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Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker I

Prof. Hui-Wen Vivian Tang
Teacher Education Center of Ming Chuan University, Taiwan

Hui-Wen Vivian Tang Professor of the Teacher Education Center of Ming Chuan University, Taiwan. In 2007, she received an Ed.D degree from the educational leadership program of Texas A & M University, Kingsville, Texas, USA.
Her current research focuses on leadership development, emotional intelligence, cross-cultural studies, multiple criteria decision making and teacher education. She is currently the Chair of Teacher Education Center of Ming Chuan University, a lifelong member of the Emotional Intelligence Training and Research Institute (EITRI) organized by a collegial association located in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA, and formerly the chief editor of “Journal of Applied English”.
Prof. Tang’s recent publications include “Forecasting performance of Grey Prediction for education expenditure and school enrollment” published in 2012 by Economics of Education Review (SSCI), “On the fit and forecasting performance of grey prediction models for China’s labor formation” published in 2013 by Mathematical and Computer Modelling (SCI), “Constructing a competence model for international professionals in the MICE industry: An analytic hierarchy process approach” in 2014 by Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism Education (SSCI), “Developing a short-form measure of personal excellence for use among university students in Taiwan” in 2015 by Total Quality Management & Business Excellence (SSCI) and “Critical factors for implementing a programme for international MICE professionals: A hybrid MCDM model combining DEMATEL and ANP” in 2016 by Current Issues in Tourism (SSCI).
Speech Title: Global research trend of international large-scale assessments of student achievement: A bibliometric and citation analysis in the ISI WoS database
Abstract: The present study is a systematic quantitative estimate and aggregation of research on IEA and OECD international large-scale assessments (LSAs), aiming at updating our understanding regarding the ongoing research trends, publication patterns and citation performance of literature on international student assessment studies for the years 2001 through 2015. HistCite, a visualization-based tool, is used to structuralize citation properties by producing a complementary graphic representation of all LSA studies extracted by the present study. Analyzed parameters included: (1) Total numbers and characteristics of publications, (2) Publication patterns by document types, languages and countries/territories, (3) Publication patterns by source titles and subject areas. Aside from the above mentioned analysis on research trends and publication pattern, citation analysis was performed to compile the top ten most frequently cited documents on international student assessment studies based on Total Local Citation Score (TLCS) and Total Local Citation Score (TGCS) for the years 2001 through 2015. A graphical representation of scientific outputs containing all documents retrieved was produced by HistCite software to visualize significant clusters of works on a given subject areas of interest. Overall, this study should not be regarded as offering definitive results of the international LSA literature; rather, it supports the values of alternative research perspectives for mapping the scientific structure reflected in published literature in the field of international LSA research. Most importantly, this study opened up new avenues for continuous bibliometric investigations of the LAS literature for the generation of unique insights into the direction of not only a particular data source during a given time frame, but also the research dynamics and evolution within which the literature on international LASs of students exists.

Keynote Speaker II

Prof. Tomokazu Nakayama
Jissen Women's University, Tokyo, Japan

T. Nakayama A. was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. Nakayama earned a bachelor degree in English Literature and Linguistics from Obirin University in 1991, and MA in TESOL at Teachers’ College Columbia University in 2001 and Ph.D. at Hiroshima University in 2013. He is specialized in learning science. His current research interests are English as an International Language (EIL) and development of new learning methods to promote proficiency of EIL learners. He developed VA shadowing method to improve Japanese EIL learners’ listening skills and the book on its mechanism will be released this year. Now he and his colleagues are developing the new method called Instant Translation method to promote proficiency of Japanese EIL learners. He is currently an associate professor at Jissen Women’s University in Tokyo and teaches English and English teacher training courses.

Speech Title: A Study on the Impact of Two Different Overseas Short-term Programs in terms of EIL Awareness among Japanese EFL Learners
Abstract:This study tries to convey the impact of two different overseas short-term programs in terms of EIL awareness among Japanese EFL learners. Due to the spread of the notion of English as an International Language (EIL) or World Englishes, we are embracing wider varieties of English. However, Matsuda (2005) argues that a strong nativism still exists in Japan. This study investigates whether there are any significant changes in the degree of EIL awareness between a group who participated in two-week short-term program in Malaysia (N=19) and a group who participated in a three-week short-term program in Canada (N=20). Quantitative analysis of questionnaires given before and after the programs revealed that the group who participated in the Malaysian program had become significantly more aware of EIL than the group who participated in Canadian program (t(38) = 12.06, p<.01, r = .89). This result suggests further study into whether these changes relate to the participants’ English proficiency.

