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DisCo 2013: Renate Motschnig - Person Centered Communication
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DisCo 2013: Renate Motschnig - Person Centered Communication


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Educational strategies tend to move away from the pure accumulation of factual and intellectual knowledge and increasingly acknowledge the importance of the acquisition of competences. This general …

Educational strategies tend to move away from the pure accumulation of factual and intellectual knowledge and increasingly acknowledge the importance of the acquisition of competences. This general tendency applies, in particular, to the cross-cutting concern of communication. In this paper I illustrate the case of an academic course on communication for teacher candidates and computer- or service science master students. The course aims at providing experiential learning and besides the facilitator’s competences heavily relies on the inclusion of online media to enrich the active learning process. Students’ feedback will be provided to let readers grasp the kind of learning happening in the course. The paper is intended to inspire educators by good practice examples and to motivate the inclusion of a course on communication in curricula such as those for teacher education or computer science

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  • 1. 29. Juli 2013 1 Universität Wien, CSLEARN - Educational Technologies PERSON-CENTERED COMMUNICATION – Including new media to foster the acquisition of competences Renate Motschnig Universität Wien, CSLEARN - Educational Technologies,
  • 2. 29. Juli 2013 2 Context Master-level education in “communication“ * Computer Science * Teacher Education Motivation Illustrate and promote PCeL (Person-Centered technology-enhanced Learning) Goals for today Research Lab for Educational Technologies of University of Vienna
  • 3. 29. Juli 2013 3 Significant Learning “Significant learning combines the logical and the intuitive, the intellect and the feelings, the concept and the experience, the idea and the meaning. When we learn in that way, we are whole.” (Rogers, 1983) S. 20. Our goal: Significant, technology enhanced learning (PCeL)
  • 4. 29. Juli 2013 4 PCeL goal: Improving learning/growth by sensitively employing techology
  • 5. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Blended Learing System Structure (BLESS) Layer 5: Learning Platforms Layer 1: Blended Learning Courses Layer 2: Course scenarios Layer 3: Blended Learning Patterns Layer 4: Web Templates Visualization, Modeling Modularization, Decomposition Selection, Implementation Instantiation, Application Application Design, Composition TECHNOLOGY LEARNING THEORY Features Support TECHNOLOGY LEARNING THEORY platform-independent platform-dependent
  • 6. 29. Juli 2013 6 PCeL: The Vision Students and educators will find learning/facilitation an inspiring, meaningful, growthful experience; Basis: Person Centered Learning, Co-actualization Allow for active participation, self-organization, critical thinking, team work, promotive activities, based on realness, acceptance/respect and understanding (Rogers, 1983; Barrett-Lennard, 1998; Cornelius- White & Harbaugh, 2010; Motschnig & Nykl, 2011) and a thoughtful integration of web 2.0 technology Combine facilitation of courses with research on progress, quality, added value Improve employability, reduce drop-out
  • 7. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Case Example: Communication (3 ECTS) • Course goals: Students acquire at – Level of knowledge and intellect: Knowledge about the basics of the Person Centered Approach, significant, person-centered learning and encounter groups. – Level of skills and capabilities: Active listening, dialoging, and feedback skills in face-to-face as well as online settings. They improve their abilities in spontaneous communication and decision making in a group setting. – Level of attitudes and awareness. Students gain self- experience while expressing their feelings, meanings, and intentions and perceiving those of others. They experience active listening and develop their own attitude towards it. Students become more sensitive and open to their own experience and loosen preconceived, rigidly held constructs. Students move towards acceptance and better understanding of themselves and others. Students move from more stereotyped behavior and facades to more personal expressiveness. 07/29/13 7
  • 8. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Examples for working together face-to-face 07/29/13 8
  • 9. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies 07/29/13 9 Blending face-to-face with online phases face-to face: online:
  • 10. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Workshops (1/2 day) 1. Orientation 2. Active Listening Workshop 3. Encounter Workshop 4. Applying Person-Centered Communication (PCC) in the participants’ work context 5. Dialogue Workshop 6. Final Workshop – Group decision making 7. Feedback Workshop (2 hours) 07/29/13 10
