The 5th Instructor Training Event hosted by University of Malaya was held on 20 February 2020. Five (5) ALIEN project participating lecturers from the Department of Software Engineering attended this session facilitated by Dr. Aishah Abu Bakar. As these lecturers already implementing action learning activities using TEALs in their courses, the session was aimed to look at the actual implementation issue and guide lecturers on further improvements to be made.
We started by reviewing the PBL process and criteria to refresh ourselves on pedagogical approach we used. We then looked at the use of various forms and lectures experiences in implementing them during the PBL learning period. The first document that we discussed was the teamwork contract. Looking at these form and how they were actually filled up by students, we noticed that the intended purpose for using the team contract form was not fully realised. Lecturers themselves realised that they themselves never had an experienced using this form for team development purposes. Using our own evidences, we reviewed and discuss the purpose using the form. It was indeed to ensure teamwork developed amongst the team member by making sure each students member identify and understand their role in the project. Besides, through the team contract form students were also trained to me responsible and accountable for their conduct and contribution to the progress and the outcome of the project. At the end of the discussion, it became clear to lecturers that when the team contract is implemented correctly with proper facilitation by the lecturer, the intended purpose for using the form can be achieved.
The second part of this session was on how to use the PBL FILA form. Lecturers were put into actual short PBL activities where they have to experience filling in the FILA form themselves. It was indeed a big learning curve to lecturers before they will be able to facilitate students into using the FILA form in the PBL activities. One of the biggest challenge realised by lecturers during this activity was filling in the second column of the form which involved formulating appropriate questions related to subject content based on the trigger / information extracted. We understood that formulating question is the hardest part and that we need to prepare our students on this aspect. One of the approach to this is to modelled ‘questioning’ during lecture classes and demonstrate this skill in a mindful manner. In this manner, before the questioning skill can be used in PBL, students at least have been introduced to what and how to ‘question’.
At the end of this training event, we had rich discussion on how PBL forms and tool can be effectively used to help students achieve the intended learning outcome and had a meaningful learning experiences.