Enquiry-based, experiential learning
Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development (OCSLD)
Oxford Brookes University
The aim of this session is to provide
rich content and support to Module 2 of the PCLTAHE curriculum, particularly focusing on
situated teaching practices and skills;
o this session complements other practice-based workshops on Course, Module and
Session Design, Assessment, Open and Distance Learning, eLearning, and also
supports ILOs 2, 3, 4 & 5.
brief information about enquiry-based, experiential, situated learning and teaching practices
and a guide to subsequent pursuit of subjects of interest
a preliminary reading list
an opportunity to practice, hands-on with enquiry-based techniques for
professional/academic/scholarly communities of practice/inquiry/assessment
a consideration of the similarities and differences in scholarship between research
(scholarship of discovery) and enquiry based learning
2 Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
Identify that range of practices which might, broadly be included under a rubric of enquiry-
based, experiential, situated learning
Relate that range of practices to underlying social, institutional, pedagogical, political,
philosophical, historical events
Identify criteria by which practices might be valued (validation, QA, certification, etc)
Identify techniques associated with valued practices, and using knowledge of techniques and
your current discipline/training programme show how you might incorporate enquiry-based,
experiential learning into your practice, or show that it is already there.
o Conversely, you might argue against the implicit proposition that offered techniques
meet the value criteria, in general, in which case expect to offer other approaches that
might meet similar or restated value criteria
Explain assessment. governance, ethics, autonomy, resourcing, stakeholders, wider risks and
benefits as might apply to enquiry-based, experiential educational developments.
0930 – 0945 Introductions
0945 – 1030 Presentation Lecture with trigger questions,
Reflective learning structured and open discussion
Range of practices
1030 – 1045 Coffee
1045 – 1130 Open space, taster Open-space technology,
affective recall participatory approaches;
identifying the questions and contexts shaping the design exercise.
that matter for EBL
1130 – 1230 World Cafe, taster World-cafe approach; shaping
addressing the questions in context the design exercise: 3 x 15
assessment/evaluation criteria minute turns + debrief
1230 – 1330 Lunch
1330 – 1430 Design exercise: curricular case studies
1430 – 1500 Feedback & questions:
wider risks and benefits
assessment, governance, ethics,
autonomy, resourcing, stakeholders,
4 Reflective learning
There are three key themes underlying and unifying this workshop:
Enquiry-based learning (Berthiaume 2009, p.268)
Experiential learning (Fry et al. 2009, pp.15, 450)
Situated learning (Lave & Wenger 1990)
Reflective learning and practice support these themes. All share a qualitative, practitioner-centred
evaluative and self-evaluative perspective of educational pragmatism, founded in an idealist,
enlightenment, social utilitarianism, (Dewey 1916; Dewey 1997; Garrison 2001; R. Scollon & S. W.
Scollon 2001; Pickles & Greenaway n.d.; Smith 2009; Kolb 1984) The approaches are predominantly
social: taking place in groups.
Social learning ideas arise from Russian Constructivists (Vygotsky & Luria 1934; Leont'ev
Community (of Practice) Theory (Wenger 1998),
Network learning theory (Dutton 2007; Fox 2002; Goodyear et al. 2005; Siemens 2005b;
The range of practices reflect a broad series of qualitative turns in the social sciences:
social linguistic (Lillis 2003)
discursive (Fairclough 2001; R. Scollon 2001; R. Scollon & S. W. Scollon 2001)
biographical (Chamberlayne et al. 2000),
critical (Barnett 1997; Brookfield 2005; Brookfield 1995; Brookfield 2003; Freire 1970; Freire
affective (Clough 2007)
post colonial (Bhabha 2004; English 2005).
4.1 Action Learning
Modeled on an internal consultancy. The object of study is a real problem for a team of professionals
conceived as an “Action-Learning Set” . The output of the internal consultancy and assessment
artefact is a group consultancy report with recommendations for action; signed off by management.
Assessed in partnership with validating bodies and training facilitators. May require individual
reflective commentary on contribution to team performance. May include team self assessment, even
forms of 360 assessment. (CIPD 2010)
4.2 Action Research
Workplace-based reflective learning cycle applied, in professional development and education
research to teacher-led local programmes of curricular improvement; rich descriptions of highly local
practices. (Hulme et al. 2009; Kindon & Elwood 2009; Esposito & Evans-Winters 2007; Dick 2006)
4.3 Project-based learning
As above but from within a situated project-based perspective, displaying and using knowledge of
project teams, plans, reporting, operating systems, aims and objectives, risks and benefits; articulates
internal and external factors. (Roberts et al. 1996; Berthiaume 2009)
4.4 Problem-based learning
General learner centred educational strategy; any learning environment where the problem drives the
learning. Inductive learning and teaching approaches in contemporary Engineering and Medicine
curricula using authentic problems to build solutions, and to generalise solutions to other domains; set
against more traditional deductive approaches. Can be implemented at all scales using simulations
and models. Problems may be “authentic”: to the learner’s present situation, to the situation of the
discipline and curriculum, or to the situation of practitioners in the field. (Maggi Savin-Baden n.d.; R. A.
Ellis et al. 2005; M. Savin-Baden 1998; Margetson 1991; Macdonald 2005)
4.5 Developmental Work Research (DWR)
Well elaborated methodology, based on expanded activity theory (Engeström 1999; Avis 2009;
Engeström 2008). Assumes team with common goals. Used in teacher education (V. Ellis 2008)
4.6 Peer and self-organised learning
Access to academies; autonomous working; self-directed learning. Enquiry-based approaches in self-
organised professional communities of practice:
world cafe (TWC n.d.; Vogt et al. 2003)
open space technology (Herman 1998)
bar camps (Many 2010)
4.7 (Auto-) anthropologies, ethnographies and biographies
Learner voice studies (JISC n.d.; Conole 2008; JISC n.d.; Massey & Bairstow 2009)
5 Value Criteria
5.1 Scholarship of teaching and learning
Boyers model of scholarship (Nibert n.d.; Boyer 1997):
5.2 HEA Professional Standards Framework
Value systems, such as The HEA Professional Standards Framework for teaching in higher
education , may influence the way that programmes and courses are designed, delivered, assessed
and evaluated. The course asks that participants demonstrate understanding of and engagement with
these professional values:
1. Respect for individual learners
2. Commitment to incorporating the process and outcomes of relevant research, scholarship
and/or professional practice
3. Commitment to development of learning communities
4. Commitment to encouraging participation in higher education, acknowledging diversity and
promoting equality of opportunity
5. Commitment to continuing professional development and evaluation of practice
5.3 Instrumental and other-directed values
Instrumental v. end-state values; self-directed v. other-directed values (see Rokeach 1973)
5.4 QCF Level descriptors
M-level = Level 7: post graduate certificate, diploma and MSc
Ability to reformulate and use relevant methodologies and approaches to address problematic
situations that involve many interacting factors
Taking responsibility for planning and developing courses of action underpinning substantial
Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate complex information, concepts and theories as they
apply to current developments that affect the areas of work or study
(QAA n.d.; QAA n.d.; QAA n.d.; QCF n.d.)
HEA UK Professional standards framework: www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/policy/framework
6 Curricular case studies
to be developed in the workshop
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