Abstract. A sample of 656 educational students and 41 lecturers were surveyed to analyse
the current situation of organizing seminar in teaching the subject at university by ability
approach. The paper used the descriptive statistics approach to analyse the surveyed result
by questionnaire, interview and observation. The results were discussed: (1) Most teachers
awaked truly of seminar in teaching, (2) Both teachers and students assessed rather exactly
the influence of seminar in developing students’ abilities, (3) When organizing seminar in
teaching, teachers used the most general procedure but not having designed the procedure
of organizing seminar by ability approach before. Basing on the practice research, the
paper suggested three measures to organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability
approach, such as: Building the seminar topics in teaching Psychology by ability approach;
Designing the procedure of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach;
Guiding students some techniques to carry out the seminar.

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HNUE JOURNAL OF SCIENCE DOI: 10.18173/2354-1075.2017-0134
Educational Sci., 2017, Vol. 62, Iss. 6, pp. 99-108
This paper is available online at
THE CURRENT SITUATION ANDMEASURES OF ORGANIZING SEMINAR
IN TEACHING PSYCHOLOGY AT UNIVERSITY BY ABILITY APPROACH
Do Van Doat
Faculty of Educational Management, Hanoi National University of Education
Abstract. A sample of 656 educational students and 41 lecturers were surveyed to analyse
the current situation of organizing seminar in teaching the subject at university by ability
approach. The paper used the descriptive statistics approach to analyse the surveyed result
by questionnaire, interview and observation. The results were discussed: (1) Most teachers
awaked truly of seminar in teaching, (2) Both teachers and students assessed rather exactly
the influence of seminar in developing students’ abilities, (3) When organizing seminar in
teaching, teachers used the most general procedure but not having designed the procedure
of organizing seminar by ability approach before. Basing on the practice research, the
paper suggested three measures to organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability
approach, such as: Building the seminar topics in teaching Psychology by ability approach;
Designing the procedure of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach;
Guiding students some techniques to carry out the seminar.
Keywords: Seminar, competency-based, competency-based organizing seminar in
teaching.
1. Introduction
The educational development strategy by 2020 confirms: “Going on innovating teaching
method and learning result assessment is to motivate learners’ activeness, creativeness and
self-learning ability” [3]. Thus, applying to organizing teaching at university by this trend is to
contribute to upgrading teacher candidates’ career profession [4].
By having overviewed literature on new training approaches, the ability approach focuses
on developing learners’ ability by outcome standards [8], in which seminar is one of the basic
university teaching forms aiming at promoting students’ roles and helping them use beginingly the
scientific research methods [1, 9, 13]. The research of Khan-ghen-xki S.T.A (1979) in “Lectures
about teaching theory at university” showed the most basic theory system of seminar and was
developed more modernly by Rebecca Taylor in 2003, taking care of learners’ changes after having
learnt by seminar. In 2005, Kate Morss and Rowena Murray considered seminar as an academic
discussion of students. Cathy Bonus Lalli and Stephanie Feger (2005) cared of interaction in
seminar. They showed that learning through seminar would develop the teachers-students and
students-students interactions [2]. In 1996, Phan Thieu researched the topic “Seminar method
to lift up the quality of training teachers at universities of education”. In 2002, Nguyen Van Ho
Received date: 17/4/2017. Published date: 17/6/2017.
Contact: Do Van Doat, e-mail: dvdoat@gmail.com
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Do Van Doat
reported that seminar had been the form which had improved students’ awareness, education and
self-consciousness. In 2013, Le Thuy Linh did the research on the thesis “Teaching Pedagogy
at Universities of Education by based-competency approach” [according to 7]. The thesis
designed the procedure of teaching Pedagogy by based-competency approach with 5 steps (from
microcosmic level to macroscopic level). Therefore, organizing seminar in teaching at university
is very essential, important and suitable for the training trends.
Psychology is an important professional subject which takes an essential part in training
educational students. In fact, teaching this subject at university has been being innovated with
various forms. However, organizing seminar in teaching Psychology is limited because of having
promoted the effectiveness of this teaching form.
Basing on the above reasons, we researched on the project “Organizing seminar in teaching
Psychology at university by ability approach” but the paper focuses on the current situation and
measures of organizing seminar in teaching the subject at university by ability approach.
