Apple Distinguished Educators
Chain of Care in Teaching
LAMS: Learning Activity Management System
Scenario based learning
Using iPads in L&T
Values Based Education
- Bethany International
- situational learning
- articulate storyline
- learning and teaching
- padagogy wheelhouse
- graduate attributes
- learning experience
- padagogy wheel
- Bloom's Taxonomy
- iPad for learning and teaching
- University of Adelaide
- Digital Taxonomy
I was suffering from a bad virus and struggling to stay focused at day two of the University Learning & Teaching Festival in Nov 2012, I was not expecting what happened next. Professor Geoff Scott was introduced as a keynote presenter. He is very interesting to listen to and his presentation was engaging. However it was the last slide and how he described it that became my major “Ah Aha!” of the conference. In the days following I kept returning to this slide’s content and it’s implications. I couldn’t resist contacting Geoff who was happy to talk to me over SKYPE and our dialogue became this episode.
Geoff is Executive Director of Sustainability at UWS and I asked him what is meant by Sustainability in Higher Education …. his answer could lead to more than one more episode. He describes Educational Sustainability as having four pillars that of Social, Cultural, Economic and Environmental which interact with the four functions of a university, research, teaching, engagement and operations.
I wanted Geoff to elaborate on his last slide of his keynote titled
“Turnaround Leadership for Sustainability in HE – top 15 capabilities in rank order (n = 188)” They were:
- Having energy, passion and enthusiasm for EfS
- Being willing to give credit to others
- Empathising & working productively with diversity
- Being transparent and honest in dealings with others
- Thinking laterally and creatively
- Being true to one’s values and ethics
- Listening to different points of view before coming to a decision
- Understanding personal strengths & limitations
- Time management skills
- Learning from errors
- Learning from experience
- Remaining calm when under pressure
- Being able to make effective presentations to different groups
- Identifying from a mass of information the core issue/opportunity
These were dentified from an International project being run around the world from effective practitioners. Geoff has been doing this research for 20 years. They started with skill olympians in 1992 then looked at many different disciplines then university leaders. He describes how all disciplines have a similar top 15 capabilities. Geoff’s Slide presentation from the Festival is available here for download.
We talk about what is of the heart and what is of the head. Geoff talks about Emotional intelligence or personal and interpersonal capabilities and how they always rate up in the top 15 sometimes they are 10 of the 15. There are cognitive ones in there but not the ones usually mentioned on university websites as graduate attributes. He talks about outcomes and standards. Geoff then identifies the most important pedagogical approaches for teachers to adopt to address the development of these capabilities in graduates.
1. Real world problem based learning centred around challenges identified by graduates who have gone before and have identified what is most important. This is based on research of 1.2 million students no less
2. Going on practicum, if at all possible, and have someone as supervisor who knows what the top 15 capabilities are for that discipline and the practicum uses these capabilities as criteria for success.
As he talked I was almost stuck for words …. that’s unusual Here research is showing the most wanted graduate capabilities needed by communities and even countries as vital for sustainability … so what are we doing about it? The question that keeps running around my head is how can a university and even closer to home, how can I as a learning designer map these capabilities back into the courses and design activities and assessments to develop these in the graduates? How can we enrich and strengthen problem based learning and widen the scope and possibilities of the practicum real or virtual?
I believe one of the most strategic pedagogical approaches or tools that will gain in importance in the next 5 to 10 years is that of Scenario based Learning or Simulations. The software for these learning objects has come of age and now it is much easier to develop engaging real life based virtual scenarios using branching to allow the students to learn by mistakes – i.e. when things go wrong. This episode with Geoff has confirmed my intent to go to the USA to up-skill in simulation development using powerful simulation software called Simwriter.
Please listen to the podcast episode and join in the conversation. Ask yourself if you are a teacher: “How can I help my students develop these capabilities?” Would simulations help, what else would work?
This short podcast episode is the second with Curt Bonk when he was visiting Adelaide in November 2012. I asked what was the next contribution to online learning and teaching we could expect from him. Curt describes the new online resource and book he an a colleague in NZ are about to release. It is about how teachers can improve motivation and retention in online courses.
