ADAPTATION OF LEARNING AND TEACHING METHODS FOR THE DELIVERY OF AN UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM IN MYANMAR
The establishment of a democratically elected government in 2015 has facilitated the development of much of the Myanmar’s long neglected educational infrastructure. Newly formed Universities are increasingly look to established overseas Higher Education Institutions with which they can partner with the aim of developing and accrediting their own degree programs.
This paper presents findings resulting from the development of a taught undergraduate program to be delivered in Myanmar.
A case study is presented detailing the establishment of an international partnership between Edinburgh Napier University (Scotland) and California Unitech (Myanmar). The purpose of this was the development of an undergraduate degree program in Civil Engineering to be delivered as a joint venture in Myanmar.
Research into Learning Teaching and Assessment (LTA) practices in Myanmar how these fit with those utilised in the UK - as well as current pedagogic methodologies - was influential to ensuring the required level of academic rigour was met. Strategies employed by Edinburgh Napier University in the delivery of its domestic programs were reviewed and adapted for delivery in Myanmar. Specifically, the use of e-learning and distance learning tools were evaluated. Taking account of the specific requirements of education in Myanmar the use of these was adapted to create a transferable framework for the delivery of LTA activities overseas. In order to facilitate this, training materials for both students and staff were developed to ensure that the program possessed the ability to operate with a degree of autonomy.
The LTA Framework was developed to address 3 issues identified as relevant to the internationalisation of LTA activities: (1) adaptation of delivered content to suit accreditation requirements (2) adaptation of pedagogic approaches to suit educational requirements and (3) adaptation of adopted approaches in line with cultural requirements.
As a result of the research undertaken, Edinburgh Napier Universities BEng. Civil Engineering program has been successfully initiated and is currently being delivered through collaboration with California Unitech. Initial formative feedback given by staff from Scotland and Myanmar is presented alongside feedback from the first student cohort to be matriculated onto the program. The results show that despite a number of challenges, the program is successful and the potential for further development is great. The establishment of this program provides a framework for the development of international programs within the context of Myanmar as well as other countries. The findings of this research will be relevant to those looking to partner with institutions in Myanmar as well as those involved in the international delivery and accreditation of Higher Education programs of study.