2. Content
This research is started with the assumption: Organizing seminar in teaching Psychology
is now not good due to having collected both lecturers and students’ care yet. If conducting
measures of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology at Universities of Education by ability
approach, such as: building the seminar topics in teaching Psychology, designing the procedure
of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach, techniques to guide students to
involve in seminar topics and setting supported conditions for organizing seminar, students have
good chances to develop abilities basing on outcoming standard.
We surveyed at Can Tho University, Hue University of Education and Thai Nguyen
University of Education with 656 educational students and 41 lecturers. Methods that were used
in the thesis are questionnaire, interview and observation.
2.1. The current situation of learning Psychology of students
* Students’ purpose of learning Psychology
The surveying result showed that students now have better opinion about Psychology. They
think the most important aim of learning Psychology is to do practicums. Besides, they also think it
is a theoretical subject. So, it is difficult to apply its contents to educating in the future. Therefore,
students’ awareness is not really perfect though there are some changes in their awareness. They
have not considered Psychology as an important one of teacher training yet.
* Students’ manifestations of learning Psychology:
In learning the subject, most students have not been active yet. However, students will be
more active if teachers design activities for them.
2.2. The current situation of awareness of seminar and seminar in teaching
Psychology by approach ability
* Awareness of the concept “seminar in teaching” [1, 13]
The table shows that most of teachers have right awareness of seminar (73.2%). However,
there are still a few teachers misunderstand clearly the concept. Under forming aspect, seminar
has the nearly similar signal to discussion but they are different each other in fact. The result of
surveying shows 75.6% of teachers understands exactly seminar in teaching at university.
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The current situation and measures of organizing seminar in teaching...
Table 1. Awareness of the concept “seminar in teaching”
Ordinal The Seminar concept N % Rank
1
Seminar is a form that each group of students learns from
and makes clearly the seminar topic.
158 24.1 2
2
Seminar is a form that students present/discuss/argue about
the scientific topics with teachers’ guidance.
383 58.4 1
3 Seminar is really one form of group discussion. 61 9.3 3
4
Seminar is a method to foster learners to seek information
with the purpose of making clearly the seminar topic.
43 6.6 4
5
Seminar is a form that student teams argue with each other
about a scientific topic.
11 1.7 5
* Assessing the necessary of organizing seminar in teaching
The research result shows that 51.2% teachers think “very necessary”; 43.9% is not
necessary and 4.9% among teachers think “normal”.
* Awareness of developing students’ educational competencies in learning Psychology:
Students’ self-assessment of professional abilities:
By the questionare, we have the following result of surveying:
Table 2. Students’ self-assessment of professional abilities [4, 6]
Ordinal Abilities Mean Std.Deviation Rank
1 Inquiry-information 3.15 0.77 2
2 Presentation 2.85 0.67 10
3 Organizing the process of discussion 3.08 0.70 7
4
Designing and using teaching technical
equipments
3.30 0.73 1
5 Making asks 3.11 0.82 4
6 Communication 2.98 0.75 9
7 Team work 3.10 0.84 5
8 Self-learning and self-researching 3.09 0.76 6
9 Scientific researching 2.99 0.87 8
10 Making plan of practice 3.13 0.73 3
* Awareness of the meaning of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability
approach:
Table 3. Teachers’ assessment about the meaning of organizing seminar
in teaching Psychology by ability approach
Ordinal Meanings % Std.Deviation Rank
1
To make students be interested in the
subject
80.5 0.40 1
2
To help students understand deeply and
be able to apply in the future.
53.7 0.50 4
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Do Van Doat
3
To form students some skills based on
outcome standards. . .
75.6 0.43 2
4
To give students a chance of promoting
their abilities.
41.5 0.49 6
5
To help students be more confident and
making more relationships.
43.9 0.50 5
6
To develop self-learning for students,
motivate them do scientific research.
75.6 0.43 2
2.3. The current situation of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology at
university by approach ability
* The current situation of level of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology at university
by approach ability
There are very various differences between the awareness of necessity of seminar in
teaching Psychology at university by approach ability and the level of using this form of teaching.
The result shows the reliability level with the average point 2.15 and standard deviation 0.85. It
also shows that 9.8% teachers usually use this teaching form, 61.0% “sometimes”, 26.8% “rarely”
and 2.4% ‘never”.
