[Report] “Interactive Teaching” Academy: Part 1 “Designing a 90-min Class”

Here is a brief report of the following event and a preview of our next event.
“Interactive Teaching” Academy: Part 1 “Designing a 90-min Class”

Date/Time: December 9th (Sat), 2017, 10:00–18:00
Venue: 92B, Faculty of Engineering Building 2, Hongo Campus, The University of Tokyo
Participants: 21 people (Capacity: 20 people)
Fee: 10,000 JPY (Free of charge for graduate students and postdocs)
Instructors: Kayoko Kurita (Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, The University of Tokyo)
Nagafumi Nakamura (Center for Research and Development of Higher Education, The University of Tokyo)

1. Topic and Goal
This time, the topic was “Designing a 90-min Class.” Based on the goal, “Be able to design a class that helps students deepen their learning,” we set specific learning objectives as follows:

① Be able to explain the significance of class design. (Preparation)
② Be able to improve a class by using a class design sheet (a format for class design introduced in “Interactive Teaching”). (Exercise in the morning)
③ Be able to design one’s class by using a class design sheet. (Exercise in the afternoon)

We had 21 participants in total, which exceeded the capacity.

2. Summary
This program was conducted in a flipped-classroom manner, and participants worked on pre-class assignments beforehand. During the session, they first reviewed what they had learned in the preparation and then worked on exercises of improving a sample class design sheet and creating their own class design sheets. We also provided the participants with the “Metacognitive Reflection” as an opportunity to reflect on the design of the event itself.

(1) Preparation
All participants were asked to watch the videos for WEEK 4 of “Interactive Teaching” and read Chapter 4 of the book “Interactive Teaching” (Kawai Publishing, 2017). Also, some participants voluntarily created and submitted their class design sheets.

(2) Session
[1] Introduction (10:00–10:15)
Participants listened to the explanation of the goals, structure, and rules of the program before introducing themselves to others.

[2] Review of What the Participants Learned in the Preparation (10:15–10:45)
Participants reviewed and organized what they had learned in the preparation through group activities. They examined the significance of class design and points they should be careful of.

[3] Exercise of Improving a Class Design Sheet (10:45–12:30)
Participants conducted a group activity (i.e., poster tour) to examine what was good about the sample class design sheet and what points needed improvement. This exercise was intended to help the participants apply what they had learned during the preparation and the reviewing session. For details of the poster tour, Please refer to “4. Poster Tour,” the video of WEEK 2, and pp. 31–33 of the book “Interactive Teaching.”

Participants working on the improvement of a class design sheet


[4] Exercise of Creating a Class Design Sheet (14:00–16:00)
Participants created class design sheets to use in their own classes, based on what they had learned in the improvement exercise in the morning. They examined whether the class design was aligned with the goals and objectives of their classes through individual work and discussions in pairs.

Participants creating class design sheets


[5] Wrap-up (16:00–16:30)
Participants organized what they learned, what kind of questions they had, and what they wanted to bring back to their own work through group activities and Q&A sessions.

(3) Metacognitive Reflection (17:00–18:00)
Participants shared their thoughts on the design of preparation and the session, and the organizers revealed their intention of the design along the timeline. We together found out what points worked as planned, what points still needed improvement, and how they can be improved through this process.

3. Participants’ Reactions
The affiliation of 21 participants was as follows: 11 faculty members, seven graduate students or postdocs, one senior high school teacher, and two company employees. According to the five-point scale question asking the degree of satisfaction (Extremely satisfied; Very satisfied; Satisfied; Not so satisfied; Dissatisfied), 48 percent of the respondents were “extremely satisfied,” 48 percent were “very satisfied,” and 4 percent were “satisfied.” We introduced an entry fee system from this event, but we are relieved to know that it was appreciated to a certain extent. We are eager to improve our events to satisfy future participants by examining the points we need to improve as indicated in the metacognitive reflection and feedback.

Participants learning from each other through a poster tour


4. Preview of the Next Program
We are planning to hold an event every three months in AY2018 on the topics such as class design, syllabuses (course design), evaluation (rubric and others), and microteaching. Details are to be announced. We look forward to your participation.

Videos “Interactive Teaching” JREC-IN website UTokyo FD website
Book “Interactive Teaching” (Kawai Publishing, 2017) (Kawai Publishing website)

Nagafumi Nakamura (Project Researcher in charge of “Interactive Teaching” / Main Moderator of this event)

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