Sunday, 6 March 2016

Learning Design 1: Conceptualise

This is actually out of sequence - I wrote it a few weeks ago and didn't like it, now reading it back I don't hate it so much...

The work I'm going to use as a context for the Learning Design study is something I'm currently actively engaged in - partly the save time (in the hope I can use the material made and build on experience of delivery) and partly to make the project more authentic. I don't teach much day to day, and I very rarely work for an extended period with the same group - so this is a good focus.

For the Conceptualise section - the first of the seven deadly Cs of the 7C model - I must consider why and what I want to design, key principles and pedagogical approaches and demographics and needs.

What I'm designing is a course for in-service teachers, mostly working in primary schools, to support their "delivery" of computing in the English national curriculum. As most of the programme is known to this audience from the old IT curriculum, the focus naturally resides on the programming elements. It tends to be an area where teachers haven't had instruction in the actual skills themselves to code and where they may lack confidence in classroom management and assessment as well.

There are several features that will shape the approach for the course:
  • Although several full days of training would be ideal, it will never happen. The course needs to be structured in such a way that minimal face to face training will take place because to offer this design at a scale that is meaningful (covering 25+ schools) nothing else is affordable.
  • To gain confidence requires people to have done more than master content - they need to experience programming to have the capacity to teach it.
  • There is a wide range of levels of experience (as teachers) and settings (as schools) for the audience, so they will need a way to work together to adapt the approaches offered to apply the material for themselves.
The content and approaches can break down as:

Knowledge of what is required: associative approaches presenting content, giving feedback on understanding, coupled with a community of practice to share understanding and tease out subtleties as a group.

Learning how to program: is something I can only see being successful through very constructivist, hands on, problem solving activity. Learning by doing and reflecting and sharing thereon. The outcomes, user generated content and collaboration for members of the community of practice to help resolve problems together.

Considering how to teach programming: is very much a dialogic process with colleagues, having understood what needs to be taught to their classes and mastered some of the skills (and experiences) involved, consider how to frame this in their own teaching. I'd see elements of situative and connectives pedagogy in this phase. 

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