* The current situation of the goal of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology at
university by approach ability
Teachers considered the goal “Helping students to understand deeply Psychology
knowledge and be able to apply to the life” (rank 1) and “Practice students ways of self-learning,
self-researching and find out the knowledge of Psychology” (rank 2). It shows that teachers have
used this form of teaching as one way to help students understand Psychology knowledge and
practice self-learning skills. The goals of practicing professional abilities for students had proved
that.
* The current situation of designing seminar topics in teaching Psychology at university by
approach ability
Table 4. Teachers and students’ opinions of the seminar topics
in teaching Psychology at university by approach ability
Ordinal Requirements for seminar topic
Teachers Students
Mean Std.De Rank Mean Std.De Rank
1
The more complex, the seminar
topic is better
2.87 1.01 6 2.33 1.07 6
2
The siminar topic is suitable for
students’abilities
4.41 0.67 2 4.49 0.65 1
3
To be useful to practice some
professional abilities for students
4.12 0.64 4 4.11 0.79 2
4
To make students a chance of apply
knowledge
3.90 0.77 5 4.06 0.83 3
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The current situation and measures of organizing seminar in teaching...
5
The topic must be problemed
to foster students be active and
creative
4.46 0.63 1 4.00 0.77 5
6
To meet aims and fits the contents
of Psychology
4.24 0.66 3 4.01 0.81 4
* Teachers’ actions in teaching Psychology at university by approach ability
The research result shows that teachers do truly: “Compile, introduce and guide students to
read textbooks” (rank 1), “Be a scientific coach to orient students discuss” (rank 2), “To make
plan of seminar organization and report to all students before carrying out the seminar”(rank
3). However, the important actions such as “Training students, guide them some abilities to
carrying out the seminar more effective”, “Designing the seminar topic by approach ability”,
“guide students to self-assessment” have not been cared by teachers.
* Students’ actions in teaching Psychology at university by approach ability
Although there are some differences between teachers’ and students’ opinions of seminar
organization, some else seem similar, such as: “Find out standards of evaluating abilities of
involving in seminar and outcome standards as well”, “Know current and gapped abilities. . . ”,
“Make plan of practicing abilities”. Both teachers and students consider those are actions being
less carrying out.
* The current situation of evaluating seminar organization result in teaching Psychology at
university by approach ability
The following chart shows that teachers and students have the rather similar opinions of
the content and way of the seminar result. They all pay attention to assess the discussion process,
the report content, presentation and the preparation process, but they did not care of evaluating
students’ development level of abilities very much. We use Mean to discuss this practice (min = 1,
max = 5).
Figure 1. Teachers’ and students’ opinion of the content and the way to assess the seminar
2.4. Some more discussion about the current situation
* The current situation of students’ ability manifestations when involving in the seminar in
teaching Psychology by approach ability
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Do Van Doat
Table 5. Teachers’ assessment about students’ ability manifestations
when involving in the seminar in teaching Psychology
Ordinal Abilities Sum Mean Ability level
1 Inquiry-information 138 3.37 Average
2 Presentation 136 3.32 Average
3 Organizing the process of discussion 146 3.56 Rather
4
Designing and using teaching technical
equipments
168 4.10 Rather
5 Making asks 137 3.34 Average
6 Communication 137 3.34 Rather
7 Team work 150 3.66 Rather
8 Self-learning and self-researching 170 4.15 Rather
9 Scientific researching 135 3.29 Average
10 Making plan of practice 139 3.39 Average
Most manifestations in the seminar process are considered at the average level. This result
reflects that organizing seminar in teaching Psychology has not met students’ needs of developing
abilities now.
* Difficulties of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach:
Table 6. Teachers’difficulties in teaching Psychology by seminar
Ordinal Difficulties
Universities Sum
CTU HueU TNU
% Rank
F % F % F %
1 Less time to carry out learning 8 66.7 10 76.9 12 75.0 73.2 3
2 Learning equipments are poor 2 16.7 9 69.2 12 75.0 56.1 7
3 Students are too crowded 8 66.7 11 84.6 14 87.5 80.5 1
4 Be short of learning literature 7 58.3 9 69.2 8 50.0 58.5 6
5 Students are less self-conscious 5 41.7 12 92.3 13 81.3 73.2 3
6 No skills of preparing seminar 10 83.3 10 76.9 13 81.3 80.5 1
7 No skills of carrying out seminar 8 66.7 8 61.5 12 75.0 68.3 5
CTU: Can Tho University; HueU: Hue University of Education;
TNU: Thai Nguyen University of Education.
