Knowledge Management 2016
Special talk on ‘Soft skills: Don’t have to be so hard'
A fascinating talk by Professor S Armstrong was held on Tuesday 4th April 2017 from 13:30-15:00 at Bangna campus, Assumption University
Professor S Armstrong, Head of the Department of English from the University of Madras, India gave a comparable talk on hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are examples of language proficiency and grade point average on the academic transcript. Whereas soft skills are focused more on communication skills and teamwork management. He emphasizes that both of these skills are not inherited but it is something which we have to gain through our own practices and experiences. The six concepts in soft skills that he focused on were the PADMAN Plan.
Professor S Armstrong believed that if students fully understood what soft skills are then it will ameliorate their communication skills when they apply for jobs in the near future.
After attending this special talk, I have decided to include his concept into my lesson in the ‘Conducting an Interview’. Originally my topic was about wearing the right clothes for jobs interviews, different types of interviews and interview structures and now including the concept of hard skills and soft skills.
A majority of my students now realized that they have been focusing too much on their hard skills and need to switch their attention to their soft skills. I told my students that ‘You don’t have to be the smartest student or excel in everything that you do but what you need to have is good teamwork and communicationskills.’ These factor matters more when you go out to face the challenges in the real world.
Digital Tools on Teaching and Learning
Digital and technology contribute to teaching and learning for undergraduate students at Assumption University more significantly than the traditional style of teaching and learning. Digital and technology in teaching and learning attract students’ attention by providing contents, exercises, handout, assessment and educational games in digital form.
As an international university, the global perception is one of many factors that AU concern to transform themselves into a modern university, therefore, the way teaching materials and activities passed to all students should help to build innovation on teaching and learning for the university. Digitals and technologies in teaching and learning play an extraordinary role in educating and empowering teachers and students to become more knowledgeable, and awareness of current issues in crossing border.
The University always supports digital systems and tools which help to form the digital culture in both teachers and students. As digitals play important role in many functions all over the world such as the digital market, network, research, etc. digital culture need to be put into students to them for the future.
The aim of knowledge management on digital tools in teaching and learning is to promote the relationship between GE lecturers, to share perspectives, ideas, experience, information, and discover knowledge and method in using digital and technology in teaching and learning GE courses. The details are as follows:
Digital and technology could be used in teaching.
All lecturers from the Department of General Education (GE) use PowerPoint and excel program for their teaching. They always use PowerPoint to present content because they found that the presentation can appeal to a number of different learning styles and be made more stimulating since audio and visual can be added to the lessons. Moreover, PowerPoint comes with a free viewer programme that students can study and review the lesson anytime. It is not required for students to have PowerPoint on their personal system. Many lecturers upload their PowerPoint file on LMS for students to review the lesson. To use PowerPoint for effective presentation, lecturers can consider:
The presentation structure should not longer than five main topics.
The content on each slide should be the main structural headings and subheading not all textual and reading out all to students
The slide theme can be created with PowerPoint function so it is unnecessary to always use the common theme that provided by the PowerPoint program.
The time duration to present each slide should be appropriate and not deliver it too fast.
The file on the PowerPoint program can be adjusted anytime conveniently because of the “Key functions” of the program such as CTRL+D, CTRL+A, CTRL+G, etc.
The number of slides is approximately 20-30 slides per 90 minutes
How “LMS Moodle” be used effectively in classroom
There are 12 GE courses open on LMS Moodle for students to learn in digital form. They are GE 1101 Thai Civilization, GE 1201 Information and literacy skills, GE 1203 Society, Politics and Economics, GE 1301 Environmental Science, GE 1401 Language and Communication Skills, GE 1403 Communication in Thai, GE 1404 Thai Culture and Traditions, GE 2101 World Civilization, GE 2130 Art of reasoning, GE 2202 Ethics, GS 2206 Personality Development, and TH 1500 Introduction to Thai. LMS also change the traditional classroom to the modern classroom that serves the modern world learners. AU students can assess LMS Moodle by signing in with AU passcode
Using LMS Website to create multiple choice Questions. LMS allows the teacher to design and set quiz tests, which may be automatically marked and feedback and/or to correct answers shown. Moodle quizzes have two major components: the quiz body and the question pools. Think of the quiz bodies as containers for various types of questions from the question pools. The body is what students see when they take the assessment. It also defines how the students interact with the quiz. Creating a new quiz is a two-step process. In the first step, you create the quiz activity and set its options which specify the rules for interacting with the quiz. In the second step, you add questions to the quiz. The questions in a quiz body can be of any type, chosen manually or at random, and displayed in a set or random order. The question pools can contain questions arranged in a manner that makes sense to you.
