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Quality multiplied: Learning that matters in a runaway world


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The OpenLearning Conference 27 November 2018
Quality multiplied: Learning that matters in a runaway world
Lina Markauskaite
Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation
The University of Sydney, Australia
How can we help prepare students to solve wicked problems when nobody knows exactly what these problems will be, for jobs and professions that do not yet exist and for a society whose contours, as Anthony Giddens put it, ‘we can as yet only dimly see’?
For the last ten years, I have been researching how university students learn to integrate different kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing needed for innovative and skilful professional action in the world — how they develop a capability called ‘epistemic fluency’. Drawing on my studies and related innovations in my teaching, I will argue that education needs to go beyond the established notions of ‘learning as knowledge acquisition’ or ‘learning as participation’ and go beyond developing courses or shaping students’ experiences. Instead, it should focus on learning that enables students to re-imagine their future, co-assemble their own environments, and co-create actionable knowledge that runs away outside the educational institutions. This is a risky business that requires openness to the world in which the students will live, in fact, to the world which they will co-create.
Universities and other educational institutions have skin in this game. They need courage and wisdom to move beyond their secure ‘industrial’ methods for assuring educational quality, and embrace a greater diversity of ways in which they teach and produce socially valuable knowledge.

Published in: Education
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Quality multiplied: Learning that matters in a runaway world

  1. 1. Page 1 Quality Multiplied: Learning that matters in a runaway world Lina Markauskaite Associate Professor of the Learning Sciences Co-Director of the Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation The OpenLearning Conference 2018 26–27 November Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. 2. Page 2 Acknowledgements Professional learning for knowledgeable action and innovation (ARC DP0988307) – Peter Goodyear, Agnieszka Bachfischer and many others Understanding and facilitating learning in emerging knowledge co-creation spaces (SREI 2020, DVCR) – Peter Reimann, Celina McEwen, and 17 other colleagues and PhD students Re-imagining the future: Frontiers of learning innovation and research (SRS, DVCR&E)
  3. 3. Page 3 About me Last 14 years… A big part of my life… From From
  4. 4. Page 4 My focus: Social learning – For future complex knowledge work – Where ‘Social’ really matters for knowledge – Expansive learning: individuals, groups, communities, cultures
  5. 5. Page 5 Main messages A runaway world – more than where we are naturally heading Knowledge that matters – more than we already know Learning that matters – more than what and whom we teach Quality multiplied – more than efficiency and satisfaction
  6. 6. Page 6 A runaway world Why is education a global issue?
  7. 7. Page 7 Global transformations and issues World Economic Forum. Mapping Global Transformations, 2018 November From
  8. 8. Page 8 The future of skills and Higher Education – AI, robotics, blockchain: some roles are on the way out (accountants, financial analysts, lawyers) – Fast change: the most in- demand occupations did not exist 10 years ago – ‘Content’ matters, but ‘futureproof’ skills matter more so World Economic Forum. The Future of Jobs Report 2018. From World Economic Forum. The Future of Jobs Report 2016. From From report-ernst-young-20180501-p4zcn5.html
  9. 9. Page 10 Knowledge that matters What should professionals be able to do with knowledge?
  10. 10. Page 11 Expectations from the (future) professionals 1. Evidence informed and generating practice 2. ‘Second-hand’ knowledge 3. Relational expertise 4. AI & redistribution of work 5. Open innovation & co-configuration What does it mean for HE? “…learning for an unknown future has to be a learning understood neither in terms of knowledge or skills but of human qualities and dispositions.” Barnett, 2004, “Learning for an unknown future”, 247 Knowledge Flexibility, Adaptability ? Moving away from knowledge Rethinking knowledge & skills
  11. 11. Page 12 Actionable knowledge Knowledge as a tool for action “People who use tools actively rather than just acquire them . . . build an increasingly rich understanding of the world in which they use the tools and of the tools themselves” Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989, 33 Actionable knowledge is “knowledge that is particularly useful to get things accomplished in practical activities” After Yinger & Lee, 1993
  12. 12. Page 13 Epistemic fluency People who are flexible and adept with respect to different kinds of knowledge and different ways of knowing about the world can be said to possess epistemic fluency. After Morrison & Collins, 1996
  13. 13. Page 14 Learning that matters What kind of learning is key for (future) professionals?
