Developing Tools to Facilitate   Integrated Reflection             Jon Mason          October 18th 2011          jon@inter...
Overview• Introduction      – focus      – key concepts & definitions      – services context      – the problem• Theoreti...
FocusInnovation associated with the design anddeployment of e-portfolio systems –in particular, support for integrated ref...
A Broad DefinitionAn e-portfolio is a collection of digital artefactsand applications that are typically used forprofiling...
Services Context• Profiles developed using professional networking  services (LinkedIn, UNYK, Plaxo, …) often contain  cor...
… and“the essential nature of an e-Portfolio  for learning is not as a repository     but as a place for reflection”      ...
Two broad approachese-Portfolios can therefore be assembled via:  • Purpose-built e-portfolio systems    (Pebblepad, ePort...
A simple model                                                        A Place for                                         ...
Employability Skills                       9
Employability Skills“skills required not only to gain employment, butalso to progress within an enterprise so as toachieve...
ATC21S• Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills:  “learning to collaborate with others and connect  through technol...
But what exactly is reflection?And what is reflective practice?                                   12
Reflection• An activity that takes place after a learning  activity?       - typical with journal reflections on CPD• An e...
Reflection“a thinking process more than simplememorization and comprehension, & involves avariety of cognitive processes, ...
Reflective Practice“the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage ina process of continuous learning … [and is] … oneo...
Integrated Reflection                    “active learning”   (Wang, 2009: e-Portfolios for Integrated Reflection)    In I...
The Problem• Reflection is recognised as important for learning  and regarded as essential for effective use of  e-portfol...
Related Research - AeP• Recent snapshot of e-portfolio practice within  Australian HE & VET sectors      -   HE more conce...
Related Research – JISC (1)• Aims to inform H/FE institutions in the UK about  emerging best practice implementing e-portf...
Related Research – JISC (2)• 7 core activities in e-portfolio usage:      information capture      information retrieval  ...
Related Research – JISC (3)5 threshold concepts as indicators of maturity:  • Purpose is aligned to context to maximise be...
Question & Learning                      22
Questioning & Learning• “why” questions prominent during early dvpt of  children & an important foundation for learning  (...
Inquiry & Learning     “learning begins with questions”                                                     24         The...
Inquiry & LearningProblem:The Web’s mainstream tools for discovering andretrieving relevant information are overwhelmingly...
Inquiry & LearningWe propose reversing the order of things. What if… questions were more important than answers?What if th...
Question Generation & AnsweringQuestions can be generated and answered byautomated and semi-automated ICT systems. Towhat ...
Question Generation & AnsweringMost teachers, tutors, and student peers do not ask ahigh density of deep questions … so st...
A Frontier for New Tools• Tools that facilitate the construction of questions from a  body of content• Tools that extend t...
Reflecting upon Why•   Asking why•   Learning why•   Understanding why•   Knowing why•   Explaining why                   ...
Information & Explanation  The Primitives ofInformation Retrieval   •   Who   •   What   •   When             The Journali...
Information & Explanation• Who     descriptive ‘primitives’ of• What    information retrieval           Information       ...
Questions       This presentation is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence                   ...
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Developing tools to facilitate integrated reflection

  1. 1. Developing Tools to Facilitate Integrated Reflection Jon Mason October 18th 2011 jon@intercog.net 1
  2. 2. Overview• Introduction – focus – key concepts & definitions – services context – the problem• Theoretical perspectives – inquiry-based learning – why-questioning• Opportunities for tool development 2
  3. 3. FocusInnovation associated with the design anddeployment of e-portfolio systems –in particular, support for integrated reflection 3
  4. 4. A Broad DefinitionAn e-portfolio is a collection of digital artefactsand applications that are typically used forprofiling an individual, group, or organisation interms of capability or achievement. e: signifies evidence as much as electronic Emergent characteristics And yes, there are countless other definitions! 4
  5. 5. Services Context• Profiles developed using professional networking services (LinkedIn, UNYK, Plaxo, …) often contain core interoperable data• Interoperability of social networking data widely interoperable (contacts)• Professional Associations commonly provide online services for logging & assessing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 5
  6. 6. … and“the essential nature of an e-Portfolio for learning is not as a repository but as a place for reflection” (Batson, 2009) 6
  7. 7. Two broad approachese-Portfolios can therefore be assembled via: • Purpose-built e-portfolio systems (Pebblepad, ePortaro, Mahara, etc) • Customised aggregations of services & artefacts 7
  8. 8. A simple model A Place for Reflective Practice? Learner / Worker e-portfolio systems -- applications or loosely coupled services Education or Training EmployerOrganisation 8
  9. 9. Employability Skills 9
  10. 10. Employability Skills“skills required not only to gain employment, butalso to progress within an enterprise so as toachieve one’s potential and contribute successfullyto enterprise strategic directions” (DEST, 2002, p.3) Communication Teamwork Skills that contribute Problem-solving Self-management Initiative and enterprise Learning Planning and organising Technology 10
  11. 11. ATC21S• Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills: “learning to collaborate with others and connect through technology are essential skills in a knowledge-based economy” (ATC21S, 2011)  essential skills also include: • critical thinking Inquiry, analysis, reflection, … • ICT literacy • problem solving 11
