Categories
learning

This will revolutionise education

Great video on the problems with making predictions about how certain technologies are poised to revolutionise education. There’s nothing particularly new in the video, but the presentation makes it really clear why comparison-type studies of technology in education are problematic. It also does well to make the point that learning is about what happens inside the student’s head and is a process that, while influenced by teachers, is not dependent on them.

Categories
research

Activity Theory, Authentic Learning and Emerging Technologies

Selection_001For the past few years I’ve been involved in an NRF-funded research project looking at the use of emerging technologies in higher education. One of the products of that collaborative project was an edited book that has recently been published. Professor Denise Wood, one of the editors, describes the book on her blog:

This edited collection seeks to fill the current gap in understanding about the use of emerging technologies for transformative learning and teaching by providing a nuanced view, locating higher education pedagogical practices at an intersection of emerging technologies, authentic learning and activity systems.

The book, which is edited by Professors Vivienne Bozalek, Dick N’gambi, Denise Wood, Jan Herrington, Joanne Hardman and Alan Amory, includes case studies as examples, and draws from a wide range of contexts to illustrate how such a convergence has the potential to track transformative teaching and learning practices in the higher education sector. Chapters provide the reader with a variety of transformative higher education pedagogical practices in southern contexts, theorised within the framework of Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) and tool mediation, while using authentic learning as a pedagogical model upon which this theoretical framework is based.

I made a small contribution to the book in the form of a case study that emerged from my PhD work as part of the project. Professor Jan Herrington wrote the introduction to the section on the Case Studies:

Moving from theory to practice in higher education is deeply challenging. While exploring pedagogical models in the literature may lead to tacit understanding of general principles, actually implementing these principles in practice can be an entirely different matter. Authentic learning is a pedagogical model that is sometimes misunderstood, such as when teachers believe that in order for authenticity to be achieved, learning must occur outside the classroom in the real world. In fact, authenticity – as described in this model – can readily be achieved within the regular classrooms and lecture halls of the university environment. Providing examples of successful cases of such authentic learning environments offers an opportunity to explore the practical application of a theoretical model, and provide concrete instances of implementation in different subject areas. This chapter provides three such cases. The cases presented here provide international examples of authentic learning in practice across different discipline areas, using different technologies, and focusing on different aspects of the approach. The first case (Case study 14.1) describes the use of reflective analysis and role play in the study of obstetrics, using the model of authentic learning described in Chapter 5 (Herrington, 2014). It focuses on the use of technology as a mediating vehicle for authentic learning through the use of practice dilemmas. The second case (Case study 14.2) describes specific tasks developed within an authentic learning environment, using characteristics of authentic tasks (Herrington, Reeves, Oliver, & Woo, 2004). This case describes the use of complex contexts and the development of case notes in the study of physiotherapy. The final case (Case study 14.3) explores the use of wikis and blogs to mediate authentic learning in sport science education. All the cases represent authentic learning in action, and include details of the context, the tasks, and the problems that inevitably arise when teachers necessarily relinquish their more traditional role to allow students to take primary responsibility for learning. They are also effectively works in progress, where solutions are refined and improved in successive iterations. But above all, they are visible and tangible exemplars of theory in action.

While my own contribution was small, I’m really proud that I could be part of the initiative. The book is available on Amazon in a variety of formats.

Categories
conference

AMEE conference, 2011 (day 1)

Today was the first day of AMEE 2011, and a great start to my first international conference. Here are the notes I took.

Donald Clark – 21st century medical learning

“Death of the compliant learner” – almost all of my students are compliant, I hope Clark doesn’t buy into the idea that all of today’s students are somehow different? Even Prensky has moved on from the Digital Native debate

When the cost of education goes up, and the deliverable stays the same, you have the characteristics of a bubble → is higher education / medical education in a bubble (Malcolm Gladwell)?

Clark shows excerpt from Ferris Bueller’s day off to demonstrate poor lecturing style, gets a laugh but is caricaturing the format useful in terms of solving the actual problem?

Psychology of learning:

  • Spaced practice
  • Attention
  • Assessment
  • Learn by doing
  • Collaboration

“The internet is shaping pedagogy”, this is the wrong way around. Effective teaching practice should make effective use of the internet.

