Curriculum Development

Course Design: The Backwards Model

  On March 21, Dr. Sheila Simpkins delivered an in-service instructor training webinar to almost 500 attendees in cooperation with the Ministry of Education Directorate in the Asir region and Rijal Alma entitled "Course Design: The Backwards Model". She began the webinar by asking participants to reflect on the question "What is your role in the classroom?" According to Dr. Sheila, the answer to this question is fundamental to course design.   She indicated that best practices in educational research tells us that we need to shift from the direct transmission view of the teacher's role towards the constructivist view. She introduced Bloom's taxonomy as a powerful tool to help teachers plan lesson/unit/course/program objectives that are in line with constructivist views of teaching/learning where the teacher is a facilitator, and the students are actively engaged and involved in learning. Best practices in teaching encourage teachers to set learning objectives that require higher-order thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and creating.   Having introduced these two principals Dr. Sheila shared the backwards model of course design. She indicated that teachers should plan 'backwards' beginning with the end in mind. Teachers should ask themselves three questions.   Where do I want my students to 'be' by the end of this sequence of work? How will I know whether they have gotten there? What are the best strategies to support students on this journey?   Dr. Sheila indicated that all course design should take the constructivist view of teaching/learning into consideration.   With that in mind, she indicated that   Course learning objectives/outcomes should be student-centered, concrete, and observable/measurable. Bloom's taxonomy should be used here. Assessment/assignments should be aligned with the learning objectives and they should be authentic. This means the assignments/activities that students are engaged in to learn the material are also used to evaluate their accomplishments. Assessment/assignments should be student structured, and direct evidence. Examples of this kind of assessment are role play, drama, student portfolios, journals, debates, and presentations. Rubrics should be used to measure performance. In the constructivist view, traditional paper-based measurement should be kept to a minimum. Teaching strategies should match assessment. In other words, how you assess is how you teach. Conversely, how you teach is how you assess. Then you plan course content and select course materials—what textbook/film/speaker will speak to the topics and help accomplish learning objectives. The last step is to create the course schedule and sequencing. Activities must be organized to provide sufficient practice, skills must build upon another, and there must be sufficient time for feedback. Date: 3/28/2021 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation

First Scientific Forum

His Excellency, the President of King Khalid University, Professor Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Dawood, opened the ceremony of the First Scientific Forum. The activities which lasted for two days took place in the central auditoriums at the main campus for men, and at the theater of Sciences for Women in Abha off of King Abdullah Road. President Al-Dawood expressed his gratitude to His Excellency, the Vice President of the Girls' Colleges for adopting the idea of Dr. Sraa Abu Melha, who proposed the event. His Excellency, the President, added that the Forum was the first of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, clarifying further that everyone - the management, the faculties, and the implementing departments - should feel proud of such a forum because it would be of great benefit - God Willing. The President of the Scientific Committee of the Forum, who is the Deputy Dean of High Studies, Dr. Areej Mustafa, used the occasion to reveal that the establishment of the Forum, which brought together a group of scholars, researchers and faculty members in the specialty of English and Computer Science, was coming from the belief of the University administration in the importance of scientific forums, and their roles in development and improvement of the educational process, and from the administration's keenness to advance the scientific levels of research. Dr. Areej stressed further that, the forum was a response to the needs of researchers and faculty members to update their knowledge and to develop their performance by exchanging experiences among themselves, in addition to finding solutions to their problems, and those of the students. Dr. Areej stated that it was a suitable event for each of them to present and discuss what the academics reach in the fields of updating curricula and teaching methods, and the latest teaching strategies, so that they could put forward problems and find appropriate solutions. Dr. Areej continued, saying that the forum was suitable for presenting the successful experiences of the researchers and the faculty members, so as to take advantage of those experiences, and studies, and to apply the appropriate ones in real, in our classrooms. Dr. Areej asserted, “Since the announcement of the Forum, we have seen requests for participation and attendance. The scientific committee has received nearly 70 working papers, submitted by more than 65 researchers affiliated with 17 entities from the University, in addition to the participation of a number of female students under the supervision of their teachers”. She further indicated that the Forum presented 24 researchers from the participants' researchers through four scientific sessions, in addition to six lectures, and nearly 40 papers in the form of scientific posters. The keynote speech was delivered by the Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation, Dr. Abdullah Al Melhi, in which he said that the organization of such meetings was the core of their academic university work.  Dr. Al Melhi stressed that the cooperation between the two sides - men and women - was no longer an option, but it had become a necessity in the light of, the same curriculum, and the conditions and obstacles, and in line with the efforts of King Khalid University for its general development and its academic accreditation. Dr. Al Melhi concluded by noting the honor and the commitment of the President of the University, and of all the Vice Presidents, who were a real support to continue research, publishing and holding seminars and meetings. It is worth mentioning that the forum included several areas concerned with recent trends in the development of the English language curriculum. The axes include computer science and information systems, advanced strategies in methods of teaching English, and computer science and information systems. Date: 3/24/2016 Repost: KKU Media Center Multimedia Contribution: KKU Media Center and MD Sirajul Islam

Our Coursebooks: Friends or Foes?

The Language Research Center at King Khalid University organized a seminar on December 01, 2014 that included a presentation conducted by Mr. Mohammad Adil, which was titled Our Coursebooks: Friends and Foes? It gave an overview of the effectiveness of our textbooks used in the skill courses at four levels in the Department of English. The presentation was primarily based on a case study he had conducted to determine how effective the teachers in Department of English think these books are. The findings of the case study resulted in some practical suggestions regarding the efficient and judicious use the of textbooks. He emphasized proper adaptation of them according to learners’ needs even if the books are well-designed. The presentation was followed by an interactive discussion during which the participants shared their views, made comments and raised some questions. Overall, The Language Research Center found the presentation worthwhile, which will cater to the curriculum development at the Faculty of Languages and Translation in the future.  Date: Fall 2014 Source: Faculty of Languages and Translation Multimedia Contribution: MD Sirajul Islam