Using technologies for authentic learning


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Presentation at CISCO African Networking Academy Safari 2012

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  • Radical change Is needed in the design and delivery of teaching if HEIs are to be ‘fit for purpose’ for the 21st Century (Bates & Sangra, 2011:4)‘Recognizing the fact that learning is a lifelong process that occurs naturally outside of the classroom, designers are advised to designopportunities for activities that allow learners to engage with course-related topics outside of the classroom. Such activities should occur in open-ended learning environments that allow for learner flexibility, self-direction, and student-centered control of learning (Land & Hannafin,1996), to accommodate learner interests. For instance, introducing learners to communities of practice should be an integral part of higher education curricula’. Veletsianos, 2011)‘transformative learning experiences cannot be “imposed” on learners. Parrish and Wilson (this issue) make a similar argument when they claim that “deeper forms of learning can’t just be made to happen; they are invited, and encouraged, and facilitated. Experience, after all is largely a subjective thing – it’s how real people encounter their worlds, not how they should respond or what the materials are meant to do to them.” This paper is grounded on a similar premise, as technology has been described as an agent of change, as a way to provideopportunities for transformation while sculpting pedagogical practice. Second, since it is not possible to construct transformative experiences but, to provide opportunities for transformation, these learning experiences are bound to encompass unknown outcomes. In other words, the outcomes associated with these opportunities may or may not be transformational. Consequently, the outcomes of opportunities for transformation do not lend themselves well to being evaluated using pre-defined objectives. An added complexity relates to the definition of the term transformation as a personally fulfilling and meaningful outcome. If transformation is a personalized, it is difficult to assess it based on pre-established guidelines. Indeed, individualized assessment may be the only meaningful approach available to evaluate transformative learning.’ (Velestianos,2011)
  • Parry, W., “School orders students to remove blogs”. USA Today, 26/10/2005. Downloaded from: over-adoption of tools can lead to what has been termed ‘creepy tree house’ syndrome (Stein 2008) when authority is seen to try and invade a young person's social space. There is strong resistance from students to universities and lecturers making formal use of social networks as this is seen as an invasion of their social space (e.g. Madge 2009). When parents and professors start inhabiting these spaces it creates a role conflict (Selwyn 2009) for students, as they struggle to know which face to present and find their communication stifled. These tools may have significant potential for learning, but students don't want them to become the next LMS: organisationally controlled, bland and singular in focus (i.e. teaching). For the teaching function of scholarship then the question is ‘How can educators utilise the potential of these tools without destroying what makes them valuable to students?’ Weller,2011:
  • Using technologies for authentic learning

