Presentation at Japanese University Spotlights Technology and Staff/Faculty Collaboration at SMU
Instructional Designer Ted Curran and Associate Professor of Nursing Fusae Kondo Abbott traveled to a public university in Japan in late January to share their expertise in technology and online education, and came away with renewed appreciation for the advanced state of education at Samuel Merritt University (SMU).
“I was deeply honored to be invited to Japan, a place I never thought I would ever see, and was touched at how kindly received we were,” said Curran. “I was excited that our expertise at SMU could benefit other learners halfway around the world. It reminded me how far ahead of the game we are at SMU and how well-positioned we are to harness the power of student-centered teaching and learning online.”
Curran made presentations to the faculty and staff at the University of Kochi about the technical and pedagogical aspects of distance learning and learning management systems (LMS). Curran and Abbott were invited to present as part of the development of the University’s new Disaster Nursing Global Leader Degree program, a five-year collaborative program with four other universities.
“We are using the most recent technology here,” said Curran. “At SMU we invest in training our faculty, and by sharing our expertise together, it showed how closely we, the staff and faculty, work together.”
Abbott, director of SMU’s Case Management Program, also shared her experience with learning management systems from a faculty perspective and said the Kochi faculty who attended spoke enthusiastically about their plans for using LMS.
“I was very impressed with the magnitude and scope of the project to educate global leaders about disaster nursing,” said Abbott. “I was grateful that we could contribute to such a great vision.”
In her presentation, also attended by a nursing specialist from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Abbott discussed the differences between online learning and traditional instruction, including information about designing online learning experiences. She also spoke about participatory teaching methods and the challenges of online learning.
Similarly, Curran said the main perception the attendees had about distance learning was centered on lecture-based teaching. He pointed out to them the many different ways of using a learning management system besides teaching a course, and illustrated with several examples of canvas courses and introduced the Master’s Essentials.
“Dr. Narufumi Suganuma, Department Chief at the Kochi University Medical School, told me that my presentation expanded what he thought was possible with online education,” said Curran. “Professor Nahoko Harada of the University of Kochi School of Nursing was particularly impressed with TPACK (Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge) – the theory that we are using to develop the future of SMU’s professional development in technology and pedagogy.”
Abbott and Curran have been asked back to the University of Kochi for future presentations.