In particular, in planning how to break the computing requirements and teaching ideas into small units that can then be built up for the training day has been tricky as I find it difficult to simplify something so inter-related into a simple ladder of progression. Still, at least at this stage of the course I can muse that I'm trying to use an Associative model and that is probably the problem...
This blog post from Educause Review is one I enjoyed and I think picked up ideas from.
The author, Gardner Campbell discusses a monograph by Kuh published in 2008 that describes high impact educational practices. Campbell argues that there should be an eleventh such practice - online networked learning (I suppose a situative approach). The discussion is really interesting and one I'd commend to anyone else on the Technology Enhanced Learning course, but for me the key quotation is:
"With networks replacing ladders and trees as a primary metaphor to describe the structures of knowledge, digitally networked learning becomes marvelously recursive as a site of integration: the very experience deepens learners' understanding of the condition of learning itself within a strongly social context that can mobilize communities of practice quickly and effectively."Three things ring true for me in that segment:
- The idea that learning can be (for me this is true) a process by which you work from a global understanding that recursively gets deeper and richer as you work through it, and possibly the reason why I'm struggling so much with my training day plan. I have never enjoyed learning as a sequence of discrete blocks that build up - I like to race ahead, see the big picture and then fill in the gaps according to need, interest or opportunity.
- The notion that the interaction and discussion of the content and the way we're interacting with it is essential to getting a real understanding is one I'm trying to express in my current assignment about e-Pedagogy and staff development. I think the lack of that within my current course is one reason I'm now at a point where I'm finding it heavy going.
- Mobilising a community of practice is an area I've been thinking about a lot on the context of teacher professional development. With almost every experience of online courses or communities I've had, a good platform and good resources does not lead to a thriving community interacting with it, indeed making the resources and the platform to deliver it is the easy part. I think in the reading I have planned there isn't enough around that question - we can all agree that communities of practice are "a good thing," but how to develop them?
Kuh's paper is "High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter (Kuh): Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2008"
Kuh identified ten high impact practices from Higher Education, a useful summary is here:
- First-Year Seminars and Experiences - rich small group seminars that engage new members of the course community with leading practitioners.
- Common Intellectual Experiences - a strong core of broad themes shared by all learners.
- Learning Communities
- Writing-Intensive Courses
- Collaborative Assignments and Projects
- Undergraduate Research
- Diversity/Global Learning
- Service Learning, Community-Based Learning
- Capstone Courses and Projects
For my current writing assignment for the Technology Enhanced Learning, I'm looking to see what research tells us to be the most effective practice when organising e-Learning for professional development of staff (teachers and support staff). Much of what I've been reading is around e-Pedagogy, MOOCs and mobile learning, but I think the opportunity to draw parallels between Kuh's work on what makes for the greatest impact in undergraduate study and ongoing professional development will be an interesting one.... if only I wasn't limited to 4500 words.