Oxford Seminar


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Presentation given to University of Oxford Learning Institute, 6.11.08.

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Oxford Seminar

  1. 1. Laminations: Dewey, constructivism & professional education Professor Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law
  2. 2. s imulations… <ul><li>Are close to the world of practice , but safe from the (possible) realities of malpractice and negligent representation. </li></ul><ul><li>Enable students to practise legal transactions , discuss the transactions with other tutors, students, and use a variety of instruments or tools, online or textual, to help them understand the nature and consequences of their actions </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate a wide variety of assessment , from high-stakes assignments with automatic fail points, to coursework that can double as a learning zone and an assessment assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage collaborative learning . The guilds and groups of hunters/players in multi-player online games can be replicated for very different purposes in FE & HE. </li></ul><ul><li>Students begin to see the potential for the C in ICT ; and that technology is not merely a matter of word-processed essays & quizzes, but a form of learning that changes quite fundamentally what and how they learn . </li></ul>
  3. 3. authenticity as transactional learning… <ul><li>Transactional learning: </li></ul><ul><li>active learning </li></ul><ul><li>through performance in authentic transactions </li></ul><ul><li>involving reflection in & on learning, </li></ul><ul><li>deep collaborative learning , and </li></ul><ul><li>holistic or process learning, </li></ul><ul><li>with relevant professional assessment </li></ul><ul><li>that includes ethical standards </li></ul>
  4. 4. general aims of the SIMPLE platform <ul><ul><li>personalized learning in a professional environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>collaborative learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of simulation spaces in programmes of study, and the relation between simulation spaces and other learning spaces on a programme, including paper-based and online resources, face-to-face classes, and administration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of rich media in online simulations – video, graphics, text, comms., etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>authenticity in the design of simulation tasks, and effective assessment of professional learning </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. what has the SIMPLE project done? <ul><li>Provided academic staff in UK universities with software tools to design and build simulations and collate all of the resources required </li></ul><ul><li>Developed teaching, learning and assessment templates, including curriculum guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Provided tools to create a map and directory for a virtual town </li></ul><ul><li>Enabled communication between students and simulated characters/staff </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring and mentoring functions </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluated student and staff experiences in using the simulation environment </li></ul>
  6. 6. large-scale implementation in disciplines Discipline Degree programme Institution Architecture BSc (Hons) / March, year 3 Strathclyde U. (1) Management Science BA (Hons), year 1 Strathclyde U. (1) Social Work MA (Hons), year 2/3 Strathclyde U. (1) Law LLB, year 1 Glamorgan U. (1) Law LLB, year 2/3 Stirling U. (2) Law LLB, year 3 Warwick U. (1) Law LLB, year 3 West of England U. (1) Law Diploma in Legal Practice, p/g Strathclyde U. (6)
  7. 7. Tools: <ul><li>Enables academic member to build simulation ‘blueprint’ and collate all the resources required for the sim </li></ul><ul><li>Process and tool allow for highly structured, closed boundary simulations as well as loosely-structured, open-field simulations </li></ul><ul><li>Provides potential for simulation import / export </li></ul><ul><li>Tool itself has development potential </li></ul>key tool – narrative event diagram
  8. 8. example of a NED
  9. 9. correspondence file
  10. 10. Ardcalloch directory
  11. 11. map of Ardcalloch
  12. 12. personal injury negotiation project <ul><li>Administration: </li></ul><ul><li>272 students, 68 firms, 8 anonymous information sources – PI mentors </li></ul><ul><li>68 document sets, 34 transactions </li></ul><ul><li>Each scenario has embedded variables, called from a document server, making it similar, but also unique in critical ways </li></ul><ul><li>students have 12 weeks to achieve settlement </li></ul><ul><li>introductory & feedback lectures </li></ul><ul><li>discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>FAQs & transaction guideline flowcharts </li></ul><ul><li>voluntary face-to-face surgeries with a PI solicitor </li></ul>
  13. 13. PI project: assessment criteria <ul><li>We require from each student firm a body of evidence consisting of: </li></ul><ul><li>fact-finding – from information sources in the virtual community) </li></ul><ul><li>professional legal research – using WestLaw + paperworld sources </li></ul><ul><li>formation of negotiation strategy – extending range of Foundation Course learning </li></ul><ul><li>performance of strategy – correspondence + optional f2f meeting, recorded </li></ul>
