From iOS courses to the entire development of Push-Pull app
In order to achieve the goal of bringing learning closer to the needs of students, students have developed a Push-Pull real-time self-learning and tutoring and counseling service application (referred to as Push-Pull) that is developed by students including design, development to testing. The Push-Pull app is one of the significant projects in the SPROUT project. The Push-Pull is an application that combines the school's administration and teaching resources to support the students' self-learning assessment needs. The students could always as for certain service and the school will responds to the students' learning needs in real time. This application is developed because it is originally an application that is a project in the "iOS App and Industry Cooperation Course", and students who joined the Push-Pull app development team even got some internship offers. The app design, development, and upgrading of this application are all carried out by students. On the one hand, students learn the skills of developing a functional a self-learning application; on the other hand, this app developing experience is relevant to students’ future career. At present, the Push-Pull system student development team trained by teachers in University of Taipei. There were two students who have receive offers from companies after graduation, and they continue to help undergraduate students by giving them opportunity to collaborate with professionals in the industry. Since 2018, there have been four main features built in Push-Pull, namely “recommendation for self-paced courses”, “class registration”, “matchmaking for study buddy”, and “push notifications for course updates.” But afterwards, there has been a new update which present two new features, one is application form for subsidies, scholarships, and fellowships, another one is tutor and counseling service. The new updates could improve user experience and make the application more complete. In addition to the lively and great interface of the new Push-Pull system, it also has multiple functions. In addition to the original i-Voting and course selection of students' self-learning courses on the platform, it also pioneered the function of online roll-calling and online leave system. And scanning QR-Code has replaced the traditional way to do roll-calling, which become convenient to students since students use 3C products extensively and achieve the goal to create a paperless environment for earth protection. In addition, the new version of the Push-Pull system also combines the functions of the school’s student rewarding system and subsidies to certificate, awards, and academic performance progress, or matching study buddy and build an applicant database by uploading personal information once during the term. In order to increase user engagement, a new feature “Luck Day” has been added in this application. Currently, roughly 50% of undergraduate students has installed Push-Pull on their mobile devices.
Interdisciplinary learning for students
In 2018, by updating “Push-Pull” which is student mobile app for synchronous self-learning and real-time support, building Training Management System “tms +”, constructing “Guidelines and Details of Leap Award for Academic Achievement”, "Guidelines and Details for Rewarding Students to get Professional Competence Certificates and pass Language Proficiency Tests", and “Guidelines and Details of subsidies for student self-learning networks.” Theses guidelines, websites, and applications are vital to students when it comes to subsidies and scholarships or learning, providing them with help, support, and great learning resources. The types of courses include language, information and career lectures, which added other courses according to the needs of students. There are 5 categories added, namely language, information, career lectures, sports and leisure activity skills, and the total number of students participating in the courses in 2019 was 1,125 compared with 652 participating students in 2018, apparently seeing an increase of 73%, and an increase of 6.5 times compared with the data in 2017. These interdisciplinary courses allow students to enjoy self-learning and have flexible curriculum schedule and have access to various subjects and courses. Therefore, students will be equipped with multiple skills which might be developed and help paving the path to become a “slashie.”
A big leap in teaching practice research
In order to conduct multiple ways of advanced teaching and teaching-related research, in the year of 2019, the school conducted seminars such as " Improvement in Teaching" and "Teaching Practice Research Information", supplemented by assisting teachers in filming advanced teaching videos and even offer subsidies to teachers for the payment of external experts and scholars who review teaching projects. In 2019, the first case of advanced teaching. In 2018 academic year, 14 proposals out of 28 submitted proposals were approved, and the percentage of approved ones reached 50% which ranked 18th among all universities. In 2019 academic year, 36 proposals were made which are 12 more proposals than last year. Especially, two of the projects even got rewarded as “MOE Highlight Projects of Teaching Practice Research Program” by the Ministry of Education in 2018. There were 18 proposals out of 36 proposals gained approval, with an accumulation of four proposals compared with the previous academic year, while the rate of approved ones in both years remained at 50%. To be specific, University of Taipei sees the largest number of cases approved that are in the education category, which are 11 approved proposals, presenting the school’s education-oriented features.
