The collaborative professional development program, organized by the Foundation Studies Unit of Arab Open University Oman, took place on Monday 9th May 2022.
At the beginning, Dr Mohamed Al Hazaizi, the Assistant Rector for Academic Affairs and Research gave a welcome note to all participants followed by Ms. Ansa's overview about FSU. The presentations were in the following order:
The first presentation, titled 'Effective Feedback on Students' Writing', was presented by Mr Abdullah Al Riyami, Assistant Head-English Foundation of AOU Oman. The presentation provided insights on giving feedback. The presenter also demonstrated the results of the conducted research at AOU. The findings reflected the students' perception of teachers' feedback on their writing essays, which were different. The presenter also demonstrated five different ways of giving feedback and also showed the type of feedback preferred by students.
The second presentation, titled 'The Effects of Gamified Learning Environment on Improving EFL Learners' Motivation', was presented by Mr. Abdulrahman Al Jahdhami of ASU. The presenter demonstrated how his action research, where a gamification implementation including various elements, was conducted. Three instruments were used to investigate how gamification could increase the learners' motivation: motivation tests, interview protocols, and observations. The motivation tests were analyzed using Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Results revealed that 92% of students demonstrated an increase in their motivation to learn English. Extrinsic motivation was replaced by intrinsic motivation.
The third presentation titled 'The O2 of Teaching and Learning' was presented by Ms. Ansa Sathyadas of AOU. The presenter focused on the importance of setting realistic objectives before planning a tutorial. She also stressed that teaching and learning can take myriad forms. Ms. Ansa also emphasized that supplementary resources could be used for both teaching and learning. Her presentation also showed one of the main methods that can ensure continuous learning for both students and tutors.
The last presentation, titled 'Learner and Teacher Perception on the lack of Interest in Teaching and Learning of Math with Its Possible Alleviation & Future Ideas in Teaching of Mathematics', was presented by Dr. Hammed Rehman of ASU. The presenter's aim was to focus on the common perception among students that Mathematics is difficult. So, a local survey on teaching and learning mathematics was conducted and the presenter shared the results. In this piece of research, he found the lack of self-efficacy, factors that raise the interest in learning Math on a classroom level. More than 75% of participants agreed on the necessity of including a variety of games, competitions, and practical applications that can raise the interest of students in the learning of mathematics. The findings indicated the need for teachers to make mathematics interesting. In view of the survey, the presenter discussed some challenges that affect the learner interest on a classroom level. Some good practices and future ideas in teaching mathematics were also presented. About 80% of the participants wished the need for a Math Lab that is fully equipped with modern calculational tools, e-tools, solids, mathematical posters, and models in educational institutions.
Overall, this collaborative PD program was informative and enjoyable as all participants took part in the activities that were involved during these sessions. At the end of the program, certificates were distributed by Dr. Hazaizi to all presenters followed by a photo session.