Keynote Speaker III

Prof. Wenbing Zhao
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,  Cleveland State University, OH, USA

Wenbing Zhao received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2002. Dr. Zhao has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1990, and a Master of Science degree in Physics in 1993, both at Peking University, Beijing, China. Dr. Zhao also received a Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1998 at University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Zhao joined Cleveland State University (CSU) faculty in 2004 and is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at CSU. He is currently serving as the director of the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering, and the Chair of the Graduate Program Committee in the Department of EECS, and a member of the faculty senate at CSU. Dr. Zhao has authored a research monograph titled: “Building Dependable Distributed Systems” published by Scrivener Publishing, an imprint of John Wiley and Sons. Furthermore, Dr. Zhao published over 120 peer-reviewed papers in the area of fault tolerant and dependable systems (three of them won the best paper award), computer vision and motion analysis, physics, and education. Dr. Zhao’s research is supported in part by the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Transportation, Ohio State Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and by Cleveland State University. Dr. Zhao is currently serving on the organizing committee and the technical program committee for numerous international conferences, and is a member of editorial board for PeerJ Computer Science, International Journal of Parallel Emergent and Distributed Systems, International Journal of Distributed Systems and Technologies, International Journal of Performability Engineering, International Journal of Web Science, and several international journals of the International Academy, Research, and Industry Association. Dr. Zhao is a senior member of IEEE. Dr. Zhao is also a senior member of International Economics Development and Research Center (IEDRC).

Speech Title: Enhancing Communication with Students with a Teaching Method Based on Topical Guide Objectives
Abstract: In this talk, I will introduce a novel teaching method called Topical Guide Objectives (TGOs), and report a case study on employing and adapting this method in a senior-level undergraduate computing engineering course. According to this method, course materials are divided into a list of TGOs. Homework assignments are given to students at the end of every lecture. The assignments are designed explicitly around the TGOs that have been covered by each lecture. Each TGO consists of a learning objective, a set of key-points and basic concepts, relationship between them, and one or more exercise problems.

Typically, engineering/science homework is in the form of a set of problems for students to solve. The drawback of this approach is that students often get buried in the technical details and forget about the key points and concepts taught in the lectures. This new form of assignment encourages students to focus on key points and concepts they learned in the lectures, and learn how to apply them to solve complicated problems. Furthermore, this teaching method informs students which concepts are fundamentally important. It helps students understand the wording used on quizzes and exams. It also helps build up a positive relationship between students and the instructor such that students could focus on learning instead of testing.

When employing this TGO-based teaching method, I made some improvements over the original method. In the homework assignments, for each TGO, only the concept names are given and students are asked to elaborate them in their own words as part of the homework. This would force them to learn the concepts and gain the ability to recite/paraphrase them. In the case study, I found that the TGO-based teaching method was particularly effective in communicating with students that were less prepared and less motivated. Both grade-based and survey-based evaluations show that student performance increased significantly by focusing on learning instead of testing, by using clear written communication via homework assignments, and by applying constant pressure.

Invited Speaker

Prof. Dr. Ananda Kumar Palaniappan
Department of Educational Psychology & Counselling Faculty of Education, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Professor Dr. Ananda Kumar Palaniappan is an Educational Psychologist at the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya. He specializes in Creative & Innovative Thinking, Organizational Creativity, Creative Problem Solving. Dr. Ananda also conducts SPSS and AMOS workshops. He has given invited addresses on Creativity for numerous groups including managers, magistrates, legal officers and educational administrators in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Spain, UK and USA. He has published internationally on creativity and on the validation of several instruments in many international journals including Perceptual and Motor Skills and Journal of Psychology. He is currently a Visiting Professor on the Chulalongkorn University Royal Golden Jubilee Award at the Department of Educational Research and Psychology, Chulalongkorn University. Dr. Ananda is a member of American Psychological Association (APA), American Creativity Association (ACA) and International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP). For more information please visit his website:

Speech Title: Creativity and Creative Teaching for the Digital Age
Creative graduates are much sought after in this era of stiff competition and globalization. Across cultures, every society needs generations who, through creative educational training, can efficiently use their creativity to solve life problems. Institutions of higher learning are committed to step up efforts to enhance students’ creativity as employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find creative graduates. Those employed have been found to be more academically than creatively inclined. Many have attributed this to the lack of efforts to promote creativity in institutions of higher learning. Universities were found to focus more on content knowledge and developing skills in relation to specific areas of specialization rather than on the soft skills required to be innovative and competitive in the real world. There is also a general lack of knowledge and skills among lecturers on how to teach creatively and also on how to enhance student creativity. This workshop which is based on the findings of an international comparative study of creative teaching in Malaysia, Thailand, England and the United States, will focus only on the findings from Malaysian and Thai data to discuss the creative teaching model comprising the 4Ps – Process, Person, Product and Press - as well as the four dimensions of creative thinking proposed by E. Paul Torrance – Originality, Flexibility, Fluency and Elaboration. This paper will discuss the various aspects of creative teaching teachers should focus on and how to overcome obstacles to achieving the goals of creative teaching. It will also report some real-life classroom experiences of creative teachers in these countries and how they have adopted and adapted these practices to suit their teaching objectives and the need to teach creatively to enhance their students’ creativity. Based on the research findings, several approaches are highlighted to show how teachers can make their lessons interesting and produce creative individuals through simple activities. This paper will offer suggestions on how to incorporate the current advances in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to create an environment for motivating student creativity. More importantly, this paper will highlight how teachers can teach creatively and teach creativity within the current constraints and challenges in learning institutions.