One of Chiang Mai University’s core missions is producing graduates with excellence, and it has always been a priority for the University to foster innovation in teaching. The CMU Demonstration School (Satit CMU) was established as an academic and administrative support unit under the Faculty of Education that serves as a training field for education majors and a place for researching the principles and practices of novel teaching approaches. In order to maintain quality education amidst the changing circumstances during the pandemic, the school has used digital technology in combination with the active learning approach to speed up the learning process and adapt to the new normal. The ultimate goal is to equip students with the necessary knowledge and skills, in and outside the classroom, on the basis that all learners are capable of learning and self-development based on their ability.
Both digital transformation and COVID-19 have had immense impacts on teaching and caused drastic changes. Dr. Sakda Sawatanan, the CMU Demonstration School’s principal, has stated that the school has improved its IT infrastructure to accommodate technology-based learning and administration. In terms of school administration, an online system has been implemented in conjunction with the on-site teaching to handle tasks including student database management, course registration, teaching evaluation, grading, attendance, and student conduct reporting. Similarly, teachers must also change their teaching approach by using various digital materials to promote understanding of the subject matter while keeping the students interested. The school has organized training sessions on the integration of technology in teaching and also developed an application called ‘Application Satit CMU’ that gathers all of the school’s functions to allow teachers, students and parents to access data without limitations regarding location, time, or equipment.
In terms of quality development, the school has adopted policy regarding a new teaching approach that focuses on fostering digital literacy to maximise learning efficiency. Teaching will fully switch to online learning during a severe COVID-19 outbreak, and learning ecology is considered an important aspect of learning. Recently, the school has partnered with CMU School of Lifelong Education to offer an informal curriculum that allows students to learn according to their strengths and potentials. Operated by CMU’s Curriculum Development and Teaching for CMU Credit Accumulation Programme (Credit Bank), it allows students to enrol in free elective courses. For the 2021 academic year, there are 28 open courses/short programmes with around 80 high school students applying to the programme. The credits earned will count towards their future degree at CMU and on top of that, it will help them choose a field of study to pursue in the future by exploring courses offered based on their interests, capabilities, and potentials, fostering life-long learning skills.
With the expertise of executives and teachers, new teaching approaches, learning materials, and up to date technology, CMU and CMU Demonstration School have utilised digital technology to facilitate administration and empower learners and to provide an example to other institutions in fostering learners with excellence and a sense of morality who will grow to become Thai and world citizens equipped with future skills.
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