Using LMS Website to create Matching Questions. The answer to each of a number of sub-question must be selected from a list of possibilities. Matching questions ask students to match multiple question items to multiple possible answers. They are useful for testing students’ understanding of vocabulary and their ability to match examples to concepts. Matching questions have a content area and a list of names or statements which must be correctly matched against another list of names or statements.
Using LMS Website to create True/False Question. In a true/false question, a student is given only two choices for an answer. The question content can include an image or HTML code. When feedback is enabled, the appropriate feedback message is shown to the student after the answer.
Using LMS Website to create a short answer question. Short Answer allows a response of one or a few words that is graded by comparing against various model answers, which may contain wildcards. The answer could be a word or a phrase, but it must match one of your acceptable answers exactly. It's a good idea to keep the required answer as short as possible to avoid missing a correct answer that's phrased differently. You may find it helpful to prototype your short-answer questions to catch common acceptable answers you hadn‘t thought of. To do this, start by creating a few acceptable answers and include the question in a quiz for no points. Be sure to tell students you are testing a new question. Once the quiz is over, review the student‘s answers and add their acceptable answers to the list.
Using LMS Website to retrieve grades from pre-post tests
How smart phone be used as a learning tools in classroom
Smartphones provide the ability to get answers quickly.
Kahoot is a game based classroom response system played by the whole class in real time. Multiple-choice questions are projected on the screen. Students answer the questions on their smartphone.
LINE application is used as an additional tool for language learners to practice listening and speaking skills as frequency as they can. LINE is a new communication app that allows students to make high-quality free voice calls, and send free messages that keep students close to lecturers and practice their pronunciation with peers unlimited.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Sureepong's knowledge sharing for research and academic paper publication
In the academic year 2016, Theodore Maria School of Arts started conducting a KM research session every Wednesday from 14.00-15.00 hrs at CL1103. All the sessions were moderated by Dr. Sureepong Phothongsunan. Overall, the KM session received positive feedback from Arts faculty members as evidenced by a number of Arts lecturers from different departments who participated and actively involved in the sessions. A few lecturers who had class during the sessions also contacted Dr. Sureepong to discuss their keen research interests and topics at their convenient time. The concept of the KM research session is that every Arts faculty member is welcome to join and no appointment is needed. The session is very casual in nature and is for sharing, discussing, and learning from each other on any research-related topics (e.g. writing proposals, writing and publishing papers, presenting papers, including getting inspired to write). From organizing these sessions, Theodore Maria School of Arts has got more AU research grant and some of the grant applications are now in the approval process from the AU Research Support Committee. Also, it is expected that more academic publication will be out especially from the program faculty members in which case KM research sessions have played a part in driving the lecturers’ interest and supporting them in doing research and academic work.
As a tradition, Theodore Maria School of Arts organized research training on the topic, ‘Researching Teaching and Learning’ on Mon 15 May 2017 at John XXIII Conference Center, Suvarnabhumi Campus from 9.00- 16.00 hrs. Its aim was to support and enhance lecturers to conduct research and publish more academic works. This research training was required for all Arts lecturers. The guest speaker invited to impart and share knowledge was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pornapit Darasawang from King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi.
On the whole, the training was well-received as Arts lecturers reported gaining practical ideas on new research methods that can be used in the field of language teaching, including inspiration to do research in the classroom. The guest speaker having long, worthwhile experience in conducting many forms of research clearly demonstrated how research methods could be applied to fit certain classroom situations. Several Arts lecturers got a chance to propose their research topics and they received useful comments and constructive feedback from the guest speaker. The atmosphere was dynamic and collaborative. Theodore Maria School of Arts will continue to organize this kind of research training as it indeed serves as a useful forum for Arts lecturers to strengthen their research skills.
Standardized Exam Preparation (IELTS)
For the IELTS course, we split the three sessions as follows
Session 2: Writing
Session 3: Listening/Speaking
Overall the students improved all four skills. However, many of them wanted four or five session classes as they felt that meeting up just three times was not enough for them to prepare for the actual exam. Another problem was that as it was a mixed ability classroom and students who were stronger in speaking skills felt held back, other weaker students felt pressured to keep up with the class pace.
The knowledge learned from this project is that when students are aware of the benefits of the course, they usually have high motivation in learning.