OCW Consortium and Optimum Learning

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  • The Guidelines and the way we use them in conjunction with our staff development activities, our assessment policy and course and teaching evaluation activities will form a major part of the UNSW plan.
  • There are three major premises on which the Guidelines are based. Firstly a major reason we are here (or at least getting paid!!) is to help students Learn.
  • Secondly there is a significant research literature on how students learn. Also there is a very large literature on accepted good practice in University Teaching and this is often based on the findings of the research literature.
  • Finally and critically we are a research intensive University and thus our teaching should be informed by research and accepted good practice. However, it is unreasonable to expect all academics to be aware of the Education literature due to our increasingly packed lives.
  • The guidelines are a distillation of that literature that would be generally agreed are the key principles of learning. They will change over time and will be added to and modified but at this point in time these are the 16 Guidelines that the Academic Board has agreed should inform our teaching at UNSW. Not obligatory but hopefully useful for academics that want to improve the learning experience they provide for their students. The really important thing here is how do we make the Guidelines not only useful but used. All to often, such guidelines, manuals and policies simply become words that are perceived as “motherhood” statements. That is Little read, little used. Yet they feature predominantly in portfolios at audit time.
  • OCW Consortium and Optimum Learning

    1. 1. OCWC and optimum learning: Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching Emeritus Professor Adrian Lee Formerly Pro Vice Chancellor (Education) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    2. 2. Goal as PVC at UNSW: To improve teaching Was convinced that a successful research university could also be a successful teaching university
    3. 3. From the beginning my decision was to focus on the student learning experience Hence: “ The Guidelines on Learning”
    4. 4. The basic premise 1: As academics, our task is to help students Learn.
    5. 5. The basic premise 2: There is a significant research literature on how students learn and accepted good practice in University teaching.
    6. 6. The basic premise 3: As we claim to be research intensive institutions should not our teaching be based on this research?
    7. 7. Created a distillation of that literature as “Guidelines on Learning that inform Teaching at UNSW”.
    8. 8. My retirement project http://www.retirevic.com.au/ To work with others to get the Guidelines project to work as originally intended to encourage reflection on our teaching and increase our focus on student learning
    9. 9. Created my own site http://www.guidelinesonlearning.com/
    10. 12. 1. Effective learning is supported when students are actively engaged in the learning process at every stage.
    11. 13. "Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just by sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves." Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z. 1987, " Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education " , AAHE Bulletin, vol. 39, no. 7, Link 
    12. 19. Having to describe an example in our teaching where the Guideline is being taken into account is very active and very powerful.
    13. 20. If we can’t find an example of application of the Guideline, then reflection on “Why not?” and “Would it be useful?” becomes a catalyst for improvement”
    14. 21. So what has this to do with OCWC??
    15. 22. http://web.mit.edu/tll/
    16. 24. The MIT OCW mantra of Unlocking Knowledge and Empowering Minds via this device is a remarkably generous contribution to the world. The decision of MIT to make virtually all course material freely available as OpenCourseWare (OCW) on the web was brilliant.
    17. 25. Equally exciting is the decision of many other universities to join the Open Courseware movement via OCWC. OCW has the potential to transform global education.
    18. 26. But!
    19. 27. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/education/31iht-riedopen.html?ref= technologys
    20. 28. Having the up-to-date, state of the art, information provided by OCW is important but what really counts is how this content is used. Asking students to read some OCW material and then to reproduce the material in an examination is not a great advance.
    21. 29. Having the up-to-date, state of the art, information provided by OCW is important but what really counts is how this content is used. Asking students to read some OCW material and then to reproduce the material in an examination is not a great advance. What is needed is to have strategies likely to improve student learning using OCW content.
    22. 30. <ul><li>Senior government officers willing to support the use of OCW in their country need to reflect on the pedagogy. </li></ul>
    23. 31. <ul><li>Senior government officers willing to support the use of OCW in their country need to reflect on the pedagogy. </li></ul><ul><li>How can one move away from didactic teaching using OCW? This is the challenge. </li></ul>
    24. 32. <ul><li>Senior government officers willing to support the use of OCW in their country need to reflect on the pedagogy. </li></ul><ul><li>How can one move away from didactic teaching using OCW? This is the challenge. </li></ul><ul><li>How best can OCW material be used to enhance the student learning experience? </li></ul>
    25. 33. My thesis: that the Guidelines on Learning website or a similar resource developed within the institution or university system, is one way to encourage lecturers using OCW to move their focus from teaching to learning.
    26. 34. Your turn! You have been given the Toolkit page for one guideline With your partner on either side, discuss examples of activities you have seen used with OCW material that illustrate a Guideline in action. Be prepared to share one example with the group.
    27. 35. Lets hear some examples!
    28. 36. MIT Examples of Putting Learning Guidelines into Practice TEAL (Technology-Enabled Active Learning) TEAL classes are taught in a highly collaborative, hands-on environment, with extensive use of networked laptops and desktop experiments. Lectures, recitations, and laboratories are merged as students work together in teams of three. http://web.mit.edu/8.02t/www/802TEAL3D/teal_tour. htm Dori & Belcher THE JOURNAL OF THE LEARNING SCIENCES, 14(2), 243–279
    29. 38. Lets hear some examples!
    30. 39. MIT Examples of Putting Learning Guidelines into Practice Sample projects: Surveying a lake for millfoil from a remote controlled aircraft, then sending out robotic harvesters to clear the invasive growth Exploration to search for the evidence of life on a moon of Jupiter, with scientists participating through teleoperation and supervisory control of robots. http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Mechanical-Engineering/2-00AJSpring-2009/CourseHome/
    31. 41. Lets hear some examples!
    32. 42. MIT Examples of Putting Learning Guidelines into Practice <ul><li>Students from many backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>A living laboratory for observing, talking about, and practicing communication differences. </li></ul><ul><li>Assignments ask students to reflect on how their ethnic roots have influenced their worldviews, and thus, their communication styles. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are assigned to diverse teams to work on a report and presentation throughout the semester </li></ul>http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Foreign-Languages-and-Literatures/21F-019Spring-2005/CourseHome/index. htm
    33. 44. MIT OCW see the potential of Guidelines
    34. 45. Link to http://www.guidelinesonlearning.com/
    35. 46. What about OCWC? We are currently working on expanding our How To information to create resourceful &quot;toolkits&quot; to assist members in their OCW projects. You can visit our Toolkit page here and you are welcome to collaborate in its development .
    36. 47. Here is the opportunity
    37. 48. This is the place to extend the Guidelines concept Anyone interested in working on this with me please email adrianlee2@mac.com
    38. 49. If you have any to contribute in your discipline please send them to me as a url link or as an attached MsWord file to adrianlee2@mac.com. Exemplars needed particularly from an OCWC course
    39. 50. OCW can make a major contribution to world learning and improving the student experience in universities around the world
    40. 51. But only if more effort is put into strategies of how best to use OCW content to help students learn best

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