ALTC09: Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning: developing academic strategies
Connecting Transitions and Independent Learning Richard Hall (email@example.com, @hallymk1) Heather Conboy (firstname.lastname@example.org, @heaths123)
Some context <ul><li>In terms of your learners: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the types of journeys that they make into HE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe the types of issues that impact their transition into HE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how you manage these issues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do technologies have a role in these descriptions? </li></ul>
CoTIL project: headlines <ul><li>HEA e-Learning Research Observatory project looking at: </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges of transitions: adapting to cultural and academic expectations; socialisation; contact with significant others; moments in time </li></ul><ul><li>The impact of read/write web technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Expand pedagogic borders beyond the classroom, campus and VLEs; radical or progressive pedagogies </li></ul><ul><li>Two strands: peer-mentoring managed by students; level 1 Historians using social media for reflection </li></ul>
Ravensbourne, 2008 Hall, 2009; after Ravensbourne, 2008
Peer-mentoring: institutional or social tools? <ul><li>VLE = familiarity; ‘legitimate’ activity; administrative convenience. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This preference related more to the mentors' intentions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social tools = chatty and informal; can be more critical. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ it was important that the mentees did not feel intimidated by the scheme, which was why we decided to use Facebook” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No greater engagement from mentees using social tools. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ as time went by without contact we resorted to any methods available” </li></ul></ul>
Peer-mentoring: matters arising <ul><li>Social engagement and affective learning </li></ul><ul><li>"it has been very rewarding for me, knowing that I have eased other peoples fears with regard to all aspects of the course.” </li></ul><ul><li>Boundaries: mentors as stakeholders in an “institutional” scheme impacts participation, and the selection of technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Mentors have to ‘push’ services and expertise. There are critical moments in time – assessments – that need to be seized. </li></ul><ul><li>More structured and earlier training, including on creating and maintaining communities, and emphasising the benefits for mentees. </li></ul>
The use of learning logs in History <ul><li>An embryonic taxonomy, which defines four types of engagement with reflection by apprentice historians emerged from the logs. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Simple reflection on performance Emerging criticality Sophisticated criticality Affective reflection a questioning approach a social learning approach evaluating sources and evidence analytical speaking and writing skills positive emotional engagement and personal development.
The use of learning logs in History <ul><li>Engaging the affective side of learning with apprentice learners; understanding how cognition and emotion are mutually-reinforcing </li></ul><ul><li>Logs demonstrated how the transition into working as a historian in HE was seen to be personal, but located as a social activity. </li></ul><ul><li>The nurturing role of tutors as mentors in a collective endeavour aimed at subject mastery framed by personal, student ownership of engagements within an institutionally-provided space. </li></ul>
Recommendations Mentors : engagement impacted by perceptions of: the 'institution' and its role; available technologies; and of the efficacy of peer communication. Mentors need to engage their mentees in a discussion about these issues. Programme teams: should develop coherent approaches for transitions that include the development of the whole person . Support staff : need to give advice about the available technologies and guidance around building communities of practice for self-managing students. Institutional managers : must consider the ability of learners to plug-in/manage their own technologies, networks and content.
One final issue <ul><li>Do staff turn technologies into an unnecessary boundary for students to cross? </li></ul>
Some references: 1 <ul><li>Anagnostopoulou, K. and Parmar, D. (2008) Practical Guide: bringing together e-learning and student retention, Middlesex University & University of Ulster, http://www.ulster.ac.uk/star/ </li></ul><ul><li>Broad, J. (2006) ‘Interpretations of independent learning in further education’, Journal of Further and Higher Education 30(2), 119-43. </li></ul><ul><li>Glasgow Caledonian University (2008) Learning from Digital Natives Project, HEA, http://www.academy.gcal.ac.uk/ldn/ </li></ul><ul><li>Hall, R. (2009), Towards a fusion of formal and informal learning environments: the impact of the read/write web, EJEL 7(1), 29 – 40 </li></ul>
Some references: 2 <ul><li>HEA Evidence Net: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/evidencenet </li></ul><ul><li>Ravensbourne (2008), Learner Integration : http://bit.ly/7o84r </li></ul><ul><li>University of Ulster (2008) Student Transition And Retention Project. http://www.ulster.ac.uk/star/index.htm </li></ul><ul><li>Yorke, M and Longden, B. (2008) The first-year experience of higher education in the UK (Phase 2), HEA. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/resources/publications/FYEFinalReport.pdf </li></ul>
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