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Dialogue Education


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An educational session introducing Dialogue Education in the context of higher education, professional education, and workforce training contexts

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Dialogue Education

  1. 1. Dialogue Education Four Steps to Meaningful and Applied Learning Laura Gogia, MD, PhD Senior Learning Architect | iDesign | | @googleguacamole January 2018
  2. 2. Dialogue Education Developed by Dr. JaneVella in the 1980s, dialogue education is a structured system that evokes spontaneous and creative responses to the open questions in a learning design. Vella, J. (2008). OnTeaching and Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, p.11 JaneVella
  3. 3. Dialogue Education is • an easy-to-grasp framework for learning design • draws from adult learning theories • filled with basic tips and best practices for beginning instructors • structured to ensure a significant amount of active learning, even in content- heavy fields of study
  4. 4. Dialogue Education is not a radical approach to pedagogy (today).
  5. 5. Origins of Dialogue Education Vella “The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is him/herself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow.” – Paulo Freire dialogue Knowles “An essential aspect of maturing is developing the ability to take increasing responsibility for our own lives to become increasingly self-directed.”– Malcolm Knowles Bloom Lewin “Learning is more effective when it is an active rather than a passive process.” – Kurt Lewin “What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn if provided with appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.” – Benjamin Bloom systematic and structured active agency Freire
  6. 6. Why Dialogue Education? Because it offers structure for new designers. • Provides a transitional approach from traditional to active pedagogies for instructors and learners. • It is intuitive for new designers and instructors. • Its structure is flexible – capable of holding a number of different types of learning activities. • It can be applied under content-heavy conditions. • Is not an “all or none” proposition.
  7. 7. Session Objectives • Describe major themes found in the adult education literature related to motivation, retention, and impact. • Use the “4 I’s” of dialogue education (Induction, Input, Implementation, and Integration) to describe how active learning strategies work. • Describe a variety of approaches to implementing the “4 I’s.” • Begin to recognize how passive learning approaches can be optimized or transformed in to active approaches when appropriate. • Begin to create dialogue education-based learning tasks for your contexts.
  8. 8. What motivates you to learn? Add text here.
  9. 9. Themes on motivation in the adult education literature Disorientation or Doubt. Acknowledgement that something is not right. Urgency. Need-to-know-right-now for personal or professional life. Problem-Orientation. As contrasted with content-orientation. Mutual Respect & Validation. Everyone has something to contribute. Relevance. Understanding the “why.” Adult learning scholars (not a comprehensive list, L to R): Jack Mezirow: Transformative Learning | Malcolm Knowles: Adult Learning Theory |Donald Schon: Reflective Practice | Kurt Lewin: Action Learning | Stephen Brookfield: Critically Reflective Practice | Paulo Freire: Critical Pedagogy
  10. 10. How do you learn? Add text here.
  11. 11. Themes on learning design in the literature Experience. Hands-on “doing.” Dialogue. Building knowledge together through discussion and feedback. Problem-Oriented. Applied learning. Authentic. The more realistic or authentically meaningful, the better. Reflective. Part of a bigger planning | action | self-evaluation cycle. Adult learning scholars (not a comprehensive list, L to R): Jack Mezirow: Transformative Learning | Malcolm Knowles: Adult Learning Theory |Donald Schon: Reflective Practice | Kurt Lewin: Action Learning | Stephen Brookfield: Critically Reflective Practice | Paulo Freire: Critical Pedagogy
  12. 12. Structure Structure is the backbone of dialogue education– JaneVella One of the arguments I hear from educators (and students) is that discussion-based learning lacks focus and wastes time. Dialogue Education as described by Jane Vella is highly structured. In her books, she spends significant time discussing the use of ABOs (achievement-based objectives), deadlines, “crisply written” instructions and setting boundaries. Vella describes structure in terms of the seven “F’s.”
  13. 13. FRAME LEARNING INTASKS* Maintain forward movement and learner interest by moving through a series of structured tasks.The tasks are like time containers - designed with a purpose and a set of objectives – but the content within the container is typically constructed by the participants. *More to come.
  14. 14. FOCUSTASKS WITH CONCRETE DEADLINES “It is now 8:00 AM. Let’s reconvene at 8:15 AM to report out the results.”
  15. 15. FREE LEARNERS WITH CRISPLY WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS* Avoid confusion with well-written, actionable instructions: • Before class, READ X. • In class, BE PREPARED to X. • After class, COMPLETE X by due date. *This is not unlike best practices in agenda-writing for meetings.
  16. 16. SET FRANK LIMITATIONS Do not overfill the session with content. It is better for learners to be able to apply and retain a smaller chunk of information than forget everything. Strategies for “too much content, too little time:” • Make supplemental resources searchable and useable. • Organize and annotate resource lists. • Give videos, websites, and articles priority over texts. • Provide links. • If you must provide longer resources, focus with chapters, section headings, or page numbers. • Flipped classrooms. • Learners read, watch, and begin to work with new content on their own; class time is reserved for discussion, providing feedback, workshopping, and other applied learning tasks. • Personal Learning Networks. • Facilitators help learners create personal learning networks that keeps the learning going between and beyond formal learning experiences.