Curt and Elaine Khoo of the university of Waikato in NZ have developed the “TEC-VARIETY” model or the 10 principles of motivation. This mnemonic stands for:
- Tone/Climate: Psych Safety, Comfort, Belonging
- Encouragement: Feedback, Responsive, Supports
- Curiosity: Surprise, Intrigue, Unknowns
- Variety: Novelty, Fun, Fantasy
- Autonomy: Choice, Flexibility, Opportunities
- Relevance: Meaningful, Authentic, Interesting
- Interactive: Collaborative, Team-Based, Community
- Engagement: Effort, Involvement, Investment
- Tension: Challenge, Dissonance, Controversy
- Yielding Products: Goal Driven, Success, Ownership
Each of the principles has a chapter with 10 activities in each. This will be a very practical tool for teachers to develop their online facilitation in these areas.
This “Bonk Book” is almost finished and it will be available free to people online. We go on to talk about how a teacher can use this resource. It is not a book of theory but practical ideas for teachers facilitating technology enhanced learning and teaching to use. Please listen to the podcast and see the potential.
Sample Chapters available for download.
- Table of Contents and Preface to the book
- Chapter 1: Introduction to the book and TEC-VARIETY model
- Chapter 7: Autonomy
- Chapter 8: Relevance
- Chapter 9: Interactive
The embedded Youtube video below is a synchronous session in his MOOC described in the previous podcast episode. It is a 1 hour session where Curt describes the TEC-VARIETY model in more depth. It is worth a watch.
Prof Curt Bonk is in high demand around the world as a keynote speaker and someone who can shake up the status quo and engage academics and encourage them to seek excellence in practice. During November 2012 he was invited to Adelaide to be a keynote speaker at the annual Festival of Learning and Teaching. Curt took time out to do this podcast episode with Allan about MOOCs In this episode Curt explains why MOOCs suddenly have got the entire Higher Education Sector talking. He shares from the lessons he has learnt from his first MOOC in May of 2012, His introduction to “Instructional Ideas & Technology Tools for Online Success is the YouTube Video embedded below. As only Curt can, he has developed 20 teacher and facilitator guidelines that make a good MOOC and in this episode he expands many of these concepts
Teaching and Facilitating Guidelines
|1. Plan and prepare||11. Combine sync and async instruction|
|2. Market the course especially to friends||12. Arrive early for sync session|
|3. Offer multiple types of contact info||13. Allocate ample Q&A time during sync session|
|4. Get help/assistance||14 Share resources|
|5. Designate feedback providers and tasks||15 Personalize where possible|
|6. Offer ample feedback from week one||16. Use polling questions|
|7. Use peer, machine, volunteer and self-assessment||17. Check chat window for comments and questions|
|8. Gather geographic data||18. Reflect after each session (e.g. Top 3 activities in chat window)|
|9. Use a warm and friendly tone||19, Offer weekly recaps and updates|
|10. Form groups and social supports||20 Be willing to change midstream|
We go on to discuss how can a passionate teacher who wants to do a MOOC to get started, to not only use the university resources to reach even further with open arms (that’s the idea of the arms in the photos) Curt explains the importance of Open Teaching and the benefits of all involved including the teacher/facilitators.
Please spend time listening to the episode and then there are so many more resources on Curt’s websites “Trainingshare.com“ and his Indiana University homepage “Curt Bonk’s e-learning World“. Bookmark these and browse often for a wealth of ideas and resources. As well here are the slide resources from the talks Curt refers to at the University of NSW and Macquarie University about MOOCs.
“On behalf of the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) I am pleased to advise that your nomination for a 2012 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning has been successful” that opening line of an email made my week .. actually it made my last 10 years. I grabbed the mobile and called a good friend and colleague “Did you get it?” …. pause ”Yeees! did you?” ”Yep!” was the best I could reply in the excitement. I was talking to Linda Westphalen from the School of Education here at the University of Adelaide. We had just found out both of us had been successful in winning a National Citation or award, that is the top of the Learning and Teaching heap for the Higher Education space in Australia. Only 152 of these prestigious citations are granted across 38 universities and Adelaide has been granted two and we did it. Besides the kudos which is big, it comes with a A$10,000 prize for professional development … that is also nice.
