Empowering Staff Empowering Students for Virtual Learning Environments Helen Beetham Research Fellow, SoURCE Paul Bailey Project Manager, EFFECTS.

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  • Slide 1
  • Empowering Staff Empowering Students for Virtual Learning Environments Helen Beetham Research Fellow, SoURCE Paul Bailey Project Manager, EFFECTS
  • Slide 2
  • Transformation at three levels n Student learning n Professional development u transformation of individual learning and teaching practice n Organistional development u transformation of collective learning and teaching practice
  • Slide 3
  • Student learning subject-specific content subject-specific skills learning skills metacognition Access to learning resources Access to staff know-how Access to other experts and peers Opportunities to practice specific forms of communication, (re)presentation, analysis, experimentation, action in the world Cultural capital, literacies, critical practices, habits of mind
  • Slide 4
  • Professional development resourcestools pedagogy New curricula, teaching materials, subject knowledge and expertise New tools for communication, presentation, analysis, discussion, student management New L&T practices, expectations and standards, learning objectives and outcomes...
  • Slide 5
  • Organisational learning Developing: C&IT infrastructure LT funding LT support Administration/ management expertiseinfrastructure culture Developing: Staff skills Student skills Multimedia resources Networks Developing: Status of L&T Status of LTs Reward & recognition Research & development
  • Slide 6
  • Empowering students subject-specific content subject-specific skills learning skills metacognition Access to learning resources Access to staff know-how Access to other experts and peers Opportunities to practice specific forms of communication, (re)presentation, analysis, experimentation, action in the world Cultural capital, literacy, critical awareness, reflection, habits of mind
  • Slide 7
  • Features of the virtual n Distributed n Time- and place-independent n Information saturated n Interoperable n Continuous and discontinuous change
  • Slide 8
  • Virtually empowered learners? The proliferation of transactive learning spaces in the age of computer-mediated education signifies that control of the content of curriculum must give place to an explosion of self-crafted, ad hoc, and customized learning modules, where the great historical divide between instructor and student can be found in a state of meltdown... Carl Raschke (1999) Beyond Education: The Age of Transaction and the Scene of Digital Learning, Syllabus, Nov-Dec
  • Slide 9
  • Virtually empowered learners? [With well designed learning environments] there will be no need for teachers as they are today...instead the focus will be on the employment of the best teachers to assist in the development of computer-based learning using the best curriculum and instructional strategies. Contributor to IFETS discussion list, July 1999
  • Slide 10
  • Virtually empowered learners? I reckon itll be direct one day. Mind to mind. There wont be any technology then. Well, therell just be that one, the mental one. Student S, March 2000
  • Slide 11
  • Virtually empowered learners? While we have undeniably more choice as to what to do in the digital world, it is still not clear that we will be able to filter content in an easy manner, let alone move information back to the sender... The virtual class will be made up of those individuals who have the power, the access, and the best technology Nicholas Negroponte (1992) Being Digital
  • Slide 12
  • Virtually empowered learners? Its just mad now! Its changing all the time. But it can only go so far, cant it? What will stop it going any further? People, I guess. But... for every one like me theres one like him! [Student S] Student A, July 2000
  • Slide 13
  • Virtually empowered learners? Sometimes I cant really find the things that I want [on the web] because... its all words so I have to click, click, click and its so... frustrating sometimes. I cant find the right one. Student R, March 2000
  • Slide 14
  • What would it mean to be empowered as a learner? in a virtual environment n Distributed n Time- and place-independent n Information saturated n Interoperable n Continuous and discontinuous change
  • Slide 15
  • subject-specific content subject-specific skills learning skills metacognition New learning outcomes outcomes learner activities interactions
  • Slide 16
  • New learning activities n Discovery n Discussion n Analysis and problem solving n Synthesis and design n Reflection, giving and receiving feedback
  • Slide 17
  • New learning issues n Functional access n Information literacy n Motivation n Flexibility versus collaboration n Learning styles
  • Slide 18
  • Case study: computing science n Large final year module (160 students) n Students did not see relevance of the issues n Poor integration of lecture topics with tutorial discussions n Students had few opportunities to develop critical and social skills
  • Slide 19
  • Approach n Seminars splits into sub-groups of 4-5 students n Assessment: 50% group assignment, 50% exam n Lectures introduce theoretical issues n Student groups undertake research into impact areas n Web-based notes provide starting points for research n Students lead seminar discussion n Student groups publish hypertext reports n All students use hypertext archive for revision