  17. 17. Learning Tasks The dialogue in dialogue education is not between the teacher and the learner but rather among the leaners, of whom the teacher is one.– JaneVella If structure is the backbone of Dialogue Education, the learning tasks are the most obvious manifestation of that structure.
  18. 18. Four Types of Learning Tasks Finding Motivation through Relevance AcquiringContent Knowledge UsingContent Immediately Taking the Content Away from the Classroom Induction Input Implementation Integration
  19. 19. Lecture Reading Observation Peer-Coaching Practicing Reflective Writing Discussion Watching Videos Simulation Which of the following types of learning activities might be appropriate vehicles for Dialogue Education.
  20. 20. The Essence of Dialogue Education Induction Input Implementation Integration Learning tasks are learner tasks. The instructor’s primary role is to ask questions that stimulate the dialogue between students. As we go through the learning tasks and examples, look for places where instructors are asking questions…
  21. 21. Induction Work: Finding the “Why.” We know that making a connection – particularly an affective connection - enhances internal motivation and the likelihood of knowledge retention. Induction tasks are about recognizing and sharing the relevance of the learning.
  22. 22. 1. Will every learner walk in the door understanding why they need to learn this topic? 2. Will every learner’s “relevance” be the same for a given learning experience? Firm no.Firm yes. I’m really not sure. Firm no.Firm yes. I’m really not sure. 1. Mark your reaction to the statement on the triangle. 2. Elaborate on your response in the white space.
  23. 23. What does an educator need to know to help learners establish their “why?” How do they access this information? Add text here. Educators need to know… They access the info by…
  24. 24. Induction Work: Finding the “Why” (and convincing learners that they “why” is real) 1 Learner Needs Analysis (LNA): A short questionnaire or task in which learners describe their needs, motivations, goals, prior knowledge, and pre-conceived assumptions or attitudes. 2 Group Discussion When learners cannot find make the connection between their needs and the course, the instructor and their peers – can assist them. 3 Forging the Collective Path Vella (2008) writes that LNAs inform but do not form a course; instructors may emphasize certain things or adjust specific tasks to meet the stated needs of learners, but they do not change the entire course. Discovery1 Making Connections2 Strategic Planning3
  25. 25. Induction: Sample Discovery Questions • What films/books/past experience do you have with [course topic]? Establishes prior knowledge. • What are your personal goals for this learning experience?Why? Establishes motivations. • What are the areas of difficulty you face [in relation to the topic]? Establishes context. • When you reviewed [the pre-course preparation materials], what did you find most useful?What surprised or challenged you? Establishes pre-conceived attitudes. Adapted fromVella, J. (2008). OnTeaching and Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  26. 26. TIMING OF LNAs Before the Session During the Session After the Session
  27. 27. TIMING OF LNAs Before the Session During the Session After the Session Registration Packets Welcome Emails Pre-CourseWork Just before class starts… Introductions Warm-up/Icebreakers Introductory Presentation Session Evaluations Homework Assignments (Reflective writing)
  28. 28. Incorporating Learning Needs Assessments Discussion forums Blogs Twitter Chats Think-pair-share* Small group & report out Gallery walk Polling Brainstorming *Think-pair-shares and small group brainstorms are nice because they spread the risk of “being wrong” across more people. In particular, think- pair-shares are a great way to warm up adults in face-to-face settings. Great explanation of think-pair-share: classroom/docs/FAB/FABThinkPairShareTipsheet.pdf Variations on a think-pair-share: Online | Blended Face2Face To encourage adult learners to speak up in F2F discussions: • Provide an advanced organizer • Reduce the risk of being wrong • Structure the discussion
  29. 29. Induction Work: Example • The instructor sends a welcome email to students before the first day of class. She asks them to consider several discovery questions and prepare some “bullet-list type” answers for the first session (pre-course LNA). • In the session, students write their answers on sticky notes and place them on large pieces of paper labeled with the questions and placed strategically around the room. Students are encouraged to read each other’s responses (gallery walk). • Students are asked to pair up and consider a comment about what they saw – common themes, things that surprised them, things that validated them, etc. Pairs are invited to report out (think-pair-share). • The instructor uses this as a jumping off point to introduce the course, pointing out areas where and how she is going to address specific needs or topics (lecture). OnlineVariation: Participants blog their responses to discovery prompts as part of an introductory blog post written for the rest of the class community. They are asked to leave comments on the blog posts of one person with similar experiences or expectations and one with dissimilar experiences or expectations HybridVariation: Participants tweet their responses to discovery prompts using the course hashtag.The instructor aggregates and organizes responses into common themes via Storify and reflects this information back to students for additional comments or reflection
  30. 30. If you are having difficulty getting students to engage and you don’t know why, you may need to ask more questions.