  14. 17. PI project: (some of) what students learned <ul><li>extended team working </li></ul><ul><li>real legal fact-finding </li></ul><ul><li>real legal research </li></ul><ul><li>process thinking in the project </li></ul><ul><li>setting out negotiation strategies in the context of (un)known information </li></ul><ul><li>writing to specific audiences </li></ul><ul><li>handling project alongside other work commitments </li></ul><ul><li>structuring the argument of a case from start to finish </li></ul><ul><li>keeping cool in face-to-face negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>more effective delegation </li></ul><ul><li>keeping files </li></ul><ul><li>taking notes on the process... </li></ul>
  15. 18. PI project: what students would have done differently… <ul><li>‘ In tackling this project I think that our group made two main mistakes. The first mistake we made was in approaching the task as law students as opposed to Lawyers. By this I mean we tried to find the answer and work our way back. Immediately we were thinking about claims and quantum and blame. I don't think we actually initiated a claim until a week before the final settlement. I think the phrase &quot;like a bull in a china shop&quot; would aptly describe the way we approached the problem. […] Our group knew what area of law and tests to apply yet we ended up often being ahead of ourselves and having to back-pedal </li></ul><ul><li>The second mistake we made was estimating how long it would take to gather information. We started our project quite late on and began to run out of time towards the end. None of us appreciated the length of time it would take to gather information and on top of this we would often have to write two or three letters to the same person as the initial letter would not ask the right question.’ </li></ul>
  16. 19. PI project: what students would have done differently… <ul><li>‘ At the beginning we thought we perhaps lost sight of the fact that we had a client whom we had a duty to advise and inform. On reflection we should have issued terms of engagement and advised the client better in monetary terms what the likely outcome was going to be.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ […] unlike other group projects I was involved in at undergraduate level I feel that I derived genuine benefit from this exercise in several ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. reinforcing letter-writing, negotiation, time-management and IT skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. conducting legal research into issues of quantum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>working effectively in a group as a group - not delegating tasks at the first meeting and then putting together pieces of work at the second meeting.’ </li></ul></ul>
  17. 20. PI project: tempo & complexity
  18. 21. PI project: tempo & complexity
  19. 23. Plagiarism … ? <ul><li>Plagiarism is not just about students being selfish, or narcissistic behaviour, or academic cheating or a syndrome or lack of integrity or anything else </li></ul><ul><li>We create fertile conditions for it to flourish by our teaching & assessment designs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of apprenticeship models </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>insufficient situated learning & assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>poor academic literacy support within disciplines </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We need to re-design the ecology of learning, eg : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trading zones, for students > students, staff > staff, students > staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teach rhetorical models via games, sims, debriefs, PBL, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>transactional learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>One attempt to change practice: SIMPLE </li></ul>
  20. 24. <ul><li>See Peter Galison’s groundbreaking study of the material culture of modern experimental micro-physics – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Galison, P. (1997) Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (Chicago, University of Chicago Press). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A place where theorists, writers, experimenters, instrument designers, policy-makers, politicians and others meet, share knowledge and do collaborative research </li></ul><ul><li>Parties traded content and method; they imposed constraints on each other; disciplines & practices coordinated but without homogenising; they communicated in pidgins and creoles to express and absorb each other’s essential concepts. </li></ul>1. trading zone…?
  21. 25. <ul><li>See the early work of Flower & Hayes, Scardamalia & Bereiter; New Literacies movement; London Group; James Gee. </li></ul><ul><li>In Law, see the work of James Stratman, Dorothy Deegan, Leah Christensen on the effect of professional identity on student reading & writing strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>Each discipline needs to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>invent methods to embed these approaches in its teaching, learning & assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assess student performance based on the learning of rhetorical models. </li></ul></ul>2. rhetorical models…?
