As SAUNAC project has come to the ending part, certain results have been accomplished. One of the most significant achievement from the project must have been the evaluation and feedback from all parties involved in SAUNAC for the FINCODA model.
The evaluation was based on three main methods: online questionnaire, interviews with teachers and interviews with students.
The questionnaire received a lot of positive feedback from students that took the course. From the questionnaire result, the skill that most students got out of the course is team-work with 54% of the participants’ votes. Following that are initiative and critical thinking with 13% vote per each – something students have never learned in other courses before getting into contact with SSVC modules.
Networking and creativity were also boosted among 12% and 9% of the students consecutively. The evaluation for teachers and SSVC modules is generally positive, most students voted for “very good” for instruction from the teachers and “good” for SSVC modules.
From the interviews with teachers and students, lots of constructive feedback was received. New teaching and learning methods like project-based learning or e-learning were appreciated. Several new methods were used: story board, mind maps, teamwork, brainstorming technique, active learning, desk-research… which makes studying more fun and innovative. To go into more details, students said they particularly liked the diverse methods the course had. One that stands out was cooperative learning with a lot of teamwork in different groups that enhanced teamwork skill. Students also liked mind maps where they could visualize information and see the problem in a more systematic way. Padlet made the information much more beautiful to look at and fun to contribute to. A lot of online learning platforms were utilized: Moodle, email, padlet, facebook…which made studying easier and up-to-date with the currently available technologies. Especially students were exposed to the diverse viewpoints from teachers that have different backgrounds, not only academically but also geographically. For a lot of students, this was the very first time they started using e-platform for studying. There were of course obstacles in the beginning, but by the end of the course, most students were able to keep up with online learning and started liking it for the convenience. A bright point is that the majority of students did contact various stakeholders during the time of their projects. The stakeholders vary in business, municipalities and academia such as: Faculty of Environment - VNU, Hanoi Urenco - Urban environment company, Hue Urban Environment And Public Works Joint Stock Company (HEPCO), Vinh Ninh primary school.
Besides the positive feedback, there are a few improving points that should be taken into consideration for better performances in the future. First of all, for the online learning, the Internet connection was sometimes a problem so stable Internet connection should be focused on. Moreover, balance of online and offline classes would bring more benefits for students. The quality of online conference should be improved to keep students engaged in the lectures. A lot of students found it difficult to learn all 5 competencies in one course as time is limited and the instructors could not fully follow the student’s development through the whole course. Therefore, it’s suggested that one course should be limited to 2 or 3 competencies. Student tutors will solve the problem of students not being supervised enough, as this is a cost-effective way and beneficial for both sides: students getting more help, student tutors getting more managing skills. Because students also have to study other courses at the same time, it would be ideal if in the future one day (or half a day) could be reserved for project work alone without any overlapping lectures, which is already available in TUAS. Last but not least, stakeholders – according to students’ opinion – could be more involved in the assessment of the students. Peer assessment between students could be a great option to consider in the close future as well.
In a nutshell, the SSVC modules did achieve concrete results. The evaluation from teachers, students and stakeholders were appreciably precious and would definitely help the course to proceed further in the future, which SAUNAC is aiming for.
Written by Le Hang, based on the presentation of Prof.Lan Huong, Prof.Nguyen Viet Anh and Mr. Harri Lappalainen