  • Slide 20
  • Case study: art & architecture n Two student cohorts on different campuses with potential to learn from one another n Complementary practices and critical skills n Different cultures of study and collaboration n Different learning outcomes and assessment criteria n Both cohorts needed authentic, client-based project work with input from professional experts
  • Slide 21
  • Approach n Collaboration promoted through joint projects, with outcomes separately assessed n Small number of project briefings n Ongoing asynchronous collaboration through bulletin board and data sharing n Students have write access in project groups, read-only access in all groups n Invited professionals contribute to discussion from their desks
  • Slide 22
  • Case study: healthcare n Second year nursing students did not find research methods interesting or relevant n But needed preparation for clinical research in following year n Oriented on a pragmatic, problem-solving approach to learning n Students needed good ICT skills to satisfy professional body
  • Slide 23
  • Approach n Problem based learning approach n Research task is broken down into manageable steps n Students required to decide on a course of action each week n Students have access to online resources to support their decision-making process n Decisions are submitted and discussed online, with feedback from tutor and peers n Consensus is reached before moving on
  • Slide 24
  • Case study: maths and stats n Compulsory module for a wide range of programmes: large and varied cohort (ca 600) n Current assessment strategy allowed students to avoid stats questions until final exam n Students had poor sense of their own progress n (Hidden issue at least 10% of students assessed as having some level of dyslexia)
  • Slide 25
  • Approach n Computer assisted assessment introduced n Large existing question bank translated n Same question bank used to provide formative assessment and feedback throughout course n Existing inequalities exposed during evaluation n Students can now have time on assessment tasks adjusted to suit individual learning needs
  • Slide 26
  • Empowering staff resourcestools pedagogy New curricula, teaching materials, subject knowledge and expertise New tools for communication, presentation, analysis, discussion, student management New L&T practices, expectations and standards, learning objectives and outcomes...
  • Slide 27
  • National audit: staff using learning technologies in UK HE n 25% of all HEIs audited n Role analysis of staff n In depth interviews with representative staff n Interviews with senior managers and policy makers n January 2001: final report to JCALT http://sh.plym.ac.uk/eds/effects/jcalt-project/ http://sh.plym.ac.uk/eds/effects/jcalt-project/ n Briefing papers and recommendations to institutions
  • Slide 28
  • Key findings: staff skills n Wide range of competences required (40/58) n Generic technical competence u practical application, reflection, critical evaluation u peer-supported experimentation n Interpersonal, pedagogic, strategic skills u mentoring, team working, strategic participation u communities, networks, frameworks for practice u archetypal knowledge workers u multiple roles and cultures u change agency and staff development
  • Slide 29
  • Key findings: staff skills n Academic staff skills u Embed, adapt, translate, review u Curriculum development process u New roles, new collaborations u Scholarship of teaching u Opportunities to innovate, create, move forward institutional practice (as well as meet standards)
  • Slide 30
  • Key issues: staff skills n How to promote peer-supported experimentation and critical reflection n How to develop collaborative learning within and across institutions n How to develop skills in authentic professional contexts n Short shelf-life of technology-related skills (continuous revolution = lifelong learning) n Accrediting and acknowledging expertise
  • Slide 31
  • Professional development n L&T process rather than C&IT skills n Underpinning values & philosophy n Action research n Action learning a continuous process of learning and reflection, supported by colleagues, with an intention of getting things done. Through action learning individuals learn with and from each other by working on real problems and reflecting on their experiences. Beaty & McGill (1995)
  • Slide 32
  • Generic learning outcomes individual learning cycle collective knowledge and practice
  • Slide 33
  • Empowering staff n New skills and competences n Professional/career development n Research/publication opportunities n Finding solutions n New collaborations with support staff n New learning and teaching dialogues n New peer networks n Control over process of innovation and change
  • Slide 34
  • New dialogues in teams when new ideas are being implemented and non-teachers are making the technology work, it is sometimes difficult for me to explain the problems that technology creates within the teaching environment. I have considered learning how to create and use the technologies myself, but I think this would be time unwisely spent ..