  22. 26. <ul><li>‘ Many university students are unable to cope with the technical and scholastic demands made on their use of language as students. They cannot define the terms which they hear in lectures or which they themselves use. They are remarkably tolerant of words lifted from the language of ideas but applied inappropriately or irrelevantly, and they accept sloppiness and incorrectness with resigned indifference. The lexis and syntax of examination scripts and essays written during the year offer a still more unchallengeable test of linguistic misunderstanding. Constrained to write in a badly understood and poorly mastered language, many students are condemned to using a rhetoric of despair whose logic lies in the reassurance that it offers. Through a kind of incantatory or sacrificial rite, they try to call up and reinstate the tropes, schemas or words which to them distinguish professorial language. Irrationally and irrelevantly, with an obstinacy that we might too easily mistake for servility, they seek to reproduce this discourse in a way which recalls the simplifications, corruptions and logical re-workings that linguists encounter in “creolized” languages.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J.-C. and de Saint Martin, M. (1994) Academic Discourse: Linguistic Misunderstanding and Professorial Power , trans. R. Teese (Cambridge, Polity Press), p.4 </li></ul>Baudrillard on academic discourse: the rhetoric of despair…
  23. 27. <ul><li>If Web 2.0 apps enhance social learning, collaboration, what effect will this have on the practice of plagiarism? </li></ul><ul><li>It may have a beneficial effect, if Web 2.0 is used to transform academic teaching practices… </li></ul><ul><li>Or may become yet one more example of e-plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>See Gerry McKiernan’s blog: </li></ul><ul><li>www.scholarship20.blogspot.com/ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>& 2008 Horizon Report www.nmc.org/pdf/2008-Horizon-Report.pdf </li></ul></ul>rhetorical models & Web 2.0…?
  24. 28. <ul><li>Students co-opted to community-police plagiarism </li></ul><ul><li>Students carry out authentic client-based work, not artificial, assessment-led tasks </li></ul><ul><li>ICT is used to create multiple versions of tasks via document variables + support for tasks: feed forward </li></ul><ul><li>Students take responsibility for their transactional learning, their files, their clients, their firm, ie assessment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>encourages ownership, not submission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enhances collaboration, not plagiarism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Staff take responsibility for designing transactional learning </li></ul><ul><li>But what about tools to stop free-loading within/between firms? </li></ul>summary of the SIMPLE effect on plagiarism…
  25. 40. <ul><li>Methodology: integrative evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Used mixed methods and multiple data sources to develop an overall picture of each participant’s use of SIMPLE </li></ul><ul><li>Highlighting issues, drivers and barriers </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed for the emergence of unanticipated aspects </li></ul>SIMPLE evaluation
  26. 41. <ul><li>Students </li></ul><ul><li>Tutors </li></ul><ul><li>Lecturers and module leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Developers </li></ul><ul><li>Support staff such as Institutional IT Helpdesk staff and the SIMPLE Core team </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation Activities carried out: </li></ul><ul><li>Pre simulation </li></ul><ul><li>During simulation </li></ul><ul><li>Post simulation </li></ul><ul><li>End of SIMPLE Project </li></ul>data sources
  27. 42. data collection methods <ul><li>Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Student Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups (tutors) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus groups (students) </li></ul><ul><li>Diaries/logs </li></ul><ul><li>Student materials </li></ul><ul><li>Examining SIMPLE office </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-course card exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Post-course questionnaires </li></ul><ul><li>System statistics </li></ul>
  28. 43. <ul><li>Three evaluative levels: </li></ul><ul><li>What role does professional learning play within the partner institutions and how can and does SIMPLE contribute? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we address curricular issues in the design and development of innovative practices and the implementation of SIMPLE in particular? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the wider systemic and institutional factors that affect this form of learning? </li></ul>e valuation of SIMPLE as a transformative practice
  29. 44. <ul><li>SIMPLE: </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced professional skills </li></ul><ul><li>Heightened awareness of client care </li></ul><ul><li>Improved IT skills </li></ul><ul><li>Improved understanding of the subject matter </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged peer review </li></ul><ul><li>Students: </li></ul><ul><li>Welcomed the authenticity </li></ul><ul><li>Wanted regular feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment results improved over a number of projects </li></ul>l evel 1: student experiences
  30. 45. L evel 1: staff experiences <ul><li>Different expectations in look and feel </li></ul><ul><li>Some technical skills required </li></ul><ul><ul><li>some found tools ‘clunky’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>most managed to operate the tools after training </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Welcomed enhanced monitoring functionality of student work </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned about the front-loading of work to create the simulation blueprint </li></ul><ul><li>Initial difficulties in simulation design and design of resources </li></ul><ul><li>Platform hosting challenges </li></ul>
