Teaching and Learning Strategy

1 The faculty has a clear teaching and learning strategy

Since its beginning, VNU-UET has placed creating an environment for “learning by doing” at the core of its teaching strategy. More recently, the university has identified several solutions, including to apply innovative training methods, shifting from teaching knowledge to teaching systems thinking approaches to enhance the creative capacity for learning; to be actively associated with the training, research and development institutions at home and abroad to form a comprehensive learning-research environment; and to develop plans to gradually expand university-industry collaboration solutions in the implementation of practical subjects and advanced technology courses to students.

2 The teaching and learning strategy enables students to acquire and use knowledge academically

Contents of the courses of the program are designed and presented in a way to help students not only to understand and grasp the nature of the concepts in the knowledge domain of the courses, the relationship between the concepts, the methods and models of the systems involved, but also the application of the methods and system models in practice as well as how to apply those methods and models in designing practical systems. Both core and specialized courses have practical modules to facilitate students in immediately applying the knowledge and skills learned from the courses to operating, analyzing and designing related systems. At a higher level, the program has two practical courses, Practical System Design and System Engineering Project, in which students are required to apply the general knowledge and skills acquired through many courses for the design and construction of systems or system simulations under the guidance of the faculty members of FET or engineers at industrial facilities.

Both VNU-UET and FET attach great importance to students’ scientific research activities. Students’ scientific research is considered as an active form of teaching and learning, allowing students to access to the most current scientific and practical issues, to acquire and develop new knowledge as well as to apply learned knowledge to solving practical problems. VNU-UET and FET implement policies issued by VNU to encourage students’ research, such as adding weights to students’ application for direct transition into postgraduate study based on their undergraduate research achievements. Most students begin to participate in scientific research from the third year (in some cases from the second year) under the guidance of faculty members at research groups, academic departments or research laboratories of FET. A students’ research conference is held annually which is the venue for FET students to disseminate results of their research work. In addition, several students participated in faculty members’ research projects and co-authored reports published in proceedings of local and international scientific conferences.

3. The teaching and learning strategy is student oriented and stimulates quality learning

The selection of teaching and learning methods is based on the level and direction of students’ development. Levels of course activities including lectures, self-studying, essay writing, individual or team projects gradually increase from the first semester to the last semester, so by the time of their graduation students are capable of meeting all requirements of the program. The evaluation of teaching methods employed in each course is based on students’ performance and feedback. At the end of each semester, students attending a course are required to provide their feedback in a survey about the course, including feedback on teaching methods. If the teaching and learning strategy is deemed inappropriate by students’ performance and feedback, actions may be demanded by Faculty leadership for the lecturers to adjust their teaching methods.

4. The teaching and learning strategy stimulates action learning and facilitates learning to learn

Every course of the program must have a detailed syllabus which specifies the amounts of lecture hours, class assignments, and laboratory practicals; self-study and laboratory guidelines; specific requirements of the course and evaluation methods. The course syllabus also provides the curriculum and the list of references. Based on these documents, students can actively plan for their study.

Teaching methods adopted by faculty members of FET to encourage active learning are very diverse. Students can be assigned to read ahead what they will learn in the next session, then present what they have read in class, ask questions to the lecturer, or offer opinions to the class, etc. Students or groups of students may also be assigned to study problems or to carry out projects which require intensive application of knowledge from the course, and they will have to present their work before the lecturer and all members of the class.

To increase interactivity in teaching and learning activities, VNU-UET supports and facilitates the exploitation of Web technologies to expand teaching and learning environment in the direction of e-learning, and achieved results are quite successful. FET lecturers have deployed over 20 course websites. Since the 2008-2009 academic year, VNU-UET has provided funding and technical supports for lecturers to create and maintain their course websites.

Learning by doing is the strategic platform of teaching and learning in VNU-UET. The practical modules of all courses in the program are held properly and directly at the practical laboratories of FET or at the computer laboratories of VNU-UET. Evaluation of students’ performance in practical modules is usually based on the results of tests completed students directly in the laboratories. Cooperation with the enterprises operating in the fields of electronics and communications play a highly important role in creating a comprehensive learning environment for students of FET. During the 2011-2012 academic year, students participating in the Practical System Design course and the System Engineering Project course have the option to take an internship at one of the industry partners of FET, including such corporations as Viettel, Dasan, Dolphin, etc.