Tuesday, March 28, 2017

THIS Caught my Attention

". Attention" flickr photo by Juliana Coutinho https://flickr.com/photos/ngmmemuda/3870988403 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
Springlike weather in March
The cold water pipe to the washer leaking in the basement
The neighbor's dog on our deck
And daffodils blooming just outside our front window
Just a few of the many distractions---

And suddenly as I was reading Chapter Four of the BlendKit Reader,  THIS caught my attention.  

A quote from Laurillard has been a favorite of mine:
"There is no escape from the need for dialogue, no room for mere telling, nor for practice without description, nor for experimentation without reflection, nor for student action without feedback." 
Laurillard, D, 2002. Rethinking University Teaching: A Conversational Framework for the Effective Use of Learning Technologies, 2nd edition. London: RoutledgeFalmer 
but I wasn't really familiar with her work and so with the table I was intrigued, wanting to learn more -- finding this (her thoughts on the design of learning environment) 
(1) Discussion between the teacher and the learner
  • Teachers' and learners' conception should be mututally accessible
  • Both should agree on learning objectives
(2) Adaptation of the learners actions and of the teacher's constructed environment.
  • Teacher must adapt objectives with regards to existing conceptions
  • Learners must integrate feedback and link it to his own conceptions
(3) Interaction between the learner and the environment defined by the teacher
  • Teacher must "adapt to world", i.e. create an environment adapted to the learning task given to the learner
  • Teacher must focus on support for task and give appropriate feedback to the learner.
(4) Reflection of the learner's performance by both teacher and learner
  • Teacher should support the learner to revise his conceptions and to adapt the task to learning needs
  • Learners should reflect with all stages of the learning process (initial concepts, tasks, objectives, feedback, ...)

Her schema is based on forming an information rich environment in which the student has control in discovering knowledge, but the discovery is supported and scaffolded by extra guidance functions (Laurillard, 1993) which provide support and feedback for subsequent learning. These functions are analogous to the coaching and scaffolding at critical times proposed in the Situated Cognition Theory.”
Laurillard argues that different media forms have different affordances, i.e. provide a different level of support for various kinds learning experiences. She identifies five media forms: narrative, interactive, communicative, adaptive and productive. According to Conole and Fill (2005), 
  • Narrative media tell or show the learner something (e.g. text, image). 
  • Interactive media respond in a limited way to what the learner does (e.g. search engines, multiple choice tests, simple models). 
  • Communicative media facilitate exchanges between people (e.g. email, discussion forum).
  • Adaptive media are changed by what the learner does (e.g. some simulations, virtual worlds). 
  • Productive media allow the learner to produce something (e.g. word processor, spreadsheet).”
At Powerful Learning Practice, we have always stressed the critical importance of effective use of technology for learning, of using the right tool at the right time and so this resonated with me on that level. In addition, this framework of discussion, adaption, interaction, and reflection seems to be one around which we can ground inquiry learning environments which I feel hold the greatest potential for learning; a framework that may be very helpful to educators shifting to learner driven/centered environments.

The table from the BlendKit reading and the quote above offer differing terms for the types of activities and media--  experiential from the table appears to enable an additional dimension to learning and that resonates deeply with me.  As I continue to think on how I might adapt/adopt the table, I'm wondering how including both tools for designing and more learner tools for documenting learning along with blending/merging where possible the activity types and thinking that might be a focus of future inquiry for me.

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