In early October, six engineering professors from Kabul University and Kabul Polytechnic University began integrating new course content and teaching methodologies gained though USAID-supported graduate certification through the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The professors took courses in engineering and engineering management in a 2009-2010 study abroad program. They also obtained the latest textbooks and teaching materials, learned to use specialized software programs such as ArcView and MATLAB, and improved their teaching and classroom management skills. One professor said, “I wasn’t using a syllabus before I went to Colorado. Now I have a website and a syllabus for all of my courses.” The professors have made other changes, including encouraging student participation and discussion, incorporating more laboratory and fieldwork in their courses, and using English materials in their presentations and reading assignments.
While in Boulder, the professors audited up to 10 extra classes to maximize their learning in subjects like leadership, accounting, statistics, and project management. Professors from the University of Colorado also provided their counterparts with lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, course syllabi, textbooks, and reference materials to promote improvements in course quality and content. As a result, the professors were to begin teaching new subjects using improved methods and materials within a few months of their return home.