1. SQU and Petrofac sign Sponsorship Agreement
  2. Ways to Make Farming More Sustainable
  3. SQU Marks Renaissance Day
  4. Ways to Make Math Fun for Kids
  5. Prerequisites for Significant Learning
  6. Omani Studies Centre Team Visits Brunei
  7. Conference to Address Research Management and Administration
  8. Cooperation Program to Promote Date Palm Sector in Oman
  9. SQU, Orpic Sign LoA for Funding Engineering Design Lab
  10. Dead Zones of the Western Arabian Sea
  11. Conference to Address All Aspects of Unmanned Vehicle Systems
  12. SQU Gets Patent for New Antimicrobial Formula
  13. SQU Council Approves Center for Innovation & Technology Transfer
  14. SQU Signs Cooperation Agreement with Muscat Securities Market
  15. Information Systems Students ‘Capture’ the Cybersecurity Flag
  16. SQU This Week
  17. SQU, Al Buraimi Solar Energy Systems Sign Cooperation Program
  18. SQU, Oman Oil Marketing Company Sign Sponsorship Agreement
  19. “Anwaar Ramadhan” Exhibition Features Pics of the Past
  20. Association of Arab Universities Executive Council Meets at SQU
  21. CAMS Academic’s Book Deals with Food Microbial Analyses
  22. SQU This Week
  23. Forum on Future Media Discusses Media Sector Challenges
  24. SQU This Week
  25. SQU Hosts Pearl Initiative Award Ceremony
  26. Huge Enthusiasm for Blockchain Technology in Oman
  27. First Phase of Solar Parking Shades Opened
  28. MSF Students Visit Oman Aquarium Project
  29. Nursing Students Urge Evidence-based Maternity Care Practice
  30. Project Examines Population Structures of Spiny Lobster along Oman’s Coastline
  31. Workshop Sheds Light on “Integration of Technology into Nursing Education”
  32. New Patent for Invention based on “Therapeutic Composition for Treating Gangrene”
  33. SQU This Week
  34. HMTF Projects 2018 Announced
  35. 18th SQU Day Celebrated with Grandeur
  36. SQU Signs Research Cooperation Program with OAPGRC
  37. SQU Organizes First Aid Workshop for School Children
  38. New Assessment Unit Facility at CPS
  39. Statistics to become Independent Department at SQU
  40. Dr. Mona Al Said Receives Charles University’s Gold Medal
  41. SQU This Week
  42. ELT Conference Addresses Current Perspectives, Trends and Challenges
  43. Workshop Highlights Nutritional Antioxidants Therapy
  44. Academics Co-edit Volume on Cancer Prevention and Treatments
  45. Power Station and Transmission Lab Opened
  46. Conference Focuses on Law, Economic and Social Transformations
  47. SQU Marks Biomedical Laboratory Science Day
  48. SQU, RUDN University to Boost Ties
  49. Commercially Valuable Bioproducts from Waste Paper
  50. Forum Highlights Role of Information Specialists in Smart Society
  51. IS Department Holds Industry Advisory Board Meeting
  52. SQU This Week
  53. Jordanian NDC Delegation visits SQU
  54. The Earthquake Monitoring Center and Seismic Hazard Studies in the Sultanate
  55. Research Workshops and Training Held
  56. The Story of a Lighting Revolution
  57. Patent for “Method of Making an Ajwa Date-Based Treatment for Snake Envenomation”
  58. SQU Holds the First Students’ Conference for Scientific Research
  59. Engineering Students Projects on Display
  60. SQU Hosts National Conference on Civil & Architectural Engineering
  61. SQU, Ministry Mark World Water Day 2018
  62. Forum Deliberates Business Intelligence and Big Data Analysis
  63. SQU-Ministry of Higher Education Joint Committee Meets
  64. Forum Addresses Soil System as Foundation of Food Security
  65. Framework for Making Oman an Innovation Hub
  66. CETL Official Opening Held
  67. SQU, University of Nizwa to Enhance Ties
  68. SQU This Week
  69. SQU Receives Egyptian Minister of Higher Education
  70. SQU Team Wins Robot Championship
  71. Conference Discusses Risk Management Practices
  72. Institutional Accreditation
  73. SQU This Week
  74. SQU Launches its New Media Identity
  75. Neuroprotective Effects of Plant Extracts
  76. Technical Festival Features 20 ICT Projects
  77. ICT Accessibility: Oman Well-positioned to Continue Playing a Leading Role
  78. SQU Team Makes Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Research
  79. Sensor-activated Taps Most Effective for Saving Water
  80. Study Underscores the Need for Stronger School-University Partnerships
  81. Study Identifies Factors Impeding Entrepreneurial Growth in Oman
  82. OCMB Hosts Frontiers in Marine Biotechnology Conference
  83. SQU Council Approves Master’s Program in Psychological Counselling
  84. Nursing Conference Focuses on Technology and Innovation
  85. Microbial Fuel Cells: A Promising Energy Source
  86. Researcher Prepares Database of Aquatic Plants in Wadis
  87. Blended Learning Approach Can Tackle Transitional Academic Challenges
  88. Medical Research Centre to Focus on Themes Relevant to Oman