  • Slide 35
  • Practitioner skills required for teaching are different to those required for the development of innovative C&IT. The ability to be able to recognise this difference and employ the skills of people to build programs efficiently and effectively is very important New dialogues in teams
  • Slide 36
  • Coping with student numbers Changes in local practices have also been apparent. There are now dedicated staff to help with the module who deal with the technology and for marking the in-class tests [This] is also a long term benefit because large student numbers are being managed effectively and expediently. Stress levels of teaching staff have also been reduced!
  • Slide 37
  • Transforming practice Sometimes it requires confidence and support to change practice in the face of existing cultures including the expectations of students: Student: You mean the lecture is cancelled next week? Lecturer: No, it isnt cancelled. I never planned to have one
  • Slide 38
  • New professional skills [I realised that I needed] to do more work on the evaluation of the learning experience and how the use of new methods of delivery changes this. However, singling out the use of technology for evaluation is, I believe, not appropriate I am investigating the possibility of more personal development in this area.
  • Slide 39
  • Ownership of the process From EFFECTS external evaluation report: in response to the question what were the main benefits of undertaking an EFFECTS programme?: n the opportunity to develop my ideas about this area n the freedom to develop a whole course
  • Slide 40
  • New practitioner networks n working with others n meeting like-minded people n collaborative activities n the enrichment of working with (other) lecturers n loads of contacts
  • Slide 41
  • Change of role n Ive become increasingly involved with colleagues regarding the development of online materials n Ive became a member of university PCLI steering group, have now been able to raise funding for a new project n Im now considered the dept expert in LT
  • Slide 42
  • Empowering institutions Developing: C&IT infrastructure LT funding LT support Administration/ management expertiseinfrastructure culture Developing: Staff skills Student skills Multimedia resources Networks Developing: Status of L&T Status of LTs Reward & recognition Research & development
  • Slide 43
  • Organisational Learning organisational learning cycle collective knowledge and practice
  • Slide 44
  • Key findings: institutions n Interdependence of factors n No magic formula n Seven institutional strategies n All require expert staff working in a range of roles and institutional cultures/locations n All depend on empowered change agents, networkers, intra- and entre-preneurs
  • Slide 45
  • Conclusions
  • Slide 46
  • Empowered students means n Student learning and ICT skills addressed at every level n VLE integrated into induction process n Starting from learning activities not learning content n Students as creators and designers as well as users of virtual environments n Dialogues with peers, tutors, other experts
  • Slide 47
  • Empowered staff means n Shared dialogue about practice n Culture of evaluation and critical reflection n Authentic development projects, owned by staff n Collaborative development breaking down barriers n Local drivers and barriers identified with strategic lessons learned n Learning teams and networks (discussion groups, learning sets, mentoring...) n Cohort of innovators and change agents
  • Slide 48
  • Empowering institution means n Central vision; local planning and process n Coordination without territoriality n Recruiting, developing and rewarding expertise n Status, credibility and recognition for all staff involved in learning and teaching development n Integrated support for student skills, staff skills, learning resources and infrastructure n Tying innovations funding into professional development n Local lessons, strategic learning n Building internal and external networks