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Using The Padagogy Wheel: It’s All About Grey-matter Grids (GGs)

PadWheel V4 thumbnailDOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION: V4 published Mar 2015.  This PDF Poster has links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.  Now these resources are available in 19 different languages.  The poster also has app selection criteria according to Blooms taxonomy.  It could provide the backbone of a complete course or seminar on Learning Design. If you would like help with this please just ask.  It also prints well as an A3 poster. With QR Codes linking to more online resources.  You are also encouraged to print it out for use in your college or school.

GETTING THE BEST USE OF THE WHEEL: The Padagogy Wheel was born out of a desire to help teachers at the coalface of teaching. I wanted a model that could be applied to everything from curriculum planning, development, writing learning objectives and designing student centered activities. Then quickly help teachers access relevant educational technology e.g. individual iPad apps or sequences of apps, to enhance those activities. Finally to help teachers use that technology to redefine activities to include tasks previously inconceivable. I believe this will increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and empower a student towards transforming into an excellent graduate.

This model is a work in progress … always under review and improvement. Remember its purpose is a reminder to teachers to rethink everything they are doing. A warning: ignoring steps is in my opinion, part of the reason some of our teaching and learning, especially in Higher Education, is so ineffective in bringing about transformation. It is helpful to think about the Wheel as a number of grids through which you filter what you are doing – a way of thinking.

Energy of Intelligence

  1. THE ATTRIBUTES GRID: This is the core of learning design. Teachers or Educator/Academics must constantly revisit Graduate Attributes, things like ethics, responsibility and citizenship, as well as Capabilities for employment. They need to do the hard yards of articulating what they expect an excellent graduate of a program is to “look like” i.e. what is it that a graduate is and does that makes them and their communities define them as successful. Some universities at least in Australia and England, and I would expect in the USA, are constantly working on their graduate attributes and are mapping their programs to them. The blog post by Geoff Scott is really eye opening for college educators. Please visit “If you exercise these capabilities.. You will be employed!” If teachers don’t have a clear picture of the qualities and capabilities of an excellent graduate of their program is, then that is a huge problem and they need to set aside quality time to define this. Now when they have this list of attributes and capabilities, they need to look at their courses and pedagogy and ask ‘how does everything I do support these attributes?’ Is there any way I can build content and activities that help students become “excellent”? Have a look at what the University of Greenwich is doing in the UK. Please visit  “Graduate Attributes – Spin or Education?” and the podcast episode “What Does a Xxxxxx Graduate Look Like?
  2. THE MOTIVATIONS GRID: Once they are thinking attributes and capabilities, teachers then need to constantly revisit motivation. Asking themselves “Why am I doing this again?” That is not a joke. I am referring to the choices of learning outcomes, development of activities and design of content e.g. writing text and even making videos. So the wheel introduces a 21st century model of motivation that science has developed. It is so well presented by Dan Pink in the TEDtalk “The Puzzle of Motivation” Thinking through the grid of Autonomy Mastery and Purpose and filtering everything you do from idea-creation to assessment will, I believe, significantly help your teaching be transformational. Consistently asking the question, “How does the learning environment and activity experience I am building give the learner autonomy, mastery and purpose?” Asking that question and adapting what you do could change everything.
  3. THE BLOOMS GRID: The Blooms Taxonomy is really a way of helping teachers design learning objectives that achieve higher order thinking. You start by thinking “cognitive domain categories”. You start with “remembering and understanding” that’s the easiest category to serve with objectives but produces the least effective objectives in achieving transformation. When supporting academics, I recommend they try to get at least one learning objective from each category and always push towards the domain category of Creating where higher order thinking takes place. This is the “By the time you finish this workshop/seminar/lesson you should be able to. . . ” type of thinking. With the emergence of the importance of social constructivism i.e. research showing the effectiveness of student centric and activity based learning, those learning objectives need to be mapped clearly to activities. So a better question is “By the time you finish this workshop/seminar/lesson you should be able to <choose and action verb> BY <then choose an activity or outcome>. Now you are ready for technology enhancement.
  4. THE TECHNOLOGY ENHANCEMENT GRID: With learning objectives and outcomes sorted, now think about technology aka apps. How can this serve your pedagogy? You can choose any app or technology you like, the wheel only suggests apps that can support the learning objectives and activities at the time of publishing. The Padagogy Wheel constantly needs updating with apps as they are released. Teachers also should think customization all the time – is there a better tool for the job of enhancing my defined pedagogy?
  5. THE SAMR GRID: Now is the time to think about how to apply this powerful
    Sievemodel. For more information on SAMR  visit this Queensland Govt. Schools Classrooms Connections website. You need answers to such questions as “How are you going to use the technologies you have chosen”?  Take each of your activities and think through how you will use the technology for each task. Ask yourself “Does this activity just substitute i.e. students could easily achieve tasks without this chosen technology, or can I augment or modify the tasks  to improve the activity and increase engagement”? Finally sieve your curriculum building activities and your teaching practice through the SAMR grid of redefinition. Is there any task you can build into the activity that without the technology would not be possible? You can tell when you are successful with this, as there is bound to be one student who will comment “Hey that is cool!”

