From Teaching to Coaching: A Case Study of a Technical Communication Course

Rayed AlGhamdi, Seyed M. Buhari, Madini O. Alassafi

One of the leading university goals is to provide the students with the necessary skills for better functioning in their future studies. Gaining and developing skills, both technical and soft skills, are the critical building blocks for a successful career. The traditional teaching process, which includes delivering lectures and conducting exams, emphasizes the upliftment of technical knowledge rather than building self-esteem and enhancing skills development among students. Development of non-technical skills like self-esteem, life-long learning among students is vital for a successful career. This paper targets to achieve the objective of identifying ways to empower students with non-technical skills along with technical skills. The approach adopted in this research work is to transform the delivery of a faculty-wide course from teaching to coaching. One salient difference between teaching and coaching is to move students motivation away from grades towards life-long learning. Thus, university students maximize skills through coaching like course structure, course delivery, course assessment, and student involvement. As a case study, the proposed approach was successfully tested and validated on a course taught in the Faculty of Computing and Information Technology (FCIT) at King Abdulaziz University (KAU). The outcome of this case study reveals that there is substantial potential towards enhancement of self-responsibility. In the future, this approach can be extended for other courses that aim to develop skills such as English language courses, computer, and communication skills courses in the preparatory/foundation year.

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