I’m trying to make it easier for me to revise the many readings I have covered so I decided I’d compile them all on one page until I discovered that it’s better organised through the post categories. See the right hand column for my recent posts,click on them below or browse through them via Categories>Reading Reviews maybe it helps you to track something you may be interested in.
Capturing teachers’ experience of learning design through case studies
A review of the Masterman,Jameson &Walker (2009) paper
This article reports’ on the findings from an inquiry research project into the experiences of higher education teachers’ who are new to the ‘learning by design’ methodology.
In the UK in 2006 – 2007,thirteen teachers of higher education with varying degrees of technological ability were chosen as mentors,to assist teachers new to ‘learning by design’. The ‘emergent’ teachers were tasked with designing and implementing a digital tool into the classroom aided by the support of a mentor. Their expectations,processes,outcomes and reflections were recorded in the hope that it would inform an artefact for planning future ‘learning by design’ pedagogy planning. Researchers were interested to evaluate whether teachers preferred a prescribed set of ‘how to’ instructions or a ‘community of practice’ approach. A mix of face to face,blended learning and distant learning classes were examined.
Teachers’ reported favourable results in terms of increased motivation by their students,especially when the digital tools were integral to the learning. Teachers also reported more flexibility in terms of how to address varying levels of ability with students by providing structured and organised online activities and scaffolded exercises which could be repeated and referred to again and again by the students. Overall the teachers’ experiences of applying ‘Learning by Design’ principles were largely positive. They found they were more engaged with the learning from the students’ viewpoint and spontaneous opportunities arose which led to a reflection of their teaching practice,in terms of what was working and what could be improved. Limitations to online learning as highlighted by the teachers were the need for students to be competent navigating the digital medium.
Implications for Practice:
The needs for teachers new to ‘learning by design’ in receiving ongoing support,on an individually assessed basis,were found to be a crucial ingredient in maintaining confidence and continuity. By providing digital resources and direction surrounding which tools to use,teachers can save time as well as constructing their lessons with more confidence. A ‘community of practice’ for teachers has merit enabling the sharing of ideas,successes and pitfalls to watch out for when integrating ‘learning by design’.
It is essential that when designing online activities,tasks are explained in written format to the student along with any expectations. Clearly communicated guidelines help to pre-empt any obstacles to the learning and ensure a fluid learning environment for the student when working independently.
References:Masterman .E,Jameson J.,Walker S.,2009 Capturing teachers’ experience of learning design through case studiesDistance Education,Aug 2009;30,2 Routledge Open &Distance Learning Association of Australia