Fulbright Scholar Presents Research at Myanmar Conference
Gail Dickinson, Fulbright Scholar to Cambodia, presented her work with Chorvy Vong, Director of the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s Quality Assurance Unit on starting a teaching and learning center at a national conference for Myanmar university faculty hosted by Dagon University and the United Board.
In Cambodia professors are only rewarded for seniority and there are currently no systems in place to reward research, service or teaching so recruiting faculty for professional development is not easy. Providing lunch and addressing topics of immediate usefulness are the most successful strategies.
A workshop of developing an effective syllabus given at the beginning of the semester was the most popular of the series to date. In addition to advice about starting a teaching and learning center, Dr. Dickinson also presented an inquiry-based lesson on density so that participants could see how they might change their teaching from lecture to more student-centered approaches. This lesson included a hands-on lab for the over 200 participants.
Because faculty represented a wide range of disciplines, the lab provided the opportunity for rich discussion. Dr. Dickinson also modeled alternative assessment techniques by using three quick assessments where attendees indicated their level of understanding and comfort with the methods they’d been taught during the conference. While teachers recognized the need for student-centered approaches, they were uneasy with them and had some lingering misconceptions about student-centered approaches.
Attendee feedback was shared with the attendees, university administrators and conference organizers with the hope that additional training will be provided for faculty.
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