Collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Agriculture “Faculty development for STEM education in English” (2019)
The Faculty of Engineering at Kyushu University (KU) together with the University of Queensland (UQ) have been engaged in the University of Queensland-Kyushu University Research and Education Exchange Project (“UQ-KU project”), coordinated by Prof. Kazuhiro Nogita of the UQ Mechanical and Mining Engineering department. Since 2015, students from KU have had the opportunity to spend several weeks at UQ through the “Q²PEC” program, and since 2017 the UQ-JPIE (University of Queensland-Japan Program for Industry Experience) has been implemented for UQ students visiting KU. In addition, in cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture, young faculty have been dispatched to the University of Queensland for educational training since 2018, with the support of the New Education Enhancement Program (NEEP). Continuing the two-year NEEP program, a teacher training expert was invited from UQ to participate in the “Faculty Development for STEM Education in English” workshop on the 17th and 18th of December, 2019.
The first day of the workshop on the 17th of December was divided into two parts: “Teaching and learning in higher education in Australia” and “Extending the horizons of English medium instruction”. It was an opportunity to review the teaching methods for interactive lessons in English. Although it was a workshop on STEM education, in addition to the faculty members of the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Agriculture, faculty members of various other departments participated, including lively questions and discussion between the presenters and participants. It was an opportunity for participating teachers to learn various ideas that could be used for future education.
In the morning of the 2nd day (18th of December), a workshop entitled “New Approaches in STEM Education”, titled “How to flip a classroom and land on your feet” was held by Prof. Lydia Kavanagh, a leading professor of blended learning for STEM subjects in a large classrooms with extensive experience at UQ. The workshop itself was an example of blended and active learning. UQ, with support from the Office of Learning and Education (OLT) of the Australian Ministry of Education, implemented a flipped classroom education development project specialising in science and technology from 2012 to 2017, and Professor Kavanagh was one of the main faculty members of the project. It was a very valuable opportunity for the attending faculty members to receive guidance directly from one of UQ’s leading educators.
In the afternoon, follow-up training was conducted for teachers who participated in education training at UQ in 2018 and 2019. Participating teachers were able to look back at the training they received then and acquire new knowledge and skills for conducting interactive classes in English. In addition, each teacher set goals for how to use what they learned in future classes.
The Faculty of Agriculture and the Faculty of Engineering of Kyushu University were selected for the Internationalisation Development Project “Global 30” in 2010, and opened English-language bachelor courses ahead of other universities. Going forward, through such opportunities such as this faculty development workshop, we will continue to study to develop high-quality faculty members who can engage in world-level education practises.