Teaching Philosophy during Covid19

Due to Covid 19, I believe the online teaching differs from face to face. During online teaching, more tools are required to help students to understand the mathematics subject. Mathematics is one of the interesting subjects that they can learn effectively and as a mathematics lecturer, I have to educate my students at a deep level of understanding. However, from my experience, the three biggest challenges are students believe that mathematics is difficult, boring, and irrelevant. Therefore, my teaching philosophy is to make mathematics as easy, relevant, and fun as possible to boost up the level of student interest in learning mathematics as well as they can apply mathematics knowledge in real problem applications.

The most important thing that I taught in learning a mathematics subject is to make sure students understand mathematics concepts by motivating them to practice these concepts until they really understand and can apply in any problems. For instance, the concepts of differentiation and integration are important in solving the mathematics problems in real applications such as rate of change, integrals, vector, Laplace, and Fourier Series. However, sometimes it is difficult for students to understand these concepts, especially when they have less basic mathematical knowledge. To handle this problem, I asked my students to do more exercises until they understand the concepts and easily can solve any problems. I used Edpuzzle to motivate them to practice by answering the questions in recording video. They can repeat the questions until they understand. My belief is practice makes perfect. In my lecture, I make sure, the students have enough exercises in different levels of questions which are easy, moderate, and difficult to identify which part they get stuck and I can focus more on that part. These types of question levels help students to understand better and familiar with the mathematics problems as well as make mathematics easy to solve. “Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms, it is about understanding”, said William Paul Thurston.

Besides, my teaching philosophy says that real problem-based learning is a good approach to develop students’ mathematics thinking skills. The syllabus in my subjects including the applications. Thus, my strategy is I exposed them to the application to build their interest. I give the students the problems related to the real world. For example, the student can use the rate of change formula to design a box for the company to reduce the cost (Engineering Mathematics II). Besides, they can compute the electric current, charge, vibration and population (Differential Equations). This learning theory can improve the cognitive and affective skills among students. From real problem-based learning, the students can realize that mathematics is relevant to real-life applications.

As a mathematics lecturer, I make mathematics as fun as possible. In the 21st century, I used PowerPoint, Padlet, Edpuzzle, ProfProf and Elearning (H5P, discussion, Quiz, assignment) to attract students. However, I still use traditional techniques using whiteboard. From my past experience, the students prefer lecturers to elaborate more steps at whiteboard. During Covid 19, I recorded videos to teach my student and they can learn better from videos. Besides, I encouraged my students used mathematics software to solve mathematics problems such as plotting graphs using Geogebra in their phone, Mathematica for 3D, integration and differentiation. I also applied other learning activities such as group discussion, think-pair-share, presentation and ask students to answer the questions.

As a lecturer, I believe mathematics learning should focus on understanding of concepts, make it easy, relevant and fun in problem-solving. Students can learn mathematics by exploring and solving the problem. Students should actively involve in class. I will make sure students engage well in class.

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