Learner-Centred Course Design - Greenwich presentation, March 2011


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Learner-Centred Course Design - a role for learner-centred models and frameworks. This is a presentation that Alan Masson delivered at the University of Greenwich, related to curriculum development and the Viewpoints project.

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Learner-Centred Course Design - Greenwich presentation, March 2011

  1. 1. Learner-Centred Course Design a role for learner-centred models and frameworks? Dr Alan Masson Head of Technology Facilitated Learning University of Ulster
  2. 2. Session overview <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum development issues </li></ul><ul><li>Viewpoints project overview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactional based principles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of the workshop process </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Benefits of developed resources </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of the workshop format </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A / discussion </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some drivers for change in course design within HE (UK) <ul><li>Institutional reputation – National Student Survey / KIS </li></ul><ul><li>Learners as consumers – value for money </li></ul><ul><li>Increased competition among course providers – flexible provision </li></ul><ul><li>Generational changes in educational and social expectations / experiences </li></ul><ul><li>And a lot more…….. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Curriculum Documentation <ul><li>Focus on outputs: </li></ul><ul><li>Learning outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Reading lists </li></ul><ul><li>Timetable </li></ul><ul><li>Plus supporting narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Provides an overall framework but doesn’t capture the “essence” of a course for a learner. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Essence (for the learner) – can be OR
  6. 6. Viewpoints Project Overview <ul><li>Viewpoints is a JISC-funded curriculum design project. </li></ul><ul><li>Its remit is to create a series of user-friendly reflective workshop tools to promote and enhance effective curriculum design . </li></ul><ul><li>The tools use a learner timeline with established principles to help staff consider key interactions of the learning process (i.e. essence) </li></ul>
  7. 7. Timeline framework <ul><li>Guideline intervals are used that can be locally interpreted (and extended). </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. for semester: </li></ul><ul><li>Induction </li></ul><ul><li>First few weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Mid Semester </li></ul><ul><li>Final Phase </li></ul>
  8. 8. Supports course or module perspectives
  9. 9. Identified Learner Interactions <ul><li>Reviewing progress and understanding (Assessment and Feedback) </li></ul><ul><li>Discovery, consumption and creation of information (Information Skills) </li></ul><ul><li>Who do they interact with, why and to what “benefit” (Learner Engagement) </li></ul><ul><li>Are there closed lists of principles we can use to describe these interactions? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Principles to describe these interactions? <ul><li>Assessment and Feedback – REAP Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Information - SCONUL 7 Pillars (extending to place in a more Digital Literacy context) </li></ul><ul><li>Learner engagement - 8 Learning Event Model (8LEM) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Assessment and Feedback – REAP Principles <ul><li>Clarify good performance </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage time and effort on task </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver High quality feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities to act on feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage interaction and dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Develop self assessment and reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Give assessment choice </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage positive motivational beliefs </li></ul><ul><li>Inform and shape your teaching </li></ul><ul><li>ADDED VALUE OPPORTUNITY </li></ul><ul><li>For each principle – provide examples of effective practice for consideration </li></ul>
  12. 12. Information Skills – SCONUL Pillars <ul><li>Define the task and understand the topic </li></ul><ul><li>Identify appropriate resources </li></ul><ul><li>Search effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Find and extract information </li></ul><ul><li>Compare and analyse information </li></ul><ul><li>Organise and share information ethically </li></ul><ul><li>Interpret information and create new content </li></ul><ul><li>ADDED VALUE OPPORTUNITY </li></ul><ul><li>For each principle – provide examples of effective practice for consideration </li></ul>
  13. 13. Learner Interactions – 8LEM <ul><li>Creates </li></ul><ul><li>Experiments </li></ul><ul><li>Imitates </li></ul><ul><li>Practices </li></ul><ul><li>Debates </li></ul><ul><li>Explores </li></ul><ul><li>Receives </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-Learns </li></ul><ul><li>ADDED VALUE OPPORTUNITY </li></ul><ul><li>For each event – </li></ul><ul><li>who does the learner interact with?; </li></ul><ul><li>what levels of feedback the learner could get from each identified “stakeholder?”. </li></ul><ul><li>stakeholders : self, tutor, formal group, informal group, employer, other </li></ul>
  14. 14. Example workshop “card”
  15. 15. Inform – Inspire - Plan
