|Picture taken during Private Education Excellence Award by Educoop May 2019|
Level 1: Teacher
When I started teaching back in the year 2004, I wanted to be a good at teaching. I wanted to deliver good knowledge to students so that they will remember what I taught. I guess I did well after I came back from my master’s study. I did deliver my teaching content clearly and very well indeed. I know the subject matter well, so from time to time, I improve the way I teach.
Level 2: Effective Educator
I remember somewhere in 2013, I came back from my PhD studies, all eager to impart knowledge to students and treat them like mature learners. I do not want to ‘spoon-fed’ them but let them explore knowledge with minimal guidance. I started off with teaching the higher-level students (nearing to final year). I got the opportunity to teach the bigger picture of a subject, the theories behind it, the analogies and metaphors. Students were challenged to put facts and concepts together to make sense of the subject. We discussed in class and I accept different standpoints and school of thoughts. I believe I have achieved the level of an effective educator at that point of time.
Level 3: Scholarly Educator
In 2014, I have applied and received the scholarship of teaching & learning grant also known as the SoTL. I applied the scholarship because I wanted to improve the way I teach. Truthfully, I was blur at that point. But one thing for sure, I wanted to improve the way I teach. I still remember, I attended the SoTL workshop delivered by Prof Raja Maznah from UUM. That is where I learnt about what should be in a SoTL grant application, the methodology, the expectation, how to collect data from students and more. It is all about improving your teaching! People who knows me well, would know that I love teaching. Therefore, the need to improve my way of teaching is pure, natural and its coming from within. It is not that I have taught my students something wrong, or a wrong method! It is just that I wanted to improve the way I teach, the whole teaching system of mine for better. I started to attend workshops, seminars, talks and trainings to learn various methods, approaches and technologies as assistive tools. Which later than I adopted, adapted and applied to some of my teaching. I did a few try and error, exploration and my teaching are like a research experiment to me, for better teaching and learning. It’s a scholarly educator I supposed!
Level 4: SoTL Practitioner
At a juncture, somewhere in 2015, I started to feel kind right about flipped classroom. I have attended a few trainings and explore them. Flipped is the one that I feel good about due to some reasons. One of it is due to the nature of courses that I taught are flipped-able and not too technical. I also taught final year students most of the semesters, that made it even better to flip my class. They are mature and independent learners that could prepare and grasp knowledge themselves with minimal guidance. In class, we were able to debate, discuss, and do more activities that requires them to think, solve problems, analyse and create. I kept doing flipped classroom from alternate weeks, to half semester and finally a full-flipped classroom!!!
Since I am a full flipped practitioner, at a point, I find it crucial to also know the impact of it. I have started to conduct action research to do weekly evaluation of my teaching, students’ performance, observe the technology usage and issues that rises. I found interesting data, ups and downs, challenges and issues. That’s the journey as a flipped practitioner, it’s a roller coaster ride!
Level 5: Educational Researcher
Starting 2018, I feel the urge to share my flipped approaches, issues, feedback, challenges and more. I guess I have come to the level of becoming an educational researcher. I felt the strong need to publish my work for other people to learnt, adapt, adopt and improve. I also started sharing data collected, the results and findings, in exhibitions, conferences, and expositions. It is great when I get recognitions, nevertheless, that’s not the point. The main drive is to share. I have started to be called for talks, symposiums, and to give trainings. Thanks to the opportunities that come and most importantly I am keen to advocate others. I am part of the Community of Practices to share knowledge and learn and improve from each other. One thing that I am doing now is to do intermittent stops and reflect, I am proud to say, I am building the capability to become an educational researcher.
Nevertheless, I continued to find room for improvements. Based on feedbacks from students, colleagues and other researchers, I realized the pockets that need to be improved. I continuously yearn to improve my teaching for better learning. Therefore, I have applied another SoTL grant to continue working on my T&L research. This time, I am focusing on better assessments that matches with the flipped learning. I feel that assessments need to be aligned with the delivery that we create. I have just started; my aim is to create the right assessments for the right approaches. We shall share the outcomes, probably in two years’ time!