Disclaimer :
This is a personal blog. Views and opinions expressed here are of author's and not intended to disgrace any religion, institution or individual. The writer(author) also admits that his views may not be necessarily same as those of others.

Monday, 9 June 2014

The 5th Graduation Day Celebrated

(Chief Guest and Distinguished guests standing for Marchang)
Gaeddu College celebrated its 5th Graduation Day on 7 June 2014. The occasion was graced by His Excellency J. K. Sharma, Consul General, Consulate General of India based in Phuentsholing.

The day was marked to honor and recognize the batch of under graduate students (the batch which has equal number of 121 females and 121 males) who are graduating from the college as ambassadors.  Also, it will remain significant in the history of college as the first batch of outgoing MBA students were equally part of the function.  
The chief Guest awarded the prizes and Certificates of Academic and Leadership excellence to the students as an appreciation for their tireless effort and achievement. The award broadly included:

  •   Award for Academic Toppers (Over all and individual Module
  • Award for Academic Leaders (Academic Representatives and Class Representatives    
  •  Award for Student Leaders: Presidents to Student Government (FERIC); Hostel Councilors and Coordinators to various clubs and forums.
  • Special Awards:  R.N Khazanchi Medal; Director General Medal for leadership; and Award for preserving National Dress code.
Mr. Jigme Yonten was honored with the highest award of R.N Khazanchi medal for excellent performance in academics, character and sports while Mr. Kuenzang Dorji was awarded Director General Medal for excellence in leadership. And six students were rewarded with a set of Gho and Kira for consistently preserving the culture and tradition. 
After having completed awarding the prizes and certificates, the Director General congratulated each and every graduating student for their academic success while he also reiterated about the importance of living with moral and professional values as more important than depending on the degree certificate alone. 
The function was organized by the office of the Deans of Student and Academic Affairs; Professors from different Universities of India attended the celebration besides the faculty and students of the college.

Sunday, 18 May 2014


(Workshop participants with facilitators; me at extreme right)
Qualitative Research Workshop was held at Gaeddu College of Business Studies from 12 May-16 May 2014. The workshop organized by Department of Research and External Linkages, Office of the Vice Chancellor was intended for the novice researchers of the Royal University of Bhutan. And it was facilitated by Dr. Deki C. Jamtsho (Dean of Academic Affairs, Samtse College) and Dr. Gembo Tshering of Paro College of Education. I am lucky to be one of the participants. 
The following is my reflection of the workshop.

