Inquiry in the Web 2.0 environment: tools for students for ‘design for learning’?


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This paper develops the argument that students need opportunities to become designers or co-designers of their own processes of inquiry. With reference to current research and issues in design for learning and Web 2.0, it suggests that there may be value in developing new digital tools to enable students to take the lead in designing inquiry processes and in using design representations as resources for reflection and sharing with other students. Participants will have an opportunity to exchange perspectives and ideas on design for inquiry-based learning, and to respond to the view put forward in the paper.

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Inquiry in the Web 2.0 environment: tools for students for ‘design for learning’?

  1. 1. design vb : work out the structure or form of (something) as by making a sketch, outline, pattern or plans; plan and make something artistically or skilfully; form or conceive in the mind, invent design n : a finished artistic or decorative creation; a plan, scheme or project; a coherent or purposeful pattern Definitions: Collins English Dictionary Image: Flickr, knitkid
  2. 2. <ul><li>What role do students in your IBL classes have in designing their own inquiries and inquiry processes? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the idea of design made explicit in their inquiry/learning experiences? </li></ul><ul><li>Do students share their designs with each other and you? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Inquiry in the Web 2.0 environment: tools for students for ‘design for learning’? LTEA 2008 Sheffield, 27 th June 2008 Philippa Levy
  4. 4. Students as designers <ul><li>IBL and web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Inquiring’ students and design for learning </li></ul><ul><li>Digital design for learning tools </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for students? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>designing and managing their own inquiry processes, and using design representations as resources for reflection and sharing with other students </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Inquiry-based learning <ul><li>Open-ended, messy questions and problems </li></ul><ul><li>Student-led, tutor guided </li></ul><ul><li>Step-by-step and emergent processes </li></ul><ul><li>Dissolving the student-teacher binary </li></ul><ul><li>Often, an explicit focus on process </li></ul>
  6. 6. ‘Process support’ in IBL <ul><li>Critical thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Digital media </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Meta-cognition </li></ul>
  7. 7. Inquiring students and Web 2.0 <ul><li>Owning and directing their experience </li></ul><ul><li>Participating, collaborating, social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Producing and co-creating - generating, repurposing and sharing content </li></ul><ul><li>Accessing multiple sources </li></ul><ul><li>Using a wide variety of tools and environments </li></ul><ul><li>Creating personal learning networks and environments </li></ul>Source:
  8. 8. Digital natives? <ul><li>Expertise to judge how best to use technologies for learning purposes? </li></ul><ul><li>Skills in using technologies to best advantage? </li></ul><ul><li>New literacies? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Design for learning <ul><li>“ The process of designing, planning and orchestrating learning activities” (JISC, 2006) </li></ul><ul><li>“ The process by which teachers – and others involved in the support of learning – arrive at a plan or structure or design for a learning situation” (Beetham and Sharpe, 2007: 6) </li></ul><ul><li>Strong emphasis on teacher (rather than learner) as designer </li></ul>
  10. 10. Tools for design for learning <ul><li>Pen and paper, Word, Powerpoint, mindmapping, (VLEs)…. </li></ul><ul><li>Design and orchestration (LAMS) </li></ul><ul><li>Pedagogic planning prototypes: Phoebe, London Pedagogy Planner, Compendium LD </li></ul>
  11. 13. Source: Conole et al. 2008 Compendium LD (prototype) – based on tool designed for mind-mapping and argumentation Analysis of a pop-song using a wiki
  12. 14. LAMS
  13. 15. <ul><li>linearity </li></ul><ul><li>tight structure </li></ul><ul><li>fragmentation </li></ul><ul><li>closure </li></ul><ul><li>sequential </li></ul><ul><li>teacher-controlled </li></ul><ul><li>‘ instructivist’ </li></ul><ul><li>digression </li></ul><ul><li>loose structure </li></ul><ul><li>holism </li></ul><ul><li>open-endedness </li></ul><ul><li>iterative </li></ul><ul><li>student-controlled </li></ul><ul><li>‘ constructivist’ </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>Making design explicit </li></ul><ul><li>Stimulating activity-focused design thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Providing well for more tightly-structured, teacher-led IBL </li></ul><ul><li>Valued for scaffolding of small-scale, discrete inquiry activities </li></ul><ul><li>Providing less well for more open-ended, emergent, student-led IBL </li></ul><ul><li>Limited alignment with values and practices associated with Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived risk of engaging a mechanistic response to design </li></ul>LAMS - proof of concept?
  15. 17. <ul><li>“ It’s like conducting an orchestra. LAMS can if the conductor tutor wishes, really impose strict limitations on the students, you’re not going to start playing until you finish this. Really what I’m trying to do is learn how to orchestrate less. How might the students themselves orchestrate the learning experience?” </li></ul>Orchestrating
  16. 18. Co-designing <ul><li>“ I really just love this idea of sort of working with students, sitting there and saying OK, we’ve got this course module to do, what’s your favourite approach? Do you like doing this or that? And actually putting it together with them and having them make the decisions about how they’re going to learn as well. You know I would never sit and do that in WebCT but I think I could do it with this”. </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>Is there a case for using/developing tools to empower and support students to design and manage their own inquiry processes, and use design representations as resources for reflection and sharing with other students…? </li></ul>
  18. 20. Design tools for students? <ul><li>Same tools for teachers and learners, or different tools needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we already have tools we can use, or is there a need for tools with different features? </li></ul><ul><li>What might a design for learning tool look like if focused on use by learners rather than teachers? </li></ul><ul><li>What kinds of support materials might learners need to assist them to use such tools? </li></ul>
  19. 21. Design tools for students? <ul><li>Bringing concept of (co)design for learning to the fore from student perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Highly flexible research planning features </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated design for learning guidance equivalent to teachers’ pedagogic planners </li></ul>
  20. 22. References <ul><li>Beetham, H. & Sharpe, R. (2007). An introduction to rethinking pedagogy for a digital age. In H. Beetham & R. Sharpe (Eds.), Rethinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age . (pp.1-10). London: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Levy, P. et al. (2008) Final Report to JISC of the DeSILA project, </li></ul><ul><li>Conole, G. Brasher, A. Cross, S. Weller, M. Nixon S. & Clark P. (2008) A learning design methodology to foster and support creativity in design. In Proceedings of Networked Learning 2008 </li></ul>