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【Event Report】 The 1st Coursera “Interactive Teaching” Live Online Event: Self-Introduction

  • Date: Saturday, August 28th, 2021
  • Time: 3:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.  (JST)
  • Venue: Zoom
  • Instructors: Kayoko Kurita, Lui Yoshida (The University of Tokyo)
  • Language: Japanese

The Center’s online course, Coursera “Interactive Teaching,” held a live online event. A total of 34 people with a wide variety of occupations or specializations participated in the event, and since it was held online, the participants attended not only from Japan but from overseas. This event was organized based on the contents of “Interactive Teaching” on a global MOOC platform, Coursera. It was intended for people who are engaged/interested in educational practices.

 

Presentation slide for the event and the instructor, Dr. Kurita (upper right)

Presentation slide for the event and the instructor, Dr. Kurita (upper right)

1.Goals and Objectives

Coursera “Interactive Teaching”, which the event is based on, is a self-paced course.

By holding a real-time event, we aimed to provide an opportunity where participants can learn together and experience things that they cannot do on their own. Also, the event focused on interactive activities that cannot be experienced in Coursera “Interactive Teaching”, having the following three objectives.

●To be able to explain the significance of self-introduction

●To deliver self-introduction

●To find perspectives for contents, structure, and how to convey (delivery method) to create a “good self-introduction” through reviewing self-introduction and giving feedback to each other

2.Overview

  • (1)Preparation
  • Prior to the event, all the participants were assigned to prepare a one-minute self-introduction (regarding your subject or specialization) as a pre-assignment.
  • (2)During the event
  • At the beginning of the event, we ran a poll on enrollment in Interactive Teaching and clarified the goals and objectives for the event. Then, we made sure the rules (e.g., 3K) for participating in the event.
  • 【Exercise in giving feedback on self-introduction (kentōkai)
  • In this section, a volunteer introduced themselves for one minute. After that, all other participants filled out a feedback sheet. They then were divided into groups, where they gave their brief self-introduction to each other as an icebreaking activity and shared their feedback on the volunteer’s self-introduction. Finally, comments from the volunteer who introduced themselves, instructors, and other participants were shared. Before self-introduction of each participant, we aimed to share important perspectives to create a “good self-introduction” through this activity. 
  • 【Self-introduction】
  • The participants were divided into groups of 3. In the similar way to the previous section, they (1) introduced themselves for one minute (2) filled out the feedback sheet and (3) shared their feedback in groups. This activity continued until everyone’s turn was completed. 
  • 【Wrap-up】
  • As a wrap-up of the event, participants were asked to write about what they have learned during the event in the reflection form. The aim is to acquire a metacognitive viewpoint for “good self-introduction.”

This event was attended by 34 people in total from various institutions such as university, high school, and company. The participants were also diverse in their fields of specialization or subjects they teach (including both humanities and science), and some participated from overseas. This event offered a place for learning where a wide variety of people gathered across institutions, fields, and regions.

3.Feedback from Participants

We ran a post-event questionnaire survey toward the event attendees. As a result, a total of 18 responses were collected. Regarding the questions about overall satisfaction of the event (on a scale of 1 to 5; 1= very unsatisfied, 5= very satisfied), 33% (6 people) of the respondents chose 5, the highest score, and 44% (8 people) of them 4, the second highest. Furthermore, in terms of the question “Overall, do you think your participation in this event will be useful in your future?” (on a scale of 1 to 5; 1= Strongly disagree, 5= Strongly agree), 33% (6 people) answered with the highest score, 5 and 33% (6 people) selected 4. 

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On the free description field at the end of the questionnaire, there are some comments from the participants as shown below. (The comments are partially extracted so that individuals cannot be identified.)

“(Through the event), I could look at myself objectively and I appreciate the event.”

“I gave my self-introduction, which I practiced during the event, to students at my workplace right away. The importance of self-introduction shouldn’t be underestimated, and I found there is a big difference between a prepared and impromptu self-introduction.”

“I realized again that the reason why I can talk online with people from various backgrounds without worries is because Dr. Kurita clearly explains about the spirit of 3K at first. In addition, by experiencing online learning during the event, I noticed that it is important to have a perspective on how to design a flow around the activity: before, during and after steps. It was just when staggered school attendance and online classes started, so I was grateful to apply what I learned immediately back in the workplace.”

“Coursera’s online course was interesting, and I enjoyed this event, too. Depending on school affairs, I would like to participate again if I can.”

Some of the participants said that they have already put what they learned into practice, and we staff are very happy to hear that. We also received many comments on improvements to this event and potential topics for our future events. Based on that feedback, we will work on event planning. We would like to thank all participants who provided us with their valuable opinions and thoughts.  

4.Vision for Our Future Events

It was the first online event of Coursera “Interactive Teaching.” We are very happy that we received plenty of positive feedback through the post-event survey. Nonetheless, it also highlights that there is much more room for improvement. We will examine all issues pointed out in the feedback and utilize the feedback in the planning and management of our upcoming events.

We will continue to organize these kinds of events irregularly, and also consider holding one in English. We hope that many people will participate in our future events. Events will be announced as soon as the details have been determined. We sincerely look forward to your participation!

References

Coursera “Interactive Teaching” 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/interactive-teaching

UTokyo OCW “Teaching Development in Higher Education” (UTokyo Future Faculty Program) 

https://ocw.u-tokyo.ac.jp/course_11441/

 

Airi Kawakami (Coursera Interactive Teaching Staff/ Project Academic Specialist)

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