Phyu Phyu Zaw(M1)

Development Science Course, International Development and Cooperation(M1)   (As of March 2018)

Host Organization: Florida State University
Country of Internship: U.S.A
Period of Internship: August 18, 2017 to September 25, 2017

1. About my internship

Hello everyone! I am a Myanmar master's student studying in IDEC. Let me share the G.ecbo internship experience that I had in the United States, in Florida State University (FSU), back in 2017. The opportunity to learn in a university in the United States, to some extent, changed my perspectives, and brought about a brighter outlook on academic learning and cultural difference. The experience was highly motivating, and it made me developed academically, professionally, and socially.

2. About the local life and the culture

For 37 days from 18th August to 24th September 2017, I did an internship in Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee. Tallahassee, which is situated in Leon County of Florida State, is known for its parks and gardens. In addition, it is a proud college town, and its heart belongs to the Florida State University Seminoles football team. FSU has a 476-acre campus. It has more than 600 student organizations and 18 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division I sports teams known as Seminole.

3. About the host institution

During my visit to FSU, I participated in 2017 PIE Teaching Conference and TA Orientation, observe the transitional training programs which support students and faculty members to be able to change from an old instructional site to a newer one, attend the doctoral seminars and undergraduate classes in the College of Business and participate in one of the Fall 2017 PIE Coffee Hour and Teaching Workshop Series.

4. About the internship course

・So, what is PIE?
PIE is an abbreviation for the Program of Instructional Excellence which is a unit of the Graduate School in FSU. It is established to support the teaching efforts of graduate student Teaching Assistants through its various services. These services include the annual PIE Teaching Conference/TA Orientation which is held on Wednesday and Thursday prior to the first week of classes of each fall. Registration for the PIE Teaching Conference is free and open to all FSU graduate students, faculty, and postdoctoral associates. During the conference, participants are introduced to FSU teaching resources, policies, and best practices for teaching and learning. The conference satisfies the required graduate student TA policy training, as determined by Universiy-wide TA Standards. Day one of the conference focuses on topics especially helpful if a certain TA assignment includes providing the primary instruction for the course. The completion of PIE Teaching Training Recognition is a professional development activity that demonstrates knowledge obtained at the PIE Teaching Conference about FSU teaching policies and strategies. The goal of the recognition is to document that graduate TAs have developed, or are in the process of developing, a reflective teaching practice. Applicants need to submit a report of insights gained by attending the PIE Conference and applying them to their own teaching practice.

・PIE Coffee Hour and Teaching Workshop Series
PIE Coffee Hour and Teaching Workshop Series are organized to discuss strategies and techniques that will be helpful in dealing with the classrooms and students. During the workshops, instructors and former and current TAs discussed on topics like preparing for teaching sensitive topics, exploring the diversity and inclusivity lens, designing classes that promote student engagement, and making grading manageable with Canvas.

・From Blackboard to Canvas
During my internship, one interesting thing was that I got a chance to witness the alteration from one instructional site to another in FSU campus. Florida State University has chosen Canvas – a new Learning Management System (LMS) - as a replacement to its almost 20-year-old Blackboard Learning Management System. FSU Canvas transition team claims that Canvas retains most of the Blackboard functionality while offering additional and more user-friendly features.
Consequently, all the instructors around the campus need to migrate some of their courses and files over the Blackboard during the year of 2017 to gain benefits from the new instructional site. Therefore, the FSU Canvas transition team offers university-wide training for both instructors and students. The team offers both face-to-face workshops and webinars to help instructors and students to understand how to use the Canvas LMS tools. Fortunately, I got a chance to observe the Canvas Training for instructors in the College of Education and the other one for graduate students in the HCB building. The training aims to help instructors and students reduce the time wasted on technical trouble during the transitional period. During the training, the trainers and trainees discussed how to utilize the additional features of the new instructional site.

・College of Education and College of Business
Ella-Mae Daniel allowed me to join and observe her first staff meeting of the semester for the Foundation Program (EDF 1005/2085) in which Ms. Daniel and her seven TAs discussed extensively on how to deal with the class materials for the Introduction to Education undergraduate course and they also had a webinar on how to use a new instructional site in their classes. After the seminar, Ms Daniel and I had a meeting in her room and discussed on what I should do during my internship. After some negotiations, she allowed me to shadow the Introduction to Education by Wang Hailan, who is one of her TAs. The objective of that class is to introduce how it is like in teaching to students who have the potential or interest in becoming a teacher. The classes were super active with students who were very interactive with their instructors. Throughout these classes, I learned how the primary and secondary education systems of the U.S work, to some extent, from the discussions between the instructor and the students.
In the College of Business, I got a chance to observe the Selling and Sales Management undergraduate class of Dr Bolender in the Marketing Department, Data Analysis seminar for doctoral students by Dr Jack Fiorito, Impression Management seminar for doctoral students by Dr Gerald Ferris in the Department of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. Moreover, Professor Dr Ferris and I also had a meeting to discuss the potentials of my current research. It was a very fruitful experience for me and my research.

5. Others

The internship opportunity that I had with Florida State University was an excellent chance for learning and academic development. I feel like I am fortunate to be provided with such a terrific chance by the G.ecbo Internship Program.
To conclude, this internship opportunity was one of the valuable memories of my student life, and I will try to utilize the knowledge and skills gained through this internship in the best possible way for future career development.