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E-learning and Employability Shift Focus on Learning (Again) - Blazenka Divjak


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Blazenka Divjak is the Vice Rector for Students and Studies at the University of Zagreb, Croatia
This Keynote Presentation was delivered at the EDEN 2014 Annual Conference in June 2014.

Published in: Education, Technology
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E-learning and Employability Shift Focus on Learning (Again) - Blazenka Divjak

  1. 1. E-learning and employability shift focus on learning (again) Prof. Blaženka Divjak Vice-rector University of Zagreb 1B. Divjak, University of Zagreb
  2. 2. Icebreaker • HBR Jan/Feb 2014: – To Raise Productivity, Let More Employees Work from Home – The Third Wave of Virtual Work – Redesigning Knowledge Work – A taxonomy of Innovation – The Truth About Aging Population – Talent and Performance – Khan Academy •Three questions : –Is talking about learning truly mainstream? –Do we know at least some answers? –What can we learn from business/industry? • One dilemma: – Are we (educators, HEI) aware of power and responsibilities we have?
  3. 3. Content • Future job, future society – 3 references + comments • Teaching and learning in higher education – Creative and digital divide – Equity in HE – Domains that influence learning • Q&A 3B. Divjak, University of Zagreb “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” ― John Dewey
  4. 4. Learning • Transfer of knowledge, skills and experiences is the biggest invention of mankind • Among research disciplines research on teaching and learning was not prominent one • New revolution and revitalization provoked by – Technology enhanced teaching and learning (e-learning) – Pressure from society to ensure employability of graduates • Critical to study the intersection of learning theory and technology
  5. 5. About learning in HE • Mistake: integrate e-learning into passive educational model • Advice: Rethink current educational environment • E in e-learning =electronic + enhancing learning experience + extending (Garrison, 2003, 2011) • HE back to its roots –purpose of university – Unity of research and teaching – Training professionals – Improving society – Critical thinking and research • W. von Humboldt model 19th century - The university teacher is thus no longer a teacher and the student is no longer a pupil. Instead the student conducts research on his own behalf and the professor supervises his research and supports him in it • A. N. Whitehead (1929) - The proper function of a university is the imaginative acquisition of knowledge.”
  6. 6. Key principles of teaching in HE Principles Instruments Clear goals and intellectual challenge Learning outcomes and goals setting in line with the demands of modern life and the appropriate use of technology that also communicate high expectations Interest, understanding and deep learning Good teaching and appropriate literature as well as quality online material and various ways of student- student and student-teacher communication including online communication that encourages deep learning Concern and respect for students and student learning Appropriate student’s workload (expressed for example in ECTS), taking into account student’s effort invested in working in Learning management system (LMS) that has to help diverse student population, and emphasizing time on task Source: (Divjak, 2012), inspired primarily by (Ramsden, 2003)
  7. 7. Key principles of teaching in HE Principles Instruments Appropriate assessment and prompt feedback Implementation of taxonomy, rubrics, creative ways of problem solving and the use of technology for regular and motivating assessment that respects diverse talents and ways of learning and after each assessment activity prompt feedback on task performed Development of subject specific as well as generic skills Learning outcomes that besides subject specific skills also include generic skills development and assessment methods that stress their importance, as well as the use of social software in order to enhance the development of generic skills Learning from students Quality assurance system and enhancement of teaching and teacher’s personal development that takes into account students evaluation of teaching and learning (online evaluation and reflection) as well as analysis of results of students learning in order to introduce effective changes
  8. 8. Domains that influence learning Curriculum Assessment Teaching Source: Ramsden, 1998, 2003
  9. 9. Domains that infuence learning - broader scope Curriculum Assessme nt Teachers and students Strategy, Support Leadership QA Society, technological development, values, demands…
  10. 10. Societal demands • Demands from HE (not always coherent): – Employability – Starving for talents – Inclusivity – “open innovation” mind set, creativity – Research on learning; proofs what works • HE massages (not always coherent): – Equity, academic values – Open access
  11. 11. Future jobs – curriculum of today • Frey, Osborne, The Future of Employment.2013. – 47% of job categories open to automation within two decades – Survive jobs that require high degree of creative and social intelligence, but also fundamental knowledge • John Dewey: “Education is a social process; education is growth; education is not preparation for life but is life itself.” • PISA 2012 results: Creative Problem Solving – “digital and creative divide” – highest-performing school systems - allocate educational resources more equitably + grant more autonomy over curricula and assessments to individual schools. 11B. Divjak, University of Zagreb
  12. 12. Future jobs – big challenges of today • T. Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century (2013) – hyper-unequal economic model – generate a more antagonistic, unstable politics • J. Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality (2013) – Increase in inequality and lack of opportunity – High inequality makes for less efficient and productive economy – Position of “public goods” – decline in opportunity growing inequality • Initiatives to enhance use of technology to excel opportunities • Values! 12B. Divjak, University of Zagreb
