my class with closure for ensuring the outcomes have been achieved. Before my advanced training I have used formal cooperative learning jigsaw and team group tournament and have positive result. Although we have not yet conduct formal training I have not waited for formal training to train lecturers. I have shared my experiences with some of my colleagues at department and they have used these techniques and had good result which have satisfied them as well.
- How will you support the implementation of OBE-SCL at your department, faculty and university?
I will support the implementation of OBE-SCL through formal training conducting by my university colleagues’ champions to the lecturers. I will also support my department lecturers by training them and motivate them to join in OBE-SCL training and also to go furtherly and helping them through curriculum design. I will help my faculty lecturers through training and facilitate them through curriculum committee and motivate them by sharing whatever I have for system transformation.
- 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 will motivate lecturers to implement OBE-SCL through sharing the success stories of OBE-SCL, the importance and usefulness of OBE-SCL and their benefits for student’s future and the change it can bring in individual and society.
- As a Champion, how do you think OBE-SCL can be institutionalized in Afghanistan Higher Education?
In my opinion, we can make the OBE-SCL a culture which can be practiced in all institutions of Afghanistan when we have motivated and convinced our leaders in institutions and MoHE by the discussing usefulness of the concept OBE-SCL, because the change should begin from here. They are the people who can either force or convinced their lecturers. Secondly, we can implement this concept quickly though making a network of the champions of all batch including Malaysians trainers by asking them to design actions plans and began adjusting the curriculums for OBE-SCL. Through making a center and focal points from where we can lead, train and transform the whole higher education system of MoHE. The effective way could be the exchanges of the champions from one institutions to others. If Champions in other university rather in his own university motivate lecturers will work effectively. So these champions in other university can effectively motivate the others by providing life examples and sharing success stories.