Educational Affordances that Support Development
of Innovative Thinking Skills in Large Classes
Julaine Fowlin, jfowlin@vt...
Session Goals
 Share how a modified educational model was used to
examine how innovative thinking skills can be developed...
Educating Undergraduate Engineers
High school to university transition

Larger class size

Digital generation?
Their needs...
Developing Innovative Thinking
“Industry needs engineers who can think globally and work in teams; society needs
engineer-...
Developing Innovative Thinking
Skill
Knowledge
Acquisition
Scaling
Elaboration
Critical Thinking

Self-Initiated
Explorati...
Educational Affordances
Affords: Support or make possible (Koehler
and Mishra, 2009 )
Educational affordances
• Characteri...
Method and Analysis
 3 Separate focus groups (N=15)
• Purposeful Sampling: Students enrolled in courses taught by 3 facul...
Findings: What Worked for Innovative Skills Development


Access to PowerPoint slides before class



Maximize presentat...
Findings: Additional Themes
 Balance between instructor support and learner autonomy especially for using
software like M...
Take Away

Teacher
Support

Problem Solving
Learning Tasks

Effective use of
Technology

Innovative Thinking
Skills Develo...
Works Cited
Foo Seau, Y., Ho, J., & Hedberg, J. (2005). Teacher understandings of technology
affordances and their impact ...
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Celda presentation vtcoe

  1. 1. Educational Affordances that Support Development of Innovative Thinking Skills in Large Classes Julaine Fowlin, jfowlin@vt.edu (Instructional Design and Technology) Dr. Catherine Amelink and Dr. Glenda Scales (Dean’s Office, College of Engineering) Research Funded by NSF TUES Grant # 1140425
  2. 2. Session Goals  Share how a modified educational model was used to examine how innovative thinking skills can be developed in large lecture classes.  Describe implications for designing innovative learning experiences.
  3. 3. Educating Undergraduate Engineers High school to university transition Larger class size Digital generation? Their needs? Generation gap between teacher and students Teaching with technology Industry needs “Teaching is a complicated practice… an example of an ill-structured discipline, requiring teachers to apply complex knowledge structures across different cases and contexts.” (Koehler and Mishra, 2009 p. 61)
  4. 4. Developing Innovative Thinking “Industry needs engineers who can think globally and work in teams; society needs engineer-entrepreneurs who can start their own companies and create jobs.” (Lumsdaine and Lumsdaine, 1995 p. 200) What are the characteristics of innovative thinkers? Can these skills be facilitated in large classes?
  5. 5. Developing Innovative Thinking Skill Knowledge Acquisition Scaling Elaboration Critical Thinking Self-Initiated Exploration Collaboration Entrepreneurialism Related Process Identifying new words and concepts, use of rehearsal strategies to memorize information. Organizing information and concepts so that they can be integrated into designing of new ideas and information. Summarizing known information; ability to reframe content. Application of previous knowledge to unknown, ill-defined and/or new situations; generation of new ideas. Ability to determine own level of understanding; ability to question ideas and information being presented. Ability to seek and entertain new ideas from peers and instructors; ability to utilize peers as a means to check new ideas and concepts. Use of team members to determine what creative ideas can become valuable innovations; effective presentation of new ideas to others.
  6. 6. Educational Affordances Affords: Support or make possible (Koehler and Mishra, 2009 ) Educational affordances • Characteristics of the educational environment that support or make possible specific learning outcomes. • Relationship between learner and properties of the educational environment. (Krishner, 2002) Tripartite model based on “Teacher Understandings of Technology Affordances and Their Impact on the Design of Engaging Learning Experiences,” by Foo et al., 2008, Educational Media International,42(4), p. 305.
  7. 7. Method and Analysis  3 Separate focus groups (N=15) • Purposeful Sampling: Students enrolled in courses taught by 3 faculty members that taught large lecture classes and used very different pedagogical approaches.  Protocol • • • Students’ motivation for using technology or other learning tools Instructor’s pedagogy that they perceived helped them with innovative thinking and learning in general Tools they found helpful in the learning environment  Analysis • An a priori coding scheme, based on the educational affordances conceptual framework posed by Foo et al. (2005), and indicators (derived from social constructivist theory) of innovative skills, was used to identify themes that emerged.
  8. 8. Findings: What Worked for Innovative Skills Development  Access to PowerPoint slides before class  Maximize presentation features of available technology  Work problems in class step by step using tablet and/or on paper using ELMO and different color markers  On demand access to recorded slides from class  Pull students work anonymously in class and give constructive feedback  Ability to sync electronic files using applications like, Google Drive, Dropbox and Skydrive.  Ability to use technology to collaborate and communicate  Office hours especially virtual  Text book tutorials or other online resources
  9. 9. Findings: Additional Themes  Balance between instructor support and learner autonomy especially for using software like Mathematica and Matlab  More opportunities for collaboration and entrepreneurialism  More qualitative feedback on assignments  Under utilization or ineffective use of technology affordances • Students actually suggested that their be a minimum standard of use among faculty regarding technology use
  10. 10. Take Away Teacher Support Problem Solving Learning Tasks Effective use of Technology Innovative Thinking Skills Development Learner Autonomy
  11. 11. Works Cited Foo Seau, Y., Ho, J., & Hedberg, J. (2005). Teacher understandings of technology affordances and their impact on the design of engaging learning experiences. Educational Media International, 42(4), 297-316. Kirschner, P. A., 2002. Can We Support CSCL? Educational, Social and Technological Affordances for Learning. Retrieved from http://dspace.ou.nl/bitstream/1820/1618/1/Three%20worlds%20of%20CSCL%20Ca n%20we%20support%20CSCL.pdf Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70. Lumsdaine, M., & Lumsdaine, E. (1995). Thinking preferences of engineering students: implications for curriculum restructuring. Journal of Engineering Education, 84(2), 193-204.

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