The Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University held its first workshop on teaching recently.
Forty-two teaching professionals from eighteen universities, such as Jilin University, Hunan University and Shanghai University, attended.
The workshop aimed to help the participants improve their teaching quality and explore ways to reform and develop Chinese higher education.
Based on their understanding of XJTLU’s teaching philosophy and practice, participants shared their achievements in educational philosophy, workshop-style teaching, curriculum design and teaching practice.
“Previously, my understanding of workshop-style and research-led teaching was introducing cutting-edge research trends in class and enhancing students’ research abilities,” said Mrs Yu, from Beijing University of Chemical Technology. “I came here as a student and the workshop helped me a lot.”
Ms Chen from the People's Liberation Army Information Engineering University said: “Information about teaching activity organisation and the group assessment approach shared by XJTLU staff was so helpful and I am much clearer on what I should do in the next step in my teaching.”
Mr Yin from Shanghai University observed XJTLU’s workshop-style and research-led teaching carefully and said: “According to my understanding and observation, it’s rare that workshop-style teaching takes up 20 percent of the total teaching style in domestic Chinese universities and I am curious about how XJTLU can carry out this kind of teaching style across a whole university.”
Dr Xiaojun Zhang, Deputy Director of ILEAD, explained at the start of the workshop how XJTLU has addressed the challenge of embedding workshop-style teaching across the University. He said that ILEAD had invited staff from six departments at XJTLU to create interdisciplinary research groups that discussed how to deal with differences between disciplines and class size in workshop-style teaching.
“In addition, a workshop-style teaching philosophy and implementation plan was drawn up that was universal but also addressed specific disciplines and classroom contexts,” Dr Zhang said.
Dr Chin Chee Seong, Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at XJTLU, spoke to workshop participants about the process curriculum design at XJTLU, pointing out that the University has to consider assessment from the University of Liverpool, and external anonymous review, when setting its teaching approach.
“Our staff also come from different countries, such as America, Britain and those in Europe, and from different educational systems. However, we need to accept the requirements from XJTLU and the British higher education quality assurance system,” he said.