Linda’s citation reads: “For vibrant and compassionate approaches to teaching and learning, which inspire students’ enthusiasm and passion for the profession of teaching.” While my citation reads: “For sustained commitment to inspiring, challenging and mentoring academics to teach with activity-centric pedagogies and the latest learning technologies, to enrich the student experience.”
This podcast episode is the first in a series of conversations together to discuss the teachable moments we both have had while reading each others citation applications. We have links below to download our application documents and I encourage you to read them, as they are roadmaps on our journeys and full of personal “ah ahas”. We never saw each others application before submission, yet the overlaps were significant. In the podcast Linda refers to them as bookends of the same thing – I agree. The title hopefully got your attention, for to achieve best practice a teacher must be passionate about their content and their craft. However as Linda shares in this podcast a good teacher must also have a passionate care for their students as well.
We introduce the question “Can passion be taught and can we actually build PD resources and training to teach a teacher to be more passionate about their practice?” The jury is still out on this, so please chime in with your comments below we would love to have your opinions.
Linda introduces in her application, an intriguing concept called “the chain of care” and talks more about it in the podcast. She explains how Nel Noddings developed the thinking on this and there are some great resources linked below. Could she be right? The starting point is easy to understand but the end point she claims is “never”. The chain of care continues after the students move on. Boy that could have radical implications if implemented? Any thoughts? Another proposal is that university leadership should recognise caring in teachers.
We also begin to unpack this great extract from Linda’s application: “Piaget and Vygotsky argue that people learn by experiencing knowledge at fundamentally emotional and cognitive levels: they don’t learn because a lecturer prattles. Enthusiasm, care and passion are essential for all teachers, whether in a university or in a school, since this makes the student experience (in the lecture theatre and in the cranium) enjoyable and satisfying. Student experience is considered an imperative in universities these days. Unless university teachers care, this imperative is nothing more that fluffy rhetoric. More importantly, this pedagogy ensures that students learn actively and retain knowledge.” The best student experience at a university must include caring teachers, skilled in best practice methods. get it out of balance and it is fluffy logic … hmm!
There is a great deal of information online about Piaget and Vygotsky, but we had to include this YouTube video as a clear explanation of their theories. Also this video is an example of the way creative use of media can in-fact enrich the teaching … “Piaget and Vygotsky in 90 seconds” is characteristic of how video is being used by today’s students … mixing up information from different sources and creating mashed up content some with excellent results.
Linda’s final challenge is on how technology might enrich the teaching experience and gives us the lead in question for the next episode. Please listen to the conversation and we value your input.
Let’s continue the conversation
Online Resources of interest:
- Linda’s OLT Citation Statement: A PDF for download
- Allan’s OLT Citation Statement: A PDF for download
- Staff honoured with teaching awards: The University of Adelaide press release.
- The Ethics of Care and Education: Nel Noddings is well known for her work around the ethics of caring, however, she has also added significantly to theory and practice more broadly in education. This article explores her contribution.
- Caring in Education: In this article Nel Noddings explores the nature of caring relations and encounters in education and some of the difficulties educators have with them. She also looks at caring relations as the foundation for pedagogical activity.
- Caring: How We Become Attached A Suter Science Seminar with Nel Noddings This Youtube Video 1 hr. 26 mins long. The introduction is poor quality audio but when Nel takes over at 1.14 mins it is good
The final Youtube video is an example of the learning style of the future. The author says “I couldn’t find anything on youtube to use in my presentation , so decided to try my hand at making my own” Here is the mashup result …. it’s good.
Nel Noddings on Caring
Cork minus Four Weeks: About 1995 one of the first pieces of online education jargon I learned was “click brick and click” The idea of starting a learning experience online with the click of a mouse, then meeting face-to-face (the brick), then continue back online with more mouse clicks. It is the concept that influenced the development of blended learning. However I have never really seen it work as effectively as I did with the build up to Cork. A month before the event we started using BaseCamp an online project management tool and putting into practice Challenge Based Learning. We had four big ideas presented and all 234 of us entered into online community discussion to identify the essential questions. The discussion forums were reflective, mind expanding and very active. By the time we arrived in Ireland we had all chosen one of those big ideas areas we were interested in. It was in these communities around a Big Idea where we split into small working groups for the week to define our challenges and make our pitch i.e. presentations.
