The shift to remote learning: The human element — from insidehighered.com by Doug Lederman & Company

The current response is triage. We are adapting to maintain as much of the familiar learning and community engagement as we can in the short term. Yes, we should adopt the technologies and strategies that support effective online learning. To that end, we will benefit from the excellent prior work of online education researchers. Right now, we need the simplest and most effective methods for our students to achieve the resolution they desire, as we seek to sustain the community and connections we have formed in residence.

It’s one thing to do this online when you are already starting from that premise — where your community has self-selected for that environment. It’s quite another when your community hasn’t. 

Kristen Eshleman

Making change in higher ed is typically a daunting prospect because of these silos, but they have been broken down now in ways that I hope will be long lasting and will lead to effective responses, programs, policies and networks in the future.

Joshua R. Eyler

It will be interesting to see if this embrace of flexibility sparks a broader shift in higher education. For too long we have mistaken rigor for academic integrity when in fact, from a definitional standpoint, rigor simply means rigidity, severity and harshness — the exact opposite of the flexibility we so need during this crisis.

Penelope Adams Moon

 

 
 

From DSC:
Very nice! “The Contemplative Commons at the University of Virginia” — from csc.virginia.edu
The Contemplative Commons embodies a new model of higher education at the University of Virginia that is based upon immersive, experiential, and participatory modes of deep learning that facilitate student flourishing.

 

The Contemplative Commons at the U of VA

 

 

Learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes! [Christian]

Learning ecosystems are going through massive changes!


From DSC:

Due to the impacts of the Coronavirus, learning ecosystems across the globe are going through massive changes!

Each of us has our own learning ecosystem, and the organizations that we work for have their own learning ecosystems as well. Numerous teachers, professors, and trainers around the world are now teaching online. Their toolboxes are expanding with the addition of several new tools and some new knowledge. I believe that will be one of the silver linings from the very tough situations/times that we find ourselves in.

Expanding our teaching toolboxes


At the WMU-Cooley Law School, our learning ecosystem is also fluid and continues to morph.
This blog posting speaks to those changes.

https://info.cooley.edu/blog/learning-ecosystem-simply-defined-sources-for-learning

 

Learning from the Living [Class] Room: Due to the impacts from the Coronavirus, this is happening today across many countries. But this vision is just beginning to develop. We haven’t seen anything yet.

 
 

 Coronavirus has led to a rush of online teaching. Here’s some advice for newly remote instructors — from edsurge.com by Jeff Young & Bonni Stachowiak

Excerpt:

The simplest way to go online is to shift to a video conference platform
Stachowiak says that just lecturing to a webcam instead of an in-person class isn’t the best way to teach online, but it is the easiest way to switch. Under the circumstances, it is better than nothing. “I’d rather that you do that for your students, for yourself than to cancel all the classes,” she argues.

Think shorter
If it’s hard to hold students’ attention in person, it’s even harder online, says Stachowiak: “You’ll want to think about shortening that experience. The online environment tends to have shorter, more-compact opportunities and then other things to do that are more engaging than just sitting and listening.”

 

From DSC:
For those of you who teach and/or give presentations, you might be interested in a new video that I put together regarding cognitive load. It addresses at least two main questions:

  1. What is cognitive load?
    and
  2. Why should I care about it?

 

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

What is cognitive load? And why should I care about it?

Transcript here.

 

How do I put it into practice?

  • Simplify the explanations of what you’re presenting as much as possible and break down complex tasks into smaller parts
  • Don’t place a large amount of text on a slide and then talk about it at the same time — doing so requires much more processing than most people can deal with.
  • Consider creating two versions of your PowerPoint files:
    • A text-light version that can be used for presenting that content to students
    • A text-heavy version — which can be posted to your LMS for the learners to go through at their own pace — and without trying to process so much information (voice and text, for example) at one time.
  • Design-wise:
    • Don’t use decorative graphics — everything on a slide should be there for a reason
    • Don’t use too many fonts or colors — this can be distracting
    • Don’t use background music when you are trying to explain something
 

How online education went from teaching reform to economic necessity for colleges — from edsurge.com by Robert Ubell

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

When online was first introduced as a pedagogical advance, faculty members often rose up against it—or more often, just ignored it, the most devastating form of resistance. If it weren’t for economic necessity, online might not have grown to the force it has today—these days a third of the nation’s higher ed students take courses online.

Millions of working adults must turn to digital degrees to improve their employability in a post-industrial economy that demands higher-level skills than on the assembly line. Corporations are being pressed to find agile, high-tech workers for their digital processes and products. Powerful new digital-recruitment techniques now make massive global markets open to any college with deep enough pockets.

From DSC:
The market will decide how colleges and universities will change — and which ones will survive. Presidents, provosts, members of administration, board members, and faculty members do not control this anymore (if they ever did).

 

Notes from Stewart Hase’s keynote (Feb 2020) — with thanks to Dr. Lisa Marie Blaschke in Germany for her Tweet on this

  • The commodification of education – turns out sausages
    or
  • Are we creating more Greta Thunbergs?

Creating learning experiences where people are not sausages. Policymakers don’t get it. Practitioners do.

~11:00 mark –> Learner agency; have control over what they can learn about (inserted graphic from DSC below)

Heutagogy (self-determined learning)

  • …the learner is a partner (agent) in designing and realizing their own learning (Hase & Kenyon, 2000)

PAH continuum – Pedagogy –> Andragogy –>  Heutagogy

Hobby – learned to do it but didn’t go to school for it. How did you go about learning it?

  • Listened to radio, watched YouTube videos, watched other people, trial and error, repeated activity, conversations/reflections/group learning, read books, break things down into smaller parts, seek out a mentor, exploring, testing hypothesis, fail, get stuck and find a way through

Kids know how to do heutagogy – very natural; self-determined learning.

