MA Academic Practice | HEPP7001 Foundations of Academic Practice Key ideas on teaching to support learning in higher education 12 th January, Carlisle; 13 th January, Lancaster Caroline Marcangelo, Programme Leader Simon Allan, Module Tutor
Underpinning approaches Taking a scholarly approach to support teaching for effective learning Theoretical approaches that underpin this programme design and content Frameworks to underpin your own practice Critical reflection on how the programme models these approaches to learning
These ideas include …. Phenomenography & Social Constructivism Constructive Alignment Situated Learning Deep & Surface approaches to learning Threshold Concepts Troublesome Knowledge
Phenomenography This term was coined by Marton following his work with Saljo (1984) looking at student approaches to learning the learners perspective defines what is learnt and the way [s]he sees the world and the teachers role is to alter that perspective of the way the learner sees the world
Social Constructivism Originates with Piaget and Vygotsky Emphasises the students’ construction of meaning and knowledge through what they ‘do’ Focus is on student activity rather than teacher activity As we learn our conceptions of phenomena change Acquisition of information in itself does not bring about the change, but the way we structure that information and think with it does Biggs. J & Tang, C (2007) Teaching for quality learning at university. (3 rd Ed.) Maidenhead, OU Press Entwhistle, N (2009) Teaching for Understanding at University: deep approaches and distinctive ways of thinking . London, Palgrave Macmillan
Activity 1 With a partner Briefly discuss these two philosophies underpinning learning, and how your approach to ‘teaching for student learning’ may relate to the principles – jot down a couple of examples from your experience as a teacher or a learner ….
Diagram of Constructive Alignment Learning outcomes Expressed as verbs that the students have to enact verbs chosen to reflect level Teaching/ learning activities teacher, self or peer controlled as best suits context Assessment tasks evaluate how well outcomes are demonstrated Chapter 4 in Biggs, J & Tan, C. (2007) Teaching for quality learning at University (3 rd Ed) OU Press; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMZA80XpP6Y is also useful
Deep and Surface learning Constructive alignment is highly influential in helping students to adopt a deep approach to their learning As a reminder the following slides summarise what is meant by these terms ‘deep’ and ‘surface’ learning ….
Surface Learning Students focus their attention on the details and information in a lecture or text. They try to memorise individual details in the form they appear in the lecture or text or to list the features of the situation. They do not focus on overall meaning or consider challenging the concepts and discourse. It is of little use to students once they have completed their assessments as it is quickly forgotten and not integrated with their other learning.
Deep Learning Students focus their attention on the overall meaning or message in a lecture, text or situation. They attempt to relate ideas together and construct their own meaning, possibly in relation to their own experience. ‘Facts’ are learnt in the context of meaning and can therefore be challenged through discussion and experience. It is more easily retained as it encourages a broader understanding of the context and means something to the student. Deep learning involves integrating new ideas with existing learning.
Activity 2 With a different partner discuss what may influence the students’ approaches to adopting a surface or deeper approach to learning and how you in your teaching role can manage this
You may have included Deep Motivational context Student activities appropriate to level Student interaction A well-structured knowledge base to enable building up new knowledge Teaching to elicit responses Emphasis on principles and depth of understanding Surface Excessive content Excessive workload Lack of background student knowledge Assessment that encourages or tolerates memorisation Large classes Teacher-focus .
Situated Learning Influenced by Vygotsky & Bruner All learning is context specific Communities of practice, sharing common values, goals, practices, standards Professional knowing: fluid, mobile, nuanced
Threshold Concepts Areas of learning that involve conceptual change rather than incremental adding of knowledge – transformative in terms of understanding of the subject (e.g. care for student health professionals, assessment for learning for trainee teachers) The ‘aha’ moment – seeing the world differently Irreversible – it cannot be ‘unlearned’ Integrative – Acquisition of threshold concepts illuminate the underlying inter-relatedness of other aspects of the subject Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F. & Smith, J. (eds) (2008) Threshold Concepts within the disciplines. Rotterdam, Sense Publishers
Troublesome Knowledge Conceptually difficult (threshold concepts) Ritual – meaningless and routine Inert – difficult to transfer into meaningful situations Foreign – too far removed from what is known Tacit – deeply embedded and difficult to articulate Perkins, D (2007) Theories of difficulty. In N. Entwistle & P Tomlinson (eds) Student learning and university teaching. Leicester: British Psychological Society
Pulling these ideas together At your tables Recap on the principles and ideas we have discussed this morning and then Construct a ‘mind map’ of how they interact, and some of the teaching and learning activities you have experienced that exemplify the ideas.
Standing back and looking in How have the methods we have used so far in this workshop been congruent with these various theories and principles? Building up knowledge Creating links, looking for relevance to contexts Social interaction to explore and clarify concepts Modelling practice