Teacher-led Inquiry and Learning Design: The Virtuous Circle.POSITION PAPERUniversity students as co-designers of inquiry-...
require their active role in authentic contexts, involves knowledge constructionprocesses and triggers reflection and deep...
among students and also provide key elements and opportunities to guide teacherintervention. However, there are still few ...
practices are addressed to. A mixed approach (quantitative and qualitative) will beused for data collection, analysis and ...
and processes of design for learning. In             to teaching and students’ approaches toBeetham. H. and Sharpe, R. (Ed...
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Position paper garcia_gros


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The purpose of this paper is to present a research proposal as a response to the need for inquiry on new participatory approaches of learning design in higher education. Learning scenarios are required that better connect with the skills and interests of specific groups of students, both in regard to the methodological strategies and the uses of supporting technological tools proposed

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Position paper garcia_gros

  1. 1. Teacher-led Inquiry and Learning Design: The Virtuous Circle.POSITION PAPERUniversity students as co-designers of inquiry-based learning scenarios:shortening distances between teaching and learningThe purpose of this paper is to present a research proposal as a response to the needfor inquiry on new participatory approaches of learning design in higher education.Learning scenarios are required that better connect with the skills and interests ofspecific groups of students, both in regard to the methodological strategies and theuses of supporting technological tools proposed. In the next pages we expose thearguments of our research approach, drawing on existing literature and proposingintersections among the fields of learning design, participatory design and inquiry-based learning. Our assumption is that it is necessary to rethink the learning designprocesses at the university on the basis of the collaboration between teachers andstudents in the creation of new learning scenarios. These scenarios should empowerstudents in the learning process, through a personal, deep and transversal use oftechnology.The results obtained in various recent studies (Lorenzo, Oblinger & Dziuban, 2006,UCL-Cyber Group, 2008; Duart, Gil, Pujol & Castaño, 2008) show that universitystudents, also called digital natives, do not generally incorporate in their academicpractices a mature use of ICT, which improves their learning quality and depth. Ingeneral, the uses of technology are rather basic and directed by teachers throughknowledge transfer activities. It has also been observed that the preferences and skillsfor ICT academic and "intellectual" use vary depending on the students characteristics,under the influence of factors such as the area of study, gender, age, etc. The researchof Kennedy et al. (2006) for instance showed the lack of homogeneity with respect toICT use among first year university students.We have been involved in a R+D national project on the uses of ICT by Spanishuniversity students (Garcia, Gros, Escofet, 2011). Our results confirm those obtained inprevious studies conducted in different countries, showing that although universitystudents may have sufficient digital skills to use ICT in their everyday life, they usethem to a much lesser extent for academic purposes, and this use is often relegatedand restricted to teacher instructions. This fact contradicts the evolution that ICT use isexperiencing in other areas, the increasingly complex digital skills that it represents aswell as different cognitive and social skills that it puts into play.Several authors have referred to the gap between the potential of technology and itsactual exploitation in educational contexts (Conole, Dyke, Oliver, Seale, 2004; Strijbos,Kirschner & Martens, 2004), as well as to the need to provide guidance in the design oflearning, the selection of the right tools and how to use them from certain pedagogicalapproaches (Conole, Oliver, Falconer, Littlejohn & Harvey, 2007; Conole, 2008).From our perspective, inquiry-based learning can contribute to improving learningthrough the use of technology enhanced environments, providing a stronger linkbetween the use of technology in informal situations and its use with learning purposes.The approach of learning through inquiry is a broad label that covers variouspedagogical approaches but all of them have in common the student in the role ofresearcher, providing him a greater control and responsibility in the learning process.Learning through inquiry represents a significant contribution to the experience ofuniversity students as it provides situations that stimulate their ability to solve problems,