  13. 13. Creative and digital divide • “PISA data show that access to a home computer is now nearly universal for students in all countries and economies participating in PISA.” • OECD countries - 94% of students have at least one computer at home • “The few students who do not use a computer at home tend to come from socio-economically disadvantaged families. But even among disadvantaged students, some level of familiarity with computers is now universal in some countries.” • “In all of the 33 countries and economies that both distributed the optional questionnaire on ICT familiarity and administered the computer-based assessment of problem solving, students who use computers at home perform significantly better (in problem- solving) than students who do not.” B. Divjak, University of Zagreb 13
  14. 14. Global wast of talents • Higher education is not very effective in taking benefit of the human resources • High failure and drop out rates, especially in the early years • Low access and low success rates of students from disadvantaged backgrounds – Low SES students – Low educational capital – Ethnic minority students • How to meet these challenges in e-learning?
  15. 15. Creative and social intelligence Fundame ntals Values Curriculum • Deeper understanding, quality learning outcomes • Must have: – Creative and social intelligence – Fundamentals – Values • Pick content from vast ocean of knowledge • Consider workload – “less is more” • E-learning – an essential enabling tool – Collaboration with employers and other stakeholders in Community of Inquiry – Tools and approaches for problem-based, active learning – Access, retention for non-traditional students
  16. 16. Assessment • Shaping how students approach to learning • assessment correlated with intended learning outcomes • Assessment of collaborative work – online • Assessment of individual achievements – f2f • Collaborative learning - deeper learning and metacognitive awareness • Collaborative and discussion rubrics • E-portfolio – storage, reflection, (self-)assessment – Transferable – employability
  17. 17. Teaching • Shaping learning environment and learning outcomes • Define goals, content and assessment • Role of a teacher in bleded learning and fully online learning? – Positive influence of teaching presence – Design, facilitation, direct instruction – Social presence – community of learners – Conflict resolution and creating trust – Motivation of students • Instructors – teaching scholars – Increase workload Goals Learning outcomes Depth Assessment
  18. 18. Support • Strategy, leadership • E-learning Strategy of the University of Zagreb – The first E-strategy 2007 – 2013 – Improve quality of teaching and learning – Ensure learning outcomes – Blended learning approach – 8.500 e-courses, only 5% at the level 3 – 2014: E-learning incorporated in the Strategy of teaching and learning – In new strategy: quality of e-courses, e-portfolio, open online courses, limited numbers of online study programmes • Infrastructure available • Career support services for teachers and students • QA: Evaluation of teaching and learning – improvements • Benchmarking and research Leaders Strategy Support Quality Benchmark
  19. 19. Blended learning works • Enhance learning & learning outcomes • Rethinking educational approach • For large and medium size classes • Text-based - reflection and research skills • F2f - collaboration & oral communication skills • Findings: advantage of blended learning over f2f and online learning (Means et al., 2009) – Instruction combining online and f2f elements had a larger advantage – Blended learning employ more students working load – Video or online quizzes do not influence students learning • Adjustment to fully online learning - lifelong employability • Reduce costs, increasing completion rates, student satisfaction and improve learning outcomes • Dominant approach to teaching and learning in higher education Blended
  20. 20. Dissemination or marketing • Off the shelf offer of open courses, e-learning material, programs • “The most important education technology in the past 200 years.” • Free education for all, anywhere in the world with online access.” • The best is now available for eveybody • Are really everybody connected? • High drop-out rate • - one-size-fits-all model • “intellectual neocolonialism“ • Marketing tool for elite universities • First and second class students B. Divjak, University of Zagreb 21
  21. 21. MIND THE GAP Conclusions • E-learning is the mainstream of higher education • E-learning provokes research on learning • (E)-learning theories often lack of sense of environment • Inclusive e-learning – prevent waste of talents • Before introducing/changing e-learning rethink current learning practice • Process of learning is as important as outcomes • Open access but be aware of digital and creative divide • Blended learning is strategic solution to serious teaching and learning challenges • The secret of a successful education is respect towards the (future) students - Ralph Emerson
  22. 22. “The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning.” ― John Dewey, Experience and Education Thank you B. Divjak, University of Zagreb 23
  23. 23. References • Divjak B., Chapter: Implementation of learning outcomes in mathematics for non- mathematics major by using e-learning in the book: Teaching Mathematics Online: Emergent Technologies and Methodologies; Editor(s): A. A. Juan; M. A. Huertas; S. Trenholm; C. Steegmann; IGI Global. 2012. • Garrison, R.D., E-learning in 21st Century, Ruthledge, 2011 • Ramsden P. Learning to Teach in Higher Education. RoutledgeFalmer Taylor & Frances Group: NY; 2003. • Frey, Osborne, The Future od Employment: How Suspectable Are Jobs to Computerisation, 2013. • T. Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century. Harvard University Press. 2013 • Stiglitz J. The Price of Inequality .How Today’s Divided Society Endangeres our Future. W.W. Northon & Company Ltd., 2013 • L. Harasim: Learning Theory and Online Technologies.Routledge Taylor&Frances Group. NY.2012. • Means et al., Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. 2009.