At Akkharatchakumari Veterinary College (AVC), we perform the education and classroom research in order to improve the learning process, enhance the course to fit with the modern world and the student requirement. There are many challenges to improve learning, our staff Assistant Professor Tuempong Wongtawan, the expert of Veterinary Education was summarise what he has done here:
Understanding new generation (Gen) of students Teaching is never easy because each student is unique, they have different personalities and knowledge, a good teacher must be very patient to teach and understand students. Current students are new generation “Gen Z” (described as those born post-1995) and the age gap between students and teacher is more than 20 years different. When new generation come to class, the teaching technique must be changed because many old tricks are ineffective to use for Gen Z students. Gen-Z were born with the high-speed internet at their fingertips and they are extremely comfortable with rapidly evolving technologies. They love social networks and their lives are always online. Instead of buying hardcopy textbooks, they use a smartphone or a tablet to search for information and obtain electronic books. For Gen Z, the mobile technology is not a phenomenon, but it is an essential part of their lives. Therefore, teachers should not just give the lecture, but must let Gen-Z involve and participate in the learning process and learning design in order to increase their attention and to motivate them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills, these processes then create meaningful learning experiences. One of Asst Prof Tuempong’ s effective techniques is using the smartphone/tablet and social networks as tools for study, these techniques keep their attention, participation and motivation throughout the course and also in the classroom.
Using a variety of teaching methods to enhance learning Although slide presentation is the main method used for lecturing, in AKC we also applied many techniques to help student learning. A video demonstration which is a powerful way to illustrate important principles, since they allow students to observe the reality, We use videos when teaching animal anatomy and histology. Computer graphics and animations videos are also effective tools to explain the mechanism and animal physiology. Interestingly, Asst Prof Tuempong found that the film trailer/series (particularly the famous one) are the most effective tool to attract the students’ attention and stimulate critical thinking. For instance, he used the movie trailer of “Twin” to teach about epigenetics and gene expression and also used trailer of “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” to teach about nuclear membrane and regeneration. Several years ago, at the anatomy and histology lab classes, Asst Prof Tuempong saw all students used smartphones and tablets to take photos of specimens they learnt. After capturing images, they labelled the images and shared with their friends via cloud storage or their social networks in order to keep these images for reading after the class or before examination. This phenomenon is different from old time where students wrote and drew everything into the paper or a notebook, and shared knowledge by using photocopy machine. However, Asst Prof Tuempong found that many labelled images from students were incorrect and caused misunderstanding. Therefore, he introduced a new method of learning by giving them an assignment to capture the specimens, labelled them and sent back to me to receive a score. Students sent their assignments to me via cloud system (google drive) or sometimes social network (Facebook group) where he could correct the images and instantly sent the feedback to students. Most students are happy with this technique and their learning is improved according to his classroom research.
Education research can improve learning and teaching
Classroom research is one of education research, teachers do research based on their daily
activities in their own classroom in order to analyse their own teaching and learning process
and to seek the most appropriate teaching/learning process to the class. It is not common for
every teacher to do a classroom research, Asst Prof Tuempong might be the only one lecturer in Thai Vet School to have done a classroom research regularly in order to improve teaching, learning and understanding the requirement of students. He said classroom research does not have the final result, instead, it is cycling process which allows teacher to seek the actual teaching learning improvement which is appropriate to the situation at the time (it generally means we should repeat the same classroom research every year). He feels that classroom research initiate and develop my passion in conducting research and use logic to solve problems. When teachers use logic/research to solve problems, it is easier for them to share and discuss with others about education problems and solution, because the solution/problem found is not based on teacher’s personal judgement or opinion but it is from the proper
You can read education Research done by Asst Prof Tuempong Wongtawan by following the links below.
- Classroom action research: The opinions of veterinary students toward a test after laboratory class of body structure and function course
- Using smartphone/tablet, cloud storage and social network group together for teaching veterinary anatomy
- Poster: Class room action research: Using online pre-test to motivate veterinary students