An introduction to rethinking pedagogy for a digital age
Beetham and Sharp
This is my third, possibly my fourth read of the book Rethinking Pedagogy for a digital age. Now that I am in the thick of it working on quality assurance and testing for corporate online learning it has enormous relevance and resonance.
Reading this I wonder why the OU changed the MAODL to MAODE? Around 2000-2003? From the Masters in Open and Distance Learning to the Masters in Open and Distance Education.
Beetham and Sharpe have much to say about the relevance or otherwise of pedagogy and its teaching bias.
Pedagogy = the science of teaching not the activity of learning. (L460: Kindle Reference)
The term ‘teaching; denies the active nature of learning an individuals’ unique capacities to learn (Alexander, 2002) L477
How does e-learning cater for the fact the learners differ from one another in the way that they learn? L477
Guiding others to learn is a unique, skilful, creative and demanding human activity that deserves scholarship in its own right. L477
This quote is relevant to H807 Innovations in e-learning and other MAODE modules:
'Papyrus and paper chalk and print, overhead projectors, educational toys and television, even the basics technologies of writing were innovations once'. L518
I like this too:
The networked digital computer and its more recent mobile and wireless counterparts are just the latent outcomes of human ingenuity that we have at our disposal. L518
- Learning resources and materials
- Learning environment
- Tools and equipment
- Learning activities
- Learning programme or curriculum
- Learning Design – preparational and planning
- Representation or modelling
- Teachers tailor to learner needs
- Tutors can ascertain who needs what
Are there universal patterns of learning or not?
Constructivism – Jonassen et al 1999
Social Constructions – Vygotsky 1986
Activity Theory – Engeström et al 1999
Experiational Learning – Kolb 1984
Instructional Design – Gagné et al 2004
Networked and collaborative work – McConnell 2000
Learning Design Jochems et al 2004
I was wondering whether, just as in a story, film or novel requires a theme, so learning asnd especially e-learning, according to Mayes and de Frietas ‘needs to be based on clear theoretical principles.
E-enhancements of existing models of learning.
Technology enables underlying processes common to all learning.
Cf Biggs 1999 Constructivist L737
Teaching for Quality Learning at University Buckingham SRHE OUP
With Mariella Fostrup
I liked the comment from Professor Maria Nikolajeva when she quoted Leonard Helsing as saying 'all pedagogical art is bad art, but all good art is pedagogical'. So if you write a children's book from the point of view of creating good literature the learning will come naturally.
It's invaluable to be doing some e-training as compared to e-learning.
The Olympics lend themselves to actions and activities; learning goes on in your head whilst training involves your body as well as your mind.
I know stuff about the Olympics and Paralympics that I did not know before. I have got my head around the role of Gamesmakers and have bought into the positive, inclusive, inspirational approach.
A workbook, a CD and links to a website is standard training fair. Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them, then tell them what you told them would sum it up.
But why change a format that works?
Seb Coe introduces then a series of vignettes and activities take you through loads of stuff, from background to specifics, using video here, click and view there as well as deeper engagement with a few Q&As too or typing up some ideas. It took me 90 minutes.
Already I have some of this knowledge effortlessly embedded.
Could you teach a degree or postgraduate degree in this way? Why do I imagine that learning design should be any more complicated?
Good execution, simple design, not too flash, or cheesy.
Done for the right price with a practical feel to it. In the past my involvement in such things was to go out and shoot the video, often with green screens and actors, helicopters and composed music, 3d graphics and interenational travel.
Pic from MMC Learning
'An approach to learning activity design (Sharpe et al. 2005) concluded that, as well as ICT skills, key issues were learners’ emotional relationship to the technologies they were offered – especially feelings of frustration and alienation – and issues around time management.'
In our tutor group and module forums we've gone through time management at length.
