Reflections on my Teaching and Learning

As mentioned before in Section 3, I found interesting pattern of my students’ performance based on the TLE and PLE that I have conducted. The conclusion that I could make at several point was that students (of different semesters and different courses that undergo TLE and PLE) could not just undergo TLE without PLE and vice versa.

I have tried to understand the pattern of learning among my students in both PLE and TLE. However, I find it more interesting to look at what students actually say. Therefore, I always find time (with the help from tutors) to also conduct surveys and interviews.

Some of the survey results between PLE vs TLE are shared below. Figure 5.a, 5.b, 5.c, and 5.d and the graphs showing some of the survey responds collected on PLE. The questions gather opinion on PLE delivery. For each questions, students could rate lowest (1) to highest (5) according to their level of satisfaction. This survey was conducted online and respondents remain anonymous. For this particular survey (as shown in Figure 5.a – 5.d), 33 students responded to the questionnaires.

Figure 5.4a. Comments on PLE – 1

Figure 5.4b. Comments on PLE – 2

Figure 5.4c. Comments on PLE – 3

Figure 5.4d. Comments on PLE – 4

Based on Figure 5.a, 5.b, 5.c, and 5.d, I concluded that on average, students are satisfied (rated 4 out of 5) with PLE teaching style. That is counted up to approximately 53% students rate satisfied with the way PLE is delivered. Approximately 19% of these group of students rate ‘OK’ to PLE teaching delivery. On the other hand, about 27% of these students rated highly satisfied with the delivery of PLE. This group of students may like PLE because of many reasons. Therefore, to understand more about what they like or they do not like, why they like PLE or hate PLE, some open-ended survey answers are collected as shown in Table 5.1 that follows.

Table 5.1 Some of the open ended survey answers about PLE (flipped classroom pre-class)

“I am fully satisfied with the PLE processes because it allows myself to identify my own strengths and limitation. By using the Youtube for instance, i would understand the context better because i can visualize the activities that need to be delivered.”

“It able [allow me] to create a personal and virtual learning space for me as a learner but it will be good if there is specific system that I can used to refer during my study. I mean maybe it’s good if there is the KMS website that contains all the syllabus that we have learned.”

“The systems can assist the user to increase level of understanding of certain subject. But, sometime the systems unable to provide the required information and also give informations or methods that are complicated and difficult to understand.”

“There information are there in the web 2.0. But it seems difficult for me to grasp all the information without any focus and initial understanding. I need to get the brief overview about what I am going to do and learn before do the activities. Plus, learning through PLE limiting me to brainstorm and discuss any idea or information with my friends. Limiting me to work my brain and thinking out of the box.”

“I am satisfied with the system performance [PLE delivery] as it enables me to learn and gain more knowledge about the subject thought in class. The system makes me have a better understanding and it is useful as it is related to the topic taught in class.”

“..easy to understand…get more information.”

“I’m satisfied because by using the Youtube [PLE] students are able to see how the problem to be solve and it is easier to understand compared to reading about the knowledge. Besides that the blogs [PLE] are really helpful as students are able to comment and ask their opinion regarding the knowledge”

“Even though, I do like PLE but I prefer the traditional way of learning…”

“… students nowadays are able to study using web 2.0 whereby the materials/tutorial/QNA are delivered via online medium. The interaction between students n the tutor is there…”

“Even though I only experienced once in learning by following this system [this is my first class being introduced to PLE], I am satisfied with this learning environment. This is because it helped me to understand more about the real situation of the case study given. Moreover, it also helps to increase the students’ interest in exploring the knowledge.”

“The most important thing that I really like is the ease of use of Google+ and Elearning [PLE].”

“The system performance [PLE delivery] is not the issue. It went so well. It just about the internet connection which sometime not good.”

“Abundant of information can be gained to support the problem solving”

“The overall satisfaction for the system PLEs process are actually quite good for some students who prefer to study alone. These fast learner students will be able to perform better and well comparing to students who are slow learners that can’t be able to capture quick what they have watched or learned. Therefore, as for me, I am perfectly satisfied with this system [PLE] because I enjoy studying myself and have much more confidence towards my techniques of studying.”

“Very satisfied as it helps with my understanding for this subject”

From the open-ended survey qualitative data collected, there are few points that I appreciate. Some of them points out to how I could improve my PLE delivery too. This is what matter and I find it interesting. Many students mentioned that they enjoyed learning in PLE. For example, one of the respondent mentioned that they could get more examples and better understanding through PLE. They also enjoyed the many types of medium of PLE that include Youtube, blogs and others.

However, I realized that PLE suits some of them and not all. For example, from one of the data collected, I learnt that PLE suits students who prefer to study on their own and fast learners. I learnt that some students whom are slower in picking up what they learnt may find PLE difficult for learning. Another respondent also mentioned that

But it seems difficult for me to grasp all the information without any focus and initial understanding the activities. I need to get the brief overview about what I am going to do and learn before do the activities”

From the response, I conclude that this student needs some guidance and brief explanation about the topic being discussed. This is important before he or she started to go deep into the detail of the subject.

Other than that, I learnt that having good internet connection is important to ensure PLE successfully delivered. Therefore, for those students who do not have this luxury, PLE might not work at all. This is due to the fact that they could not download or view any material at all when the internet connection is extremely bad.

This are the usual feedback that I have been getting from many surveys conducted with a few different group of students. Curious to know more, I conducted interviews with selected students to get feedback concerning PLE. Table 5.2 presents some of the feedback received from students during the interview.