  2. 2. require their active role in authentic contexts, involves knowledge constructionprocesses and triggers reflection and deep learning. However, teaching from thisapproach is not easy. Research on this topic (Ellis. et al, 2005; Ellis & Goodyear, 2010)indicates that teachers need support in the design and implementation of this kind oflearning activities.Several authors (Reigeluth, 1999; Ellis & Goodyear, 2010) have argued that althougheducation has always involved planning and design, the need to invest efforts in thesystematic design that clearly and constantly establishes and guides student activity,may be especially high in networked learning situations. On the other hand, Trigwell etal. (2000) state that in order to achieve the implementation of academic knowledge inreal practice, teachers need to be informed of the theoretical perspectives of learningand teaching, reflect on their practice through systematic research, present their resultsto their peers, etc. This will create a breakthrough in understanding how to achievedeep learning (Kreber, 2003; Trigwell & Shale, 2004).Although the initial focus of “learning design” was on learning objects, in recent years,its attention has shifted to learning activities, their description, parameterization andrepresentation (Conole, 2008). In this sense, the design of the scenarios (includingsocio-cultural, pedagogical approach and learning objects) in which these activities willbe developed allows to elicit learning processes intended to be facilitated andpromoted among students. The field of learning design or “design for learning” hasdeveloped in recent years and now offers as a good set of tools, systems, patterns andmodels (McAndrew & Goodyear, 2007; Masterman & Vogel, 2007; Craft, Brock & Mor,2012) that can empower teachers to design scenarios that provide richer learningexperiences.Participatory design methods, also named co-design, have been used in the last yearsin the educational domain. Those experiences have typically involved teachers,researchers and developers as partners in educational innovation processes. Co-design has often implied participation in the design and deployment of technologicaltools aimed at supporting learning processes (Mor & Winters, 2006; Roschelle, Penuel,& Schechtman, N., 2006; Penuel, Roschelle & Schechtman, 2007). In the co-designmethod active and joint participation of different actors enables the traceability and theinterpretation of the phenomena associated with the use of certain methodologies andtechnological tools. It is usually based on teachers’ active participation in the process ofthe innovation design, as well as in its implementation and ongoing evaluation in dailypractice. This procedure ensures the connection and orchestration of theory, models ofpractice, tools and participants perceptions.Taking as its fundamental point of reference the needs of the stakeholders, the co-design method retains many similarities with the approach of student-centeredlearning. This approach recognizes the "student voice" to their circumstances, abilities,interests, learning style, etc. as a focus and starting point for the design of learningsituations. It proposes further responsibility and active engagement of the student fortheir own learning.In recent years, different authors have proposed methodologies in which students andteachers participate in "co-generative" talks, aimed at sharing their perspectives andjointly reflect on how to improve the practice of teaching and learning (Roth, Lawless &Tobin, 2000). More recently, direct involvement of students as learning "co-designers"has started to be explored in different educational contexts (Scanlon et al., 2009;Könings, Brand-Gruwel & van Merriënboer, 2011; Cameron & Gotlieb, 2009; Cameron& Tanti, 2011). Some results show that this approach can promote deeper learning
  3. 3. among students and also provide key elements and opportunities to guide teacherintervention. However, there are still few studies addressing the effects of thisapproach in higher education. Moreover, some of these studies have found differentpoints of tension that may hinder the co-design process (Penuel, Roschelle &Schechtman, 2007; Scanlon et. al, 2009; Brand-Gruwel & van Merriënboer, 2011). Onthe other hand, students’ involvement is often limited to specific workshops and notallowed along the whole design process.We believe that co-design processes participated by teachers, students andresearchers may have a positive impact both in enhancing student engagement inlearning and in improving teachers understanding about learning and teachingprocesses. The results obtained in research-based teaching and learning activities andprojects have been promising (Neary & Winn, 2011; Wieman, 2004; Brew, 2006). Butalthough the literature comprises a range of rationales for students’ participation incurriculum design, there is still little systematic evaluation on its real impact andspecific dynamics (Bovill, Morss & Bulley, 2009).Our proposal aims to make progress in the research about methodologies based oninquiry learning processes with technological support in higher education. The purposeis to study the application of a model based on inquiry pedagogy to generate learningscenarios in universities that can be adapted to different training contexts and studentprofiles. These scenarios, generated from a co-design process involving teachers,students and researchers, will be based on a more mature, self-managed andcomprehensive use of technology, in order to allow the intersection of different contextsand activities in which students develop learning processes.The project intends to contrast the proposed learning scenarios with students’ actualinterests and learning perceptions. It is also the purpose of the research to developtools and patterns that support the representation and the explanation of the designs.Acting as mediating artifacts among participants those patterns and tools could scaffoldthe co-design process (Scanlon et al., 2009) and at the same time facilitate the sharingof the design scenarios and its transference to other areas (Mor & Winters, 2006). Thespecific objectives of the project have