Though I suspect that for many of us time passing is the only certain thing in our lives. It has required therapy for me to downplay events when they DON'T go to plan ... that life as a Dad, husband, parent, portfolio-worker person, studying (two courses, this and sports related), as well as feeding the guinea-pigs, putting out the rubbish, sorting the recycling, putting air in the tyres on the car, fixing the fence ... collecting children from an event, taking them to the station ... let alone the other generation, four relatives in their 80s and 135 and 210 miles away.
I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
No schedule set for the morning, let alone the day or the week can be followed. (Which is why I get my hours in 4.40 am to 7.00am each early morning ... more pleasant with the sun joining me at last)
So, to the emotional response to technology.
I've come to apply the same kind of thinking to technology, yet more technology, especially if I don't like the look of it, as something that WILL, in the fullness of time, have value.
There is no point putting off engagement with it.
The same applies to a difficult to read text (there has been plenty of that lately). It WILL become clear, it just may take three or more attempts, could involve getting advice from others in the peer group, a search on the web and dare I say it a BOOK. I actually pick up copies of 'Facebook for Dummies' and 'Blogging for Dummies' as a matter of standard practice from the library (remember them?). These books are authentic, scurrilous and engaging. The body and mind enjoy the break from the computer screen.
I got 'Digital Marketing for Dummies' for my Kindle though ... how else can I read it in the bath while holding a coffee in my right hand (I am right handed) and 'the book' in my left, perfectly able to flick on through pages with my thumb.
Design isn't just programming when it comes to software.
Compare Mac to PC. Mac not only works, but it is obvious, intuitive and often beautiful to look at.
We are so used to the extraordinary simplicity of Google, YouTube and Facebook that we baulk if a piece of software, perhaps Open Source, doesn't have the look and feel of the familiar. It IS a DESIGN issue, as in creating a love affair with the object that has both form and function, rather than function alone.
Compendium; it is versatile, engaging and intelligent ... but could it dress better and be more intuitive and less 'nerdy' ?
More from Sharpe and Beetham:
'The use of technologies can compound existing differences among learners due to their gender, culture and first language'. Beetham and Sharpe (2007)
I like this too:
Learners cannot therefore be treated as a bundle of disparate needs: they are actors, not factors, in the learning situation. (ibid)
They make sense of the tasks they are set in terms of their own goals and perspectives, and they may experience tasks quite differently if digital technologies – with all the social and cultural meanings that they carry – are involved. (ibid)
Perhaps we should be seeking advice on these feelings too, how they can get in the way of us tackling technology or a tough read/assignment. After all, if motivated, people will overcome such problems, but if we become demotivated it is habit forming.
Beetham, H and Sharpe, R 'Rethinking Pedagogy for the digital age'. (2007)
p.s. This book needs an emotionally appropriate cover. Might I suggest a design from Helen A Dalby. Personally I'd like to see academic publishers make all book iPad friendly with illustrations throughout, maybe video and some interactivity too. Why stick with the rough, when you could make it smooth and cool. Video introduction from each of the authors please ... and links to their blog.
Sharpe, R, Benfield, G., lessner, E. and de cicco, E. (2005) Scoping Study for the Pedagogy strand of the JISC e-Learning Programme, Bristol: JISC. Online. Available. www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name+elearning pedagogy
Notes on Beetham Chapter 2 An approach to learning activity design.
I've found this the chapter on ‘an approach to learning activity design’ from Helen Beetham profound and invaluable.
Helen Beetham is a Research Consultant to the JISC e-Learning Programme. Previously she was a Research Fellow in e-learning at the Open University.
The profound revelations I feel I have had concern three projects to 'reinvent learning' with interactive then web-based learning in the 1990s and 2000s that I am familiar with (I was in the production company or agency doing something else, or know the person and the project's history).
And the sense I wanted from MAODE of the history of education which I sum up as:
1 to 1 the governess and/or then tutor of the aristocracy. 17th century (and earlier, and well into the 20th)
Samuel Daniel was a court poet and amongst others tutored Lady Anne Clifford. A copy of his miniature was inserted in Lady Annes 1646 'Great Picture' that told her life story/struggle.