Please take the Padagogy Wheel out for a spin every day you are teaching and use it.  Then share your experiences especially your best practice … your colleagues will benefit from your collaboration, appreciate it and together we can build transformational outcomes and help students become excellent practitioners and graduates.



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The Padagogy Wheel: Learning Design starts with graduate attributes, capabilities and motivation

Wheel only Padagogy Wheel V4.0

  • PadWheel V4 thumbnailDOWNLOAD THE LATEST VERSION: V4 published Mar 2015.  This PDF Poster has links to 122 of the latest and most popular educational apps.  Now these resources are available in 19 different languages.  The poster also has app selection criteria according to Blooms taxonomy.  It could provide the backbone of a complete course or seminar on Learning Design. If you would like help with this please just ask.  It also prints well as an A3 poster. With QR Codes linking to more online resources.  You are also encouraged to print it out for use in your college or school.

I am still a little numb at the amazing interest in, and discussion about, the Padagogy Wheel from teachers and educators around the world. It is only a week since I published my last blog post “The Padagogy Wheel V2.0: It’s all about transformation and integration“. and the poster is at 8000 downloads and 500-800 people visit the blog a day and about 300 tweets a day as well.. I owe a sincere thank you to Jeff Dunn and the team at Edudemic for the encouraging first article “Integrate iPads Into Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy With This ‘Padagogy Wheel’”  then the second blog post “New Padagogy Wheel Helps You Integrate Technology Using SAMR Model”  The second article really did whip up an interest storm. I think you will appreciate the posts.

So why yet another version only one week later? Well out of the buzz about V2.0 came a suggestion that I couldn’t lay down, it ran around my head for days. A good friend said, “You know motivation is also at the core of the Wheel … how would that work?” Add to this line of thinking the fact that it seems all the excitement is about how Blooms interacts with the SAMR model and no one seems to be talking about the core of the wheel – Graduate Attributes and Capabilities. I wanted to upgrade the communication about the core concepts of the wheel so nobody missed their importance.

Prof Geoff Scott from UWSGraduate Attributes and Capabilities: Without this your learning design will drift. A major ah aha for me was when Prof Geoff Scott, the Executive Director of Sustainability at University of Western Sydney (UWS), was introduced as a keynote speaker at a Learning and Teaching Conference at the University of Adelaide in 2012. It was in during that presentation Geoff introduced research they had done within the business sector. They had asked CEO’s and executives …. the people that do the hiring, what they desired to see in graduates from Higher Education programs. When he introduced us to the top 15 requested capabilities, there was almost an audible gasp. Most of these are heart attitudes and values based. There was even more exclamation when we realised that most of them were not actively targeted by our courses. The top 15 are

  1. Having energy, passion and enthusiasm
  2. Being willing to give credit to others
  3. Empathising & working productively with diversity
  4. Being transparent and honest in dealings with others
  5. Thinking laterally and creatively
  6. Being true to one’s values and ethics
  7. Listening to different points of view before coming to a decision
  8. Understanding personal strengths & limitations
  9. Time management skills
  10. Persevering
  11. Learning from errors
  12. Learning from experience
  13. Remaining calm when under pressure
  14. Being able to make effective presentations to different groups
  15. Identifying from a mass of information the core issue/opportunity

These capabilities should be identified as part of our graduate attributes and woven into the fabric of our courses in the activity design. We need to have transformation at the core of what we do as teachers if it is all about the students. Don’t jump into learning outcomes, activity design and choosing technology without first reflecting on graduate attributes and capabilities then how to improve motivation and engagement. Skip these and your course design will be weaker for it.

