The Problem of Learning in the Post-Course Era by Randy Bass

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  • 1.  Randy Bass,  Georgetown University  the Problem of Learning in the Post-Course Era MAALT-SEALLT Conference March 11,2010
  • 2. What’s the problem?
  • 3. Wikis Online chatrooms microblogging Multiple blogs modalities Writing Social technologies networking Authentic Data audience Video Non-linear visualization conferencing learning Self- assessment E-portfolios Task-based learning practices Social instruction environments bookmarking Virtual worlds perpetually in and serious motion games a deeper sense of Digital From static to cultural storytelling dynamic understanding and learning language learning
  • 4. Wikis Online chatrooms microblogging Multiple blogs modalities Writing Social technologies networking Authentic Data audience Video Non-linear visualization conferencing learning Self- assessment E-portfolios Task-based learning practices Social instruction environments bookmarking Virtual worlds perpetually in and serious motion games a deeper sense of Digital From static to cultural storytelling dynamic understanding and learning language learning
  • 5. Wikis Online chatrooms microblogging Multiple blogs modalities Writing Social technologies networking Authentic Data audience Video Non-linear visualization conferencing learning Self- assessment E-portfolios Task-based learning practices Social instruction environments bookmarking Virtual worlds perpetually in and serious motion games a deeper sense of Digital From static to cultural storytelling dynamic understanding and learning language learning
  • 6. Wikis Online chatrooms microblogging Multiple blogs modalities Writing Social technologies networking Authentic Data audience Video Non-linear visualization conferencing learning Self- assessment E-portfolios Task-based learning practices Social instruction environments bookmarking Virtual worlds perpetually in and serious motion games a deeper sense of Digital From static to cultural storytelling dynamic understanding and learning language learning
  • 7. The Post-Course Era
  • 8. “You know. It was taught as a Gen Ed course and I took it as a Gen Ed course.” Georgetown student, end of first year, focus group: reflecting a particular course in which, he claimed, he was not asked to engage with the material.
  • 9. High Impact Practices (National Survey of Student Engagement--NSSE) • First-year seminars and experiences • Learning communities • Writing intensive courses • Collaborative assignments • Undergraduate research • Global learning/ study abroad • Internships • Capstone courses and projects
  • 10. High Impact Activities and Outcomes  High Impact Practices:  Outcomes associated with High • First-year seminars and impact practices experiences • Learning communities • Attend to underlying meaning • Writing intensive courses • Integrate and synthesize • Collaborative assignments • Undergraduate research • Discern patterns • Global learning/ study abroad • Apply knowledge in diverse situations • Internships • View issues from multiple perspectives • Capstone courses and projects • Gains in Skills, knowledge, practical competence , personal and social development
  • 11. High Impact Practices (National Survey of Student Engagement--NSSE) • First-year seminars and experiences • Learning communities • Writing intensive courses • Collaborative assignments • Undergraduate research • Global learning/ study abroad • Internships • Capstone courses and projects
  • 12. So, if high impact practices are largely in the extra curriculum (or co-curriculum), then where are the low-impact practices?
  • 13. formal curriculum = low-impact practices ? Are we then entering the ―post-course era‖? 2/16/10 13
  • 14. If the formal curriculum is not where the high impact experiences are then there are three options (1) Make courses higher impact (2) Create better connections between courses and the high impact experiences outside the formal curriculum (3) Start shifting resources from from the formal curriculum to the high impact (experiential) curriculum
  • 15. All of the above…
  • 16. Range of responses courses designed as inquiry-based and problem-driven Using social tools at scale Design courses for depth and engagement (writing intensive, project-based, team-based, etc) 2/16/10 16
  • 17. Participatory Culture How do we make classroom learning more like participatory culture?  Features of participatory culture  Low barriers to entry  Strong support for sharing one’s contributions  Informal mentorship, experienced to novice  Members feel a sense of connection to each other  Students feel a sense of ownership of what is being created  Strong collective sense that something is at stake Jenkins, et. al., The Challege of Participatory Culture
  • 18. Six Characteristics of high impact practices AND features of participatory culture  High impact experiences  Features of participatory (co- curriculum) culture (on the Web)  Low barriers to entry  Attend to underlying  Strong support for sharing meaning one’s contributions  Informal mentorship,  Integrate and synthesize experienced to novice  Members feel a sense of  Discern patterns connection to each other  Apply knowledge in diverse  Students feel a sense of situations ownership of what is being created  View issues from multiple  Strong collective sense perspectives that something is at stake  Skills, knowledge, practical competence , personal and social development 2/16/10 18
  • 19. Looking from the Web in… How do we make formal learning environments more like informal learning? How do we make classroom learning more like participatory culture?