Creativity, Innovation, and Start-up business
University of Taipei @D.School adheres to the tenet of "design thinking, future life needs, interdisciplinary innovation, and creative practice". By planning a diversified and series of creative thinking training and practical skills courses, these courses encourage students view from various perspectives to project the future design, propose imaginations for future life, participate in practicing through cases in reality to make a change in society, and propose feasible solutions for products and services for the needs of the public. In order to provide students with an environment of interdisciplinary creativity and creation, the D School has experimental classrooms, digital output studios and "D. design Store cultural design experimental store" for teachers and students to do brainstorming, enjoy creative spirit, and do refinement and review of the products. In 2019, creative design practicum center was announced as well, providing a matching platform for students to find internships in certain companies that associate with art, drama, digital art, and cultural event organizer. The program consists of “primary courses”, “courses with special projects”, “interdisciplinary courses.” During the period of the course, students had successfully design eight models for calendar products, design 18 packaging designs that are made by paper, develop six modules of iOS Apps, write 11 design proposals for business, create 11 sets of fonts, design major themes, pictures, and description for seven projects, snap photographs of dining sceneries, carry out multiple projects by delivering stories through digital media, make multiple proposals for city rearrangement and renovation (involve with Yilan and Miaoli projects), use machines and software to make dry flower products, embroidery, bamboo weaving crafts, 3D printing products, and modules. The @D.School Teaching Achievement Exhibition was held on November 30, 2019, showcasing the students’ achievements over the past year. From the establishment of @D.School to the establishment of the "d.design Store" cultural design experiment store and the "Creative Design Practice Center", the program successfully induced the creative thinking and creativity of our students through the integration of interdisciplinary courses in professional design. To further combine with the innovative industries to inspire new aspects of production and science and to create a field that focuses on campus brand creation, student could take part in micro-entrepreneurship, pop-up experiments, professional internships, alumni resource gathering and agitation, which are events and activities that provide students with entrepreneurial practice. The micro-entrepreneurship of our students took part in is marked as a significant first step of success, and it has encouraged students to practice creativity, innovation, and start-up businesses on campus.
Internationalization of education: exchange program and diversified events
In order to promote the internationalization of education, teachers and students are encouraged to do exchanges, have internships and participate in competitions, training teachers and students' skills to teach and learn internationally and expand their horizons, which in turn strengthen teachers' teaching quality and student learning performance. During the first stage of the plan, through the newly revised "Guidelines and Details of Subsidy for Teachers and Students Participating in Overseas Education Activities", students are encouraged to independently plan and participate in international internships, exhibitions, competitions, short-term training, voluntary services and the "Short-term overseas Study Program." There had been 52 teachers and 238 students subsidized to participate in “international education exchange activities” in 2019. Compared with the subsidy of 31 teachers and 120 students in 2018, the number of teachers and students grew by 68% and 98% separately compared with 2018 statistics. Therefore, it is obvious the project effectively enhances students’ independent learning ability, broaden international horizons and gain skills to stay relevant to international standards. The countries visited by the students included Japan, China, Singapore, the United States, Thailand, South Korea, Hong Kong, France, Cambodia, Britain, Italy and other countries. There are two types of exchange program at University of Taipei, one of them is the exchange program, and the other one is about attending events and competitions. Director and the students of Active Ageing Sports Institute visited International Home care and Rehabilitation Exhibition, HCR in Japan, Department of Music students went to Rencontres Mousicales Internationales des Graves and visited Ball State University School of Music, 17th InterHarmonyin Italy, and Tonebank International Music Academy Festival, and Brancaleoni International Music Festival. Department of Music students participated in Millennium Dance Complex Dance Studio Training. In terms of overseas projects, students from the Department of Health and Welfare of our school participated in the "2019 national Conference and United Nations NGO visits project", and the Department of Historical Geography participated in the "Discovery Project" 2019 joint internship in geography with universities in China. Students from Department of English Instruction and Department of Education participated in the “English Internship Program for Elementary Schools in the School of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.” Students from the Institute of Educational Administration and Evaluation visited “Observation and Research on Room Management at three universities in Thailand”, and students from the Department of Recreation and Sports Management participated in “Sports sightseeing itinerary planning and exploration: Combining tour of Tohoku culture with professional baseball games", and professors and students of Department of Education visit affiliated schools to conduct " Special Education Overseas Training in Japan."
Students participate a wide range of international contests and overseas competitions as well. Department of Sports Performing Arts students went to 2019 Chinese Taipei Dragon and Lion Dance Federation”, “2019 Beijing Fashion week”’ “Summer jam dance camp”, “2019Dance World Cup”, “World of Dance (Finale)”, “OLD SCHOOL NIGHT VOL.21.” Department of Sports Health and Department of Recreation and Sports Management students participated in the "HK Master Rope Skipping Open Tournament 2019"; Department of Physical Education students and Department of Ball Sports students participated in the "Lanzhou University 2019 Volleyball Tournament"; students from the Department of Ball Sports participated in " 11th Hong Kong Quadrangular Hockey Invitational Tournament” in 2019. College of music students participated in the " 2019 Walled City Music International Piano Competition” in Northern Ireland, UK.