  • 11. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Students‘ reactions (online) • (1) I really liked the round in which we introduced ourselves since one could get to know the other participants and what they expect form the course. [..] Later, the exercise in which we shared in small teams about features of good communication – in my view contributed much to learning about the various perspectives regarding this topic. • (2) The second unit was started very actively as we played a ball- game in which we tried to recall our names. I liked it very much and it was effective since afterwards …. The exercise on active listening in 3 phases and the reflection in the plenum was very interesting and revealing. Even though we as students had known each other only for a short time, we shared experiences and themes that occupy one’ mind and that otherwise tend to be shared only with good friends. The experience of being listened to actively when sharing something personal is really very positive and motivates one to share even more and to fully subscribe to the conversation.” 07/29/13 11
  • 12. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Students‘ reactions (online) •(3 - enconter) According to my taste, this unit was a bit too “open”. … For the next time I’d prefer exercises in small groups because, personally, I can benefit more from the small groups than from the conversations in the plenum. •(3) Although I was kind of skeptical in the beginning, already after a short time I joined the process as an active listener and also as a speaker. •(3) It was also intriguing to see how the opinions between teacher candidates and computer scientists differed. Moreover I appreciated to hear the view of someone who already had some real work experience. •(3) I found the different views fascinating and many of them opened up a new view in me and lead to new ideas. In any case, this unit was a great enrichment. 07/29/13 12
  • 13. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Students‘ reactions (online) • (4) I liked today’s unit very much. For me it was highly interesting to talk to a young graduate, who already started to teach, about teacher education and to close up this topic. • (5) This time I didn’t talk so much to give more space to my colleagues. This is also why I missed to express how important a constructive atmosphere is. So let me say that this is the first time at the University that I have the feeling to be able to address issues during a course that occupy me or are of concern to me. Furthermore I experienced how nice it feels to be in an environment where all respect one another and collaborate. You know, in other courses I keep back a lot more in order to say something that doesn’t fit in and would be evaluated negatively by the professors. [..] In particular, in my view the ability to create a trustful atmosphere is essential in the context of school education, because otherwise one can’t trust to be oneself in the group and to try something new. • (5) What I liked best was the exercise in small groups to dialogue about how men and women could understand each other better. 07/29/13 13
  • 14. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Students‘ reactions (online) • (6) I found our dialogue about ”study and work“ highly interesting and realized, again, how strongly we grew together as a group during the whole course. Participants indeed shared personal experiences and let us participate in parts of their private lives. This is something very nice for me and I hope that all of us will stay in contact somehow even if this course is coming more or less to an end now. • (6) Our feeling of community, the growing together of so different people is gigantic! I have never experienced something like this so far. I liked it very much that, on the whole, we understand one another so well. 07/29/13 14
  • 15. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies Challenges • Strategies on how to achieve and assess course goals and how to motivate others. • How to capture and transmit Blended Learning wisdom? – Staff development – Presence at conferences, international-projects. Journals – International courses, curricula, materials Discuss: First step towards international cooperation; virtual community: PCA/HE:
  • 16. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies 07/29/13 16 Thank you for your participation! • Each perspective is welcome.
  • 17. 29. Juli 2013 17 Significant Learning “We know ... that the initiation of such learning rests not upon the teaching skills of the leader, not upon scholarly knowledge of the field, not upon curricular planning, not upon use of audiovisual aids, not upon the programmed learning used, not upon lectures and presentations, not upon an abundance of books, though each of these might at one time or another be utilized as an important resource. No, the facilitation of significant learning rests upon certain attitudinal qualities that exist in the personal relationship between the facilitator and the learner." (Rogers, 1983, S. 121);
  • 18. © University of Vienna, CSLEARN – Educational Technologies 07/29/13 18 Basic Nature of the Human Being • It will be evident that another implication of the view I have been presenting is that the basic nature of the human being, when functioning freely, is constructive and trustworthy. For me this is an inescapable conclusion from a quarter-century of experience in psychotherapy. When we are able to free the individual from defensiveness, so that he is open to the wide range of his own needs, as well as the wide range of environmental and social demands, his reactions may be trusted to be positive, forward- moving, constructive. We do not need to ask who will socialize him, for one of his own deepest needs is for affiliation and communication with others. As he becomes more fully himself, he will become more realistically socialized. Rogers, 1961, p. 194 • Proposed reasoning: Actualization is in the direction of co- actualization and it is a relational process.