  12. 12. But what exactly is reflection?And what is reflective practice? 12
  13. 13. Reflection• An activity that takes place after a learning activity? - typical with journal reflections on CPD• An event in a sequence of activities? - STARL-P (Situation, Task, Action, Result/Reflection, and Learning/Planning)• The activity of connecting a diversity of artefacts, interactions, and activities is itself a stimulus for reflection (Cambridge, 2009, p.41) 13
  14. 14. Reflection“a thinking process more than simplememorization and comprehension, & involves avariety of cognitive processes, such assummarization, identifying general principles,exploring various situations, reconciling options,monitoring progress, and so on” (Wang, 2009)  Also involves inquiry, analysis, synthesis,… 14
  15. 15. Reflective Practice“the capacity to reflect on action so as to engage ina process of continuous learning … [and is] … oneof the defining characteristics of professionalpractice” (Schon, 1983: The Reflective Practitioner) “reflection-in-action” 15
  16. 16. Integrated Reflection “active learning” (Wang, 2009: e-Portfolios for Integrated Reflection)  In ICT contexts, takes place in-sessionWang’s “ontological model specifies a generic organisationalstructure of eportfolios in the integrated reflection context”.Reflection features as the dominant ontological category within astructure that includes learning subject, learningobjectives, learning objects, assessment instruments, &reflection query 16
  17. 17. The Problem• Reflection is recognised as important for learning and regarded as essential for effective use of e-portfolios for learning purposes …• Yet the ICT tools available to support it appear to be undeveloped & are little more than templates for journal writing 17
  18. 18. Related Research - AeP• Recent snapshot of e-portfolio practice within Australian HE & VET sectors - HE more concerned with reflection - VET more concerned with skills & employability• Research reveals: - low level of understanding about the actual impact of ePortfolios on student learning outcomes - little research undertaken but a common belief “that ePortfolios contributed to increased awareness of eLearning technologies and reflective learning, as well as employability skills …” (Hallam, et al, 2009) 18
  19. 19. Related Research – JISC (1)• Aims to inform H/FE institutions in the UK about emerging best practice implementing e-portfolios• Guided by notion of “threshold concepts” from earlier research• Confirms diversity of contexts & uses – more “emergence” than “maturity” 19
  20. 20. Related Research – JISC (2)• 7 core activities in e-portfolio usage: information capture information retrieval planning reflection feedback collaboration presentation 20
  21. 21. Related Research – JISC (3)5 threshold concepts as indicators of maturity: • Purpose is aligned to context to maximise benefits • Learning activity is designed to suit the purpose • Processes are supported technologically and pedagogically • Ownership is student centred • Transformation (disruption) is planned for (Joyes et al.,2010,) 21
  22. 22. Question & Learning 22
  23. 23. Questioning & Learning• “why” questions prominent during early dvpt of children & an important foundation for learning (Dewey, Piaget, Schank)• “Inquiry-based learning” evolved out of “critical thinking” movement• Impasses & conundrums important for learning• “Thinking is not driven by answers but by questions” Paul & Elder, (1999). Critical Thinking Handbook 23
  24. 24. Inquiry & Learning “learning begins with questions” 24 The virtuous circle of inquiryUniversity of Illinois Inquiry Project (2001-2010)
  25. 25. Inquiry & LearningProblem:The Web’s mainstream tools for discovering andretrieving relevant information are overwhelminglydominated by a search paradigm that is configuredto search for information and facts rather thanexplanations.Why? One answer is that queries instigated by keywordsin most cases will have semantic roots to primitive Q’s:who, what, when, & where 25
  26. 26. Inquiry & LearningWe propose reversing the order of things. What if… questions were more important than answers?What if the key to learning were not theapplication of techniques but their invention?What if students were asking questions aboutthings that really mattered to them?Thomas & Seely Brown, (2011). A New Culture of Learning 26
  27. 27. Question Generation & AnsweringQuestions can be generated and answered byautomated and semi-automated ICT systems. Towhat extent might Question Generation andQuestion-Answering techniques assist in buildingICT scaffolding for learners?• QG – automation of well-formed questions• Q-A – automation of answering systems 27http://www.questiongeneration.org/
  28. 28. Question Generation & AnsweringMost teachers, tutors, and student peers do not ask ahigh density of deep questions … so students have alimited exposure to high-quality inquiry. There are afew role models in school environments throughwhich students can learn good question asking andanswering skills vicariously. This situation presents agolden opportunity for turning to technology to helpfill this gap.A. Graesser, et al., (2010). What is a Good Question? 28
  29. 29. A Frontier for New Tools• Tools that facilitate the construction of questions from a body of content• Tools that extend the discovery & processing of factual information to facilitate the discovery and production of explanatory content – in short, tools that support why- questioning• Tools that stimulate the construction of rational argument• Prompting tools that suggest patterns, dependencies, or other relationships between discrete chunks of content• Interface design that explicitly supports the navigation of e-portfolio content via a questioning methodology 29
  30. 30. Reflecting upon Why• Asking why• Learning why• Understanding why• Knowing why• Explaining why 30
  31. 31. Information & Explanation The Primitives ofInformation Retrieval • Who • What • When The Journalist’s Questions • Where • Why 31
  32. 32. Information & Explanation• Who descriptive ‘primitives’ of• What information retrieval Information Processing e.g., DC-Kernel• When• Where conditional, motivational or• Why explanative ‘primitive’ Knowledge• How procedural or Construction & Understanding• If rule-based ‘primitives’ 32
  33. 33. Questions This presentation is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence 33

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