“Lectures are ineffective for teaching”

  • don’t inspire or motivate
  • no critical thinking
  • doesn’t emphasise values
  • no social adjustment
  • or behavioural skills
  • only useful for transmitting information

Student and lecturer’s attention begins to fall off after 25 minutes, yet lectures often continue for much longer. Clark’s solution → record lectures! OR…change teaching practice to make use of that time more effectively

Cultural reasons for not changing teaching practice

Assessment is skewed towards favouring cramming

Is technology supporting assessment?

Surgeons who play video games perform better with laparoscopic procedures than those who don’t

I think Clark’s emphasis on technology misses the point. This isn’t the right audience to make assumptions about what technology should be used with what teaching approach. The message he’s sending is that we should use digital tools because they’re better. But he hasn’t spent enough time explaining what it’s better for and how.

 

The future of online continuing medical education: towards more effective approaches
Panel discussion (John Sandars, Pat Kokotailo, Gurmit Singh)

How do we get the new evidence base to change behaviour in health professionals? By delivering content and hoping → behavioural change

Online CME is about transmitting content from an “expert” to the person at home, and competing with their social lives. Does this have the intended impact of actually changing clinician’s behaviour? Sandars says “No”

How can the intended impact be achieved?

CME vs CPD
CME process whereby people keep updated regarding medical information
CPD includes CME but is more broad

e-learning implies that technology is used to enhance T&L but no definition of what technology is. I wish people would stop talking about e-learning until we demonstrate that it’s fundamentally different in terms of changing learning behaviour

List of digital tools and blending them with f2f spaces

Issues in obtaining evidence of effective CPD:

  • Differing content in med ed → differing ways of delivering / teaching
  • Traditional curriculum vs no curriculum
  • Rare comparison between e-learning intervention and traditional intervention
  • Difficulty with educational RCTs (very “medical” to think that RCTs are an important evaluative tool in education)

Kirkpatricks model to categorise the level of evaluative outcomes

Majority of research looks at participant satisfaction, but limited research demonstrating performance change in practice, no studies demonstrated that web-based CME had any effect on clinical practice

Internet learning associated with large positive effects compared with no intervention, but the effects were heterogeneous and small (internet learning interventions were broad in terms of content)

Comparison of different virtual patient desings suggest repetition, advance organisers, enhanced feedback and explicitly contrasting cases can improve learning outcomes (Cook at al, Academic Medicine, 2010)

Which “e-learning” techniques enhanced learning experiences?

  • Peer communication
  • Flexibility
  • Support of a tutor who was also a moderator
  • Knowledge validation
  • Course presentation
  • Course design

Effectiveness of the online course is mediated by the learning experience

Cost effectiveness of online CPD is mainly based on self-report, so data not robust (Walsh et al, Education for primary care, 2010)

Most to least effective approaches (Bloom, International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 2005):

  • Interactive techniques (audit / feedback, academic detailing / outreach, reminders)
  • Clinical practice guidelines and opinion leaders less effective
  • Didactic presentations and distributed print material have little to no effect

Therefore, not much evidence for the use of online learning, and the effects that do exist, are small (smaller than traditional), course design is important, and interactivity appears to be key

Improving knowledge and skills without an associated change in behaviour, is useless

Discussion:

  • Isolated, invidualised online CME is focused on delivering content more efficiently but that misses the point
  • We need to integrate social components into the learning experience
  • We evaluate episodic events and expect to find behavioural change
  • It’s not about one approach or the other, we need to blend different teaching methods
  • We need to stop talking about e-learning, we don’t talk about overhead projector learning

Problems with CME (currently)

  • Exisiting models do not improve patient care
  • Current models are incomplete, and are used for different reasons
  • Use is unco-ordinated
  • Participation is low
  • Much research names existing models as “largely irrelevant”

Moving from knowledge and skills to changing behaviour. What is the / a new model?

The outcome must be: improving patient care. This comes about through supporting information exchange, opinion and advice to make sense of the complexity of practice

Technology used must be useful and relevant

Technology + pedagogy = outcome (is it this simple?)

Should move psychological learning theory to sociological theory

Professionals learns as they go about doing things, sharing tacit knowledge, discussing and interacting with others in social networks. As people interact they share ways of thinking, feeling and acting in daly life, which influences their behaviours and habits. We are living, learning and changing in practice. They are reflexive. Learning, behaviour and change are all dynamically connected in networks and make practice complex.