  31. 46. <ul><li>Start with a simple scenario for the first attempt. </li></ul><ul><li>Run a pilot before letting students loose on it. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t underestimate the skills you might need to get things up and running. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin the process of developing the scenario as early as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Think in advance about how sim responses will be managed ie when/who/how often: set clear guidelines to students about how this will work. </li></ul><ul><li>Allow time to familiarise yourself with both the technological aspects ie using the tools, and also with new concepts such as the Narrative Event Diagram. </li></ul><ul><li>Plan & organise well in advance </li></ul>L evel 1: staff experiences
  32. 47. level 2: curricular themes <ul><li>Open sims vs bounded sims </li></ul><ul><li>Staff c ontrol: disruptive sims vs convergent sims </li></ul><ul><li>Identity exploration (personal + profession) vs conventional learning (personal + profession) </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge object-forming via play vs knowledge resumption by traditional means </li></ul><ul><li>Transactional learning vs conventional teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Front-loading timetable vs conventional timetabling </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive mentor roles vs conventional lecturer/tutor roles </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum organised around spaces & resources vs curriculum organised around teaching interventions & resources </li></ul><ul><li>Replay/remix/feedforward assessment culture vs snapshot assessment culture </li></ul>
  33. 48. level 3: learning, institutions, practices <ul><li>T here is no such thing as experiential learning. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning is distributed among expanded environments, tools, roles, tasks, social relations. </li></ul><ul><li>T here is no spoon: curriculum is technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff role-change vs conventional teaching/admin roles. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of the institution changes. </li></ul><ul><li>The question is no longer why conventional learning vs sim, clinic, PBL, etc; but in an era where Wikipedia & SourceForge flourish against all odds, why are we not collaborating at all levels in teaching & learning? </li></ul>
  34. 49. 1. there’s no such thing as experiential learning <ul><li>W e don’t learn from experience </li></ul><ul><li>We learn by working to interpret experience, given that, when learning: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>we have different prior knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>our aims are always different in subtle ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we learn different things from the same resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ resources’ means symbolic objects like books & web pages, but also people, including ourselves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>we can learn intimately and deeply from any resource, given a suitable context </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Teachers and students need to encode those interpretations as complex memories, habits, skills, attitudes or knowledge objects if they are to re-use them </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> Schratz, M. and Walker, R.(1995) Research as Social Change: New Opportunities for Qualitative Research. London: Routledge. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  35. 50. <ul><li>Curriculum is multiple distributed technologies and practices. Eg timetables, course teams, notepads, learning spaces, forms of knowledge transmission, discussion, computers, forms of speech, writing – all existing in time spans. </li></ul><ul><li>Some technologies are ancient ( lectura, glossa) , some new (SIMPLE, standardised clients, mobile phones) </li></ul><ul><li>Success in learning means: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>f or staff, the need to compose and orchestrate the curriculum . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>f or students, the tools, support & spaces to manage their own curriculum </li></ul></ul>3. curriculum is technology
  36. 51. 5. the institution will change … <ul><li>Still focused on: </li></ul><ul><li>Organisations , ie LMSs, silos of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Products , ie handbooks, CDs, closely-guarded downloads </li></ul><ul><li>Content , ie modules, instruction, transmissive content </li></ul><ul><li>Snapshot assessment of taught substantive content </li></ul>
  37. 52. … to accommodate social, collaborative learning <ul><li>Focus shifts to: </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation has weak boundaries, strong presence through resource-based, integrated learning networks, with open access (open courseware initiatives, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Focus not on static content but on web-based, aggregated content </li></ul><ul><li>E-learning as integrated understanding & conversation, just-in-time learning </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of situated learning </li></ul>
  38. 53. SIMPLE project conclusions: simulation environments <ul><li>They can enable more engaged and deeper learning in students, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels </li></ul><ul><li>They can be used to learn and assess conceptual and second-order symbolic knowledge, practice-based skills and personal achievement of integrated skills. </li></ul><ul><li>Students adapt best to new learning environments when they are aware of the expectations of them in the new arena. </li></ul><ul><li>Simulation is a disruptive heuristic and requires support. </li></ul><ul><li>Although initial workload is heavy there is payback in later years </li></ul><ul><li>T here are serious implications for institutional change and innovation </li></ul>
  39. 54. Standard classroom c.1908. Would you like to learn about measurement and volume this way? Thanks to Mike Sharples, http://tinyurl.com/6bzdgx
  40. 55. … o r this way? (Dewey’s Laboratory School, U. of Chicago, 1901), http://tinyurl.com/6onvjp
  41. 56. Would you like to learn about history and town planning this way?
