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Pedagogical Pattern Collector software tool Dejan Ljubojevic and Diana Laurillard London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, London, UK Introduction This paper describes one of the key strands of the three-‐year ESRC/EPSRC funded, research project titled Learning Design Support Environment (LDSE http://www.ldse.org.uk). One of the principal strategies adopted by the LDSE project is to enable teachers to build on the work of others by providing the support tools to assist them in finding, interpreting, evaluating, and, reusing/redesigning the work of their colleagues. Operationalising that strategy requires a way of representing the theory and practice of learning design so that the analytical links, between the pedagogical first principles and the practice-‐instances, are exposed and offered to practitioners as support. The Pedagogical Pattern Collector (PPC) tool is a proposal for operationally modelling design, abstraction, and interpretation of pedagogical patterns. Underpinning the design of the PPC is the Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2002). The Conversational Framework (CF) offers analytical means for dissecting any approach to teaching and learning (teaching and learning conversation) and is not value-‐laden, that is, it does not prescribe, or favour, any one approach. Background The appeal of establishing a successful model for reuse (of ideas, approaches, processes, and products), in any domain, is at least twofold. Firstly it serves to optimally mobilise the domain’s resources: the existing aggregate of materials, solutions and tools, and its workforce – by reducing the doubling of effort and therefore the cost. Secondly, through this optimised mobilisation it leads to sharing and evolution of the best practices, and ultimately innovation. The crucial prerequisite for building a successful model for reuse in any domain is a solid foundation of conceptions about a domain-‐intrinsic unit of reuse that are shared across the stakeholder groups. These generic criteria when applied to the domain of learning design do not read all that comfortably. On one hand the optimisation of teaching effort and resourcing is demanded by the significant changes in HE in the UK and globally (HEFCE, 2006; HEFCE-OLTF, 2011; D. Laurillard & Masterman, 2009), and on the other hand, the prerequisite for that optimisation, the shared conception about the unit of reuse, is absent despite significant effort (Grainne Conole & Jones, 2010; Isobel Falconer, Janet Finalay, & Fincher, 2011; LAMS). Often cited reasons for this absence of shared conceptions about the unit of reuse inside the teaching and learning domain are the disciplinary and/or institutional idiosyncrasies, as well as the technical interoperability issues, such as granularity of focus, that are hard to overcome. And yet, other domains, of at least equal complexity, such as: engineering, medicine, music etc., have successfully overcome this ‘shared conception’ hurdle. This conceptualisation problem (the elusive answer to the question ‘what are we talking about when 1
talking teaching and learning?’) is in the way of the theoretical and practical progress in the field. This is manifested in the way the field’s capacity to innovate is plagued by the lack of the foundation for the exchange of ideas, models, tools, materials etc. It is important to note that the ‘foundation for exchange’ does not pertain to the much researched ‘interoperability’ issue, but to the way the pedagogical content of the learning design is made explicit for the practitioners, and the designers alike, to help them interpret and consequently reuse designs across the disciplinary, institutional, and individual-‐practice boundaries. What is, and what is not a Pedagogical Design Pattern? The Pedagogical Design Pattern (PDP) captures the generic description of the pedagogical essence, the epistemic property, of a piece of learning design that successfully achieves the learning outcome it was designed for; it describes the mechanisms of students’ ‘coming to know’. This description is systematised by the use of the 5 cognitive activities from Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2002), these are: acquisition, inquiry, discussion, practice, and, production. Each teaching-‐learning activity statement in the PDP description is assigned one of these categories, and composites are enabled by the use of Segments that aggregate two or more statements (and their cognitive activity assignees) to describe more complex design structures. The operational choice of Conversational Framework taxonomy is not mandatory, that is the pattern representations inside the PPC are loosely coupled with Laurillard’s taxonomy, and this is potentially a very appealing feature… The most successful designs are not those that try to fully model the domain in which they operate, but those that are ``in alignment with the fundamental structure of that domain, and that allow for modification and evolution to generate new structural coupling. (Winograd & Flores, 1986, pp 53) For example, the patterns inside the PPC browser are presently classified using Bloom’s Taxonomy (Bloom, 1956), and can be (additionally) (re)classified using Kolb’s Learning Cycle (Kolb, 1984). Similarly, the present operational design, underpinned by the Conversational Framework (Laurillard, 2002) classification of the learner cognitive activities, can be substituted with learning activities taxonomy (Conole, 2007) with operational integrity intact. This would serve to capture wider audience that may have particular preference in this regard. All other aspects of the learning design are underplayed (not omitted) in our approach, to allow for high interpretability of the epistemic content of the design by the potential reuser. Other aspects of the learning design that also lend themselves to design pattern approach are: curricular (one curricular design pattern example is an instance from the Spiral Curriculum family, called Simplifying Conditions Methodology from Elaboration Theory – (Reigeluth, 1999)), and, logistic (one logistic design pattern example is an instance from the Role Play family, called Jigsaw Pattern -‐ (Grainne Conole, McAndrew, & Dimitriadis, 2010)). 2
