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Mar 21

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Short Case Study about FIRST application


This short case study shows the impact of FIRST Framework, instead of the traditional methods, in lecturing a large number of learners. An unusual fruitful experience in applying FIRST Framework in a different context.


I'm Dr. Baraka Kondo. I am from Tanzania. I am a Lecturer at the University of Dodoma, a public University in Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania. Besides, I have led the board of trustees of Birri & Helping Hands Trust for about seven years. Furthermore, I have been the founder and the first manager of an Islamic school under these trustees, it is called Rahma pre and Primary Islamic School located in Dodoma as well. By Grace of Allah, I have significant experience in teaching/facilitation. In a nutshell, I have taught in primary schools for over 10 years, Secondary school for 2 years, undergraduates for 8 years, Masters and Ph.D. for 4 years. I have experience in teaching of both hard science (Physics & Chemistry) and Social Sciences (Applied Social Psychology).


The purpose of this case study is to capture the impact of FIRST Framework in lecturing a large number of students instead of the traditional methods. The case I'll tackle is from an anatomy course in a lecture about the basic anatomy of the human eye that was followed by dissection of goats or cows eyes. The lecture was for 100 students in the third year of a bachelor for the special needs students at the University of Dodoma. Its main learning outcome for the students was to identify the basic internal and external parts of human eyes.


Throughout my facilitation, I tried to apply almost all of FIRST Framework domains and principles. Let me express how I applied them during my lecture. Concerning the three principles of the first domain "Focusing on Learners Behaviors, I addressed them by their names and responded to their questions with particular interest and respect "Individualization. I also checked their performances on given tasks such as dissection "Probing & Assessing. Furthermore, I gave the learners an opportunity to take the stage and present their opinions and feelings "Trust the learner.  The second domain "Interacting within positive group dynamics is concerned with the overall learning environment. So we were singing songs as well as enjoying group clapping hands during the lecture to make it like a "Social Event. Keep smiling and giving each other positive comments was our common behavior to attain the "Positive Spirit. Moreover, shedding light on the importance of the session as well as avoiding any monotony through using Q&A method that kept the balance between pushing and pulling to keep the  "Motivation & Attention of the learners.


To maximize the benefit from each activity I used SeGas "RAR model. Each letter stands for an important principle. The first "R" stands for "Readiness Increase and I tried to apply it through telling them the learning outcomes and their expected roles such as how would we apprise the fellows who would perform well the given tasks within the session. The second letter is the "A" stands for "Activity Facilitation and it was a mini presentation as well as supervising the dissection tasks. The final letter is "R stands for "Reviewing Actively as I left a space for learners  to actively review the lesson on the stage in terms of what? So what? And now what?. I tried to focus on the fourth domain "Structuring & Sequencing through a logical organization and smooth flow of the elements of the lesson. I applied "Linking & Summarizing as well through word storm activity. Finally, one of the important principles that helped me in "Transforming learning into performance was "Reflection on Reality where the learners explained verbally how the lesson was connected to their previous experiences.


Honestly, there is no comparison between this comprehensive, holistic and direct tool for designing and facilitating Active Deep Learner Experience "ADLX on one hand and the "randomness" on the other hand. Actually, our Universities do not give a working tool to their graduates. Therefore, teachers tend to design and facilitate teaching/learning sessions based on their rather 'subjective' tastes and intuitions.

                             

This session was really special throughout my career particularly because it was my first session to apply the FIRST Framework in designing and facilitating a session for undergraduate students.


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