Implementation on teaching and learning approach

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Nizwa College of Technology (NCT) follows a strategic plan to achieve its Vision and Mission as stated in NCT College Strategic Plan (CSP). One of the goals of NCT is to offer high quality of teaching, learning and training opportunities to all its students in line with the requirements of the market [Goal 2, NCT CSP]. To ensure that all the sub-goals [Sub-Goal 2.a, 2.b, 2.c, 2.d] pertaining to teaching and learning are achieved, the College through the Assistant Dean of Academics (AD Academics) encourages all academic staff to implement the ADRI [QAM, p73] analysis in their teaching and learning function. The ADRI model for teaching and learning is developed by AD Academics and is going to be presented in 13 June 2010 in the International Conference on Higher Education and Quality Assurance in Mazoon College, Muscat.

Deployment

In line with its objectives, the first NCT Quality Assurance workshop for the College staff was conducted on 16th October 2008 where one of the topics discussed is ADRI model. In his presentation, AD Academics explained to the participants how to effectively use the ADRI model in the various processes they are doing in the conduct of their work. He specifically provided an ADRI model related to course delivery and other related activities. The AD Academics requested the academic staff to start using ADRI in their teaching and learning function. The implementation of the ADRI analysis in NCT started in Semester 1, 2008-2009.

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To encourage more staff to start using ADRI, the AD Academics launched the "Best ADRI" competition among the staff for A.Y. 2008-2009. A staff from IT has won the competition by coming up with the most detailed ADRI for his course in IT Project.

A second ADRI presentation was conducted on 26th of May 2009 attended by approximately 110 NCT lecturers. According to NCT QAFU Portal, "the AD Academics emphasized in his presentation the importance of using the model in identifying plans for teaching every academic year, strictly following the said plan, analyzing the results afterwards, and then providing suggestions for improvement to be carried out in the succeeding academic year. He expound on the use of the ADRI model in teaching by giving examples and activities a lecturer can provide in each stage of the ADRI model, from approach to improvement. He said that it is very important for the college to have a uniform implementation of the ADRI model, particularly in teaching and learning, so that an institutional standard can be followed in regards the quality assurance work in this area."

At the beginning, it was observed that only 10% of the academic staff is implementing ADRI analysis in teaching and learning and most of the staff have doubts on how to implement it properly. Likewise, many new staff has arrived in the College that needed orientation on ADRI so a third presentation was given by the AD Academics on 8th February 2010 to familiarize new staff with how ADRI analysis could be implemented in their functions. Similarly, a new competition for "Best ADRI" for the current academic year was initiated and the participation is almost 40%.

A survey on ADRI Implementation in Teaching and Learning as shown in Appendix A was conducted in NCT to verify the awareness of all academic staff. The survey also tries to acquire information from staff regarding the importance of ADRI in their academic work and get feedback on the possibility of ADRI implementation in other areas of work. Furthermore, the survey tries to obtain feedback on problems in ADRI implementation and possible ways of improving the use of ADRI in NCT.

The survey was conducted in all academic departments of NCT including the Business (Bus) Department, English Language Center (ELC), Engineering (Engg) Department and Information Technology (IT) Department. There are 47% respondents or 73 out of 155 academic staff broken down into 18 respondents from Business, 10 from Engineering, 27 from ELC and 22 from IT department.

The questionnaire has a total of 22 questions which take the respondents feedback and perception on ADRI Awareness (Aw), Acquisition (Ac), Usefulness (Us) and Effectiveness (Ef). Open-ended questions were also included in the survey to take the respondents opinion and suggestions regarding ADRI implementation in teaching and learning.

Results

Table 1

Perception of Staff on ADRI Implementation According to Awareness, Acquisition, Usefulness and Effectiveness (measured on a 5-point scale)

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The result on Table 1 shows that the respondents agree that there is an "average" awareness on ADRI in terms of the information posted on the NCT website, as a clear tool for assessment and in terms of easiness in implementing ADRI independently. The respondents also perceived "average" acquisition in terms of likeness to use ADRI in their routine work. Respondents also perceived ADRI as "average" in terms of usefulness in enhancing the student's learning, as a tool for professional growth and for informing the staff how well they teach. In terms of effectiveness, the respondents perceived that ADRI as "average" in providing better planning to academic work, increasing student interaction and participation, and in improving student's awareness.

