Showing posts with label tertiary education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tertiary education. Show all posts

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Challenge: Re-orienting the learning approach

As a Ghanaian who studied in Ghana, I've gone through an educational system that lays premium on passing exams and getting degrees, and cerificates -- what I call A4 sheets.
This system is still dominant, albeit there's a fresh breath of forward-thinking institutions, and individuals who realise that it's skill and ability that determine the output of an individual, and not a piece of paper.
In my (still young) academic life, I've met students who have no clue why they are in school.
For most, so long as they can get a job, they are okay.
No identified problem to be solved. No wonder most researches undertaken by students towards the award of a degree are next to 'useless' in terms of practically solving a problem.
The classroom environment is one that sees lecturers teach students what to think, and not how to think.
Chewing and spewing of facts is the norm. Understanding concepts is simply unwelcomed.
I am frustrated.
I need help in re-orienting the teaching/learning approach being used in our educational system.
I was privileged to be involved in the teaching of the Human-Computer Interaction course last semester. The first couple of classes made me realise how I had to explain almost everything on the PPTs I was using.
Note: The textbook on which the PPTs is based, and supplementary texts have been given to the students.
So the next lecture, I informed the class I hadn't read the book and so implied I wasn't ready to teach effectively.
Surprisingly, I went through about 6 slides with VERY little questions from the class.
No discussions.
That changed the next lecture because they had actually read and researched, and a wholesome diacussion took place.
I also tried using twitter to engage the class. That didn't go well, but it's a start.
Also, the students a practical assignment in training their eyes on products around them and their designs.
Thanks to Astrid, my boss Patrick, Richard, Kajsa for their advice, motivation, and believe in my ability.
There is hope.
I'm really opened to suggestions on to effectively engage my students and get the best out of them, and the courses I may teach.
Please share your tips, tricks in the comment section.
Thanks.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The TWEBA1D hangover

The guys were not very happy about how the exams went. The course was one that they would have loved more, had the lecturer used a 'concept-understanding' approach.
They decided to get over their disappointment and hang out -- joy in brotherhood. They went to a spot by their hostel and communicated with some bottles.
Not satisfied, they decided to go all out and hangout for the remainder of the day, after all, "yɛ bɛ wo nti, yɛ nda?"

All plans to study for the Electronics & Microprocessors paper (due the following day) were cancelled.

Their next stop was another spot. The guys shared stories and discussed issues that were important to them. After about 3 hours, the guys were on the move again.

Their final spot was one that was considered 'family'. The guys did not only drink, but had grasscutter soup as well. They stayed till about 10:30 pm -- just chatting  and sharing future aspirations.

Instead of going home, they passed by a girls' hostel to 'make noise'.  They sang most of their favourite 'jama' songs.

Finally, they went home.

The following morning, most of the guys had hangovers. 'sia!
The paper was at 2pm and so they went to campus, and began to revise their notes. They used approximately 2 hiurs to do that -- 10am to 12: 20pm.

What really is amazing about these guys is that they ALL passed the paper, inspite of their hangover.

Today, they are all working towards their dreams, and are succesful at what they currently do.
The brothers are there for one another, and this extends to all their acquaintances. This brotherhood is for life!