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BUBBLES IN THE OCEAN

The humble journey to The Creator: After all, we are just a tiny bubble in the ocean

Month

June 2016

TRUST ME, TEACHING IS NOT EASY

tuckman-model1

 

Sometimes in life, especially when we are working in a team, we’ll need to undergo all these stages as ruled out by Tuckman, if we want to be a performing team.

No exception as well for the lecturers-students relationships. There’ll be a time when the storm comes. If there is no storm, it can possibly be
i. the lecturers are too accommodating and putting too much scaffolding (or in other words, too much spoon-feeding), hence didn’t allow the students to use their thinking critically or learn about perseverance OR
ii. the lecturers/ students themselves refused to listen and being authoritative in making decision for the classroom.

Both cases are detrimental for the students future development because for case i, you are making the students had a fixed mindset and taken aback when there are challenges and turbulence facing them and for case ii, you didn’t allow for a feedback to the students’ learning, and they will learn to be authoritative as well in the future. Of course authoritative is good at certain time, but the key important point here, when we teach it is not about us, it is about the student’s development.

Be positive when the storm arrives. Keep our mind open. Listen and give feedback where necessary and after that forgive and move on. The important key point here is, if the students did wrong, tell them what they did wrong, solve it and forgive them and never penalise them (in terms of grading whatsoever) for their unnecessary behaviour. Difficult isn’t it? Yes, lecturers need to be the big-hearted one. We are not only teaching the content to the students, or only about thinking skills. We also need to teach values, properness and building a resilience generation for our future.

For example, they call you b*b* or crazy. Don’t simply dismiss it. Highlight it and ask what is their problem. Tell them what you feel and understand their feeling too. Correct their action and move forward. Teach as usual.

As for my students, whenever there are storms arise in our class, I’m not that ‘terasa hati’. I know to err is human. And conflict would not happen if only one side causing it. So, just forgive each other and move on. Teach as usual. Relationship and bond created (norming) and only then students will perform.

Trust me, teaching is not easy.

FLIPPED CLASSROOM?

 

Screenshot 2016-06-22 08.23.40.png

 

Many of the teachers & lecturers may want to know how should we conduct a flipped classroom, as it is becoming the ‘in-thing’ right now.

What is flipped classroom?

My respected sifu & mentor, Prof Dr Abd Karim Alias was one of the pioneer of flipped classroom in Malaysia and I learnt a lot from him.

You can try to understand a little bit about flipped classroom, from these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQWvc6qhTds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojiebVw8O0g

What is the benefit of flipped classroom?

1. The lecturers/teachers can spend a lot more time with their students. Watch this TED talk. Teaching is about creating a relationship. How do you create a relationship, if your classroom is entirely lecture and power point presentation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFnMTHhKdkw

2. The lecturers/teachers can have more meaningful activities during the lecture hours allocated for them to enhance the thinking skills among the students.

3. Some skills and values can be imparted in the class especially via group work activities.

So, what’s my practice?

I also created my own videos (well we, because to ensure that we’re not burdened in creating the videos, my teaching partner , Dr Raihan Ramlicreated half of the content and I created another half), but I also curated some videos (such as taking the youtube videos of others and shared the link with my students).

Some of the examples of the videos that we created are as follows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzhCWapBwzE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leeFWBwod_I

But is that all? NO

We need to design some activities to ensure the lecture hour assigned to us are being fulfilled to ensure it brings a new understanding on the courses you teach to the students. As for example,

1. Jigsaw activities to solve problems
2. Mind map to recap the lectures/notes from the videos
3. Quizzes & Polls to investigate their understanding
4. Problem solving and discussion of higher level, and many more

How do we make sure the students watch the videos?

As for now, we do have some online quizzes and conduct it with the students. Though it is still prone to cheating, the students who cheat and not watching the videos will find that they are at lost, when they step into the class. Few of the examples of what I’ve done so far for this semester:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6azXJlXh3o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAJ45OODM3I

It looks easy, but two important skills that need to be acquired by the lecturers are:

i) Facilitation skill

ii) Motivational skill

If you are interested to start with a flipped classroom activity, start small and expand. Tweak where necessary as time goes by.

Happy trying! All the best.

 

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