Yoshikazu Yokota

Yoshikazu Yokota
Student 2013-
Subsection chief of the welfare health insurance, Yoshimi town, Saitama Pref.

-Please tell us about your occupation

I am a staff of the local government of Saitama.I am working for the collection of charge of Health insurance (National Health Insurance and the latter-stage elderly healthcare) and the National Health Insurance tax.

-Please tell us what led you to enter GSIS, the Graduate School of Instructional Systems?

There were some reasons.
I had experiences of studying at correspondence courses for the qualification acquisition. Then I wondered if there could be a better way to learn against high frequency of dropping out.
On the other hand, I wanted to know how to teach people properly since I got an opportunity to teach them after I gained the professional qualifications of some such as Social workers.
The biggest reason was because of an issue I had in my responsibility of the National Health Insurance work at that time. The issue was that not so many people actively used the service of the health instruction based on the health examination.Then I met an article Prof.Tsuzuku wrote on the internet and found myself interested in it.The health instruction by the community health nurse so far used to be like “Exercise for avoiding getting unhealthy” or “Do it not to be dead”, but Prof. Tsuzuku was quite different from that.The term of “Instructional Design (ID)” in that article made me wonder what it is.I was suspicious a little of that at first.This happened was a year before I took the entrance examination.For the next step, I participated in an extension course and “Manaba-night” held by Kumamoto University to see how it could be beneficial to me.I asked Prof. Suzuki there straightly if ID could be useful to the health instruction or not, then he answered “Yes”.He told me “The issue you have is attitude-related. That must be difficult but ID could be still useful” and “Now is the time you should learn about ID”. I have never met a professor like him. It did not take time before I decided to try the entrance examination.

-How do you like GSIS so far?

To tell the truth, I thought that the learning at GSIS was not so hard and I could pass just by reading the textbooks or references and submitting reports just like I did in my experiences of learning at correspondence courses at other three universities and colleges, but I was surprised when I realized what it really was.I found that I was wrong and noticed that hard time must come.At e-learning, no one gives you any reason to start your study.If you don’t open it, nothing must be happened. Nothing pushes you for the study.When I make questions to GSIS, any of professors at Kumamoto University gives me replies so kindly, but I have to make actions by myself, first.In the middle of the first year, I nearly failed. I could not move forward and I almost gave up.When I was so busy for my job, it did not allow me to spend time for the study at all, and I came to feel scared of turning on my computer.The RED signs, which mean “delay for deadlines”, covering almost all the progress list of each course took motivation away from me. But I bravely opened the website to restart the study and sent emails to one of the professors to ask what to do at this moment.Then, the professor replied to me right away and instructed me kindly.Professor Kita, who is a professional at the IT-related area where I am not familiar with, instructed and guided me for two months after I had had hard times to work on. I learned that I could go over the wall as long as I kept challenging.After that, I came to understand how to study. I hope what I understood then is still working well with my study now.

-What is different from other correspondence courses ever?

I have experiences of learning at correspondence courses not only by papers but by e-learning.It contained some subjects differed from GSIS’s and had a different style of learning which let learners watch video clips of lectures and took take examinations by themselves.The biggest difference is (actually, it is called) “small steps” of learning. Each task is designed to be “not too much” for learners.It is good that I don’t need to watch videos all along and do works after that.Except for the RED signs in the progress list which used to make me feel inconvenient, the steps I have to take are very convenient because each goal is always clear to me, and the small steps guides me to the outcomes at the end.When I work on tasks, I can find out when to refer to the past outcomes or where to make revisions in the initial idea. Then I realize surprisingly that it has been done.For instance, in a course titled “Instructional Design II”, I accomplished a proposal of e-learning for a made-up company by taking step by step of each task, while I had never ever done it before.This is how I really feel about the differences in GSIS.

-How do you communicate with the other students and the professors?

We have a Facebook group-site of our classmates, but I have not often accessed to it.It is all up to the person if he/she uses it actively or not.The place is rather where we can share the information which will be given “Like” option by classmates than where we can discuss about the things for our studies.Also, I have hardly met others physically.Actually, it was only at the intensive lectures held in Tokyo.

-What have you learned as a result of participating in the school for a year?

For now, all I have done is just completing the tasks. I think I need a little time to see what I have learned so far.I am still chasing with the RED signs.“We cannot see the forest for the trees.” I have been working on for each tree, now.The numbers of the trees I can see are increasing gradually. I believe that the trees will become a forest soon.In the second semester, the courses I am learning such as “Instructional Design II” and “Practicum in e-Learning I” are connected to the work for writing Master’s thesis, and they are also connected to the other course such as “Practice of Distance Education”. I understood that every tree has relation with other trees.

-How did you like SCC, which you had been interested in?

In the first semester, SCC helped me a lot by having me get orders and guidance in a given context.Some tasks in a course may sometimes have caused me problems because I had no experience of working at a company, but the story by SCC which contained each course allowed me to study without such problems.In my case, it was useful that the story was shown at the beginning.The impressions of SCC were still left clearly in my mind when the second semester started. So I was wondering how I should manage the schedule of the tasks without SCC.I would suggest that it must be better if the second semester could also have SCC just like the first semester.

-Do you have a message for someone who is considering entering this school?

If you have a wish to study at GSIS, why don’t you take the first step! There will be a high mountain as you may have imaged, but there will be valuable experiences when you climb up the mountain.The courage for taking the first step will give you many changes soon just like in my case.Again, please take the first step anyway!!

(Interviewed in February, 2014)

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