KMUTT-working adult education for petroleum and petrochemical industries in Thailand: Important coaching functions of university professor and site facilitator

Jindarat Pimsamarn
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi


 
Panchan Sricharoon
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

Ampai Chanachai
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

Supachai Jadsadajerm
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi

Abstract
KMUTT-Working Adult Education (KMUTT-WAE) for process operators in petroleum and petrochemical industry in Thailand is based on problem-based learning which views learning as a knowledge construction. KMUTT-WAE provides different learning process from conventional classroom that considered university professor as the distributor of knowledge and trainee as the passive recipients. KMUTT-WAE learning generally encourages trainee with a problem scenario. KMUTT-WAE tends to encourage trainee to self-direct in learning and dealing with obstacles. These current training programs aim to improve essential skills and learning behavior of the trainees by applying Science and Engineering knowledge to solve the real industrial problem. In order for the trainees to be active in learning inquiry, university professors and site facilitators play a crucial role to assist the trainees. KMUTT-Working Adult Education (KMUTT-WAE) applying constructionism concept through problem based learning will not be achieved without this extraordinary coaching team. Project Based Learning is considered as a method for conducting the program. Trainees who graduate from the program are expected to have sufficient ChE knowledge along with better mindset toward their work. In order to obtain such immense change, university professor and site facilitator play a crucial role to coach, advise and encourage the trainee during entire program. Coaching in KMUTT-WEA required several responsibilities from university professor and facilitator. Important roles of coaching team can be categorized into (1) Identifying a problem that is suitable with the lecture in each phase of study, time period and trainee population, (2) Organizing trainees in groups that represent different skill levels to achieve more successful team dynamics and outcomes (3) Providing instructional support to assist trainees in building their understanding of new topics and problem-solving process and (4) The questions are mostly answered with more questions. Therefore, in this study, it is aimed at discussing the role of university professor and site facilitator on running this KMUTT-WAE program. The details in this paper are gathered from long term experiences that King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) served KMUTT-WAE program to industrial sector. It must be mentioned beforehand that site facilitator of this program is required to at least graduate master degree in chemical engineering. Hence, the success of the program require them to have 5 main qualifications including: (1) expertise in theoretical understanding of a chemical engineering subject, (2) excessive devoting and commitment, (3) positive attitude toward learning especially when encounter to the new things, (4) systematic thinking, (5) high responsibility. The description of each qualification and implementation will be discussed in detail. Even though the program in each year is rely on the same structure. Every year university professor and site facilitator still need to discuss about method for improving learning effectiveness because of one method might not fit to every trainee. Factors afffecting in learning effectiveness can be categorized into 5 topics. (1) trainees conflict are associated with high ego or bad attitude in learning. (2) Supervisor (industrial sector) of the trainee does not provide enough supportive and does not see the important of the program. (3) Personal problem include family problems, health problems and financial problems. (4) Trainees do not understand the point for participating in this learning program. (5) Trainees have different personal behaviour, such as, trainees love to work alone or trainees are lack of human relation. These factors will also be discussed in detail in this study.