been formulated as follows:1) To study and propose the inquiry based model to inform the design of new learning scenarios in the university, identifying the elements that allow its adaptation to different contexts of practice and student profiles.2) To develop and analyze a co-design strategy of learning scenarios involving, as a key players, teachers, students and researchers.3) To design and analyze learning scenarios based on a deep, transversal and autonomous ICT use by students.4) To propose and use tools and patterns to represent and explain the co-design process and the resulting scenarios, so that they can be shared, repurposed and reused by other teachers.5) To validate and systematize the inquiry-based learning model used as well as the instruments developed and the proposed design strategy.The study will apply the methodology of design-based research as the mostappropriate and consistent with the project theoretical framework and the set researchgoals. The design of the investigation is iterative, situated, and led to the interventionbut underpinned by theory. Research is not defined by the methodology (quantitative orqualitative) but by its object, which is essentially to explain and to support a process ofchange. The object of study is therefore the very process of designing the learningscenarios, taking as key agents both the teachers and the students to whom those
  4. 4. practices are addressed to. A mixed approach (quantitative and qualitative) will beused for data collection, analysis and interpretation.We believe that this research proposal can contribute in different ways to the field oflearning design by providing a new insight on participatory design processes based onteacher and student led inquiry.ReferencesBovill, C.; Morss, K and Bulley, C. (2009) Should de Internet en Educación Superior. Barcelona:students participate in curriculum design? Ariel.Discussion arising from a first year curriculumdesign project and a literature review. Ellis, R, Marcusw, G; Taylor, R (2005). LearningPedagogical Research in Maximising Education, through inquiry : student difficulties with online3 (2). pp. 17-25. course-based Material. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21, pp. 239-252Brew, A. (2006) Research and teaching: beyondthe divide. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Ellis, R. and Goodyear, P. (2010). Students’ experiences of elearning in higher education.Cameron, L. and Tanti, M. (2011) Students as The ecology of sustainable innovation. New Yorklearning designers: Using social media to sca! and London: Routledgeold the experience. eLearning Papers, 27.http://www.elearningeuropa.info/en/article/Stude Garcia, I; Gros, B. Escofet, A. (2011). Newnts-aslearning- learning cultures in higher education: what candesigners%3A--Using-social-media-to-scaffold- we learn from students’ informal use oftheexperience technology. Online Educa Berlin 2011. 17th International Conference on TechnologyCameron, L. and Gotlieb, C. (2009). Students Supported Learning and Training: 30 novemberParticipating in the Learning Design Process – 2 December, Berlin,Using LAMS. In L. Cameron and J. Dalziel(Eds), Proceedings of the 4th International Kennedy, G., Krause, K.-L., Gray, K., Judd, T.,LAMS Conference 2009: Opening Up Learning Bennett, S., Maton, K., Dalgarno, B. and Bishop,Design., pp. 40-47. 3-4th December. 2009, A. (2006). Questioning the Net Generation: ASydney: LAMS Foundation. collaborative project in Australian higherhttp://lamsfoundation.org/lams2009sydney/CD/p education. In L.Markauskaite, P. Goodyear anddfs/03_Cameron.pdf P. Reimann (Eds.), Who’s learning? Whose technology? Proceedings of the 23rd AnnualConole, G., Dyke, M., Oliver, M. and Seale, J. Conference of the Australiasian Society for(2004) Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (pp.learning design. Computers and Education, 43, 413-417). Sydney: Sydney University Press.17–33. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/sydney06 /proceeding/pdf_papers/p160.pdf.Conole, G., Oliver, M., Falconer, I., Littlejohn, A.,and Harvey, J. (2007). Designing for learning. In Könings, K. D., Brand-Gruwel, S., & VanG. Conole and M. Oliver (Ed.), Contemporary Merriënboer, J. J. G. (2011). Participatoryperspectives in e-learning research: Themes, instructional redesign by students and teachersmethods and impact on practice (Open and in secondary education: effects on perceptionsDistance Learning Series). Routledge Falmer. of instruction. Instructional Science, 39(5), 737– 762.Conole, G. (2008). Capturing Practice: The Roleof Mediating Artefacts in Learning Design. In Kreber, C. (2003). The scholarship of teaching:Lockyer, L.; Bennett, S.; S. Agostinho, and B A comparison of conceptions held by expertsHarper (Eds) Handbook of Research on and regular academic staff. Higher Education,Learning Design and Learning Objects: Issues, 46(1), 93-121.Applications and Technologies,187‐207, HerseyPA: IGI Global. Lorenzo, G., Oblinger, D. and Dziuban, C. (2006). How choice, cocreation, and culture areCraft, Brock and Mor, Yishay (2012). Learning changing what it means to be net savvy.Design: reflections on a snapshot of the current Educause Quarterly, 30(1).landscape. Research in Learning Technology (In http://connect.educause.edu/Library/EDUCAUSpress). E+Quarterly/HowChoiceCoCreationandCul/4000 8.Duart, J. M., Gil, M., Pujol, M. i Castaño, J.(2008). La universidad en la sociedad red. Usos Masterman, L. and Vogel, M. (2007). Practices
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