Please visit the blog post and listen to the podcast episode at: “If you exercise these capabilities.. you will be employed!

The Puzzle of Motivation: Teachers use the term engagement all the time. Engagement is about motivation. If students are not motivated learning will not happen. As I researched about motivation I discovered this TEDtalk …. of course 2.5 million others knew about it first, which naturally raised my interest. As I watched it, lights went on big time. “Ah Aha! These concepts are a grid to help people improve learning activity design and they have to go into the wheel” – V3.0 was born.

Dan Pink shows what science knows about motivation and what business does about it are largely mismatched. He presents a very strong case for a rethink about motivation in business and offers a new approach and model for the 21st century. It is built around intrinsic motivations. He introduces the elements which he says are the building blocks of a completely new operating system for businesses.

  • AUTONOMY: The urge to direct our own lives
  • MASTERY: The desire to get better and better at something that matters
  • PURPOSE: The yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves

Dan expands on the concept of Autonomy.and introduces examples of three levels of application of this type of motivation. “Fedex Days” where staff have to deliver outcomes overnight then “The 20 Percent time” … done famously at Google. Finally the “Results Only Work Environment or ROWE” where he compares the motivation and implementation for two models of encyclopedia i.e. Encarta and Wikipedia.

Please watch this video and think about how you build curriculum, how to facilitate your courses and how to motivate tomorrows students to become all they can be as leaders that make a difference. Could this model of motivation change the way we build curriculum and teach courses – I believe used as part of the Padagogy Wheel it will go a long way in the hands of passionate teachers. Please post your comments and suggestions for new apps.

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LAMS: The Future of Student Centric Learning Design

If you consider the “Continuum of Shift” applied to learning management systems, at one end you have a content-centric tool like Blackboard, then you find Moodle in the middle, and at the other, activity-centric, end you have LAMS (Learning Activity Management System), which is being used for interactive learning sequences and constructivist design in teaching. “LAMS is not really a LMS as such, it integrates with both Moodle and Blackboard and provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration” (LAMS website). I believe this is the most useful tool for developing strong pedagogy in learning design, Higher Education has available. And when I tell people in workshops “it is Learning Design, not for dummies, but time strapped academics”, I usually have their attention.

I discovered this wonderful new software platform in 2005 and have been tracking its development ever since.  In June 2011, I developed a workshop entitled “It’s All About the Students”. Forty academics attended and agreed with me about the importance of the students, and many committed to pilot the pedagogies and technologies. Actually we only had room for ten courses

The results in the pilot were all positive and I’m thrilled our leaders have captured the vision and the University of Adelaide has now adopted LAMS campus wide. We now have “LAMS@Adelaide“.  I am leading the rollout project and am excited that the academics, who want to improve the student experience through strong learning design, have a practical tool they can use.  They don’t have to understand all the theory behind good social constructivist  pedagogy, they can easily access learning activity sequences built with best practice, customise and populate the content and run a monitored learning event face-to-face or remotely. It can be either synchronous, asynchronous or blended.

LAMS is an ideal environment for developing curriculum. It helps the design to move towards the Activity end of the Continuum of Shift. Academics can use this as a simple exercise (e.g. a survey) within a more formal lesson like a lecture and publish results in real time. Some of our academics are developing entire practicum experiences using LAMS and students can start a one hour lesson together in a computer lab guided by the teacher, and finish it in a coffee shop with their friends from the course.  After one use of LAMS one course co-ordinator is planning an entire Program next year with 500+ students.

The software is open source and the best way to understand why I am excited about LAMS for Learning Design is to visit sign up (it’s free) and “play” with it …. you will see the potential.

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The Cross Walk … a practicum with a diffference

Carol Freeman PhotI saw the six foot cross as we walked into Carol Freeman’s office. I couldn’t help but comment. As Carol, the Dean of Student Mentoring at Bethany International began to explain how it is used in the teaching and learning at the college, I immediately had flashbacks to 1970 and my Army training in Australia.  What a dynamic practicum and situational learning opportunity.  In the military they call it survival training, where they drop trainees  many many miles form camp with little supplies and told to get back.

Listen to Carol in this episode tell the story how they blindfold students and take them 100 miles from the collage and give them a set of criteria and the cross and they have to get back.  This adds a new dimension to the term “field assignment”  :-)  The life changing results testified by the students after the experience makes a teacher know it is special.

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