Table 2

Percentage of YES Responses to ADRI Awareness Questions

Survey Items

Business

ELC

Engineering

IT

Percentage

Aw1a

94

89

100

100

96

Aw1b

50

74

20

27

43

Aw2

72

78

80

95

81

Aw3

83

70

80

55

72

Aw4

83

89

80

82

84

Based on table 2, it is clear that 96% of the respondents are aware of ADRI and 43% of the respondents have not used any self-assessment tool other than ADRI in their career. 81% of the respondents have used ADRI in their work but 72% among them think that they still need help in implementing it. Another 84% agree that ADRI could be implemented in work other than teaching.

Table 3

Percentage of YES Responses to ADRI Acquisition Questions

Survey Items

Business

ELC

Engineering

IT

Percentage

Ac1

72

63

90

73

75

Ac2

78

56

50

50

59

Ac3

56

59

60

59

59

According to Table 3, 75% of the respondents agree that using ADRI has increased their skills and 59% prefer using ADRI to other self-assessment tools and would also like to implement ADRI every semester for teaching and learning.

Table 4

Percentage of YES Responses to Usability Questions

Survey Items

Business

ELC

Engineering

IT

Percentage

Us1

56

59

50

64

57

Us2

44

15

60

32

38

Us3

67

56

90

73

72

Us4

50

48

90

45

58

Table 4 shows that 57% of the respondents think that ADRI helps in the immediate adjustment of teaching practice and 58% agree that ADRI could be used to give justification of student outcomes. Only 38% of the respondents agree that ADRI can be used to address all issues of teaching and learning although 72% of them believe that it could be used to measure the pitfalls and shortages in teaching and learning.

Using the same survey, feedback and suggestions were taken from the academic staff. Based on the feedbacks gathered, it is remarkable that using ADRI made the academic staff aware of the importance of planning and good deployment approach in achieving the best results and covering more learning outcomes. According to the survey, ADRI is the best tool for self-reflection and in finding out the areas that needs improvement and modification. Furthermore, respondents agree that ADRI made the course delivery planning more effective and helped a lot in improving course materials, teaching aids and other teaching resources and methodologies. They all agree that improvements from self-assessment using ADRI has a great impact on the students' class participation and interest in the class. Some of the noteworthy and interesting positive responses from the survey are as follows:

"It made me more observant of what is happening in the class and more sensitive to student's needs"

"We can assess ourselves in a better way"

"Better introspection into styles of teaching, improved awareness of the need to improve and modify certain areas"

"No other better food can replace ADRI in all our works"

"ADRI is overhauling the whole teaching process"

"Any professional teacher unconsciously uses ADRI without thinking about it"

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"ADRI is not a new tool, it is an in-built nature of the human beings"

Most of the respondents feel that ADRI could be implemented effectively if the semester duration is longer and some of them feel that ADRI becomes ineffective if academic staff is given different courses every semester because there will be no continuity and the improvements made based on the results cannot be implemented. Some of the significant negative responses from the survey are as follows:

"It requires more time and paper work"

"Since we are not certain about teaching the same course again, 'Improvement' part of ADRI is less practical"

"Analytic study using ADRI become less relevant for continuous quality improvement which must be carried out the following semester or cycle of teaching and learning"

"Shortage of time"

"It is getting increasingly difficult to do anything because of increased bureaucracy, lesson plan writing, memos, meeting, exam preparation, student monitoring, etc."

Improvement

Although 81% of the respondents have used ADRI in their work and agree on the effectiveness of using ADRI in teaching and learning, there is still 72% that suggests for more information and workshops for better understanding and implementation. Some of the respondents suggested that best ADRI examples might be selected and discussed during the workshops so that more staff and students could benefit from the process. Some of the respondents also suggested that academic staff be required to prepare ADRI only in one (1) course per semester and ADRI could be implemented in all courses when all the staff is already familiar in using it.

Based on the results gathered from the survey, NCT through the AD of Academic Affairs is planning for more workshops regarding ADRI implementation on teaching and learning. The workshops will be by department so that more issues can be addressed. The best ADRI from the 2 competitions will be disseminated to all the staff so that that they will have more information on how to prepare ADRI and same ADRI samples will be discussed during departmental workshops. During the workshops, staff from each department could be grouped together and ask to prepare an ADRI based on a given case scenario.