  14. 14. Page 15 How people learn 1. People develop a diverse array of knowledge and other cognitive resources 2. Different kinds of knowledge are learned in different ways 3. Learning is a remarkably dynamic and enmeshed in physical and digital environments, social practices and cultures 4. Learners constantly integrate many types of knowledge and learning processes, both deliberately and unconsciously National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures. Washington, DC: The National
  15. 15. Page 16 Design for Social learning ‘Social’ is at the core of knowledge (eg. wicked problems) – Diverse perspectives – Distributed environments – Production of complex knowledge objects and artefacts Source : Arthar’s PhD, 2018
  16. 16. Page 17 How do we create complex actionable knowledge? Shared knowledge problems/objects Local epistemic practices Personal resourcefulness Knowledge, skills, dispositions, etc. Assembling environments, creating objects, tinkering, etc. Assumptions, concepts, methods, etc. Global knowledge cultures
  17. 17. Page 18 An example What does this look like in practice?
  18. 18. Page 19 An example From
  19. 19. Page 20 Learning to lead innovation and change 100% Agreement for 9 out of 12 items of evaluation “During this challenge I personally experienced frustration, panic and joy” “Overall, a different but very rewarding course for me” “I learnt far more doing the teamwork than I'd expected to”
  20. 20. Page 21 Key course components A guide for innovation & change managers Joint innovation Analytical reflection …of past experiences …of teamwork Analysis and design Teamwork Weekly readings Online discussions Ideas and methods Using ideas & methods to inform knowledgeable action & create actionable knowledge products Understanding & improving individual & group learning Making ideas actionable by grounding them in past experiences
  21. 21. Page 22 Design principles 1. Making action knowledgeable 2. Making knowledge actionable 3. Creating epistemic artefacts (tools) 4. Integrating diverse kinds of disciplinary and non-disciplinary knowledge 5. Coordinating diverse ways of knowing 6. Co-assembling joint epistemic environments 7. Learning at genuine knowledge
  22. 22. Page 23 Principle I: Making action knowledgeable Seeing experiences through theory Using ideas and methods to inform immediate action
  23. 23. Page 24 Principle II: Making knowledge actionable Guides for Change and Innovation Managers iPad Journey (MLS&T) Constructing practical-principled knowledge products (tools) Overcoming isolation in online learning Learning on-the-go: Mobile learning in HE Redesigning learning spaces: Learning through making Learning analytics for deep learning
  24. 24. Page 25 Principle III: Creating epistemic artefacts Learning to recognize and deliberately create various kinds of epistemic artefacts that allow to share ideas across disciplinary, professional and other boundaries and mediate joint knowledge work – models, – blueprints, – prototypes, – principles, – etc.
  25. 25. Page 26 Principle IV: Integrating diverse kinds of knowledge Multiple disciplinary perspectives Multiple stakeholder perspectives Individual learning Image based on Senge, P. et al. (2000). Schools that learn: A fifth discipline fieldbook for educators, parents, and everyone who cares about education. New York: Doubleday. Organisational learning
  26. 26. Page 27 Principle V: Coordinating diverse ways of knowing Three modes of inquiry Systems thinking Design practice Responsiv e action From big ideas… to specific ‘know how’
  27. 27. Page 28 Principle VI: Co-assembling joint epistemic environments Learning to manage distributed teamwork by learning to choose and use appropriate methods and tools – Face-to-face – Synchronous web conferencing – Online collaborative writing – Knowledge mapping – Idea generation – Online project management – Asynchronous discussions – Document management – etc.
  28. 28. Page 29 Principle VII: Learning at genuine knowledge frontiers Creating useful knowledge for future and for others and, ideally, with others - Guides for change & innovation managers - Future scenarios - Horizon scanning reports - etc.
