July 23rd, 2017

Teaching, learning tool

Tutorial is an important teaching-learning tool. It helps learners enhance their intellectual, communication and social skills.

In higher institution of learning, lectures and tutorial are combined to accumulate the total credit hours where tutorials are normally a 1 hour credit session.

Tutorials for undergraduates are conducted once a week, for an hour. Teachers or trainers, including students, get a batch of 20-25 students each with whom they discuss the tutorial topic (decided by the course outline).

Students are required to prepare for the tutorial. However, it has been observed that students do not attend and attempt tutorials, regularly.

Though almost 100 % students attend tutorials because ‘attendance’ is compulsory but even those who attend tutorials do so without adequate preparation although they are given one week to study and complete the topic.

 As a result, there is hardly any useful discussion between the tutor and the students and the tutorial becomes a mere lecture.

Though students agreed that it is necessary to have tutorials and understand that the topics covered in tutorials were important but the presented work they put up are not to the expectations.

Students were told to study the topic before the tutorial and if students failed to do so, then the tutorial would not serve its purpose.

It come as no surprise when students gave reasons for inadequate preparation such as need to prepare for other subjects, lack of time and engaging in extracurricular activities.

In the tutorial session, a few students dominated the tutorial, and most of the time it was the teacher or the trainer who spoke the most in class.

Sadly to share many of the students failed to read and prepare for the tutorial. Failure to prepare for the tutorial topic is an important reason for poor respond

Too often a few students dominate the tutorial as these few students are the one who know too much or who are.

Although the tutorial topics are decided either by the course learning outline, it may necessary to involve students in the process of topic selection.

Assessing tutorials by incorporating MCQs and case studies may add to the seriousness to the problem.

This will help students during the examinations. It will also help them understand real life scenarios, while making the tutorial interesting.

A simultaneous assessment process and inclusion of marks for internal assessment would ensure better attendance and greater student participation.

These suggestions, based on feedback from students, should be kept in mind while planning and conducting tutorials for undergraduate students.

Only then will a tutorial become a fruitful exercise.

thestar_logo.jpgAzizi Ahmad The STAR Educate July 23, 2017

Bullying bosses belittle staff

THERE is a lot of discussion about bullying, therefore, we should also highlight workplace bullying. In education, workplace bullying centres around the relationship between superiors and their subordinates.

Principals, headmasters, district education officers, state education officers or superior ranking education officers are the perpetrators, while their victims are those in lower job grades and designations, usually new and young teachers or educators.

Bullying occurs in schools and educational institutions.

Bullies employ various means to show that they are in power. They adopt behaviour that is threatening, intimidating and belittling.

Victims feel disrespected when they are treated like children. Social isolation, favouritism and nepotism are features of workplace bullying.

A colleague, who has been in an educational institution for more than 10 years, said his scholarship application had been denied 10 times in a row, while his colleague of less than five years had his application approved.

Discrimination is a form of bullying, too.

The autocratic and abusive management style demonstrated by bullies often results in apathy among their staff.

As a result, staff members keep quiet during meetings and refuse to raise issues, resulting in organisational breakdown.

Bullying bosses present the most challenging workplace issue.

Standing up for yourself may not play out well, since bullies are in a higher position of power. They could make your life a living hell if you do something that bruises their egos.

To handle workplace bullying, it is worthwhile to remember that good documentation is a powerful tool.
Keep everything related to the bullying, particularly emails and texts.

For teachers and educators, the next step is lodge a report with the Education Ministry by calling the anti-bullying toll-free line (ADU DISIPLIN) at 1-800-884774 or e-mail kpkkpm@ moe.gov.my.

nst.jpgAzizi Ahmad, Kuala Lumpur NST Letters Jul 23, 2017