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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May)

From the classroom window

Here we will introduce high quality education being practiced and fitting of the name "Educational Waseda"

At Waseda University, in order to promote Faculty Development (FD), the FD Promotion Center was established in 2008 and is working to improve quality of education. We held a discussion with Associate Professor Yoshinaga (Faculty of Sport Sciences), who uses Course N@vi during his classes.

*Faculty Development..General term for the systematic approach of faculty to improve lesson content and delivery.

Making full use of Course N@vi to realize even deeper communication

Takeshi Yoshinaga
Associate Professor, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University

On-demand courses which can be repeated many times

I have used Course N@vi since I began working at our university in 2006. I started by using the system for class management such as monitoring attendance and receiving theme reports. For example, the conventional method of monitoring attendance was to distribute attendance slips to each student, collect the slips at the end of class and enter the results into an attendance log. This process required a considerable amount of time and labor. However, when using Course N@vi, I distribute cards imprinted with an attendance codes. When students enter a keyword revealed during class, it is possible to register attendance information. This dramatically reduces the load placed on instructors. This kind of increased efficiency in class management is important for securing the time required for class preparation and research activities.

Currently, I am working to improve educational results by using the Course N@vi review sheet function (enables students to send instructors their impressions and questions about class) and the discussion function (enable students and instructors to exchange opinions on a BBS (abbreviation for electronic Bulletin Board System)). The Faculty of Sport Sciences contains many athletes who compete in international competitions. Therefore, our faculty implemented internet-based classes from an early stage. Even when traveling overseas, students can participate in classes and communication with instructors as long as a computer is available. At the present time, there are 7 full on-demand courses in which all classes are conducted entirely on the internet. There are also 12 hybrid courses which combine the internet and actual classroom work.

Students have responded in a variety of ways to full on-demand courses. Some students say that it is preferable to take face-to-face classes, even if it means studying in a large classroom. Conversely, many students praise the Sport Science Theory full on-demand course which is a required course for all 1st year students. Students say that this compulsory course served as a valuable reference when selecting courses during their 2nd year.

Increasing reflection ability through hybrid courses

Scene from class

I am mainly responsible for educating students to become instructors. Students seeking to become health and physical education instructors undergo approximately 3 weeks of educational fieldwork during their 4th year at university. During the field work, students heighten their reflection ability by observing classes and conducting classes themselves. However, the fieldwork period is limited to approximately 3 weeks and is not enough time. Therefore, in my classes, after conducting a classroom lecture on methods for observing and evaluating physical education classes, I then upload videos of demonstration lessons performed by each student to Course N@vi. The videos can be viewed from computers on campus or at the student's homes. After each student has analyzed the demonstration classes and given thought to the results and themes of each class, we then hold discussions in the classroom in order to heighten reflection ability. In other words, I conduct hybrid classes which combine direct study in the classroom with on-demand classes. I believe that such classes provide richer content and make it possible to improve the ability of students.

Furthermore, I used the discussion (BBS) function in the Sports Volunteer class which was established by the Open Education Center. Students enrolled in this class visit 4 elementary schools within Shinjuku Ward and support the after-school play of children. During fieldwork, students gather onsite and leave after the exercise is over. This means that students and I don't have an opportunity to gather in one place and hold discussions. I therefore decided to use BBS comments in order to confirm attendance and to have students post information and themes related to their activities. This lead to active exchange of information among students and succeeded in developing enhanced volunteer activities.

Further reforms in the learning environment through advances in Course N@vi usage

During my classes, I focus on making students think and become aware of issues. I do this in order to encourage initiative and spontaneity within each student. Even during my lectures, I proved time for students to think and hold group discussions in order to improve problem-solving skills and communication skills. Recently, there are more than a few students who lack confidence when communicating with others. It is necessary for instructors to actively form relationships with students by preparing a receptacle for their opinions using functions such as review sheets and BBS.

In the future, I will enact further reforms in the learning environment while continuing to advance my use of Course N@vi.

Course N@vi

BBS screen of Sports Volunteer Course N@vi

Course N@vi is an original Waseda system containing many support functions to heighten the results of lessons. The system was implemented throughout the entire university in 2007.
Main functions include:
●Transmission of announcement emails from instructors to students
●Uploading of material used in class
●Exchange of opinions between instructors and students (electronic bulletin board system (BBS))
●Mini-tests and questionnaires
●Receipt of reports

Takeshi Yoshinaga
Associate Professor, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University

Graduated from Department of Social Sciences in the School of Literature, Sophia University. Studied in the Doctoral Program at the Department of Education in the Graduate School of Physical Education, Tsukuba University. Served as Research Assistant at the Waseda University School of Sport Sciences, as Assistant Professor at the Tokyo Women's University of Physical Education, and as Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University. Assumed his current position in April 2011. His area of expertise is physical education.