As part of encouraging community engagements with other HEIs, Foundation Studies Unit of Arab Open University Oman visited Bayan College Oman to exchange best practices of the strategies which were implemented successfully with the foundation students.  Ms Ansa Sathyadas, Ms Latha Sundarajan and Ms Wided Labidi shared the best practices on Thursday 17 October 2019 at Bayan College. The session began with a brief introductory speech by Mr Haneesh Kumar, Head of General Foundation Program, Bayan College. Tutors of the Foundation Studies Program and the faculty of Literature at Bayan College attended the Professional Development Program.

Ms Ansa presented “ Whose Idea? Not Mine!”  The aim of this presentation was to share effective practices adapted at Arab Open University to mitigate the problem of plagiarism. The assessments for students in the Foundation Studies Unit vary from class quizzes to tests / examinations, reading assignments, basic research projects and tutor marked Assignments. It is a system where learners need to take responsibilities of their learning as students are expected to work independently and produce original material. It is imperative that students do not plagiarize. This presentation attempted to show strategies that can be implemented in foundation levels to curb academic dishonesty, deliberately or unintentionally. The presentation had short brainstorming sessions and a group work  activity.

A presentation on teaching methods and strategies was done by Ms Latha. The aim of this presentation was to highlight some of the best methods that teachers can use in their class teaching for imparting knowledge and skills to students’ community. Teaching is an art which can be practiced by teachers using varied techniques and methods.   At the same time,  teachers will have to ensure that the information dissemination is happening in teaching.  This was the goal of the presentation.  The presenter wanted to show different techniques that teachers could use in the class for delivering the content more effectively. The presenter highlighted some the techniques such as traditional class room teaching, visual teaching, inquiry based teaching etc which are considered to be effective techniques currently teachers use.  Moreover,  teachers will have to identify the right method of teaching based on the contents that he/she intends to deliver.  Each strategy would suit better for certain content delivery accordingly teachers can choose the right method.   The presenter also provided some examples wherein a particular teaching method is found to be useful.  The presentation also had experience sharing aspects wherein different teaching methods were stressed.

Ms Wided aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of integrating technology in ESL classrooms to improve students’ oral reading skills by means of podcasts with her presentation Titled ‘’Learning with A Twist’’. During the presentation, the effectiveness of podcasts as a learning tool was demonstrated by some samples done by the students. Students were made to record themselves, listen to their recordings and get feedback from the tutor on how to improve their pronunciation. Podcasts can help students with word recognition, assimilation, word stress and word linking. By rehearsals, students build up their self-confidence and become more motivated. The presenter also demonstrated how podcasts can also be used as an assessment tool. A marking grid was used to measure the students’ progress in order to determine how far they improved.

Certificates of Appreciation were presented to the presenters.