Day one: I felt quite inquisitive in the first day of the workshop yet many of the concepts and terms introduced by the facilitator (Dr. Deki C Jamtsho) were not so comprehensible (it’s not because the facilitator was unconvincing but was due to my limited capacity to understand the concepts). I heard some terms for the first time, for instance “Bracketing” which in research term would mean keeping aside the preconditioned thoughts while gathering qualitative data. Even the explanation of “paradigms” was puzzling to me. Nonetheless, the discussion of characteristics of (qualitative) research made me understand more about it. Also, I have come to know the differences between qualitative and quantitative research. The session concluded with participants (in groups) from each college identifying research topic for writing proposal, which is to be presented in the last session of the last day of workshop. 
Day 2: The second day had been more convincing and the lessons were all delivered in mixed mode: Lecture and activities. The first two morning sessions have been on writing a quality research proposal. We were explained on how to craft topic sentences, write problem statement, purpose statement, research questions and how to choose design and method. The participants shared their individual compositions and discussed in the room. It gave us hands-on practice which we all found useful. After the lunch, we were briefed on the referencing techniques by Ctherine Bennet, lecturer in Academic Skills with Gaeddu College. She also made us to practically use referencing tool from the Microsoft document. I teach referencing to my students but I used the referencing tool for the first time in the workshop. I realized then that, it is much more easy to use the software (which is inbuilt with Ms Document) to prepare reference list rather than doing manually. Finally, the fourth session was totally practice session; in college groups again, we were given task to draft the research proposal taking ideas from what facilitator(s) explained. The second day has been much more informative as I began to understand the concepts clearly from what we have been elucidated.
Day 3: On the third day, we were highlighted on the importance of qualitative interviews. Dr. Gembo Tshering touched on features, threats and recommendations for interviews. We were also trained on how to take notes while interviewing. The hands-on practice in interviewing individual and focal groups was worth it; all did seriously and everyone had inspiring experiences to share. The more informative session was the session on transcribing the recordings of interviews. In fact, after having listened to many clues, rules and recommendations, and practical sessions, my confidence for qualitative interview has increased. At least, I have the clear idea on how to generate data from the interviews. Also, I am now aware of the need to consider ethical issues while conducting qualitative research.
 Day 4: We started analyzing and interpreting the gathered data (transcribed interview) from the fourth day. Participants were introduced to different types of coding: open coding to selective, and methods of interpretation. And then, were asked to code and find the themes, patterns and have axial coding. This task made us aware how the research data interpretation is being done to come up with conclusions. Of the many lessons, I found the coding lesson very important and relevant to me whose interest is on qualitative research. Assuming that we have conducted research, the next topic for discussion was then on how to write good report for information dissemination. Dr. Gembo also talked a little on proposal writing although it was covered in detail by Dr. Deki. Dr. Gembo made interesting by relating his own personal story; how his proposal has been accepted; that was encouraging.
The fourth day was also found resourced by Cathrine Bennet on verifying good sources. Also, two IIM professors joined us to highlight and share their experiences of research. It was good opportunity for us all as we could get ideas from different experts on research.  
Day 5: The first two morning sessions of the last day of the workshop had been completely participant-centered. Each college presented their research proposal in front of two facilitators. Every presentation was then followed by questions, answers and comments. At least five proposals from five colleges have been presented. Also, what was interesting was that, all participants had something to say about the workshop from their daily diary; it was undeniable that each one of us had something to take from the workshop. As a matter of fact, I personally found all participants full of enthusiasms, satisfied and ready to take another extra initiative in carrying research anytime soon. All’s well as we ended well-so as we dispersed ourselves to different destinations, we departed having developed intimacy among ourselves however short the duration could have been.

Monday, 10 February 2014

My Reflection on (EDU508*) Sessions

*Module: EDU508 (Adult Learning Theory and Practice)
Facilitators: Mr. Lhapchu & Mrs. Wangmo
It’s almost three weeks now since the Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education has begun. Participants were introduced to four different modules of the program. Out of the four modules, the following paragraphs represent my reflection on ‘Adult Learning Theory and Practice’ (EDU508) which was facilitated by sir Lhapchu and Madam Wangmo.
The session started on 26 December 2014 by discussing what really learning is; our facilitators made us think and ponder upon what we thought about and what our take was on it. We then realized that what we thought we knew was just a little comprehension of the concept.  We concluded that different individuals have different views but ultimately, we were briefed by the facilitators that learning in general has two types: Reflective and Non-reflective learning. We were also made clear how the concept of learning is changing from time to time.  Then, Mr. Lhapchu (facilitator) talked about the principles of adult learning and its philosophical foundations. The facilitators explained about the adult learning theory of Malcolm Knowles which states that the learning process should be: relevant, engaging, active and learner -centered. We were also introduced to six prevailing philosophies of Liberal Adult Education, Progressive Adult Education, Behaviorist Adult Education, Humanistic Adult Education and Radical Adult Education.
The next topic on 27 December 2013 was yet again another interesting session. It was more of interactive and activity based learning. We were asked by facilitators to share differences between learning in children and adults.  After having shared our points in group to the whole class, facilitators verified, validated and reconfirmed the answers.  It was basically intended to analyze the similarities and differences between how children and adult learn. That’s where we also knew how the teaching/learning method is shifting (or tends to shift) from “pedagogy” to “Andragogy”. We then discussed the features of both in detail.
The rest of the sessions from 28 December were presentations by participants in groups. Towards the end of the third week, we have covered all the four units of the module: Child and Adult Learning and Historical trends; The Adult Learner; Theories of Adult Learning; and Characteristics of Learning (of Adult Learners).
I enjoyed discussing and learning concepts from this very module: Adult Learning Theory and Practice, EDU5058. The knowledge that I gained from here would be especially useful when dealing with adult students back in the college; at least I am now aware of some of the basics to be implemented as a teacher in the university setting. And I am specially overwhelmed by the facilitators’ use of student-centered approach in teaching/learning. We as participants were given the responsibility to take charge of learning while they still guided and facilitated us. The whole process was indeed adult learning which very much suited for us.
Written By Karma Yezer (Gaeddu College) some time back in January 2014

