American University of Technology held a special workshop that covered activities over three days; Thursday, March 8th to Saturday, March 10th. The program included a seminar for high school principals and workshops for high school teachers, as part of AUT’s annual Community Outreach Program, and for AUT staff and faculty as AUT’s annual Faculty Development Program.
The seminars and workshops were delivered by Dr. Dee Fink, international consultant in education, former director of the Instructional Development Program at University of Oklahoma and a member of board of Trustees at AUT, and Mr. Jim Sibley, director of the Centre for Instructional Support at the Faculty of Applied Science at University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
The venue was split between Issam Fares Auditorium and Crystal Room in the Green Area at AUT Halat Campus.
Mr Jim Sibley presented: “Teamwork That Works”, a seminar intended for AUT staff on characteristics required of a team to become a team that works.
He emphasized setting clear objectives, a shared vision and goals.
Another focal point was how to give feedback; Sibley he gave examples of objective feedbacks including helpful comments as part of clear and constructive communication that is essential for any team to master in order to have “Teamwork that Works”.
The topic “Leading from where you are” was the final topic of the seminar, it reinforced the notion that leadership is not restricted within top management, and gave tips and examples on how we can lead from where we are and contribute to resolving any problem.
The last part of the session included an interactive discussion on examples from the participants on teamwork that has been successful.
Over 30 school principals attended “How to Assess Teaching”, a seminar presented by Dr Dee Fink on how to evaluate teaching in schools.
The seminar started with the Lebanese Anthem followed by a welcome word by AUT Provost Dr Naji Wakim. He congratulated the audience on the occasion of “Teacher’s Day” and thanked them all for attending the workshop for the second consecutive year, before giving the floor to Dr.Vera Zeitouni Saliba, representative of the Director-General of the Ministry of High Education, Mr. Fadi Yarak.
Dr. Saliba pointed out that the process of assessment has become a science and it is a very important task to perform. She mentioned that this process is still facing many challenges towards formulating an efficient application process.
She explained how, in Lebanon, through the efforts and policies of the Ministry of Education, the education system will witness a transformation in delivering quality education by adopting the active learning method and using modern techniques in education, including: adopting new assessment methods, training for teachers, introducing computerized examinations, introducing interactive boards and interactive teaching techniques inside the classrooms, specialized training sessions inside Lebanon and abroad, in cooperation with public and private institutions of education as well as with the UNESCO, UNICEF, USAID etc
Dr. Saliba concluded by thanking AUT for its efforts to improve learning in Lebanon, assuring the ministry’s support to any and all activities that seek to enhance the quality of learning in Lebanon.
Dr. Fink took the floor and started his presentation by focusing on a critical part of the process of change: “How to assess teaching.”
He said « If we want new kinds of learning, we need new kinds of teaching and if we want new kinds of teaching, both the teachers and the school principals need to know how well that kind of teaching occurs in their classrooms. »
He then gave tips on how to help teachers improve their skills and maintain a continuous improvement and how to hire new teachers.
This was followed by a Q & A session.
Over 80 teachers from different schools in Lebanon took part in “Team-Based Learning”, a workshop held by Mr Jim Sibley on how to implement collective participation.
The workshop was divided into two sessions; the first session was about backward design.
Lunch was served in the green area, followed by the second session which covered implementation of Team-Based Learning inside the classroom.
Certificates of participation were awarded to the teachers that were in attendance.
Testimonials from the Workshop Coaches
Visiting AUT – Building the citizens of tomorrow
This past March, I had the pleasure of visiting AUT, Lebanon, and the Middle East for the first time. It was very interesting coming to a small University as my home institution, the University of British Columbia, has over 50,000 undergraduate students. In discussions at AUT, it became quickly obvious that AUT is different. A high quality education isn’t the only goal at this institution. Creating the engaged and educated citizenry to lead us to a better future is at the heart of AUT.
I had the opportunity to work with 3 different groups at AUT. Faculty, staff, and, as part of AUT’s community outreach, over 80 high school teachers. As those that met me will know, I am a tireless advocate for a teaching methodology known as team-based learning (www.teambasedlearning.org). TBL is a powerful force that can help us improve educational outcomes in our classrooms. Critical analysis, problem-solving, and fostering really deep understanding in our students is not only possible when you use the TBL method, but is a very typical and attainable outcome. If we want our students to excel in our ever-changing world of tomorrow, we need to do everything we can do to prepare them well.
Visiting AUT – A University with a Difference
In early March 2012, I had the pleasure again of visiting AUT. This is always a pleasure because AUT is one of the few universities in Lebanon, even in the whole world, that is seriously committed to putting together an educational program that is truly different.
To illustrate that statement, on this trip I participated in three major activities. First, I worked with both junior and senior faculty members on how to design their courses for both greater student engagement and better student learning. Second, I worked with Jim Sibley, from the University of British Columbia, in a workshop for high school teachers on how to use small groups in their courses in a special way. Finally, I led a discussion with high school principals on how they can assess teaching in their schools. These last two activities are part of AUT’s outreach effort, to encourage and support better teaching and learning for pre-collegiate students as well as those at AUT.