    1. 1. Teaching skills: How to develop and keepthe momentum goingUsing technologies for authentic learningDaniela Gachago, Educational Technology Unit, FundaniVeronica Barnes, Industrial Design, Faculty of Informatics and DesignCape Peninsula University of Technology
    2. 2. What is your biggestchallenge when itcomes to yourstudents’ learning?-> discuss with the person next to you (BUZZ)
    3. 3. Word cloud of participants responses
    4. 4. New generation of students…• My computer is the nucleus of my workspace• When I need information I go online• Besides IM or email my cell phone is my primary method of communication• I’m usually juggling five things at once• My attention span is very small• I want instant gratification• I get bored very easily Oblinger 2008
    5. 5. Lack of class participation Lack of student engagementUnder-preparedness Linking theory and practice Graduate attributes / 21st century skills? How to make learning relevant?????
    6. 6. Trends Horizon Report 2012 Johnson et al. 2012
    7. 7. What staff are using…
    8. 8. What are students using?
    9. 9. How do webridge the gap?
    10. 10. Flipped classroom
    11. 11. Anton Thiart, Civil Engineering Link to video
    12. 12. Clickers
    13. 13. Mazur Sequence“You can forget facts but you cannot forget understanding” Prof. Eric Mazur, Harvard
    14. 14. First year Business students: Intercultural communication class
    15. 15. First year Business students: Intercultural communication class
    17. 17. Authentic learning• Main authors: Jan and Anthony Herrington, Christopher Reeves• Origins: University of Wollongong, Australia• Critique for current HE – prevalence of academic, de- contextualised exercises, that make it difficult for students to transfer the knowledge from formal education into their future workplace
    18. 18. Authentic learning• Learning where students are situated in authentic learning contexts and where they are exposed to learning activities that are as close as possible to problems they will encounter in their real world professional context• ‘centred on rich, real-world, immersive and engaging tasks’ (Herrington & Herrington, 2006: x)
    19. 19. Authentic learning dimensions1. Authentic contexts2. Authentic activities3. Access to expert performances4. Multiple roles and perspectives5. Collaboration6. Opportunities for reflection7. Opportunities for articulation – authentic audience8. Coaching and scaffolding9. Authentic assessment Herrington and Herrington 2006
    20. 20. Lecturer: “The best thing a film where two students had gone toNewlands Forest: they literally walked until they found the burrto film. Previously you would get a diagram and later you couldshow students a burr and ask them what that is and theywouldn’t know…because the disconnect between the diagramand the actual thing was huge... but for this project they actuallywent out into a forest and found one on a tree ... they will neverforget what that is.” Student B: “Actually researching it ourselves and then almost going through the process physically you learn a lot better sometimes especially the way people learn differently - sometimes you learn better like that and actually physically understanding what a season is for example as opposed to you writing up an essay about that. ”
    21. 21. Student A : “The whole time in the production of themovie you will have the idea that the whole class is goingto see it so it’s from a different perspective than sayyou’re writing an essay just for one lecture… so you’remuch more involved and intrigued and I think thats whatmakes it fun and to have the response of the classafterwards.”Student B: “I just wanted to say is something that I thinkyou have the audience in mind throughout the productionwhich made it a little bit different than your essay”
    22. 22. Development of portable skills• The judgment to distinguish reliable from unreliable information• The patience to follow longer arguments• The synthetic ability to recognize relevant patterns in unfamiliar contexts• The flexibility to work across disciplinary and cultural boundaries to generate innovative solutions Lombardi and Oblinger 2007
    23. 23. 2011 CPUT graduate attributes• Our students should be 1. Technologically adept both in the ability to use technology and in the capacity to apply knowledge in real life issues 2. Eminently employable because they have a solid disciplinary knowledge base and the capabilities to apply this knowledge 3. Socially responsive in the sense that they should be aware of the important social issues in SA and be able to apply their knowledge and skills to address social needs 4. Innovative in their thinking and actions 5. Environmentally conscious.
    24. 24. • Educational researchers have found that students involved in authentic learning are motivated to persevere despite initial disorientation or frustration, as long as the exercise simulates what really counts— the social structure and culture that gives the discipline its meaning and relevance. The learning event essentially encourages students to compare their personal interests with those of a working disciplinary community: “Can I see myself becoming a member of this culture? What would motivate me? What would concern me? How would I work with the people around me? How would I make a difference?” Lombardi and Oblinger 2007, 4
    25. 25. How authentic is thecurrent CISCOcurriculum?Buzz
    26. 26. Questions?Acknowledgements:Colleagues at Fundani,CPUT lecturers and studentsFor more information visit our blog
    27. 27. References• Herrington, T., & Herrington, J. (2006). Authentic learning environments in Higher Education. Hershey PA: Information Science Publishing.• Johnson, L. (2012). NMC Horizon Project Preview 2012 Higher Education Edition. Higher Education. Retrieved from edition• Lombardi, M. M., & Oblinger, D. G. (2007). Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview. EducauseLearningInitiative. Retrieved from• Oblinger, D. G. (2008). Emerging technologies for learning: Growing up with Google, What it means to education. I Can (Vol. 3). Retrieved from df