For years when I travel internationally I do what I call a network crawl where I visit people/institutions with which I have contact, to learn from them and teach into them. This trip to the UK was going to be no different. I contacted some colleagues I have met at some of those conferences, and asked would they like to meet and would they like me to talk about iPads. I never expected the response. Five universities in three countries asked for seven Padagogy Seminars and extra meetings about LAMS. Wow I thought I had better upgrade the iPad seminars we (Ian Green from Adelaide and I) have presented to over 600 participants in Adelaide and elsewhere in Australia.
Seminar Upgrade: I started with the skeleton of what we did and rebuilt it from the ground up using Keynote as the guiding presentation tool. The seminars by necessity are App centric and because not everyone has an iPad and if they do, nor the same apps the seminars need to be show and tell. Their main function is to present a selection of apps that can be used for L&T. I wanted more than this so I looked to the most well know learning model around the Bloom’s Taxonomy. During the research I found all the great work people have done with Blooms and technology. However I had a interesting new idea of mapping iPad apps to the cognitive domain of the taxonomy and using the Taxonomy Wheel The Padagogy Wheel … it’s a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach was born. I also identified the need for a third more hands on workshop I will call PADAGOGY 301 which is under development targeted to a more specific audience.
By Popular Demand: I have learnt from the responses in Padagogy workshops, that academics are very interested in Simon Smith’s e-assessment system of marking assignments. I knew I would get heaps of questions from the floor in Singapore and the UK so I recorded a podcast episode with Simon. Quality Feedback: It’s all about the Students. explains more about this innovative e-assessment workflow using iPads. I mention this in Padagogy 201 and now there is a resource for people wanting more. Its a total win/win for all stakeholders. The teachers save significant time and can enrich the feedback and the students reap the benefit of more personalised feedback.
Let the Games Begin - First Stop Singapore: The time in Singapore was very productive with four workshops/seminars well attended at the new Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at the Nanyang Technological University. It is an exciting new joint medical school by Imperial College London and NTU they are developing a very innovative curriculum using LAMS and iPads. The “Padagogy Wheel” created quite a buzz. I presented each of these seminars twice in two days
PADAGOGY 101 What’s all the fuss about iPads in HE: This is an introduction to the iPad and contains reference to 29 iPad Apps from Document Readers to Project Management and links to 12 Video tutorials
PADAGOGY 201 It’s a Bloomin’ Better Way to Teach: This seminar gives ideas of the latest use of the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy and how the iPad can serve the pedagogy. It has reference to 62 apps with 18 video based tutorials.
I had a great interview with Paul Gagnon Director of eLearning at Lee Kong Chian. Collaborative Learning … What No Lectures!: is about how they are taking Team Based Learning and adapting the pedagogy to use iPads and LAMS.
Next Stop London and a trip down the River Thames: This was a busy time with visits to four universities, but what a way to start, visiting the place where time starts and stops … Greenwich. Simon Walker head of the EDU at Greenwich University had invited me to meet and talk LAMS. When I got there I discovered they were doing some ground breaking work on Graduate Attributes. In the podcast episode Graduate Attributes – Spin or Education Simon talks about the long term initiative the University has to develop their academic skills and framework and push this into a pedagogical framework. How they involve the students and the tools they have developed is worth reflection.
Kingston University M25LTG: When invited to present at this event while in London, I had no idea what that meant. We caught the tube and some buses and eventually ended up at Kingston University for the M25 (thats the Motorway) Learning with Technology Users Group. A innovative users group of LT professionals from the different universities across the wider London area. Note to self – we need to start this in Adelaide South Australia. It was also great to meet Dr Ian Green my fellow ADE from the University of Adelaide while in London – it was unexpected. He joined me in the rest of the visits and seminars.
Blended PADAGOGY 201 and 101 seminars: were needed at London University and the University College London: Tim Neumann a colleague and good friend from the London Knowledge Lab had organised a 2 hour iPad Seminar at London and another Australian colleague who works for UCL organised one there. Both were well attended and Ian and I did our joint presentation as we always do. The response was very positive.
