As a part of JICA Grassroot Technical Cooperation project, the teacher training was conducted at Khovd aimag from June 14 to 18. Prof. Yamaguchi, Prof. Takada, and Mr. Hirai participated in the training activities. Under the Covid-19 pandemic situation, this was the first teacher training activities conducted online in our experience of Mongolian project.
The training aimed to review and improve the digital teacher training materials and teachers’ guideline content developed by groups of Khovd teachers and teachers’ guideline content developed by Mongolian National University of Education (MNUE) professional teams. The training at Khovd aimag focused on Six subjects – Mathematics, Chemistry, Design and Technology, History and Social Science, Geography, and Physics. In addition, as a pilot training, it aimed to analyze effectiveness of online training activities and share experiences and knowledges with other partner aimag to conduct online training activities.
The participant of the training were 50 teachers from Khovd aimag, 20 methodologists from Khovd and neighboring aimags, and 8 methodologists from other four partner aimags. The leaders of six subject teacher groups served as instructors of the training.
From Day 1 afternoon to Day4 morning, a groupwork session to improve digital teacher training materials was conducted. Six subject teams demonstrated their digital teacher training materials and explained development process, teaching methods and ICT used in the material. Then, teachers were divided into six groups by subject using breakout room function of the online conference tool. MNUE professors also joined and monitored teachers’ discussion.
After the group work, teachers gathered again in one room and shared the results of the discussion. Following that, MNUE professional teams, Prof.Yamaguchi and Prof.Takada provided comments and recommendations for further improvement. In addition, the survey which was prepared by project implementation unit was conducted to evaluate the digital training materials with 15 evaluation points of technical aspects and content. The feedback from professors and the results of the evaluation survey clearly showed the huge progress in the quality of digital teacher training materials and six subject teachers groups’ efforts in last two years since the training conducted in 2019.
Group work sessions to improve teachers’ guideline were conducted from Day 4 afternoon to Day 5 morning. First, teachers studies the teachers’ guideline content developed by MNUE professional teams. Then, teachers conducted group work to review and improve teachers’ guideline content developed by each subject teams and shared the points to be improved with other teachers.
Besides those training sessions, practical sessions to use and develop interactive training materials were conducted. Mr. Hirai and Ms. Oyun, Yamaguchi-Takada lab alumni and current UNU Ph.D program student, facilitated the session using the e-learning material developed by Mr. Hirai. The outcomes of the session were remarkable that almost 90% of participants could complete the setup software and develop their own interactive quizzes within limited time during the training.
At end of the five-day training, participants appreciated the experiences they gained. A participant said he was skeptical about the effectiveness of online training activities at the very beginning, however this training proved that we could have meaningful training activities and discussion through online training. Another teacher said it was valuable and rare opportunity to interact with experts and teachers from Ulaanbaatar and Tokyo while I was participating in the training from soum.
Reflecting the knowledge and experiences of this pilot training, following online training will be conducted at other four aimags.