1 to many in schools (both private and state maintained). (For wealthy families who couldn't afford the tutors ... the 'public' schools of Britain from the 16th century, followed by the Victorian & Edwardian schools for all).
1 to 1 or many to many (depending on how you look at it) which brings back a good deal of the 1 to 1 that the likes of Princess Elizabeth might have had in the 16th century, through peer-support you have your time with a subject matter expert (if they will indulge you) ... and time with people with very different experiences and insights that can be better at giving your thinking a jolt ... or if we will indulge each other through 'social educational networking'.
I appreciate the history of education goes back further to Greece, Mesopotamia and even hunter gatherer societies on the plains of Africa.From Marketing to the Social Web. Larry Webber.
My feeling is that technology isn't as novel as we think; in fact it is enabling what used to occur in closer nit learning groups embedded in society.
I wonder if I should be looking at learning patterns from the Bantu in the Congo and apply that to teenagers wishing to learn using mobile devices in the 21st century, the urban jungle and chase replacing the forests, bore hunts and multiple relationships.
There is a lot to think about. I see learning design as akin to designing and growing a maize maze. One this is in place you have choices regarding whether guide an individual around your labyrinth by calling out ‘left!’, ‘right!’ or just ‘hot!’ or ‘cold!’ while others you leave to figure out their own way through. There will be graded outcomes that require exiting the maze, others where they never leave and yet others where they exit where right they came in – all depending on the activities, the learners and the desired outcomes.
The emphasis, from Beetham’s point of view, is that with learning design should be on learners, the activities they do (not tasks) and the outcomes. Beetham (2007).
Activities, not the tools used or the supporting materials, matter the most.
Whatever way you plan, develop and scaffold learners will do the activities their own way - in different contexts people learn in different ways which raises issues for activity design Beetham (2007).
I ask myself:
· How prescriptive should you be?
· How confining should the parameters be?
· What degree of latitude is offered?
The learning activities may be any combination of associative, constructive or situative. Learners will develop their understanding as a result of consolidation and practice, drawing on their strengths and preferences and a repertoire of approaches. Beetham (2007) e.g. an apprentice learns in an associative way be rehearsing skills and concepts.
Beetham, H, and Sharpe, R (2007) Rethinking Pedagogy for the digital age.
How goes it?
Like a roller-coaster, merrily going along, like the C4 ident:through the loops of a roller-coaster though the shapes I see are 'H' and '800' and '807' and '808' as I pass by.
Then I switch track and venue and find myself on the Mouse-Trap. Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Here there is a rise and dip where you are convinced you will hit a girder. I just did, metaphorically speaking. (Diary entry, August 1980)
Ilness changes things
Nothing more than a rubbish cold made uncomfortable by asthma.
It is a set back of sorts. I can sleep and read. But the spark has gone (for now).
To use a different analogy, if I often think of my mind as a Catherine-wheel, this one has come off and landed in a muddy-puddle.
We're in the week of metaphors for learning.
I can draw on any notes I've taken on this here and in my eportfolio. This is more than an aide-memoire, it favours the choices I made before at the expense of anything new. So I widen my search. The OU Library offers hundreds of thousands of references in relation to 'Education' and 'Metaphor' going back to 1643.
Gathering my thoughts will take time.
There are 26 pages (nearly 12,000 words) to read (course intro, resources). Far, far more if I even start to consider ANY of the additional references or reading.
Give me three months. We have, or I have left, three days.
My approach is simple. Tackle it on the surface, drill into an author or topic that is of interest and expect to pick up on and pick through this again later this module, later this year ... or next existence. (I believe in multiple existences and flux. We are transitory and changing)
As well as tapping into the OU Blog and e-portfolio the blog I've kept since 1999 might have something to say on metaphor. If I care to I might even rummage through A'Level English Literature folders from the 1970s, just to trigger something. Engaged and enabled by Vygotsky and others in relation to memory and learning I value this ability to tap into past thoughts/studying with ease.
