Notes for a Friday [4]

This week has been a lot of ‘heads down’ course designing and building type work. I did find the following of interest:

Fostering online learning

“research into online learning almost univocally agrees that…well-designed courses with interactive content..continuous educator involvement..timely, and formative feedback are the most promising approaches to fostering learning in online environments”— Neil Mosley (@neilmosley5) August 9, 2020

The article linked to here states the equity case for online teaching and learning in terms of accessibility to education that allows for the fluidity and complexity of adult lives. The model presented in the paper articulates well the integration of many factors involved in digital education strategy

The paper concludes that

“In the end, education is about encouraging different ideas, various viewpoints, and more creative design that really give enthusiast to the students. Educators should encourage students to relate their discussions, assignments and group work to their own experiences, to the viewpoints of others, to subject matters, and to their learning and work.”

Castro & Tumibay (2019)

Innovation in higher education

An interesting article from Edsurge is notable for clearly stating that digital education is not innovative in itself. This is 2020 after all!
Rather, the post laments the lack of real innovation in the sector “The truth is, while many institutions have used the idea of

“innovation” as a marketing ploy, the pandemic has exposed the lack of innovation in academe”

I particular, the post argues that innovation in student support, curriculum flexibility and pathways is critical to the students’ positive experiences of higher education. The innovation of higher education is where the failure lies than innovation by universities – through research and knowledge exchange. The general lack of innovation is harming students. Unfortunately, the post goes on to positon higher education in terms of the labour market and innovation as responding to industry demands for more flexible, dynamic and industry-aligned curricula. But there is recognition of the need for pedagogic and faculty-led innovation with the example of The initial argument also points to the need for a higher education that is not bound to the notion of the student as a young adult able to focus full time on their education and relocating to do so.

Challenge-based learning

Following on from the need for innovations in pedagogic practices, the Challenge-based learning framework seems a useful design pattern for teaching. The framework present three interactive stages of learning as Engage, Investigate, and Act. The breakdown of each stage is helpful for building the scaffolding for students as they learn from key wicked problems. Challenge-based learning is a sense-making process and so demands much from the students in exercising their agency and engaging in deep reflective practice.

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