On February 5th, Jerome and Saiful attended Global Engineering for Development Environment and Society (GEDES) Workshop on Students’ Activities. The workshop was held in Suzukakedai Hall and involved 60 presentations from 29 students. Jerome san presented his field work experience in Luang Prabang and teaching assistant (TA) in Tokyo Tech Academy for Leadership (ToTAL) program, while Saiful san presented his experience as a teaching assistant in Global Scientists and Engineers Course (GSEC).
Jerome conducted two poster presentations with the tittle of “Facilitating an Active Book Dialogue as a TA – A Leadership Class Using Personal Development Books” and “QR Codes and World Heritage Sites (WHS): a Tokyo Tech – Luang Prabang Department of World Heritage (DPL) Collaboration”. Jerome felt that the amount of information he could present within the two minutes allocated time were limited, and it is paramount to be smart about how to present the compressed version and still be able to send the overall message. Presenting the background, objectives, challenges and solutions are doable within two minutes, but the key is to highlight the main points to get the poster’s message across to the audience.
One of the selected question he received during the first presentation was about which among the three books selected in the TA class had the most impact on the students. Jerome thought that timing played a huge part on this one as we were tackling Mini Habits (the second book) just before the new year, when everybody tries to come up with new year’s resolutions. It was a game changer for some students as the book gave tips on how to come up not with one big ambitious goals but with goals broken down into realizable components. As for the second presentation, Jerome san was asked about how did he select the information to be published in the website. According to him, Tokyo Tech and Luang Prabang’s World Heritage Department made sure that the temple information that were to be published in the website would be concise and informative. Since Luang Prabang has 38 temples in its inventory list, they figured that it is better not to flood tourists with too much information. Also the conciseness of the texts was complemented by the before and after photos of the temples.
Based on his recent TA experience, Saiful conducted a poster presentation with the title “Teaching Assistant Experience in Global Scientists and Engineers Course”. The participant of the GSEC introductory course is the first-year bachelor degree students, and the TA required to facilitate students’ group work and as well as develop students’ problem-solving skills, teamwork skills, and multicultural understanding. The group work requires the student to propose a solution to national issues related to social and environmental. As for the students under his facilitation, they have been working on the topic of Waste Management Issue in Malaysia. Saiful highlighted several issues he faced in performing his duties, including communication skills, slow-starter students and time constraints. To overcome the issues, he utilized on-line tools such as Google Form and Google Documents, while the off-class discussion has been done mostly via Line mobile application. During the Q & A session, one of the questions that Saiful received was about the benefits and effectiveness of the online tools that he adopted. He explained that student involvement in the discussion increased by using online tools and mobile applications. In the future, Saiful san wants to improve his facilitating skills and reflecting to his research he wants to improve his management, communication and presentation skills.