Prof. Stewart Lewis Ross is a senior consultant specialized in course design workshops at colleges and universities around the world. He is the Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Minnesota State Mankato (MSU), which began in fall 2002. He is currently affiliated to Dee Fink & Associates, which is a small company of experienced workshop leaders who have expertise in Integrated Course Design. The company leads workshops and online courses for college instructors on how to design courses that lead to increased student engagement and learning. An accomplished trombone player, Prof. Ross gave numerous recitals and played with various bands. He was at SQU, delivering workshops on “Creating significant learning experiences: an integrated approach to designing college courses”, organized by SQU’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and attended by over 170 faculty including the CETL Faculty Fellows.

The term “creating significant learning experiences”, itself alludes to certain problems associated with college teaching today. Could you explain?

Prof. Ross: If you take any professional, such as lawyer, doctor, engineer, etc., you will see that they are well trained in their respective profession and their knowledge about the subject is outstanding. When many of these people are asked to teach, we could find that many of them have very little knowledge about how to teach their respective subject. The majority of them have very little knowledge about teaching, the psychology of the students or student engagement, grading, conducting tests and/or how to help people learn. The reason is that, across the world, the societies do not ask faculty to do much work in this area. Many university teachers do not go beyond the “understand and memorize” type of learning. They do not think about aspects of learning such as: problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, ethics, and the future of society. This gives the impression that college teachers generally read a book in the class and throw things against the wall or the just present information. This makes the students engage in kind of “information dumping” of their own. Then students think of learning as memorization. Often teachers do not think beyond the traditional methods of lecturing and leading discussions in classrooms.

What are the negative consequences of this style of teaching?

Prof. Ross: Quite simple. The students are unhappy. They keep complaining about teachers. Sometimes, even the teachers are unhappy. The students are at different levels; the teacher does not know how to meet the learning needs of such a wide range of skills and knowledge. Therefore, teachers throw information “against the wall.” Then many students cannot make sense of the information, they do not see the reason for learning the information and ome fall asleep in the classrooms. They show apathy and do not really care. The teacher has failed to motivate the students. In addition, some students are only at the university because their mom and dad said they should be there. Whatever the underlying reason, far too many students do not see the big picture for their educations. Alarmingly, they take no reponsibility for their own learning.

Imprint: What should the teachers do to overcome these problems?

Prof. Ross: The teaching community should have knowledge in their discipline. That is required. At the same time, they should learn about themselves and other people. They should learn to enjoy their lives and also help their students enjoy their lives. When an employer hires a university graduate, they make sure that he or she is proficient in the discipline s/he studied at the university. The employers ensure that the person they hired is a personwho can get along with everybody, is  able to work in teams,has confidence in himself or herself and,  can do things. These are the important traits that a person should acquire while at the university. In order to produce such special people, the teaching methods and approaches have to be changed. A university graduate should be able to retain the information after a course is over and develop the ability to transfer his knowledge to novel situations. He should have thinking and problem solving skills along with motivation for lifelong learning and a willingness to change  attitudes and perspectives; have an open curious mind.

What are the prerequisites for significant learning?

Prof. Ross: If the process of learning makes a lasting change in the life of a learner, we could say that significant learning has occurred. For learning to take place, there has to be some lasting change in the learner. Apart from foundational knowledge, application and integration, the “Taxonomy of Significant Learning” includes human dimension, caring and learning how to learn. When students learn something important about themselves or about others, they can interact and function more effectively. Significant learning experiences change the degree to which students care about something. When they care about something, they have more energy to learn about it and to make integrate the learning into their lives. Students can learn about the learning process during the course of their studies. They can learn to be better individuals whilelearning scientific methods; they can become  self-directed learners while becoming experts in their disciplines.  The most significant kind of learning experience is one in which students achieve all six kinds of significant learning. That is possible – if teachers learn how to design their courses with these goals in mind. Significant learning is the core concept or model of “integrated course design.”

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