Transforming global education: (and learning a bit of Irish) reads the tee shirt we received on our arrival in Cork. Thus began an incredible week of professional learning managed by Apple but the real learning happened in the small groups. The video at the start of this blog entry gives you an insight of what it was like and the visual journey is stunning thanks to the great photos that were taken there and shared by Daniel Woo of the University of NSW. As the saying goes “It ain’t over ’til it’s over!” Everyone who attended the event has committed to work to an October deadline to publish content on the ADE iTunesU. There will be significant curriculum published for the developing of teachers as an outcome of Cork.
Finally Scotland and The University of Edinburgh: This was actually an email type I call “a G’day email” I literally looked up the university website ans found the team running a post graduate elearning course ans said “G’day I’m visiting Edinburgh and wondered if ….” four or five emails later we had set up a PADAGOGY201 workshop that filled up with registrations in 24 hours from announcement and had a waiting list. They said it was the fastest response they have ever had to an elearning event.
We had a successful seminar and the next day started the marathon journey home. Edinburgh to London… changed planes. London to Singapore overnight no sleep …. thank goodness 4 hours sleep in the airport hotel then back on the A380 now that’s a plane and overnight to Sydney still no sleep… then change planes again and home to Adelaide. Over 48 hours travelling… but it was worth it.
Simon Walker is the head of the Education Development Unit (EDU) at the University of Greenwich and he had just showed us a room that looked to me like I have always imagined how the Sistine chapel would look in Rome, but we were in London and it was raining. Nothing new about that but Simon then took us through a tunnel no less, connecting the buildings of the Naval Museum and the university. I will never forget the surreal experience of standing in a tunnel which in the late 1600′s housed doctors operating on wounded sailors. Then seeing the worn stones where these doctors sharpened the available technology (their scalpels) on the stone surfaces. Now here we were on the way to the EDU, the learning and teaching with technology hub of a 21st century university.
In this podcast episode Simon talks about the University of Greenwich Graduate Attributes long term initiative which started in 2009 to develop academic skills and framework and to push this into a pedagogical framework. A great deal of research and a couple of years later the university believes their graduates are about good scholarship and independent thinking they are about confident and distinctive students always learning and always developing with creativity at it’s core.
They have identified three dimension of attributes :
- Scholarship and Autonomy
- Creativity and Enterprise
- Cross cultural and international awareness
Simon shares that right from the start they decided to do this much more holistically and not to get bogged down with the ticked box mentality so they now have broad university overarching attributes and they expect their programs to interpret those attributes. Teachers/curriculum developers are then expected to make course activities that reflect the program outcomes. The tricky thing is to develop a pedagogy to reach those outcomes.
When asked Simon explained that the academics are buying in. He has found a lot do this anyway but it is not explicit. One big “ah aha” their research has found is it gives graduates a framework to answer the question from employers ”What did you learn at university?” He then goes on to talk about the big question “Does a graduate attributes framework and mapping course outcomes increase employability?”
The EDU is developing and using a “Taught, Practiced, Assessed and Experienced” (TPAE) tool designed to map the Greenwich Graduate Attributes through a course, over a programme and display a threshold value when a program team feel a student has had successful opportunity to attain each graduate attribute. Some resources are below.
Finally we discussed how they involve the students in a separate framework and are having them contribute to the “Student Guide to the Greenwich Graduate” Simon explained that it is not about what students know on graduation but what they can do …. it’s all about application.
I encourage you to listen to the audiboo episode “What does the Greenwich graduate look like?” browse the resources and if you have any further questions, ideas or collaborative possibilities please contact Simon by email.
Further online resources:
- Outline of the University wide attributes webpage
- Graduate attribute statements with outcomes – PDF Document
- TPAE Tool discussion document
- TPAE Mapping Grid
- Feedback from a Student Forum on the Students’ Greenwich Graduate Guide to help raise more awareness of the Greenwich Graduate Attributes.
- “Graduate Attributes – Spin or Education” a vimeo video (33 mins) of a lecture given at Greenwich by Dr Anna Jones who is a Reader in Education in the Centre for Research in Lifelong Learning at Glasgow Caledonian University. Before that she worked at King’s College London and at the University of Melbourne.
Team Based Learning: Group Work that Works from UT Austin CTL on Vimeo.
