Improve the teaching methodology by applying learner-centered approach



Under the framework of the MoU between the University of Danang (UD) and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in November, 2016, from July 24th to 26th, 2017, Prof. Dale Burt (School of Justice and Emergency Services at Durham College, Canada), International Volunteer of WUSC visited and organized seminar in teaching methodology to support lecturers and staff from University of Economics, College of IT and VN-UK Institute for Research and Executive Education - UD.

In a couple of days before, there was also a specific discussion to introduce WUSC’s volunteer to UD’s staff and lecturers.

During the seminar, UD’s lecturers had a great opportunity to explore not only learning tools of student-centered approach but also techniques and lesson plans increasing learners engagement. In addition, identifying the basic principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) also increased the motivation and lecturers engagement in learning activities; And practicing some techniques of learner-centered approach, from which lecturers could review, do research and apply them in the actual teaching environment. Especially, Prof. Dale Burt helped UD’s lecturers have more opportunities to share the remaining challenges in teaching methodology as well as create apropitious environment for solving common problems.

When approaching the learner-centered method, lecturers must identify not only possible challenges for themselves and the learners but also what is the true benefits of approaching this method? And should or should not apply this method to their classes?

Prof. Dale Burt, School of Justice and Emergency Services at Durham College, Canada;  International Volunteer of WUSC presented the presentation

In the seminar, Prof. Dale Burt suggested 12 activities for learner-centered approach including: Free write, KWL chart, index card change, pass the problem, 4 corners, mini case study, take a stand, discussion leader, ticket out the door, Jigsaw, think pair share and T-chart (click here for more information: link). Lecturers could refer to these above activities and select which ones were appropriate for their class as well as improve them to maximize learners’ engagement towards learning activities. Besides the above teaching methods, Prof. Dale also mentioned some other approaches which many schools in developed countries had applied effectively in education and training activities. Under the framework of the program, Prof. Dale also provided the Jumpstart model, which is used in lesson planning, to help lecturers ensure the output goals of each lesson, the learning activities, and the way to assess learners' knowledge.

An officer from VN-UK Institute for Research and Executive Education shared that all knowledge in the seminar was very useful, brief and concise; In addition, teaching activities was varied, rich and dynamic. By giving the participants themselves a hands-on experience of teaching activities, Prof. Dale helped UD’s lecturers and staff to master the knowledge of teaching methodology and manage conflicts. Especially, during the instruction, Prof. Dale always respected the differences of learners, and at the same time she also had ways to promote the engagement mentality of participants. This was the crux of the learner-centered methodthat she would like to mention.