Skinner and Jenkins: Inspiring And Enquiring
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Skinner and Jenkins: Inspiring And Enquiring

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Presented by E Skinner and M Jenkins at the LTEA Conference 2008 (University of Sheffield), this paper reviews a case study of providing scaffolding and support to Level One students in a group work ...

Presented by E Skinner and M Jenkins at the LTEA Conference 2008 (University of Sheffield), this paper reviews a case study of providing scaffolding and support to Level One students in a group work activity to encourage active engagement.

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    Skinner and Jenkins: Inspiring And Enquiring Skinner and Jenkins: Inspiring And Enquiring Presentation Transcript

    • Inspiring and Enquiring Elisabeth Skinner Martin Jenkins University of Gloucestershire
      • Some students prefer scribing (McAlpine 2004)
      • EBL threatens low confidence …. poor independent learning
      • EBL builds confidence …. strengthens independent learning
      • Capacity building or personal development does not occur before participation but through participation (Warburton 1998:33)
      • Build confidence before EBL? X
      • Build confidence through EBL? 
    • The Focus of this Paper
      • Persuading students to take part despite low confidence
      • Providing support to maintain motivation
      • Because the rewards (growing confidence) are great
    • The Case Study
      • Level One: Town and country planning
      • 64 students = 23 campus + 41 distance
      • EBL activity in groups: investigating a chosen planning application found online
      • Vehicle for both learning and assessment over nine weeks
    • Inspiring
      • ‘ Engagement’ is to “ gain the full attention of students ” (McAlpine 2004:126)
        • Ensure relevance
        • Create excitement
      • Design an activity that is “ so enticing, so intriguing, and so marvelous (sic) that [students] really do not want to miss out on it ” (Bender 2003:47)
      • Choices: groups, application, assessment
    • Support: Information and Practice
      • “ Instructional responsibility in relation to practice is to provide a learning environment in which there is both structure and formative feedback since the two are supportive of a deep approach to learning ” (McAlpine 2004:129)
      • Course materials (print and online)
      • Clear instructions with assignment checklist
      • F2F classes
      • Learning activities
    • Support: Practice and Feedback
      • WebCT discussion group with teacher presence and feedback
      • Campus class groupwork with teacher help and feedback
      • Group as learning community with mutual support
    • Evaluation
      • Observing attendance online and in class
      • Mid-point survey of campus class only
      • Standard end-of-module evaluation
      • Assessed 300 word individual reflection
    • Support for independence
      • Inspired to work independently
        • 7/10 distance groups
        • 3/6 campus groups
      • Slow starters
        • 3/6 campus groups (absent students, waiting for deadline)
        • 3/10 distance groups (absent students, online decisions difficult)
      • Five mid point drop outs
      • Pressures for all students
      • Groupwork
        • 25% de-motivating
        • 75% motivating
    • Inspiring independent learning
      • Mid-point survey
        • 70% inspired, engaged
        • 50% fun
      • End-of-module evaluation
        • 4 out of 5 median score for developing new skills, extending learning, opportunities for independent learning, enjoyment
    • Marks
      • 2008 59 students
        • average mark 64%
        • 25% 70+
      • 2006 48 students
        • Average mark 57%
        • 15% 70+
    • Assessed reflection
      • One student critical of the EBL activity
      • Problems with groupwork
      • Sense of excitement and inspiration
      • “ I found this project both exciting and challenging. We picked a complex application …. and I learned a great deal. I enjoyed the challenge immensely and my motivation stayed high during the task.” (Distance learner)
    • Assessed reflection
      • “ This assignment was a good way to see exactly how the planning system works; it is hard to understand when you’re just being told about it, so it was easier to understand when looking at it in terms of a specific application in a more practical set-up.” (Campus student)
      • Extensive learning
      • Explicit comments on growth of confidence through knowledge and skills
      • “ I am naturally a nosy, inquisitive person and love being given the chance to find out about anything, particularly something as important as housing and associated laws. I enjoyed the task and think that it was a successful method of getting students to do their own research into what a planning application involves.”
      • (Campus student)
      • Students went the extra mile – investigations online and on the ground
    • Tentative conclusions
      • Provided stimulating, relevant activity with choices
      • Provided support online and in class to maintain motivation
      • Consider role of groupwork and individuals in groups
      • Inspired the majority of students to engage to help students grow in confidence
    • References
      • Bender, T. (2003) Discussion-based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning (Virginia, Stylus Publishing)
      • McAlpine L (2004) Designing learning as well as teaching: A research-based model for instruction that emphasizes learner practice, in Active Learning in Higher Education Vol 5, Issue 2 July 2004 pp119-134
      • Salmon, G. (2000) E-moderating: the key to teaching and learning online (London, Kogan Page.)