The table shows that the most difficult thing for teachers at Can Tho University is “Students
have not got seminar preparation skills yet: make a proposal, collecting information,..”, for teachers
at Hue University, it is “Students are not self-conscious, not active in learning the subject”, and for
teachers at Thai Nguyen University of Education is “Number of students are crowded”.
On the other hand, we made a survey of students’ difficulties in learning Psychology
by approach ability. The result shows students in all universities surveyed said they were
lack of materials and literatures. This seems be different from teachers’ opinion. But we
found out educational books are not enough for them. Besides that, students are not good at
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The current situation and measures of organizing seminar in teaching...
“inquiry-information”. They also do not have presentation ability. Also, the seminar topic being
too complex is difficult for students.
A short word for the current situation:
Most teachers aware truly of seminar in teaching.
Both teachers and students assess rather exactly the influence of seminar in developing
students’ abilities.
When organizing seminar in teaching, teachers used the most general procedure. They have
not designed the procedure of organizing seminar by ability approach before. Therefore, they agree
with measures given to survey.
2.5. Measures of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach
Basing on the main principles for organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability
approach (Ensure training goals; Be suitable with students’ needs; Be able to apply; Meet outcome
standard of training teachers) [12], we suggested the measures of organizing seminar in teaching
Psychology by ability approach.
2.5.1. Building the seminar topics in teaching Psychology by ability approach
Building the seminar topics is one of the important measures to teaching effectively. Basing
on analyzing the Psychology curriculum, we build a system of the seminar topics in teaching to
practice and develop professional skills for educational students.
To gain, we suggested 4 steps to build the seminar topic in teaching Psychology by ability
approach. Those are: Analysing Psychology curriculums at university of education;Basing on
the content of Psychology to build the seminar topic;Building the seminar topic in teaching
Psychology by ability approach; Assessing the seminar topic.
2.5.2. Designing the procedure of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability
approach
The procedure of organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach is the order
of stages that teachers control and students argue about seminar topic to practice some abilities [10,
11] as shown in Diagram 1.
2.5.3. Guiding students some techniques to carry out the seminar
We guided students in four groups of techniques for carrying out the seminar with steps.
The followings are steps.
* Guide students to seek information for the seminar topic
- Step 1: Teachers guide students to lift up awareness of inquiry-information
- Step 2: Teachers give students requirements to foster needs of seeking information
- Step 3: Students seek information about the seminar topic
- Step 4: Teachers guide students how to seek information
- Step 5: Teachers guide students to analyze information
- Step 6: Guide students to use information
- Step 7: Guide students to evaluate the process of seeking information
* Guiding students to form the presentation ability through seminar
- Step 1: Students prepare an aspects related to the topic required
105
Do Van Doat
Diagram 1. The procedure of organizing seminar in teaching by ability approach
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The current situation and measures of organizing seminar in teaching...
- Step 2: Introduce the structure of the presentation for students
- Step 3: Guide students to design the proposal of the presentation
- Step 4: Guide students how to present
- Step 5: Organize for students to try to present
- Step 6: Teachers assess and guide students self-evaluate their preparation
- Step 7: Carrying out the seminar topic in class
* Lifting up students’ ability of awareness of active listening skills
- Step 1: Help students understand that active listening is expressing attention
- Step 2: Practice students using the feelings of listening
- Step 3: Guide students to understand speaker’s expressions
- Step 4: Guide students know that listening is silence in need
- Step 5: Help students be patient to wait
- Step 6: Require students to express the things listened again
- Step 7: Students need to make asks to make clearly the aspects of the seminar topic
* Guiding students to discuss to have materials for the seminar topic
- Step 1: Teachers guide students to set up groups
- Step 2: Teachers require students, time allotted and condition of working in a team
- Step 3: Teachers guide students to define students’roles and responsibililty
- Step 4: Guide students to make plan of discussion
- Step 5: Teachers require groups to discuss
- Step 6: Guide students to make a conclusion and assess the result of group discussion
3. Conclusion
Seminar is the form of scientific argument to enrich knowledge and to motivate students to
find out and apply knowledge to the fact. Organizing seminar in teaching promotes the ability of
self-learning, self-researching.
Organizing seminar in teaching Psychology by ability approach is the process that lecturers
organize/guide/control directly and students present/discuss about the scientific topics prepared
be