  16. 17. Typical workshop format <ul><li>Consider key challenges and agree an objective for the session </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the set of principles provided and choose those that may help address the objective set </li></ul><ul><li>Map relevant of principles to timeline and prioritise </li></ul><ul><li>Select possible implementation ideas that could support priority principles </li></ul><ul><li>Review and annotate worksheet with a plan </li></ul><ul><li>Agree any action points and final reflections </li></ul>
  17. 18. Workshop outputs <ul><li>Form basis of an Assessment & Feedback (or other theme) strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Provide reference for future course team discussions (planning resource) </li></ul><ul><li>Key information currently transcribed into table (Word or other format) </li></ul><ul><li>Note: online tool to be developed to capture structured outputs </li></ul>
  18. 19. User defined outputs <ul><li>Outputs can be orderly </li></ul><ul><li>Or Messy – it’s up to the team </li></ul>
  19. 20. Personalised outputs <ul><li>Annotated </li></ul><ul><li>Easily reviewed and developed </li></ul><ul><li>Include a planning aspect </li></ul><ul><li>Act as a focus for futher conversations </li></ul>
  20. 21. Workshop experiences to date <ul><li>Course teams </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-validation – course planning workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Annual course review – course enhancement workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Subject teams </li></ul><ul><li>Away days – pedagogic focus workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Development </li></ul><ul><li>PGCHEP (Student Centred Learning module) </li></ul><ul><li>Students Union </li></ul><ul><li>Development of a course / support environment for course reps </li></ul>
  21. 22. Benefits of Viewpoints approach <ul><li>Outputs - valued by course teams </li></ul><ul><li>But also </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback – workshop process delivered a number of key benefits for course leaders / subject co-ordinators ( social dimension ) </li></ul><ul><li>This social dimension – transformational </li></ul>
  22. 23. Viewpoints Resources - creating an environment for change?
  23. 24. Workshop Environment <ul><li>Informal room layout sets tone for activity; </li></ul><ul><li>Flat surface – people cluster around worksheet; </li></ul><ul><li>Tactile resources – encourage experimentation / enquiry; </li></ul><ul><li>Open and flexible format– facilitates “ownership”; </li></ul><ul><li>Customisable resources and “user interface”– promotes creativity; </li></ul><ul><li>Storyboard structure – focus on low risk conversations. </li></ul>
  24. 25. Use of action based principles <ul><li>Structured choice provides support and promotes reflection; </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a more consistent meaning v conceptual entities (i.e lecture); </li></ul><ul><li>Defer decision making re “how” to end of activity; </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on storyboarding - encourage a more dynamic creative process; </li></ul><ul><li>Timeline and principles – focuses attention on learner experience. </li></ul>
  25. 26. Benefits observed from workshops to date
  26. 27. Shared meanings and priorities
  27. 28. Interactive and engaging
  28. 29. Facilitated discussions
  29. 30. Informative and supporting
  30. 31. Building effective teams <ul><li>In a short period of time through: </li></ul><ul><li>Informal environment </li></ul><ul><li>Establishing shared meanings and priorities </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating discussions and the sharing of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus building </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative development of the workshop output </li></ul>
  31. 32. Quotable quotes………… <ul><li>Curriculum Development / creativity benefits </li></ul><ul><li>“ Providing a simple yet comprehensive approach to the priorities of curriculum planning” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A good starting point for the curriculum design and development” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ It assists you to step back from the course/module you are delivering and assessing if it is fit for purpose” </li></ul>
  32. 33. Quotable quotes………… <ul><li>Social / communication benefits </li></ul><ul><li>“ Improving communication and introducing different ideas” </li></ul><ul><li>“… .allowed a range of different opinions from colleagues to become discussed in an open forum, to enable the team to take stock of what elements of the current course to retain and which ones to reform or innovate” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ Getting people together to consider what needs to be done next, even if that’s not part of the prescribed process” </li></ul>
  33. 34. Quotable quotes………… <ul><li>Learner perspective benefits </li></ul><ul><li>“ The workshop appears to put the ‘experience of the learner’ at the forefront of discussion which inherently drives the workshop along that perspective – a good trick when working with a room full of jaded and cynical lecturers who all too often think that, in the first instance, there is ‘always something wrong’ with the students” </li></ul>
  34. 35. Summary <ul><li>Learner-centred models and frameworks (such as the Viewpoints tools) appear to: </li></ul><ul><li>Promote reflection and raise awareness of key learning opportunities; </li></ul><ul><li>Promote creative discussion and sharing of ideas; </li></ul><ul><li>Focus attention on the learner experience; </li></ul><ul><li>Help course teams to reach consensus about key objectives and strategies. </li></ul>
  35. 36. Q&A….. More Information <ul><li>Viewpoints Project </li></ul><ul><li>http://viewpointsproject.blogspot.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.flickr.com/photos/viewpointsproject / </li></ul><ul><li>Resources downloadable from: </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.slideshare.net/Viewpoints / </li></ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul>