We held our 2022 IE Program Teachers’ Orientation / 29th Annual Faculty Development Symposium on University English Teaching on Saturday, April 3rd as a HyFlex event with roughly half of the 35 attendees participating in person and the others through Zoom.
The format of the orientation was unique in that 13 veteran instructors were asked to prepare, in advance, videos in which they introduced key aspects of the IE courses they were teaching. Before the day of the orientation, all teachers in the program were asked to watch the videos so they would be prepared to comment on them and give feedback at the orientation itself. We called this the first IE “Flipped” Orientation.
Thanks to the cooperation of the dedicated teachers who spent their precious time sharing their expertise with colleagues through video–and the teachers who conscientiously watched the videos and attended the orientation–the event could be a great success.
The videos provided wonderful springboards and prompts for discussion and the further sharing of experiences and teaching techniques.
For the last 28 years, the Integrated English Program (under the auspices of Aoyama Gakuin University’s English Department) has held annual faculty development events for new and continuing teachers in early April. The program’s coordinators, senior teachers, and those newer to the program, share the responsibility of presenting on panels and giving workshops. It has been a way for teachers to share their expertise while gaining knowledge and inspiration from their peers.
This year’s IE Orientation for teachers will features talks by 15 speakers on topics related to issues in online teaching, drama in the classroom, and how to get the most out of discussion, reading, and writing activities.
We hope that this posting finds you all safe and well. You have probably been wondering about the status of the IE Teachers’ Orientation (which had been scheduled for April 4th), and the start of AGU’s academic year (originally scheduled for Tuesday, April 7th).
Many of our adjunct lecturers teach at other schools and universities and may have already been notified about delays in the commencement of the academic year. Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has taken some time for AGU to decide whether or not to postpone it.
I’m pleased to announce that a decision has finally been made. First semester classes will start on April 21st. The term will last 13 weeks instead of the usual 15 weeks.
The plan is to have actual face-to-face classes from April 21st, but teachers should make content available to their students online and be prepared to hold classes online as well should that become necessary. Teachers who wish to conduct their classes online will be able to do so.
Our Joho Media Center has been working hard to try to decide on the best online tools for our needs. Yesterday it was announced that they concluded a contract with Cisco for the use, by all faculty and students, of Webex. It can be used over the Web and the WebEx Mobile app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. The plan is to somehow integrate the use of Webex with CoursePower, the LMS (Learner Management System) that the university has made available to us for years, but which few of us have ever touched.
Therefore, not only students, but teachers as well, will be learning new things in novel and, hopefully, wonderful ways.