On the morning of October 14, the seminar themed “Innovation of higher education in the trend of online training” co-organized by FUNiX Online Education and Gunma University (Japan) gathered nearly 60 representatives from various universities from around the world.
Educators at the conference all agreed that online education has had many positive impacts, such as breaking down the barriers of timezones, geography, etc. and will certainly grow much more in the future. However, in order to prepare for digital training, universities will require a lot of changes, from altering curriculum and utilising technological tools, to the role teachers will play in facilitating learning.
Let’s review the highlights of the conference.
In the welcome speech, Vice President of Gunma University (Japan) Mari Tanaka introduced the 3 main topics of the conference:
- Opportunities and challenges for online education
- Leveraging an online platform for university collaboration
- Innovative solutions to develop online education.
Professor Tanaka believes that universities can only successfully transform to become digitally enabled through cooperation
In his speech on the theme “The Future of Education – Online Learning”, Professor Jimmy Mok Vee Hoong, Vice President of UCSI University (Malaysia) mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented students with great new opportunities such as online education which he believes will eventually replace the traditional way of training that we are all used to.
He also said that online training is not just about teaching and learning through digital platforms. He believed that educators need to consider factors such as: personalize and redesign learning curriculum to suit each individual learner as well as empowering the learner themselves, combining that with actual synchronous teaching.
Contrary to Professor Mok Vee Hoong’s opinion, Professor Bas Baskaran from Deakin University (Australia) believed that online training cannot entirely replace traditional education. He mentioned that students go to school not only to study, but also to develop their social, communication and even leadership skills as wells to exchange experiences and learn from each other.
He also added that in today’s society, teachers no longer hold all the keys to knowledge. Therefore, it is also necessary for teachers to change their role from teaching to guiding students towards becoming lifelong learners.
Next, Dr. Chetneti Srisa-an, Vice Rector, Rangsit University (Thailand) shared about the experience of “Applying Machine Learning and AI to personalize learners’ online learning experiences”.
At Rangsit University, AI makes it easier to manage large class sizes and allows students to be managed individually and personally. The school has implemented an AI system that analyzes learner behavior and helps identify the students that need attention within a large class. The AI then helps tailor subjects to each of the learners based on their skills, interests, and preferences observed from their activity.
Nikki Cole, Program Manager at the University of Wollongong (Australia) shared about her experience in organizing a short-term online learning program which allows foreign students to communicate and work with local students. The program purpose is to bring the experience of studying abroad online, allowing learners a similar international experience from the comfort of their own home.
The “3-component educational model” was proposed by Professor Sam Chung, Director of the Institute of Technology & Computers (STC), City University of Seattle (USA). He also introduced the components of the “Educational Trifecta” at STC: SMART Learning; Strong Curriculum, Sustainable Program, which promotes high-quality and life-long education.
Professor Takako Ochi from Japan promoted the use of online platforms to maintain interactions among students at Gunma University. The introduction of the “Smart-Campus-to-Campus” program in cooperation with FUNiX (Vietnam) helps to bring all activities, from student exchange to training, onto a single online platform. This model is believed to create more connections for students.
Dr. Usanee Kulintornprasert, Director, International Relations Office, Panyapiwat Institute of Management (PIM – Thailand) shared about her experience of leveraging online platforms for international cooperation at PIM. The university has worked with multiple foreign universities to bring international experiences to students everywhere, with programs such as cooking classes, business tours, etc. amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has unfortunately closed most of the world’s borders.
The seminar concluded with the announcement of the launch of the Global Online Educators Community, pioneered and operated by FUNiX.
The goal of the Community is for educators to share experiences and ideas on how to build high-quality online training programs, organize academic sharing activities as well as develop training courses to enhance teaching capabilities in an online environment.