  • 20. Informal High impact Learning practices The Formal Curriculum Experiential Participatory culture Co-curriculum 2/16/10 20
  • 21. the end of the course as a bounded experience
  • 22. John Seely Brown: Practice to Content content practice
  • 23. Informal High impact Learning practices The Formal Curriculum Experiential Participatory culture Co-curriculum 2/16/10 23
  • 24. Three Challenges Intermediate processes (“thin slices” of practice) Reflective judgment, uncertainty Embodied learning
  • 25. Thin Slices Participatory learning + Web 2.0 tools Student work is in process, in practice— not just in summative work
  • 26. Connecting Intermediate Processes to Practice NOVICE MIRACLE EXPERT product product 2/16/10 26 Bass & Elmendorf, 2009
  • 27. Connecting Intermediate Processes to Practice LEARNING processes NOVICE LEARNING EXPERT processes processes practice LEARNING processes How can we better How might we understand these design to foster intermediate and capture processes? 2/16/10 them? 27
  • 28. Connecting Intermediate Processes to Practice LEARNING processes NOVICE LEARNING EXPERT processes processes practice LEARNING “Thin slices” processes Micro- of online reflections on discussion or the cutting blog room floor evidence Traces of of ePortfolio samples: collaborative Process drafts, reflections practice
  • 29. #1: Social Pedagogies and a Large Lecture Course Heidi Elmendorf, Georgetown University Foundations of Biology BIOL-103 1st year Biology 250 students course science majors & pre-meds
  • 30. Student Learning Goals (Students develop…) Participatory learning Course Design Elements Social  Readings & On-line Conversation Pedagogies  Class & Think-Pair-Share  Lab & Partnered Inquiry  Problem Sets & Group Effort around Authentic and Challenging Problems  Research Paper & Shared Steps  Exams & Room for Uncertainty Heidi Elmendorf, Georgetown University
  • 31. Prof Elmendorf’s Instructions to her Students for the Discussion Board •Communicate about the reading. One of the best ways to learn something is to talk about it. Air your bafflement, express your wonder, ask your questions, try out a new idea of your own…And while I hope you will talk often about biology this semester with your classmates, I want to be sure you have an official forum for these conversations – and that you are rewarded for the effort you will expend having them.
  • 32. Holding Conversations
  • 33. Online Conversation
  • 34. Jose Feito, on the importance of “not knowing” ―The theme of not-knowing [has] emerged as a key factor in the maintenance of a truly collaborative intellectual community within the classroom. In order for a shared inquiry to proceed productively, the participants must be able to regularly acknowledge their lack of understanding, offer partial understandings, and collectively digest the resulting discourse. Not-knowing is characterized by a group’s ability to defer meaning, tolerate ambiguity, hold divergent perspectives, and postpone closure. In order to develop, it requires a relatively non-judgmental classroom atmosphere, but not an uncritical one.‖ Jose Feito, St. Mary’s University (Moraga, California, U.S.A.)
  • 35. Michael Smith & Ali Erkan, Ithaca College  Using Wiki’s to teach history  Students work in collaborative teams to write history wiki-texts on subjects that interest them in historical context
  • 36. Michael Smith & Ali Erkan, Ithaca College
  • 37. Not just about knowledge to be acquired, but Embodied Ways of thinking Ways of acting (practice) Ways of talking A sense of identity Not just knowing, but the experience of knowing (and coming to know)
  • 38. Social Pedagogies and an Introductory Writing Class Writing, Invention, Media HUMW-011 1st year writing 20 students course Gen Ed Randy Bass, Georgetown University
  • 39. Humanities & Writing 011  First-year required writing course  Section theme: “Writing, Invention, Media”  Core concept: “writing is a social act”  Core theme: Changes modes of learning, the participatory culture of Web, and the nature of the University
  • 40. What is worth knowing Worthwhile and doing? Important What is important to know and do? CORE What is a core or enduring understanding? Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design
  • 41. HUMW011: Writing, Invention, Media Opening Worthwhile Day exercise: Important Writing in school? CORE Writing on the Web?
  • 42. Core Values of Writing in School: Week One
  • 43. Core Important Worthwhile
  • 44. Core Understandings--writing in school (week one) Core Understandings--digital, Writing on the web (week one)
  • 45. Networked research group
  • 46. Networked research group Yahoo Pipes
  • 47. Networked research group
  • 48. Participatory Culture and Formal Learning Student Student Student team team team Any mechanism for aggregating, feeding, filtering, tagging… Shared course blog or teacher / tutor space
  • 49. Rajagopalan Balaji, Capstone Course in Engineering (University of Colorado) (Design competition) 70+ students 12 teams two projects Central Central RSS RSS feed feed Teacher watches, coaches Team Team blogs blogs (key source of capture for intermediate processes)
  • 50. Designing for the post-course era thin slices of practice reflective judgment embodied learning If we are to connect courses to the ―holistic self- portrait‖ of the learner, then we not only to link out but in..
  • 51. Student PRACTICE: Learning Features of Goals Participatory Process •Help students create markers of certainty and uncertainty •Provide opportunities for relearning •Design opportunities for meaningful reflection on Practice and integration of experience
  • 52. Tim Kastelle University of Queensland, “Successful Open Business Models” Tim Kastelle ―Successful Open Business Models on the Web‖ (e.g. Journalism, Music) Aggregate Filter Connect
  • 53. Tim Kastelle, “Successful Open Business Models” ―Successful Open Business Models‖ (higher education) •Aggregate •Information resources •Filter •Knowledge (what knowledge is worth knowing) •Scholarship (peer review) •Graduates (employability) •Connect •Ideas, experiences, people
  • 54. Shift in How We Add Value AGGREGATE FILTER CONNECT
  • 55. Shift in How We Add Value AGGREGATE COURSE ERA FILTER POST- COURSE ERA CONNECT
  • 56. Sir Ken Robinson, “How Education Kills Creativity” ted.com
  • 57. Sir Ken Robinson, “How Education Kills Creativity” ―What we need is a new conception of human ecology, one in which we start to reconstitute our conception of the richness of human capacity.‖ ted.com
  • 58. Randy Bass contact (for slides, follow up): bassr@georgeotwn.edu