University of Taipei encourages students to take part in the short term study abroad program, the College of Education pay a visit to Fukui University in Japan; the Faculty of Humanities and Arts (College of Music, College of Dance, College of Visual Arts, College of English Instruction, College of History and geography, and College of social and public affairs) form a team of students, teachers, and dean to visit South Korea’s Chung-Ang University (including the Anseong campus and Seoul campus), Korea University of Foreign Studies, Seoul National University, and Kyung Hee Girls’ High School. College of Science visited "University of Singapore Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering, Department of Mathematics”, "Sichuan University's participation in sports culture and academic seminars", and two overseas teaching activities. College of City Management held two teaching activities at "San Francisco Stanford University Relocation Teaching" and "Thailand Chulalongkorn University Study Relocation Teaching." "These visits and activities could enhance students' overall competitiveness, and achieve the goal of promoting internationalization education.
Students and Teachers recognize and practice social responsibilities
By forming professional teachers’ network, self-learning students’ network, and learning groups with students and teachers, and holding public hearings, fieldtrips, and multiple volunteer projects, reaching to the point that students and teachers cross boundaries and collaborate to practice social responsibilities. In 2018, in order to encourage teachers to take part in practicing social responsibilities, details and expected goals about “USR teaching group” has been added to “Guideline of Growth and Development in Teaching.” In addition, there are five teacher groups that practice social responsibilities, individually carry out projects such as “Caring for the local communities in Taipei with Lohas style: ACE”, “Innovative service by Nordic walking, fusion of leisure life and local development for the elderlies”, “Social Responsibilities: Caring for community and environment”, “Fusion of course and real-life events: Physical activities integrated with math class (elementary school 2nd grade students)”, and “Senior Counseling Practice.” In 2019, there are three social responsibility practice communities, with 5 colleges, 17 departments, and 45 teachers participating, namely "Exercise is Medicine®: Combining medicine to create an active aging-prevention course community for dementia", "University cooperating with local creation (innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship) and senior industry development", "Lighting up the community: research on the integration of media design curriculum into social practice."
Regarding the self-learning student network, in 2019, students join the subsidized "Schweitzer Learning Camp", a camp for minorities who study at Jingtong Elementary School in Pingxi District, New Taipei City. The students from University of Taipei provide academic counseling for disadvantaged students and equip elementary students with interdisciplinary knowledge to make them see things from multicultural and international viewpoints. The Higher Education SPROUT project even provide resources to International Schweitzer Project, patronizing students to visit Mae Salong Huaxing Primary School in northern Thailand to carry out international education volunteer activities and assist in training teaching the local students the capability of Mandarin reading and comprehension, writing, and computer and technology. Therefore, students from University of Taipei accomplish their mission of volunteering in international education and fulfill their social responsibilities as a member of the global village.
Practicing University Social Responsibility with globally-renowned project
The Active Ageing Sports Institute has become a crucial project supported by other projects such as “2017 Innovative Teaching Project” by Ministry of Education and “Higher Education SPROUT Project from 2018 to 2019”, which is also a great example for University of Taipei practicing its social responsibilities. The Active Ageing Sports Institute received a lot of support and appreciated by the elderlies in 2018, so in 2019, classes are available in both Boai Campus and Tianmu Campus, five classes in two terms at Tianmu and one class in one term at Boai. There is an increasing amount of participants of this institute, growing from 63 to 97. The average age of the elderlies who participated in these activities see a rise from 74.3 in 2018 to 76.8 by 2019. By conducting various kinds of creative courses that are suitable for the elderlies and giving them “customized exercise prescription” and health evaluation and fitness, there is apparent improvement in seen among the elderlies, including flexibility, functional muscle strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, agility, sense of balance, coordination and cognitive ability. Students who assist in courses at The Active Ageing Sports Institute are required to have certifications such as Certificate of Active Aging Leadership, and also do advanced professional studies from time to time. In 2019, there were 17 students passed the Certificate of Active Aging Leadership (for examining and teaching), which saw a 17.6% growth (compared with 2018), boosting students’ skills for Active-Ageing instruction and connecting students with future career.
In addition, in order to let students who serve as assistants have the opportunity to practice what they have learned in daily courses, before each courses, this group of confident assistants will lead the senior citizens to exercise and conduct a complete exercise review about the content of the courses taught in the period. For this reason, these assistants must write teaching plans beforehand, and then the course directors and teachers can review their teaching plans before teaching. In this course, each assistant will lead 4 to 5 seniors in a mini-course about 40 minutes. After the course is over, the course teacher will provide suggestions and guidance. Elderly students who participated in the course also enjoyed the vitality, dignity, life and enthusiasm brought to them by these young course assistants. The successful achievements and diverse courses of The Active Ageing Sports Institute were even published by The Journal on Active Aging in 2019 February. In the journal, editors suggested that these activities and courses should be great examples for Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. (PAGA)