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4.1 The faculty or department has a clear teaching and learning strategy
The faculty and department value learner-centreness, students’ thinking and researching ability. This is made know explicitly to all teaching staff in the programme. Therefore, all the courses in the programme are designed for three main learning and teaching environments namely: English use and communication, thinking, and active learning.
- English use and communication
With an aim to equip graduates with high English proficiency, we consider regular use of the language a proper way to reach the aim. Teachers and students are required to use only English in class. There are common class activities stated in most of the courses which are class/group discussion, oral presentation, and the like. Moreover, active class participation is also stated and made known to the students as one of the criteria in the course assessment.
In terms of writing, students are required to write their assignments in English. All the courses share the same assessment method in that we have students complete 2-4 assignments for one course either oral or written; there is no sit-in exam. This is because we believe in continuous assessment and also we want to encourage students to plan and organize their work process to suit each individual’s learning style. Furthermore, by doing take home assignments students have to search for extra knowledge to learn by themselves.
To have students’ awareness on good English use and motivate them to improve English ability, all the course agree to evaluate students’ English use in both oral and written assignments. In English related courses, assessment criterion in terms of English use should be made around 5-10% and 3-5% in theory-based courses.
Critical and analytical thinking skills are crucial for graduate study. In class, students are encourage to discuss, share ideas, and ask and answer questions freely. For assignments, it is made explicit that thinking ability is to be a part of evaluation. Students are expected to understand theories, evaluate and analyse them. In assignments, they must state their arguments discussing related theories and application. This is made known to students as it must be clearly stated in the assessment criteria.
- Interactive learning
Learning and teaching strategy in all courses is to support interactive learning. As mentioned above students are encourage to participate in class most of the time. Not only to interact with teachers and peers, that we have them do outside class assignment is for them to interact with others from different environment and also with themselves and the information.
Moreover, at least for the last assignment (term project which is a mini-research like project), students are allowed to select their own topic related to the content of the course. They can propose the topic to teachers, discuss and gain feedback both from teachers and peers.
4.2 The teaching and learning strategy enables students to acquire and use knowledge academically.
Certainly, in graduate level of study, students must be able to acquire and use knowledge academically. As mentioned in the above section, students are required to participate in class and produce their arguments in all assignments. With this approach, students should have deep thought about the knowledge learnt both inside and outside class. Also, they must apply the knowledge academically in order to complete all requirements for each of the assignments.
4.3 The teaching and learning strategy is student oriented and stimulates quality of learning.
As we value thinking ability, students can be independent. During students talk time in class, they can direct their own thought and ideas. In their written assignments, they can choose their readings. The teachers’ role in this teaching and learning environment is more like to act as a facilitator. They help guide and provide supports and constructive feedbacks for students’ directed learning.
4.4 The teaching and learning strategy stimulates action learning and facilitates learning to learn.
All of the aforementioned may show that students usually take action and responsibility in their learning. Not only in terms of the subject contents, but also students learn to manage their own learning. Also, students are encouraged to help one another in learning. The programme have learnt from the students feedback that they usually manage to have their study group to share their resources and knowledge.
In the end of each semester, the programme require all students to get together for an ‘EPIC sharing session’. In this session, students are asked to summarise and reflect their learning throughout the semester. They have to evaluate their success, progress, and failure. Then, they get comments for future improvement from both teachers and peers. Additionally, by listening to other students’ learning stories, students should know where they are in the process of learning. Also, they learn from good and bad experience of others and thus they know how to manage their study better.