UO delegation leads faculty development event in Japan

From left: Georgeanne Cooper, Trish Pashby, Lee Rumbarger, Elly Vandegrift
From left: Georgeanne Cooper, Trish Pashby, Lee Rumbarger, Elly Vandegrift

A five-person delegation from the University of Oregon led a two-day faculty development workshop for instructors at Japan’s Nagoya University on March 16 and 17. The Japanese Ministry of Education’s Global 30 initiative sponsored the workshop.

Launched in 2008, the Global 30 initiative aims to help Japan internationalize its higher education practices by creating English-language programs, recruiting international students to study in Japan, and providing opportunities for Japanese students to study abroad.

Nagoya faculty came to the UO for three previous G-30 workshops but this time the UO team went to Japan. The Center for Asian and Pacific Studies, which facilitated the workshops in Eugene, provided the planning and logistical support for the trip. CAPS Director Jeff Hanes said the UO faculty development team that taught the workshop in Japan “made a significant impact.”

Hanes, along with Lee Rumbarger, director of the Teaching Effectiveness Program; Trish Pashby, senior instructor at the American English Institute; Georgeanne Cooper, former director of the Teaching Effectiveness Program; and Elly Vandegrift, associate director of the Science Literacy Program, comprised the team that facilitated the workshop.

The UO team worked with both Japanese and international faculty members from eight Japanese universities to improve English presentation skills and learn about evidence-based, best teaching practices, focusing particularly on making the classroom more interactive.

Interactive teaching is rare in Japanese education. To help faculty adapt to the approach, the workshop included small- and large-group sessions, such as “Interactive Lecture Techniques,” “Teaching in English,” “Teaching to a Diverse Student Audience,” “Learning Objectives and Backward Design” and “The External Brain.”

Each participant then delivered a 10-minute mini-lecture in their fields of expertise, incorporating interactive techniques.

The G-30 faculty members expressed satisfaction with the workshop and excitement about returning to their teaching with new ideas drawn from the group’s collective energy.

- from the UO's Center for Asian and Pacific Studies