KKU carries out Online Learning Workshop, suggesting role changing for teachers with an aim to build new-era Thai children with analytical mind

Thursday August 13, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. – Education and Academic Service Section, Khon Kaen University held an opening ceremony for the Online Learning Workshop. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University presided over the opening ceremony. Assoc. Prof. Maitree Inprasitha, Ph.D., Vice President for Education and Academic Services made a reporting speech. 410 lecturers and students participated in the workshop, 353 online through ZOOM and YouTube live applications and 57 in person at Institute for Research and Development in Teaching Profession for ASEAN (IRDTP).

Assoc. Prof. Maitree Inprasitha, Ph.D., Vice President for Education and Academic Services

Assoc. Prof. Maitree Inprasitha, Ph.D., Vice President for Education and Academic Services gave the background of the workshop: Online Learning.

The opening session began from the reporting speech by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maitree Inprasitha. Because of COVID-19, a new teaching and learning condition emerged for all levels of education. Physically, the teacher and the students can no longer follow the classroom-based Instruction. Social Distancing has to be adopted and instruction has to be based on Distance Learning, which is now known as Online Learning.

“Khon Kaen University organized this Online Learning Workshop under the New Educational Paradigm Development Project in order that KKU lecturers, educators, students and any individuals will understand and be able to visualize the Online Learning approaches which also are based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this Digital Transformation Era”, Assoc. Prof. Maitree said

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University said, “Khon Kaen University presently targets ‘Education Transformation’. The rationale behind is that we realize the fact that Thai universities carry out teaching and learning like primary and secondary classrooms, that is to say, teaching students to memorize the knowledge without thinking. That only means transferring knowledge from the teacher to the students. But now, things have changed. Knowledge is everywhere in the world of the Internet. Teachers do now know all. Students can search and thus know as much as or even more than the teacher. Therefore, time is already gone for teachers to teach the content to the students.”

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University

“Therefore, online lectures must incorporate thinking skills. How can students search for more knowledge. Is it us who construct knowledge for them, or is it the students themselves to do so. In this era, we want the students to be smarter than the teacher and to know more. This means the teacher has to change the role from teaching to coaching, who creates the process for giving suggestions and assistance. Teachers outdo the students in terms of experience and knowledge application. Teachers should therefore be able to screen true knowledge for the students. This can happen both online and onsite.”

KKU President Assoc. Prof. Charnchai gave an example of an activity arranged by the Business School at Harvard University, where the teacher has the students search for knowledge and has the criteria to check if the students understand the content and the theories. This activity is called “tutorial hours”, which are online meetings or onsite meetings. The teacher asks questions, and students answer in their team. Smarter students tutor the weaker ones in a soc-called Team-based Learning style. With this, an unexpected outcome is the ‘Communication Skill’ – another trait of the new-era graduate of the 21st Century.

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai continued to say that therefore, teachers are to set the strategy for students to learn. Online learning is one strategy. It is the simplest approach in the COVID-19 situation. Any teacher who is ready can create an online lesson. Students can learn at any time and any place. It will make life easier. However, there should be sessions where the teacher and the students meet, which can be online or onsite. In these sessions, the teacher and the students can talk and discuss. Lectures are turned into chatting and exchanging, just like the ‘tutorial hours’ at Harvard.

One thing we should not forget about online teaching or producing online lessons is that we want students to build knowledge on their own. The more difficult thing than online teaching is evaluation and assessment. When we change from teaching paradigm to learning paradigm, we must be able to assess. Otherwise, all will fail. If we teach students to be able to think, but we still assess memories, learning will never take place; students would memorize to pass the exam. That, must be totally changed.

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai emphasized at the end that education transform does not mean that online teaching outdoes onsite teaching. However, both are only tools in learning management. Teachers should not forget that what is more important is how to make students think, how to make them become able to synthesize knowledge.

“I thank you all on behalf of Khon Kaen University. I appreciate the work of the Education and Academic Service Section for continuously supporting the project to the fullest extent. Thanks are extended to special guest speakers, Prof. Dr. Masami ISODA and Prof. Yutaka OHARA, Assoc. Prof. Kamonwan Jenwitheesuk, M.D., and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maitree Inprasitha who kindly run the workshop. I also thank administrators and lecturers who are here and all participants in the workshop,” the President ended.

The Online Learning Workshop was organized on August 13-14, 2020. Followings are the main activities:

1)  A talk on “Teaching Preparation for Online Classroom” by Prof. Yutaka OHARA and expert from Kanto-Gakuin University, Japan

2)  A talk on “Online learning in the Digital Era” by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maitree Inprasitha, Vice President for Education and Academic Services, Khon Kaen University

3) A talk on “A Practice of the University of Tsukuba of COVID-19: with the cases of Tsukuba and Waseda Universities” by Prof. Dr. Masami Isoda, and expert from Tsukuba University and Director of the Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED)

4) A talk on “On-line Learning Direction: Faculty of Medicine” by Assoc. Prof. Kamonwan Jenwitheesuk, M.D., Associate Dean in Academic Affairs, Faculty of Medicine

5) Exhibitions related to Online Learning

If interested, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj6NLbOkZ0U

[ Thai ]