Table 5.2 Some of the respondent’s feedback on PLE (flipped classroom pre-class)

Std ID 17247: I have found that PLEs practices encourage me to read further about the topic being taught through other materials given. I think it would be better if in other classes we are allowed to do PLE at home. The time given to learn in class and during tutorial is not enough for us to really master the whole chapter or topic.
Std ID 17213: PLE benefited me in such that it lightens up my spirit [motivation] in finding out how to solve a problem myself. Since I have ample time [at home or anywhere outside classroom] I will try my best to search for the needed information which related to the question [references].
Std ID 17523: [PLE allows me to] Practice to be independent in finding for information.
Std ID 17271: PLEs to me, can bring a lot of benefits during revision time. I am able to gather all the information related to what I am studying, and practice ways to answer questions.
Std ID 18924: The practices of PLEs outside lab and classes give me better understanding about the topic compared to previous practices [just TLE]. I think, it [PLE] encourages everyone to have more idea without limitation [to what being taught by the lecturer].
Std ID 17529: I don’t think I will be able to perform well in my studies with PLE learning style. This is because I need to learn on my own on how to solve problems and find answers myself. I find it difficult to do that. By the way, I am the kind of person who easily gets distracted when there are so many media being used. I will also browse something else which is not related to studies whenever I hook to the internet [online]. I don’t think I will be able to really focus with PLE.
Std ID 19979: The practices of PLEs benefit me because it enables me to learn by myself instead of relying too much on my lecturer or my tutor all the time. Besides that, PLEs made me read more and therefore enhance my knowledge on the subject matter. It also helped me to understand better and helped me to score well for my tests.
Std ID 17264: Through PLE, I’m able to choose the best way of learning that fit my own way of learning and I can find more details about something [the subject or topic being taught].
Std ID 15863: PLE allow me to gain benefits in many ways, I learnt to be independent and be flexible in searching for solutions. PLE to me is a platform to practice how to solve problems yourself, and it is a platform to practice with minimal supervision but having knowledge sharing and discussion whenever applicable, especially when lack of understanding on particular subject. It is a way to encourage student to have self-initiatives to find the right answer and being confident with your answer.
Std ID 17407: PLE gives me freedom in learning the way the way I feel comfortable and that works for me. When I am learning the way I like it, it stimulate my idea to flow freely without any restrictions. I find it easier to change idea, links with friends and discuss with them with PLE.
Std ID 16956: PLE could be better if we have faster and more stable internet.
Std ID 17319: Ok, I enjoyed PLE. Anyway, that is if the material [for PLE] is planned well and what needs to be done during PLE is explained in detail, than it will be much easier for us to prepare and study.
Std ID 17282: PLEs in class helped me in gaining the interest about the subject. Besides, it is also interesting on how I can explore and discover the things or useful knowledge by myself. It gives me a satisfaction in learning with new environment [PLE].
Std ID 15765: I learn how to use new tools by myself such as Freemind, and I also get familiar with Google+ which was a space that I did not know at the beginning of the semester but at the end of it I was able to manage my work and learning effectively.

From the responses collected (some are shown in Table 5.2) I found that there are students whom could learn well through PLE. However, there are also students who could not (e.g. refer to respondent 17529). There many other students who mention that they could not be doing just PLE and needs guidance through TLE. For example, one of the respondents mentioned that,

“We could not be doing things on our own (PLE). We need someone to tell us whether what we are doing is right or wrong (TLE). We also need explanations on things that we are not sure with (TLE). We need lecturer to tell us about the topic, some introduction and let us understand the big picture of it (TLE). When it comes to finding examples or to find case studies related to the topic, we can then do it on our own (PLE). Some students will take this opportunity (PLE) to explore more (PLE), especially if they are interested in that area of study.”

In conclusion, I have learnt that my teaching and learning needs both TLE and PLE. I need to prepare materials for both TLE and PLE, to ensure that my students learn well during lectures and gain more knowledge through their own self-study. However, I need to prepare the right materials for these two teaching and learning styles, which are TLE and PLE, to ensure students learn and perform better.

It is important to note that SLE is not formally assess in my teaching. However, I often did conduct a few observations and interviews (usually informal) with my students to know their feedback concerning SLE. I have found that all students enjoyed SLE. Although SLE is not about directly what is in books and syllabus, it does play a big role in imparting other knowledge and skills that could not be taught in class. This include soft skills, leadership and integrity. Therefore, I will keep on doing SLE whenever there is opportunity. Usually, this include some amount of budget to bring students out of class, time and preparation. However, if it is beneficial to them, I will often work towards bringing them for SLE at least once.

Some of the students’ comments on SLE are collected as below:

“I enjoyed going out and participate in competitions [SLE]. It exposes me to the real world. I could get opinion and feedback from people from industry, business people. Their ideas are usually good, moving towards commercialization and entrepreneurship, and how I can sell and make money!”

“I find going out from class to visit companies is a good thing to do. I could learn and see how they manage their business processes and embed knowledge management into their practices. We learn about this so much in books and case studies. However, listening to people who really doing it [practicing the KM processes in work] is different. It is real and they also share their ups and downs. So we know that it [practicing the KM processes in work] is not always going to work for the first time. They show us how they struggle and solve the problem. That’s sharing knowledge that is never written in books”

“All of us were selected to attend a conference. I have no idea what a conference is! Until we joined URPC [the acronym of the conference], I know what a conference is. It is interesting. We were pushed to write papers that I have never written before! We learnt so much from others in the conference. They are great speakers who share a lot of things that we don’t know”

As a reflection, I learnt that SLE should be conducted not all the time but once or twice in a semester for a course. It is an avenue where students learnt learning other skills rather than what is thought in books and to test understanding. SLE is a medium to teach beyond that, which includes skills such as innovativeness, creativity, communication, networking, confident and other soft skills. I find it important to also impart these soft skills which are needed to prepare them to join the workforce. With this kind of support, we could also groom students to be leaders and managers.

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