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Capstone Assessment for Associate Fellow of the

Higher Education Academy


Part 1 - Design and Plan Learning Activities and / or
Programmes of Study (AA1)
Teaching within the Education department requires having a
variety of activities to prepare student/teachers for future teaching.
There are many different types of teaching activities I implement
with students in higher education. Some of these activities are
lecturing, writing reflections, preparing micro-teaching/mini-lessons,
articles annotation, critical thinking activities and BlackBoard
discussion.
Writing reflections based on teaching practice experience and
creating mini-lessons are other types of activities that are planned
to help future teachers rehearse and reflect upon teaching strengths
and areas of development.
Activity 1: Mini-lesson presentation
One of the activities I planned to conduct is micro-teaching or
mini-lesson presentations. The aim of applying this type of activities
is to prepare student/teachers to practice teaching stories telling
and performing different related activities. Another objective is to
provide feedback on teaching and planning methods, which will
enable the students to learn and improve areas for development.
The task is based on modeling a story with activities by the teacher
and then allowing the students to take notes of feedback on what is
demonstrated. Then students are provided with guidelines to follow

on how to create a mini-lesson with supporting activities. Later,


each group is asked to prepare and present the story with the
supporting activity. The reason behind me conducting the activity in
groups was because of the large number of students in the class,
and the time limit of the class. Thus, grouping the students helped
me to use the time in the class effectively to grade each group
before going into the practicum.
Furthermore, this activity presents students abilities and skills
in teaching mini-lessons, but was based on stories that were not
very much related to teaching stories in UAE contexts. The relativity
of the ideas is highly recommended for teachers teaching in UAE
schools. Hence, the learning experience should be linked to real life
and students culture. The activity was prepared for year 1 students,
as it was a new concept for them to create purposeful activities
related to the content and match the target group of future learners.
This project was implemented through group work that did not
clearly highlight different abilities of individual members.
However, the activity presented the individual differences in
being able to justify the use of each activity. It would be better to
assign individual ones with an activity to create and then explain.
Within the process of conducting the activity, it enabled me as a
teacher to measure the efficiency when students demonstrated
following the guidelines provided earlier and learned concepts
through the modeled lesson (K5). Also, when trying to justify in

depth the activities with support from related literature, it reflected


to me a true measurement of success (K5).
Activity 2: scenarios examination
The second activity planned for students in Education
department is attempting to examine situations and use criticalthinking techniques to analyze based on the theoretical framework.
The primary aim of this activity is to link between theories learned in
the classroom with real examples analysis and examination (K1,
K5). Additionally, consolidating students understanding of the
different theories and domains of development is an objective for
this type of activities. It begins by teaching the students through
PowerPoint presentations the various theories and theorists such as
Piaget and Vygotsky. After that, the students will have exposure to
the different scenario through learning center groups, trying to
examine and link to the matching theories along with the provided
justifications.
Furthermore the activity was an appropriate tool to measure
students understanding to be prepared for the exam, because it
helped enhancing their abilities in analyzing situations critically.
Since the theoretical knowledge is newly introduced for semester 2
year 1 learners, it enabled them to have a wider range of
understanding of how development functions in human (K2).
Similarly, the students in groups were assigned by me with a theory
to justify the choice of theory, which provided me with an insight to

the amount of learning and knowledge to be tested later. As a result,


the extent to what learners justify and analyze the scenarios helped
to judge the quality of information, as well as the coherence of child
development theories in students minds (K5). Therefore, the input
about students understanding gathered during the class were
important, because I needed to find out vague or unclear
information to build on in the upcoming class to support learning.
Part 2 - Teach and / or Support Learning (AA2) (700 words
total)
Teaching efficiency requires a good selection of varied
teaching methods and strategies in delivering the content of the
lesson. Therefore, being eclectic in teaching will help support
learning

concepts

and

acquiring

desired

knowledge.

Part

of

preparing student/teachers in the Education department is to


expose them to latest and efficient teaching methods to help them
learn and use in future experiences. Some methods I follow are
inquiry-based learning (IBL), collaborative learning, lecturing and
guided discovery.
Method 1: collaborative learning
The most applied method in my teaching is collaborative
learning in which individual learners are assigned a task to do within
group work. Likewise, collaborative tasks make meaning more
comprehensible which achieves Krashens belief to construct
leaners understanding (Lightbown & Spada 2013) (K1). This is going
to lead them to share the task requirements to complete it. As a

result, the teacher will be able to focus the students attention on


learning, and scaffold learners throughout the process to fulfill the
given

job.

Simultaneously,

this

type

of

methods

increases

interaction between students and encourage them to share the


ideas with other classmates at the same level, meanwhile feeling
more confident in expressing their ideas. Since year 1 students are
starting to understand the concept of being a teacher, it is highly
recommended to use collaborative work.
As a result, as a teacher I was able to measure understanding
through the quality of work, and assessing how students can help
each other to construct knowledge. Another benefit is that of this
type of learning is involving different abilities in learning that can
raise their awareness of the new information being discussed, that
will happen through using critical thinking and problem solving
techniques. Finally, by considering the quality of the product
presented by the group, it is easier to judge the progression of
learning within group tasks.
Method 2: Guided discovery
The application of the guided discovery method is needed
when learners are required to understand the lesson concept
through self or group exploration with some guidance by the
teacher. I implemented this method as a model of how it may work
when teaching, and to deliver the lesson components. Thus, I start
through task modeling as explained in the mini-presentation above.
After that I provide guidelines within a time limit to create and

understand in depth the target knowledge through meaningful


context. After that students presented gained ideas based on how
they learned and I guided them when needed. Guided discovery
method is really crucial to assess students abilities in self-learning
and student centered lessons (V1). Also, they help learners to
concentrate on the task that will enable a greater chance to acquire
the lesson concept.
Additionally, explaining the importance of this method is
necessary for year1 Education students, which will help them
understand different ways of student-centered activities they can
use with future learners (V2). Hence, the students are at a higher
academic level they have the ability to work on a task and within a
group to accomplish it, but the teacher must ensure the presence of
guidance and rules to keep them working on the right path. The
evidence of method successfulness, is task completion as required.
Also, students abilities in answering follow up questions can be an
excellent demonstration of how involved they were on the task.
Part 3 Professional Development (PD) (200 words total)
To promote my professional development, I had to participate
either in PD sessions or complete my studies at a favorable related
field. Firstly, I tried to work with my mentor to team teach classes
and learn from her experiences. We both prepared a PD session to
school teachers about the latest trend in teaching through Audience
Response Systems. In future, I would like to encourage education

students to participate with us, through working with their mentors


to promote and enhance relationship with school teachers.
Another valuable part in my professional development is attending
HADEF program sessions to enhance my teaching skills and
knowledge to support my teaching and learning. These sessions
demonstrated latest learning apps in teaching and supporting
classroom communication, also raised my awareness of marking
and giving feedback to students. For future practice, I prefer to
continue joining sessions related to improving teaching methods
and classroom discussions.
Continuing my studies in the field of my interest is considered as a
major part of my professional development. Thus, I am currently
pursuing my masters in TESOL which is a preferred area and is
related to my teaching profession. This master degree is going to
promote and enhance my skills in teaching English language, also
learning new theories in education and latest teaching methods. As
a result, it opened me a door to be invited to participate in writing a
chapter in a book, which I consider as a great opportunity to extend
my abilities. In future, I would like to conduct more studies related to
teaching in the UAE and how to enhance teaching in different
subjects and fields.

References:

Lightbown, P. & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned.


Oxford: Oxford University Press.