In this semester, we have a course called ‘Educational Project’. In this course, students are divided into different groups and get different project. I am in a group with Erkkie and Polina, and our project is to plan and implement a course about multicultural issues in university teaching for teachers of University of Oulu.
When we get the assignment, everyone of our three feels challenges, not only because the field of multicultural issues is new, but also the group target is university teachers, and we are only the students. The pressure is really high. However, we are eager to complete this project perfectly. So firstly we assign the role of each member: Erkkie is project manager, Polina is liaison and communication, and I am secretary and record keeping. Then we go to meet Tiina, the client of the project, to get some relevant information about the project, and she arranges three face-to-face meeting between course participants and us.
After discussion with client, we talk and negotiate together but do not have any train of thought yet. Erkkie is right that we should seek support from experts in this field. We meet Gordon and Rauni who provide useful viewpoints, advices, and reading materials which is helpful for us to carry on the following works.
Through reading some articles, we get theoretical knowledge and information about multicultural issues, and we name our project is ICIT– Intercultural Competence in Teaching. Having the ideas and direction, we accomplish the project plan fast and start to implement each task according to project plan.
The most significant and difficult task is to design the contents of three face-to-face meetings. The course participants are university teachers, they are very busy in daily life, and therefore, we need to think about more details from their points of view. Thanks a lot for Aino-Maaria, she stays with us in the three f2f meetings. 🙂 I also remember the first f2f meeting. Before the meeting, all of our three are very worried, since the teachers have rich knowledge and experiences in teaching, but we are merely students, hence we are not sure if the learning contents we designed are suitable and acceptable by teachers. There are seven teachers register this course and all of them participate this meeting. When we know teachers are not clear about any relevant information about course design, even course is in English, we start to become a little nervous. But we must carry out the meeting on the basis of the plan. It is great that teachers are interested in the contents related to this course, and they are still interested in the course designed by international students. They are likely to share their challenges and problems occurred in real teaching activities, express their expectations to get more pedagogical theories and methods which are assistant in the daily working, and they still want us, as international students, to give them some information from our point of views. After each f2f meeting, I am responsible to write reflection which is helpful for us to design contents of next meeting. I consider that we have some achievement in the duration of three f2f meetings. We make a group on the kyvyt.fi, which is a platform for interaction between course participants and us. There is a wiki page, which is used to enable course participants collaboratively to create two trees– pedagogical philosophy tree and pedagogical toolkit tree. And we also get the positive evaluation from course participants.
Except for designing course for three f2f meetings, we also need to make PECHA KUCHA, write the mid-report of the project, work for the poster that is to present the contents and implementation of the project, make digital story to take on our working process, and write the final report at the end of the project. Now we have accomplished the PECHA KUCHA, mid-report and the poster, digital story and final report are in progress.
From this project, I learn much knowledge, information, and skills about course design and implementation, have fresh and meaningful experience, and understand how to plan, execute, and evaluate a project. I make sure that this experience is the precious treasure for me and makes deep effect on my future learning and working life.