Learning practive should be embodied and emergent

Reflexive networks used in teaching and learning

We should be more strategic in collaboration, rather than having collaboration forced.

How do you evaluate outcomes?

  • CME credits
  • Self-report: was it relevant and useful?
  • Patient care audit: do patients have improved outcomes?

Tacit knowledge = useful knowledge

Practice and learning are inseparable

If individual practice is only part of the team approach, is it reasonable to expect that changing an invidual’s approach will actually impact on patient outcomes?

Interprofessional workplace-based learning using social networks
JM Wagter

Difference between in/formal learning

80% of learning is outside the formal context. How do we make the informal learning explicit?

Between whom is learning taking place i.e. identifying actors within the network by mapping relationships between teams, professions, etc.

Look at density and information and communication flows

Everybody is involved in informal learning within networks, but the relationships are assymetrical and not collaborative or reciprocal

Network analysis is a useful method to identify relationships between professionals, but what do you do with the information i.e. how do you change the relationships?

Patient attitude to medical students experience in General Practice
H Cheshire

Patients lack confidence to ask students to leave when receiving a personal physical examination by a GP

Female patients are less likely to have positive attitudes with regards a medical student conducting an assessment, although the numbers are quite high nonetheless

The context of the examination changes whether or not patients are happy to have students present e.g. sexual health, etc.

Learning at a clinical education ward: first and final year nursing students’ perceptions
K Manninen

Final year students have an emphasis on supervisor relationships and are more dependant on feedback and affirmation but don’t experience internal authenticity, which is what drives the understanding of the nursing role.

First year students focus on patient relationships with concomittant feedback

Creating a student ER
A O’Neill

Highly integrated, student-centred, emphasis on PBL → creation of a student ER

Organisation based on teams, rather than a hierarchy. Team sees the patient concurrently, rather than consecutively

Approach allows the student to manage the patient with a focus on structured feedback. Tried to avoid students managing those with obvious serious pathology, cognitive dysfunction, etc.

Supervisor behind the student, not the other way around

Received positive feedback from students, in addition to significant improvement in student note-taking ability, among other clinical skills

Evaluating medical grand rounds – 10 years later
Mary J Bell

High numbers of repeated evaluations in order to determine reliability

We tend to give colleagues higher evaluator ratings

Highest scores had less to do with knowledge and presentation of objectives, and more to do with presenter style, level of presentation and enthusiasm → edutainment

When grand rounds were done using digital video, overal presenter ratings went down, seeming to concur with social learning theories i.e. we want to be in the same room as those we’re learning from (but is social just about physical presence?)

