The size, shape, and context of teaching and learning spaces impacts how teachers structure content and how students approach learning.
Downes argues that in the most autonomous situations, for example self-initiated online learning, constructionism, and embedding scaffolding, is neither enough nor an adequate description of learning. Connectivism, where students are the central agents who direct, connect, and network in order to learn, enables both agency and autonomy, but when this is mixed with constructionism in autonomous learning, it is flawed: “...the problem with social constructivism. There is no constructor. There is no person other than the learner themselves to do the constructing” (Downes, 2017, p.281)
Reflection has value, whereas traditional assessment does not
Schön (1987) introduced various types of reflection into the learning cycle: reflection in- action and on-action. Reflecting while the action takes place, taking into account what is already known and using that knowledge to influence the unfolding experience is reflecting in-action. Reflecting on-action happens when people pause from the action, analyze, and apply criteria to experiences (Race, 2005). Race (2005) highlights that the deepest reflections happen when students go beyond simple analysis ‘to ask what else’(p.231).
Cowan (2006) added to Kolb’s learning cycle by integrating Schön’s (1987) types of reflection, and explained that students may reflect at different stages within their learning, as opposed to solely at the end of a learning cycle.
re-framed as an opportunity to reflect
Presenting assessment as a tool for criterion-validated reflection makes it valuable to ongoing learning,
Excellence begins with the design of the learning outcomes and the curriculum. Everything from the environment to the methods can contribute to fostering a scaffolded environment enabling the student to discover and create (Pea, 2004).
“...it is not commonly found that lecture time is devoted to teaching exam skills. This is just one example of a case where students are taught content but the mode of assessment is actually removed from that content, and it illustrates a need to consider the task and how it is approached.” (Ritchie, 2015, p.40)
The perspectives of students and teachers can compete and this leads to amplifying the possibility of misunderstanding, with a disconnect between what the teacher knows and says, and what the student receives. In any one-way conversation, as in when reading typed words, there is no control or insight into how the words sound, how they will be read, or what impact those words have in the context of where and when the student reads them (Weaver, 2006). Context, 8 inflection, setting, and any host of external factors can change how someone reads something. Without a clear direction and alignment between skills, tasks, and intended outcomes, there is room for incredible diversity of engagement and possible misinterpretation. Scott (2016) highlights the misalignment with teaching and future tasks, and discusses the need for both awareness of a variety of experiences in learning so student transitions out of learning have ‘less abrasion’ (Askham, 2008). His focus is on transitions into higher education and vocational contexts, however these issues still exist in higher education contexts, with the multitude of facts students need to remember to pass exams, and this having little relation to their success in applying skills in a professional context (Sambell, Brown, & Graham, 2017).
With a diversity of tasks and methods of engagement, creativity comes into the learning process and it is more likely that feedback and reflection can be integrated into the process of creating during learning.
Constructive alignment does not belittle or discourage traditional types of assessment, but supports integrating relevant skills into learning and assessment and requires an awareness of the student experience and perspective. Participating in learning, reflecting, assessing, through skill development and active feedback processes takes on different forms across disciplines.
L Ritchie Chichester Learning Teaching Conference 2018
Skills, Feedback, & Assessment
Professor Laura Ritchie,
Image CC By-NC-ND by EDTech Stanford University
Image CC BY-NC by Monash UniversityImage CC By by bfishadow
Historical Perspectives on Learning
• The lecture theatre
• Kolb (1984) ‘…the process whereby knowledge
is created through the transformation of
experience’ (1984, p.38)
• Bandura: cycle of human behavior & triadic
• Vygotsky’s theories (1978) & scaffolding
• Zimmerman (1998) student’s metacognition &
• Blaschke (2012) Pedagogy Andragogy
• Downes (2017) Constructivism Connectivism
From Constructionism to Connectivism
Image CC BY-NC-ND by Mark Bridge
Learning as a cycle