2016 kampala LINQED Workshop

09 Jun 2016

The Eighth LINQED workshop took place in Kampala three weeks ago (17-20 May 2016). Thirty LINQED network members from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe participated. Good teaching & learning practices are at the heart of the annual LINQED workshop, as faculty staff involved in teaching & training share experiences with each other. LINQED wants to strengthen postgraduate training capacity in clinical, public and animal health, and the workshop is one of the activities it organises to accomplish its mission. 

The themes of the workshop were ‘Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking in Higher Education and Improving Education leadership and Research’.

Following the learner-centered approach, the Kampala workshop consisted of interactive sessions where participants worked individually, in pairs and in groups. They were stimulated to learn from each other via discussing, reflecting and lots of practice. 

For the theme "Cooperative Learning", the international group discussed a number of commonly observed challenges and problems while planning and organising group-work activities. Based on the Johnson, Johnson and Smith’s Five Pillars model (1991), various strategies related to the five essential aspects of effective co-operative learning were discussed:

  • Positive interdependence
  • Promotive interaction
  • Individual accountability
  • Social skills
  • Group processing

A second focus of the workshop was on how to teach critical thinking through debate. By being actively involved in the preparation of a debate, all participants experienced how structured debating exercises can shape thinking – while having fun!

A third topic was educational research. Individuals had the chance to identify the most relevant “point of interest”. In the coming months, support and further training will be provided in the network for those who want to investigate their teaching practice at work.

Last but not least, on the closing day the main topic was educational leadership (professional development). Studies on educational leadership offer strong evidence that the improvement of educators’ leadership skills can lead to better organisation outcomes. In the half-day session participants assumed different roles (individual, management, governance) and brainstormed on their main concerns related to professional development. 

 

Thought-provoking discussions arose on how to facilitate a) individual learning and b) a culture of professional development supported by the working environment.

A few key messages emerged from the discussion: on the one hand, it is essential for individuals to understand, respond and influence the political and cultural context in an organisation. On the other hand, for an organisation, creating and maintaining a safe and positive environment that motivates and supports learning and the development of individuals is crucial for its success.

The Workshop participants highly appreciated that the group dynamics were excellent and the workshop gave them a lot of positive energy!

Quotations from anonymous workshop evaluation:

"I really learn a lot from the workshop in terms of mental development, social skills. I have got an international experience to have a collaboration with my similar and above universities. Thank you very much."

"Compared to previous workshops, there has been ample (4 days) time to stimulate thinking on critical issues: e.g. how to organize an argument. The activities organized in the critical thinking session, esp debate can be adopted immediately."

I’ve got a meaningful learning from these 4 days’ workshop. I can reflect directly about my own strength and weakness. I am encouraged to develop myself continuously."

For a full list of the individual comments, please click here

 

 

 

For general information
ljiang@itg.be