~21:45 To what extent do we incorporate heutagogy into our classrooms?

  • Context and experience – the neurons you bring to the learning table
  • Competence and capability
  • Negotiated learning; let the learner contextualize stuff for you
  • Experiential learning
  • Flexible assessment
  • Chunking the learning
  • Chunk the assessment
  • Flipped classroom
  • Project-based learning

The learning leader: New skills

  • Happy with ambiguity – have to give up control and power
  • Have to trust people
  • Relationship oriented
  • Process not content oriented
  • Coach and guide
  • Scientist
  • Facilitator
 

The Dangers of “Teaching the Way We Best Learn” — from scholarlyteacher.com by Todd Zakrajsek

Excerpts:

Not everyone sees the world as I do, and not everyone learns the way I do. Thinking of the implications of implicit bias is scary, but there is freedom in knowledge. Using evidence-based teaching allows faculty to overcome the adverse effects of teaching as we were taught.

We, as faculty members, are not passive recipients who choose a pedagogical strategy because we have no choice. We may select teaching approaches that work for ourselves as learners, not because we are consciously deciding to ignore the needs of others, but more so because we fail to understand effective alternatives exist.

This need not be an admonishment on our professional responsibility to educate others. It is merely a recognition that when we look at the world, we tend to see it from our perspective, the one with which we are most familiar. It takes effort to consider other perspectives.

The challenge is that teaching is not about our learning; it is about our learners. It is not the job of the server in a restaurant to offer only the food they most prefer, but instead to help you to navigate the menu to identify what works best for you, food allergies, preferences, and all.

I should not always “teach the way I best learned.” To do so will disadvantage students who are least like me, and those students deserve an opportunity to be successful.

If I primarily use the lecture method of teaching, I should add a “think-pair-share” at times. Perhaps even a jigsaw and problem-based learning sprinkled throughout the semester. If I get bold, I might also try a role-play in class.

From DSC:
I appreciate Todd’s reflections and insights in the above posting. I’d like to sprinkle in a couple of graphics to it.

 

From DSC — and with a shout out to Brad Sousa for this resource:
For those involved with creating/enhancing learning spaces as they relate to pedagogies:

https://www.avisystems.com/higher-education-trends-part-one

How Has Technology Impacted Higher Education?
In part one of this three-part series, AVI Systems CTO Brad Sousa talks with Jeff Day, Founder of North of 10 Advisors, to discuss the key ways education and, specifically, pedagogy differs from 10, 5, even 3 years ago.

Discussion Topics

  • The impact of active learning and the introduction of the internet of things (IoT) in the classroom
  • Recommendations for deploying modern learning environments with technology partners
  • Classroom systems design, then and now
Some timestamps (roughly speaking)
  • 5:15 — changes in pedagogy
  • 7:15 or so — active learning
  • 15:30 design needs around active learning
  • 17:15 DE rooms and active learning — software-controlled platform
  • 21:30 — advice; look to outcomes & expectations that want to achieve/meet; uses cases

Media controller w/ intuitive interface to mimic the way someone teaches / way a classroom goes:

  • “Class start” — chaotic; mics on everywhere
  • “Lecture” — gates /mics closed and focus shifts to the professor
  • “Class interaction” — presents roster of who’s there (20:00 mark roughly)

Also see this introductory posting re: the implications of active learning in the higher ed market.

 

Three thoughts on active learning and self-teaching — from rtalbert.org Robert Talbert
“The teacher isn’t teaching and I’m having to teach myself the material” has three embedded misconceptions that need to be addressed.

Excerpts:

First: Learning is a process, not an action that one person performs on another.

But in the end, an outside person cannot cause you to learn. This isn’t how learning works. Learning instead is a process that moves back and forth, sometimes focused on an instructor but other times focused on the learner or a group of learners together.

Second: Not being lectured to all the time is not the same thing as having to teach yourself.

Third: In any event, the skill of self-teaching is essential in college and needs to be developed.

But in general, we need to see — and we have work to do in communicating this to students — that self-teaching is a feature, not a bug.

 

Overcoming the challenges of large courses — from teachingprofessor.com by Maryellen Weimer

Excerpt:

The course redesign promotes students’ engagement with a student response system, peer instruction, and active learning strategies that get all students present involved in each day’s planned activity. The learning assistants tackle problems of anonymity. Each are assigned a group of students, and various means are used to connect students with their respective learning assistant. Learning assistants offer study sessions. Students also get email feedback on their exam scores, and those who are struggling are invited to meet with an instructor to develop improvement goals.

Large courses require special teaching skills; not every teacher has them. Those who do should be supported and rewarded for using them in this most challenging teaching situation. Students at the front end of a college experience deserve the best we can deliver, and often that’s not what they get.

 
 

A two-part series from Educause regarding inclusive design/accessibility — with thanks to Ray Schroeder for his posting on this out on LinkedIn.

An excerpt from Part II:

The previous two definitions have tried to articulate the idea that students carry intersecting invisible circumstances with them into the classroom. Whether or not students disclose their circumstances—or whether faculty members invite students to disclose them—does not determine their existence. From this perspective, inclusion means designing and teaching for variability. Faculty can practice inclusive pedagogy by following universal design principles and offering multiple options for representation, engagement, and expression:

Options are essential to learning, because no single way of presenting information, no single way of responding to information, and no single way of engaging students will work across the diversity of students that populate our classrooms. Alternatives reduce barriers to learning for students with disabilities while enhancing learning opportunities for everyone.4

In a Nutshell …
Inclusive pedagogy can be an act of intention—something that is initiated before and during the course design process—rather than being an act of revision or omission.

 

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