Pedagogical Pattern Collector The Pedagogical Pattern Collector (PPC) is online software tool (tinyurl.com/ldsepatterns) with three distinct stages: browser, designer, and, abstractor, corresponding respectively to identification/adoption, designing/adaption, and, abstraction of teaching practice. Two typical use case scenarios of the way the PPC is used are depicted in the Figure 1. Figure 1 – Two typical use case scenarios of the PPC use Use Case I – Adopt and Adapt existing Pedagogical Design Pattern The browser (Stage 1 in Figure 1) is used for searching through the repository of learning outcomes and the associated pedagogical design patterns. When the user identifies the potentially suitable pattern (Stage 1 in Figure 1), the browser aids interpretation by providing up to 3 instance examples for each pattern from as disparate disciplines as possible. Furthermore, the browser also allows the user to input their own instantiation parameters into the pattern. This marks the end of the Adoption phase; the adopted pattern is then imported into the design area (Stage 2 in Figure 1) and the user can edit the whole pattern to adapt it to their specific requirements. This Use Case ends with the reuser either exporting the design in an XML format that can be potentially ‘played’, pending the development of the PPC player, or printing out the textual description of the design. Use Case II – Express own teaching practice and generalise for others to reuse The design editor (Stage A in Figure 1) is used for designing the user’s own teaching instance. When the design stage is complete the design is migrated to the Abstractor (Stage B in Figure 1), which offers the tools for abstracting a design instance into a generic design pattern. Use Case II ends with the PPC sending the email to the research team with the complete materials (including: design instance description of pedagogy, sequence, timings, and tools and 3
resources, and the designer’s generalisation recommendation), so that the newly created instance can be inserted into the repository of PPC patterns. Figure 2 – the browser part of the PPC Figure 3 – the designer part of the PPC 4
Figure 4 – the abstractor part of the PPC Suggested activities for the workshop The two use cases described earlier could be used in the session to allow the participants to evaluate the PPC tool. References Bloom, B. S. (Ed.). (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals, Handbook 1 Cognitive Domain. New York: David MvKay Co. Inc. Conole, G. (2007). Describing learning activities: tools and resources to guide practice. In H. Beetham & R. Sharpe (Eds.), Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age: Designing and Delivering E-Learning. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Conole, G., & Jones, C. (2010). Sharing practice, problems and solutions for institutional change. In P. Goodyear & S. Relatis (Eds.), Technology- Enhanced Learning: Design Patterns and Pattern Languages. Technology Enhanced Learning (Vol. 2, pp. 277–296): Sense Publishers. Conole, G., McAndrew, P., & Dimitriadis, Y. (2010). The role of CSCL pedagogical patterns as mediating artefacts for repurposing Open Educational Resources. In F. Pozzi & D. Persico (Eds.), Techniques for Fostering Collaboration in Online Learning Communities: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives. Hershey, USA: IGI Global. HEFCE. (2006). Strategic Plan 2006-11 Higher Education Funding Council for Englando. Document Number) HEFCE-‐OLTF. (2011). Collaborate to Compete: Seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education (HEFCE o. Document Number) Isobel Falconer, Janet Finalay, & Fincher, S. (2011). Representing practice: practicve models, patterns, bundles... Learning Media and Technology, 36(2), 101-‐127. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-‐Hall. LAMS. Learning Activity Management System. from http://lamsfoundation.org/ Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies (2nd ed.). London: RoutledgeFalmer. Laurillard, D., & Masterman, E. (2009). TPD as online collaborative learning for innovation in teaching. In O. Lindberg & A. D. Olofsson (Eds.), Online Learning Communities and Teaching Professional Development: Methods for Improved Educational Delivery. Berlin: Springer. Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). The Elaboration Theory: Guidance for Scope and Sequence Decisions . In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-Design Theories and Models: A New Paradigm of Instructional Theory, vol. II. (pp. 425-‐453). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Winograd, T., & Flores, F. (1986). Understanding Computers and Cognition. Norwood, NJ.: Ablex Corporation. 5