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-02-22

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diigo

Posted to Diigo 02/18/2010

  • The impact of digital tools on conducting research in new ways

    tags: education, research, technology, digital

    • we need to toss out the old industrial model of pedagogy (how learning is accomplished) and replace it with a new model called collaborative learning. Second we need an entirely new modus operandi for how the subject matter, course materials, texts, written and spoken word, and other media (the content of higher education) are created.
    • “Teachers who use collaborative learning approaches tend to think of themselves less as expert transmitters of knowledge to students, and more as expert designers of intellectual experiences for students — as coaches or mid-wives of a more emergent learning process.”
    • The bottom line was simple: professors should spend more time in discussion with students.
    • “Collaborative learning has as its main feature a structure that allows for student talk: students are supposed to talk with each other . . . and it is in this talking that much of the learning occurs.”
    • With technology, it is now possible to embrace new collaboration models that change the paradigm in more fundamental ways. But this pedagogical change is not about technology
    • this represents a change in the relationship between students and teachers in the learning process.
    • Today, universities embrace the Cartesian view of learning. “The Cartesian perspective assumes that knowledge is a kind of substance and that pedagogy concerns the best way to transfer this substance from teachers to students. By contrast, instead of starting from the Cartesian premise of ‘I think, therefore I am,‘ . . . the social view of learning says, ‘We participate, therefore we are.‘”
    • one of the strongest determinants of students’ success in higher education . . . was their ability to form or participate in small study groups. Students who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own.” It appears that when students get engaged, they take a greater interest in and responsibility for their own learning.
    • “The scandal of education is that every time you teach something, you deprive a [student] of the pleasure and benefit of discovery.”
    • Like Guttenberg’s printing press, the web democratizes learning
    • Rather than seeing the web as a threat to the old order, universities should embrace its potential and take discovery learning to the next step.
    • One project strategy, called “just-in-time teaching,” combines the benefits of web-based assignments with an active-learner classroom where courses are customized to the particular needs of the class. Warm-up questions, written by the students, are typically due a few hours before class, giving the teacher an opportunity to adjust the lesson “just in time,” so that classroom time can be focused on the parts of the assignments that students struggled with. This technique produces real results. An evaluation study of 350 Cornell students found that those who were asked “deep questions” (questions that elicit higher-order thinking) with frequent peer discussion scored noticeably higher on their math exams than students who were not asked deep questions or who had little to no chance for peer discussion.
    • The university needs to open up, embrace collaborative knowledge production, and break down the walls that exist among institutions of higher education and between those institutions and the rest of the world.
    • “My view is that in the open-access movement, we are seeing the early emergence of a meta-university — a transcendent, accessible, empowering, dynamic, communally constructed framework of open materials and platforms on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced. The Internet and the Web will provide the communication infrastructure, and the open-access movement and its derivatives will provide much of the knowledge and information infrastructure.”
    • The digital world, which has trained young minds to inquire and collaborate, is challenging not only the lecture-driven teaching traditions of the university but the very notion of a walled-in institution that excludes large numbers of people.
    • If all that the large research universities have to offer to students are lectures that students can get online for free, from other professors, why should those students pay the tuition fees, especially if third-party testers will provide certificates, diplomas, and even degrees? If institutions want to survive the arrival of free, university-level education online, they need to change the way professors and students interact on campus.
    • The value of a credential and even the prestige of a university are rooted in its effectiveness as a learning institution. If these institutions are shown to be inferior to alternative learning environments, their capacity to credential will surely diminish.
    • Professors who want to remain relevant will have to abandon the traditional lecture and start listening to and conversing with students — shifting from a broadcast style to an interactive one. In doing so, they can free themselves to be curators of learning — encouraging students to collaborate among themselves and with others outside the university. Professors should encourage students to discover for themselves and to engage in critical thinking instead of simply memorizing the professor’s store of information.
    • The Industrial Age model of education is hard to change. New paradigms cause dislocation, disruption, confusion, uncertainty. They are nearly always received with coolness or hostility. Vested interests fight change. And leaders of old paradigms are often the last to embrace the new.
    • whilst the educational technology community has tended to espouse constructivist approaches to learning, the reality is that most Virtual Learning Environments have tended to be a barrier to such an approach to learning
    • In such an age of supercomplexity, the university has new knowledge functions: to add to supercomplexity by offering completely new frames of understanding (so compounding supercomplexity); to help us comprehend and make sense of the resulting knowledge mayhem; and to enable us to live purposefully amid supercomplexity.
    • A teacher/instructor/professor obviously plays numerous roles in a traditional classroom: role model, encourager, supporter, guide, synthesizer. Most importantly, the teacher offers a narrative of coherence of a particular discipline. Selecting a textbook, determining and sequencing lecture topics, and planning learning activities, are all undertaken to offer coherence of a subject area. Instructional (or learning) design is a structured method of coherence provision.
    • When learners have control of the tools of conversation, they also control the conversations in which they choose to engage.
    • Course content is similarly fragmented. The textbook is now augmented with YouTube videos, online articles, simulations, Second Life builds, virtual museums, Diigo content trails, StumpleUpon reflections
    • Traditional courses provide a coherent view of a subject. This view is shaped by “learning outcomes” (or objectives). These outcomes drive the selection of content and the design of learning activities. Ideally, outcomes and content/curriculum/instruction are then aligned with the assessment. It’s all very logical: we teach what we say we are going to teach, and then we assess what we said we would teach.
    • Fragmentation of content and conversation is about to disrupt this well-ordered view of learning.
    • How can we achieve clear outcomes through distributed means? How can we achieve learning targets when the educator is no longer able to control the actions of learners?
    • I’ve come to view teaching as a critical and needed activity in the chaotic and ambiguous information climate created by networks. In the future, however, the role of the teacher, the educator, will be dramatically different from the current norm. Views of teaching, of learner roles, of literacies, of expertise, of control, and of pedagogy are knotted together. Untying one requires untying the entire model.
    • For educators, control is being replaced with influence. Instead of controlling a classroom, a teacher now influences or shapes a network.
    • The following are roles teacher play in networked learning environments:

