Some believes about teaching and learning

I believe that students learn effectively when they are engaged in an interactive classroom environment. Therefore, my ultimate goal is to help  my students to actively participate, using a variety of strategies and techniques. I do my best to help my students become wise learners who think independently, critically and collaboratively. This is particularly important for students in the field of information and communication technology, who will work as teachers or trainers in a fast‐paced field where the flux of changes is the norm rather than the exception. With this goal in mind, I design and moderate a learning environment where students are motivated to learn themselves and construct their own meanings. I encourage my students to see the relevance of the information to their interests; where they learn by interacting with the learning resources and their classmates; and where they are guided toward meta‐cognition of their learning and learn how to transfer and apply what they learned to different real world situations.

In my teaching, I use a combination of lecture, classroom student-student interactions, applications of concepts to real world situations, and visual and tactile components. I motivate students’ interests to learn by being engaging and by illustrating the value and importance of the content presented. This is accomplished by discussing concepts and arguments using study groups on social networks, like Facebook, and by demonstrating the relevance of course topics to students’ work experiences via online blog posts. Even when I use conventional teaching methods and materials, like lectures and handouts, I make the classroom environment as stimulating, collaborative, efficient, and interactive as possible.

For example, I use the flipped classroom model to help students first study the topic by themselves, typically using online video lessons prepared by myself. In the classroom, students apply the knowledge by solving problems and doing more practical work. One benefit of the flipped lectures is that the instructors and students have a plenty of time for content application and interaction. For this reason, I developed a network to help me and other instructors across SQU to produce and share effective video content with their students named PresentationTube. I do believe that there are many reasons to consider flip our lectures at SQU: (1) Increase student engagement, (2) strength team-based skills, (3) offer personalized student guidance, (4) focus on classroom discussions, and (5) provides faculty freedom.

At the end of each class, I use a variety of ways to assess their learning during the class and provide feedback to improve their learning, such as brainstorming (using open-ended questions to discuss or solve), decision making (provide students with problem that they need to work on when they design, develop or use information technology in the school), case study (to help makes students apply material to a realistic situation), or multiple-choice survey. In addition, I ask students to upload and update their own course portfolios each week on Google Drive and Blogger to show growth in understanding, skills and reflections on specific concepts in each lecture.

Evaluation of student-student interaction

Since it is not enough to obtain an accurate picture of students’ interactions by counting only the number of participation, the purpose of the analysis is to reveal patterns of responses in order to assess how well students responded and interacted with each other. A number of models for the evaluation of the quality of interaction in asynchronous discussion environments are available in the literature. The focus of these models varies, depending on the purposes of the evaluation and the interest of the researchers (Chi Ng & Murphy, 2005). For example, Henri (1992) provided a model to examine the degree of participation in discussion boards and analyzing the quality of content of the participations according to cognitive view of learning. This model has been influential in the analysis interaction content. In this model, the content of interaction is analyzed according to five dimensions. These dimensions are participation, interaction, social, cognitive, and meta-cognitive. Another model provides insights for examining the nature of online interactivity among students through an analysis of the message content provided by Mason (1991). One of the unique features of new era of social networking is that it can help in creating interactive learning environments to engage learners in developing academic discourse, reflect on their responses to others’ questions, and clarify their understanding of new concepts (Fox & MacKeogh, 2003; Chi Ng & Murphy, 2005). Online social networks like Facebook have gained tremendous traction recently as a popular online hangout spaces for learners (Boyd, 2010).