  31. 31. Critical Incident Questionnaire 1. At what moment in class did you feel most engaged with what was happening? 2. At what moment in class were you most distanced from what was happening? 3. What action that anyone (teacher or student) did you find most affirming or helpful? 4. What action that anyone took did you find most puzzling or confusing? 5. What about the class surprised you the most? (This could be about your own reactions to what went on, something that someone did, or anything else that occurs).
  32. 32. Questions or examples before we move on?
  33. 33. Input Work: Content Acquisition “There is time for telling and showing and explaining on the part of the teacher in input…” Learners get good lectures in dialogue education designs. They also get clear directions on what they might do to make the content of that lecture their own.” Vella, J. (2008). OnTeaching and Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  34. 34. Listening Watching The average adult will focus in a lecture setting for about 20 minutes. Video tends to hold attention for approximately 2 minutes. Since learning (not teaching) is the desired outcome of Dialogue Education, we need to acknowledge attention span limitations. Option 1: Chunk lectures into 20-minute (or less) segments. Option 2: Transform passive into active learning activities Reading Observing
  35. 35. “Adult Educating” the passive learning 1. Provide the “why” for learning materials • Introduce the material (“This video will help you…). • Annotate the supplemental resources. 2. Focus learner attention by asking questions. • Include focus questions at the beginning. • Include formative assessments (self-checks). 3. Provide authentic audiences. • Scribing & summarizing for others. 4. Go social. • Group annotation (via • Collective notetaking (via Google Docs)
  36. 36. Active Input: A Lecture Substitute • Students are divided into small groups. • The instructor provides an article/book chapter and assigns one section of the reading to each small group. • The group reads their section, synthesizes the information and presents it to the rest of the class. • The instructor uses the student presentations as a foundation for an interactive lecture asking open questions along the way. OnlineVariation: Each person in an online small group is assigned to summarize one section of the article for the small group in a discussion board post prior to a broader online discussion or assignment. FlippedVariation: Each person in an online small group is assigned to summarize one section of the article for the small group in a discussion board post prior to a in-class discussion.
  37. 37. Questions or examples before we move on?
  38. 38. Implementation Learners apply content immediately so that they can receive formative assessment and feedback.
  39. 39. Reminder: Not all implementation is great implementation. The best implementation exercises… • Explicit relevance; aligned with course objectives and desired outcomes. • Clear expectations and assessments. • Crisply written instructions. • The more authentic, the better…try to create implementation tasks that allow learners to complete some of their “everyday” work. • Consider the power of authentic audiences and • Peer feedback • Problem sets • Case-based learning • Problem-based learning • Simulations • Proctored learning
  40. 40. Integration: Impact on practice outside of class “How will this impact my current practice?” Discussions of application of class provides opportunities context-specific clarification and troubleshooting.
  41. 41. Strategies for facilitating integration Reflect on and share take-away points. Think-pair-share Small group –Whole group Gallery walks Blog or discussion posts Yarn circle Create and share an action plan for the future. Establish peer-coaching or mentoring relationships. Establish access to other resources.
  42. 42. Putting it all together: An example Inductive work. Read a case study (provided) on a faculty member who successfully converted their courses to online programming. Identify the challenges, opportunities, and skills/lessons learned. In pairs, discuss how your findings relate (or do not relate) to your current situation.We will hear a sample and engage in a brief whole group discussion. Input work. Watch the 20-minute presentation on crafting meaningful learning objectives. If you desire, you can contribute to the group notes in the Google Doc. These notes will be available for your ongoing review after the session. Implementation work. Evaluate these sample learning objectives based on the criteria provided. Compare your answers to those of the other people at your table.The facilitators will be moving around the room to answer any questions or provide clarification. Integration work. Review your course’s learning objectives based on the criteria provided. Make your revisions and share them with the group for feedback. Faculty who are engaged in course redesign work enroll in a multi-session workshop on online instructional design.
  43. 43. Dialogue Education Resources Downloadable Resources Global Learning Partners (Dialogue Education) Using the Critical Incident Questionnaire Nuts & Bolts Books Vella, J. (2001). Taking Learning toTask. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Vella, J. (2008). OnTeaching and Learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Palloff R.M, & Pratt, K. (2007). Building Online Learning Communities, 2nd Ed. San Francisco, Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  44. 44. Image CreditsAll images are were downloaded from and are licensed for free commercial and noncommercial use. The following photographers provided these images: Brooke Cagel Estee Janssens Jason Leung Aaron Burden The Climate Reality Project Patrick Perkins Helloquence TyWilliams Joanna Kosinska Markus Spiske Caleb Woods Piron Guillaume Monica Melton This Guy Peter Hershey Maciej Ostrowski Mikael Kristenson Eunice Lituanas Eric Rothermel