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Reflection on Micro-teaching done at Samtse College of Education on 7 January 2014

(PgDHE candidates with tutor KC Jose; me behind sir Jose grinning)
I have enrolled for Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education (PgDHE) with Samtse College of Education. This program was introduced for the first time especially for university teachers/lecturers. And the following is one of the tasks that we are assigned.    

Reflection on Micro-teaching done at Samtse College of Education on 7 January 2014

Today, I have done Micro-teaching (in the morning session: 9:00-10:00 am) on “Essay and Report: Differences and similarities” as a part of EDU505 [Introduction to University Learning and Teaching] module assessment. The lesson plan was prepared for 6 minutes and my teaching was observed by Mrs. Ugyen Pem (facilitator) and Mr. Kelzang Dorji (Lecturer of Sherubtse College). 
I began by greeting my students (who are actually all participants) and introducing the lesson topic. I could read from the faces that the students and observers were curious on my teaching. It encouraged me even more. To begin the actual teaching I asked students what they understood by the words ‘report’ and ‘essay’ where my students provided me with their views and opinions. And I just needed to add and explain more on their points.
After that, I talked on the features of both essay and report; having done that, I tried to once again get their understanding of the concepts by asking them to bring out some similarities and differences between the two (essay and report). The students were very active and were all ready to participate. That was interesting. Also, I feel that my teaching was convincing; was very audible and could provide clear instructions to my students.
But, despite my preparation, the teaching did not go as planned. I had to stop incomplete as the time duration allotted was insufficient. I am now aware that my conclusion was not good. I received feedback and suggestions on my micro-teaching based on the observation made by my two observers. As a way forward commitment, I am determined to change my teaching methods by incorporating at least three strategies: PowerPoint presentation; provide students with handouts for class activity; and question answer session. 

My Reflection on Second Presentation
On 9 Jan I did second micro-teaching on “Approaching& Understanding Written Assignment” under the guidance of the module (EDU505) facilitator. My teaching was observed by Mrs. Ugyen Pem (facilitator) and Drungsto Sherab Dorji (Lecturer of National Institute of Traditional Medicine”. 

I greeted my class and introduced the lesson plan through PowerPoint slide. After that I talked a little about the importance of understanding the assignment questions and answering rightly as per the requirements and demands of the question. I then asked if any of them had any technique to diagnose questions. My students gave their views but BUG method seemed unfamiliar. However, I demonstrated how to use that technique with example question. 

To assess students’ understanding, I distributed a sample question and asked students to identify BUG (Box, Underline, & Glance Back) words. Students answered right. This only indicated that my students have understood the concept well.  

Comparatively, my second demo-teaching was good. I incorporated three strategies: power point presentation, distribution of handouts for class work and question-answer session. This was based on the recommendation made by my observers during previous presentation (micro-teaching). I also managed my allotted time quite well. I took a little more than six minutes to conclude my lesson.  

Written by Karma Yezer for EDU505 module facilitator Mrs. Ugyen Pem