Please listen to the audioboo interview and should you have further questions about TBL there is a great web resource at the Team Based Learning Collaborative. Two of the really interesting things about the video above, from the University of Texas, is that it shows TBL is useful across faculties and it also helps improve engagement and learning in large classes. Any HE teacher with big classes should think seriously about this.
Plato in about 430 BC said that “necessity is the mother of invention”, just imagine what he would have said if he had an iPad Well it was necessity that inspired my colleague in the eLearning Team at the University of Adelaide, Simon Smith to develop a work flow for e-assessment that brings tears to an academics eyes … well almost. Simon had to grade papers for some tutoring he was doing and like the skilful nerd that he is, he used technology to make grading assignments significantly less time consuming for the teachers, while cleverly providing the tools to help teachers deepen and personalise their feedback to the students. BTW nerds are indispensable team members in the new age of 21st century learning design … teaching is all about the students and all about teaching teams supporting the learning.
In overview this is how it works. The Quality Feedback system Simon designed, is to be used on an iPad with a very sophisticated PDF annotation app called iAnnotate FIrst the assignments are extracted from the University LMS and populate this web based repository. Teachers can then choose an assignment as needed. Now it gets really smart as when the teacher clicks on the next assignment wanted for grading, the scripting automatically loads it into iAnnotate where there is an armoury of annotation tools and the teacher can quickly provide rich quality feedback to the student not only with text comments but also voice, but there is more. There is a web based rubric like form that the teacher can make value judgments on the assignment and quickly generate an email based feedback summary. The thing that has proven most successful in improving the student experience is the richness of the feedback which when students read/listen to it they also sense it is much more personal.
This is win/win for both the teacher and the student. We are getting reports it saves about 33% of the teachers time would you believe. Why don’t you look at the Vimeo video below look at the Quality Feedback website and then send Simon Smith an email and ask him to present to you and your colleagues … but be warned there may be a line in front of you. I have seen two different universities competing to see who could invite him first
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 LessonLAMS.com sign up (it’s free) and “play” with it …. you will see the potential.
In 2007 I was making a joint presentation with a colleague from the USA. She introduced the concept of a continuum along which a teacher can move based on how he/she teaches. We called it the Continuum of Shift.*
This concept has been a great help to me as a support person, helping teaching faculty in higher education. How easily a teacher can move their pedagogy along this continuum I’m sure is what makes a great teacher in higher education for the 21st century.
I think it is unhelpful and actually slows down change, when elearning experts suggest how academics have taught in the past is wrong and imply we now have a better way.
The job of the Learning Designer is to help teachers know when and how to move their pedagogy along this continuum. They need to know when, where and how to move along between:
- A Content Centred Paradigm and an Activity Centred Paradigm
At the content end of the continuum the teaching is instructor centred, behavourist and intructivist in nature, while at the activity end it is constructivist in nature, focusing on context and the learner experience is at its core.
- An Activity Centred Backgound and a Content Centred Background
The content end of the continuum has a detached approach; it focuses on memorization and teaching what the instructor deems necessary to know. At the activity end, it focuses on a situated approach to the learning framed by what learners must do to achieve an outcome. Learning is achieved by active engagement in meaningful and authentic activities that require learners to build versions of their learning.
- An Activity Centred Assessment and a Content Centred Assessment
Assessment at the activity end of the continuum can include projects, portfolios and peer or self-evaluation, which can address deep learning. At the content centred end learning assessment usually measures surface learning with typically right or wrong application or multiple choice examination
How can you as an Academic move easily along the continuum and manage change? When you are shifting between content centred and activity centred you need to accommodate a variety of delivery modes. They could be synchronous, asynchronous or blended. Teaching needs to address the learner’s needs, it should consider the learning styles and information literacy capabilities of the students and activity learning sequences need to show they are “goodfers”. i.e. the learner understands what the learning outcomes are good for in real life?
As I have worked with the Continuum of Shift over the last 5 years I have pondered the questions. How can I help an academic:
- Easily focus on activity centred learning
- Increase student engagement
- Deliver content more efficiently and student centred
- Turn valuable face-to-face time into deeper learning experiences.
I believe I have found a way … it is called LAMS!* Adapted from teaching by Professor Cindy Russell, The University of Tennessee Memphis USA in an eLearning Guild presentation Aug 2007