Adnan Ameen Bakather
The question of how learning occurs might be a complex question. I conceptualize
learning as a mechanism of knowledge acquisition. It occurs formally and informally. It
is necessary to differentiate between these levels of learning in order to frame proper
learning outcomes and instructional activities. Formal learning, for example, is always
intentional by learners and structured and organized by the institutions (e.g. universities)
through specific learning objectives as well as curriculum. A lecturer should understand
the preferential mode of learning (learning styles) through which students learn and
react in the class. I do believe that each student has a unique way to understand and
process knowledge and information. Thus, I consider different learning styles in the
class in order to provide the appropriate environment of learning and teaching strategies.
On another hand, teaching is a system involves understanding of learning concept,
decisions related to teaching approaches and methods, determination of teaching goals
and learning outcomes. I conceptualize teaching as a process to facilitate student’s
learning. I do believe that the mind is a diamond where my role is to try shining it.
Accordingly, I usually adopt the simple way and methods to facilitate learning process
and motivate students. In addition, I share my passion to the filed as a way of student
motivation and encouraging learning habits beyond the formal classroom. Nevertheless,
my teaching philosophy cannot implement smoothly without cooperation and
engagement of students. I always expect my students to attend, participate and work.
Thus, learning failure in my class could happen in case of lazy or uncooperative
As a lecturer, I always maintain aim of teaching and learning up front. This guides me
through the process of teaching and makes teaching easier. As a result, I specify certain
learning goals of my teaching which my students should leave with them. As rule of
thumb, I would like my students to:
- Learn the facts and principles of the subject matter
- Understand order thinking skills and problem solving
- Be ready to for careers
These are considered the minimum outcomes of my teaching. These are integrated with
the learning objectives that I set for a subject. I do believe that the clear articulation of
learning outcomes is the most important for effective learning.
Generally speaking, there is no single method of teaching that could lead to best
learning. Learning can happen with different approaches. As lecturer, I usually align
teaching methods with learning objectives/ outcomes, learning styles of different
students as well as assessment methods. As principle, I design instructional activities to
handle different styles of learning in order to obtain the learning outcomes of a course.
My teaching strategy usually takes into consideration the following factors:
- Learning outcomes of course, program
- Learning styles of students
- Contents of the subject
- Physical setting
For me, a single method of teaching is not appropriate to tackle these considerations.
This is because students are not learning in same way. For instance, I cannot use only
lecture to accommodate all learning styles of all students. Consequently, I usually adopt
several methods of teaching. These might include:
- Discussion to engage students
- Cases discussion
- Interaction and engaging with students through asking questions.
However, the priority is given for these methods and approaches required by the
department or faculty. I also facilitate teaching through using the media, internet, social
network as appropriate to achieve the learning objectives of the course. Furthermore, the
assessment methods are selected carefully in line with the learning outcomes as well as
the teaching methods. I usually design the assessing system according to the department
and faculty requirements as part of compliance with the related guidelines. Generally,
the methods of students’ assessment consist of written exams, written assignments
(essay, report, and dissertation), homework and quizzes.
I do believe that the teaching methods and practices should be improved over time in
order to achieve the teaching goals. Effective teaching might not be a matter of
experience. Instead, change over time and technological development change the ways
of student learning and engagement. Thus, I put objectives to maintain effective
teaching as well as to plan career growth. First of all, I appreciate the students’
feedback. In this context, I consider students as a mirror of my work, quality of
teaching. Secondly, I have an objective to update myself with new teaching strategies
and methods via reading articles, attending seminars and workshops. Thirdly, it is to
follow up the new technologies of learning and teaching. I believe technology can
provide us with effective tools for teaching.