  29. 29. Page 30 Bringing it all together: “The three orders” of learning Teaching as telling Learning as acquisition Designing for learning content (product design) Teaching as facilitation Learning as participation Designing for experiences (service design) Teaching as co-configuration Learning as co-construction and conscientious inhabiting Co-designing for knowing (relational design) 1st Order 2nd Order 3rd Order
  30. 30. Page 31 Opportunities for co-construction Open & Citizen science Industry & community partnership Open & Living labs From National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. (2018). Learning through citizen science: Enhancing opportunities by design. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. From course/undergraduate-courses/interdisciplinary- projects.html Co- creation Real-life setting Multi- method approach Multi- stakeholder participation Active user engagement
  31. 31. Page 33 Firms co-operating on innovation with HE or government, OECD 2017 OECD Innovation Indicators 2017, From stats.htm#indicators 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 AUT FIN GBR BEL SVN COL_S EST NOR ESP DNK NLD MEX DEU FRA POL SVK CZE JPN HUN ISL COL_M TUR GRC CHE PRT LTU LVA ITA KOR BRA NZL CHL AUS RUS SMEs Large Australia
  32. 32. Page 34 Is it ‘laziness’ or ‘a bottleneck’? – 2 066 600 Small (0-19) – 51 000 Medium (20-199) – 3 700 Large (200+ employees) – Plus governmental, community organisations, etc. Businesses, 2017 (AU data) University, 2016-17 – 55 600 Academic staff – 66 405 Research Students – 1 513 400 HE students Engagement of students in real-world problem solving is not only a pedagogical opportunity, but an economic necessity The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (2016) Small business counts. From Norton, A., Cherastidtham, I., & Mackey, W. (2018). Mapping Australian higher education 2018. Grattan Institute. From
  33. 33. Page 35 An opportunity – Careful planning – Learning supports – Intentional design – Building iteratively – Input from stakeholders Global ‘research resource’, 2025 Doing ≠ Learning – 262 million students – 5.6 million person years of research time per year* Disclaimer: I haven't checked data & calculations *If 50% study time was allocated for research Evans, J., et al. (2015). Living labs and co-production: university campuses as platforms for sustainability science. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 16, 1-6 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. (2018). Learning through citizen science: Enhancing opportunities by design. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Students’ learning and research time is a huge underutilized intellectual resource that could make a huge difference to economies and society , BUT also…
  34. 34. Page 36 Quality multiplied Do we have issues with quality?
  35. 35. Page 37 Quality: What, who and how to evaluate it 1. Knowledge and skills – teachers (grades) 2. Experiences – students (course evaluations) 3. Workplace readiness – employers (satisfaction), accreditation 4. Value for money – governments (staff to student ratios, drop-outs, etc.)
  36. 36. Page 38 Employer satisfaction with graduates, 2017 (AU) Including innovation QUILT (2017) The 2017 Employer Satisfaction Survey. National Report. From
  37. 37. Page 39 Student experience, 2017 (AU) 63% Internal/mixed 22% External QUILT (2018) The 2017 Student Experience Survey. National Report. From
  38. 38. Page 41 Do we have issues with quality? From: ernst-young-20180501-p4zcn5.html EY (2018) Can Universities Today Lead Learning for Tomorrow: The university of the future. From sector/ey-university-of-the-future-2030
  39. 39. Page 42 NONE of these are 1. Students are not ‘consumers’ but co-creators of knowledge and universities 2. Universities have skin in the knowledge creation game 3. We should think about ‘relational’, not ‘reactive’, futures of HE The future of HE
  40. 40. Page 43 Quality: What, who and how to evaluate it 1. Knowledge and skills – teachers (grades) 2. Experiences – students (course evaluations) 3. Workplace readiness – employers (satisfaction), accreditation 4. Value for money – governments (staff to student ratios, drop-outs, etc.) 5. Relevance and direct value – co-participants (co-produced knowledge artefacts, societal benefits)
  41. 41. Page 44 HE as a ‘relational service’: Some insights 1. Expert-designed services 2. Students as customers of educational services 3. Gain knowledge and experiences 4. Predefined tasks, predictable outcomes 5. Quality is a responsibility of providers 6. A technological platform 1. Expert-enabled services 2. Students as co-producers of education 3. Develop capabilities to co-create knowledge & experiences 4. Negotiated tasks, emerging outcomes 5. Quality is a joint responsibility of co-producers 6. A sociotechnical system Standard Relational After Cipolla, C., & Manzini, E. (2009). Relational Services. Knowledge, Technology & Policy,
  42. 42. Page 46 Final points What could you take away from this?
  43. 43. Page 47 Main messages A runaway world – A world we can imagine, want to live in, and can create Knowledge that matters – interconnected, actionable, embodied in artefacts Learning that matters – ‘leaks’ into learning of others beyond students Quality multiplied – socially relevant, of direct value
  44. 44. Page 48 Takeaway: ‘What’ Social learning should not just equip a greater number of students with more knowledge or provide them with positive experiences. Social learning should aspire to develop students’ capabilities to create actionable knowledge for complex workplace and societal issues, and directly contribute to solutions of these issues
  45. 45. Page 49 Takeaway: ‘How’ Actionable knowledge for complex workplace & societal problems Quality of social learning Graduate qualities Quality of our society
  46. 46. Page 50 Thank you Email: Website: Twitter: @markauskaite eBook: m/9789400743687