      1. Amplifying
      2. Curating
      3. Wayfinding and socially-driven sensemaking
      4. Aggregating
      5. Filtering
      6. Modelling
      7. Persistent presence

    • A curatorial teacher acknowledges the autonomy of learners, yet understands the frustration of exploring unknown territories without a map.
    • Instead of explicitly stating “you must know this”, the curator includes critical course concepts in her dialogue with learners, her comments on blog posts, her in-class discussions, and in her personal reflections.
    • How do individuals make sense of complex information? How do they find their way through a confusing and contradictory range of ideas?
    • When a new technology appeared, such as blogs, my existing knowledge base enabled me to recognize potential uses.
    • Sensemaking in complex environments is a social process.
    • Imagine a course where the fragmented conversations and content are analyzed (monitored) through a similar service. Instead of creating a structure of the course in advance of the students starting (the current model), course structure emerges through numerous fragmented interactions. “Intelligence” is applied after the content and interactions start, not before.
    • Aggregation should do the same – reveal the content and conversation structure of the course as it unfolds, rather than defining it in advance.
    • Filtering can be done in explicit ways – such as selecting readings around course topics – or in less obvious ways – such as writing summary blog posts around topics.
    • “To teach is to model and to demonstrate. To learn is to practice and to reflect.”
    • Learning is a multi-faceted process, involving cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions.
    • Apprenticeship is concerned with more than cognition and knowledge (to know about) – it also addresses the process of becoming a carpenter, plumber, or physician.
    • An educator needs a point of existence online – a place to express herself and be discovered: a blog, profile in a social networking service, Twitter, or (likely) a combination of multiple services.
    • Without an online identity, you can’t connect with others – to know and be known. I don’t think I’m overstating the importance of have a presence in order to participate in networks. To teach well in networks – to weave a narrative of coherence with learners – requires a point of presence.
    • the methods of learning in networks are not new, however. People have always learned in social networks
    • Education is concerned with content and conversations. The tools for controlling both content and conversation have shifted from the educator to the learner. We require a system that acknowledges this reality.

Posted from Diigo.

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twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-08-24

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twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-27

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twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-20

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Categories
social media technology

TWiT and Twitter conversations (no relation)

I listen to a podcast called This Week in Tech (TWiT), hosted by Leo Laporte and few other tech writers and hosts of their own shows (if you don’t listen to TWiT and you’re interested in tech, I’d definitely recommend it). There are 2 things I specifically want to mention about 2 of the recent shows that I listened to.

Towards the end of TWiT 197 “Steal this diploma”, the panel had a discussion about the changing nature of higher education (clicking the link will open the transcript for the show…search for “how pedagogy is changing”). I think if you’re reading this blog then you might find that to be an interesting conversation.

The second thing I wanted to mention is that I’ve been following the tweets from the Personal Democracy Forum conference (#pdf09) after listening to TWiT 199 “I’m a dinner jacket” earlier today. I’m not exactly new to Twitter (although I don’t post as often as some, or follow people who talk about their breakfast) but there was something that I didn’t exactly get until today. I’ve used Tweetdeck to create a search for “education” and “technology” but haven’t been very impressed with the results. Now I realise that it’s only searching for phrases that contain those key words. We also used Twitter to follow each other on the Mozilla Open Education course I participated in a few months ago, but still I didn’t get it. It was only today that I realised that I can use it to follow events in real time, kind of eavesdropping on a conversation between everyone who’s actually there. I’m realising more and more how incredibly powerful Twitter is, not as a tool, but as a communications platform. You can also read this article in Time magazine about how Twitter is changing the way we communicate.

Categories
twitter feed

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-22

  • Becoming a relational academic http://bit.ly/6IEsA #
  • Academic Earth – The Human Brain and Muscular System, Great video lecture on anatomy (36 lectures available) http://bit.ly/mNMTp #
  • Fascinating lectures on the nature of death, from Open Yale Courses. Plenty of other great content here http://bit.ly/E5w25 #
  • Scholarly Teaching: A Model. Article by Trigwell, Martin, Benjamin and Prosser on the integration of scholarly teaching http://bit.ly/puSsR #

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