  42. 57. … o r by building a table-top town for a social life history project? (Dewey’s Lab School, http://tinyurl.com/59c93q )
  43. 58. Dewey & Thorndike: where extremes meet <ul><li>‘ One cannot understand the history of education in the United States in the twentieth century unless one realizes that Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lageman, D. (1989) The plural worlds of educational research, History of Education Quarterly , 29(2), pp. 185–214 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  44. 59. E.L. Thorndike John Dewey
  45. 60. John Dewey E.L. Thorndike 1. Philosopher & educationalist Educational psychologist 2. Theoretician and practical implementer Theoretician & experimentalist 3. Interested in the arc between experience & the world Explored the dyadic relationship between mind & the world 4. Pragmatist approach to learning: prior experience, ways of contextual knowing Adopted as precursor of a behaviourist approach to learning: assessment-led; laws of effect, recency, repetition 5. Emphasised learning ecologies Emphasised teaching strategies 6. Followed by: Bruner, Kilpatrick, standards movement, Constructivist tradition Followed by: Watson, Skinner, Gagné, outcomes movement,
  46. 61. <ul><li>‘ Judgment may be identified as the settled outcome of inquiry. It is concerned with the concluding objects that emerge from inquiry in their status of being conclusive . Judgment in this sense is distinguished from propositions . The content of the latter is intermediate and representative and is carried by symbols; while judgment, as finally made, has direct existential import.’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dewey, Logic: The Theory of Inquiry (New York: Henry Hold and Company, 1938) , 120 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>[a]n experience is a product, one might almost say a by-product, of continuous and cumulative interaction of an organic self with world’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dewey, Later Works, vol 10, p. 224 </li></ul></ul></ul>t ransactions in the world …
  47. 62. <ul><li>[T]he old notions of natural Affections , and kind Instincts ; the Sensus communis , the Decorum , and Honestum , are almost banished out of our Books of Morals; we must never hear of them in any of our Lectures for fear of Innate Ideas ; all must be interest and some selfish View. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hutcheson, F. (1969–90) Collected Works of Francis Hutcheson , 7 vols (Hildesheim, Olms), VII, 475 [1725] </li></ul></ul></ul>
  48. 63. <ul><li>‘ Dewey’s analyses of the transaction of organism and environment can be read as an account of the construction processes that lie beneath all human activity. Dewey’s work anticipates, if it does not explicitly articulate, much of what is important and interesting about constructivist epistemology and constructivist pedagogy.’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vanderstraeten, R. (2002) Dewey’s transactional constructivism, Journal of Philosophy of Education , 36(2), pp. 233–46, 234. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  49. 64. authenticity as transactional learning… <ul><li>Transactional learning: </li></ul><ul><li>active learning </li></ul><ul><li>through performance in authentic transactions </li></ul><ul><li>involving reflection in & on learning, </li></ul><ul><li>deep collaborative learning , and </li></ul><ul><li>holistic or process learning, </li></ul><ul><li>with relevant professional assessment </li></ul><ul><li>that includes ethical standards </li></ul>
  50. 65. signature pedagogies (Lee Shulman) Sullivan, W.M., Colby, A., Wegner, J.W., Bond, L., Shulman, L.S. (2007) Educating Lawyers. Preparation for the Profession of Law, Jossey-Bass, p. 24
  51. 66. Transforming Legal Education: four key themes
  52. 67. f uture directions for SIMPLE <ul><li>Improvement of the interface </li></ul><ul><li>Further research – areas include: </li></ul><ul><li>- variation of student learning in simulations </li></ul><ul><li>- nature of ‘long conversations’ between students and between students and facilitators </li></ul><ul><li>- effect of disciplinary content on simulation design </li></ul><ul><li>- variation of local professional/educational practice in the international arena </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration within a CoP </li></ul><ul><li>Collaboration across disciplines and internationally. </li></ul>
  53. 68. http://simplecommunity.org
  54. 69. contact details <ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: http://zeugma.typepad.com </li></ul><ul><li>Book: www.transforming.org.uk </li></ul><ul><li>These slides at: www .slideshare.net/paulmaharg </li></ul><ul><li>Address: Glasgow Graduate School of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Lord Hope Building </li></ul><ul><li>University of Strathclyde </li></ul><ul><li>141 St James’ Road </li></ul><ul><li>Glasgow G4 0LU </li></ul>