A Co-operative Connection between UniServe Science and Universities in Thailand
In 2000, UniServe Science started to develop connections with various universities in Thailand. It started when Mr Chernchok Soankwan, from Mahidol University, Bangkok, spent three months with us as a visiting scholar, sponsored by the Thailand-Australia Science and Engineering Assistance Project (TASEAP). He observed the operation of our clearinghouse and returned to his country with the idea of setting up something similar there. He also spent time becoming familiar with some physics education research groups in Australia. A paper describing a project he undertook appeared in the UniServe Science News, Vol 161.
As an outcome from that visit, we were awarded a further grant from TASEAP to mount a workshop at Mahidol University on the topic of 'Web-based Teaching and Learning in Science'. All four of the UniServe group visited Thailand, and the workshop took place over two days in mid-November 2000. It was divided into four sessions, with a formal presentation and hands-on workshop for each session. The sessions were: 'An Overview of Tertiary Science Teaching using IT and the Web', 'Pedagogical Issues Associated with Teaching with IT', 'Evaluating the Effectiveness of Science Teaching with IT', and 'Student Assessment and Feedback via the Web'. It was attended by nearly 60 academics from a dozen universities throughout the country.
The same workshop was given again, later in November by Ian Johnston alone, at the University of Chaing Mai, and again at the University of Songkhla in May 2001. In addition Ian visited six other universities, three in Bangkok and three in the provinces, to discuss and give advice on the same general topic. There were also extensive discussions with Mahidol University concerning the idea of establishing a science education research centre at that university.
The final outcome of this interaction between us and the universities of Thailand is yet to be decided. The establishment of any kind of workable infrastructure in a university system takes a long time. A second member of the Mahidol group, Dr Kwan Arayathanitkul, has visited us in Sydney; and they have started carrying out at least two education research projects, in collaboration with the Sydney group. We are hoping that we will soon be able to report the outcomes.
Soankwan, C. and Johnston, I. D. (2000) An Exercise in Course Evaluation, UniServe Science News, 16, 10.
UniServe Science News Volume 18 October 2001
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