(Ought others to be sold the idea of a life-long blog?)
Otherwise I have gone from learn to swim in the training pool, to swimming lengths in the main pool ... to observer/coach who will participate, but has a towel over his shoulders and is looking around.
The next pool? Where is that?
I'm not the same person who set out on this journey 12 months ago.
On the other hand, having a Kindle makes me feel more like a teenager swotting for an Oxbridge examination; I like having several books on the go. I'll be through 'Educational Psychology (Vygotsky) by the end of the day and am already picking through and adding to copious notes.
Then a little kite-boarding as I head away from the swimming pool that has been an MA with the OU?!
H800 Wk2 Activity 5
The Royal University of Bhutan has been established for 2 years. In some respect it is like the University of the Highlands in the UK, but students have to relocate so that they can study their chosen subject as they have no online technology beyond email exchange.
The issues in relation to introducing new teaching methods and technology include:
• sceptical of distance learning
• not used to the Western values of :
• +creative approaches to learning.
The response to this should be to:
• Experiment with web-based solutions and wireless Internet.
• Nurture progressive and open education within the limits of the technology.
95% students attend Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu which has been established for 50 years. 89% of the population lives in villages with only 2% attending higher education.
Like Bhutan teaching methods are conservative with memorisation and exams. (Instructivist) and they:
• Can’t see worth of the degree.
• Poor Internet.
The response to this has been to:
- Experimenting with video links and wireless Internet
In contrast, in Africa, the University of Malawi has tackled the inherent problems of geography, demand, traditional teaching methods and poor resourcing with a willingness to try new things, championed by the Vice Principal (even if some of the rest of the senior management are negative). The result has seen a successfully adaption of more learner-centred approaches to teaching mid-wifery and agriculture, with more use of CD-Rom than unreliable Internet and digitised Open Educational Resources to overcome copyright issues and handling/storing/lending textbooks.
The University of Malawi UNIMA was established on independence in (1964). It has four colleges and a polytechnic. Demand for places has grown whilst access to physical and human resources is fixed for example, in 2009, 5,600 sat the exam for 1,152 places,
• A quota for spatial diversity (and its legal validity/value)
• Inadequate supply of copyrighted textbook leading to demand on reserve section of libraries and old books being rebound many times
• Use of Open Education Resources (OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or released under a copyright licence that permits their use and or re-purposing by others).
‘To include full courses, course readings, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials or techniques used to support access to knowledge’. (The Use of Open Education Resources at the University of Malawi (UNIMA)p2
• train staff so they can exploit e-learning strategies
• overcome problems related to large class size
• provide students access to affordable, quality learning resources. (ibid p2)
UNIVERSITY OF MALAWI COLLEGE OF NURSING
The College of Nursing developed a course that would move students away from having a purely theoretical knowledge to being able to apply their skills and knowledge clinically.
• Aim for one third theory and two thirds practical skills
• Incorporate a problem-based learning (PBL) approach.
• Support to teach in a different way.
• Minimised any dependency on connectivity by using CDROMs
KEY CHANGE IN PEDAGOGY
‘The final product included an orientation section, which introduced the PBL methodology and spelled out how student involvement was different from traditional learning methods’. (ibid p6)
PROBLEMS WITH CHANGE
Piloted in February 2010, the midwifery learning environment generated a high level of interest among students.
Uptake in using the materials was slow as staff and students had to adapt to a different methodology of teaching and learning. However, a second piloting of the course occurred between June and August 2010 with a group of midwifery diploma students.
‘Integrating the PBL methodology might take some time, but there is growing consensus at KCN that using OER is a cost-effective way of creating high quality teaching and learning materials’. (ibid p6)
However, problems with Internet connectivity often made access difficult. (ibid p7)
BUNDA COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
• A series of writing workshops facilitated by OER Africa/IADP assisted
• BCA staff to source, analyse, and adapt a variety of existing
• OER to help craft the textbook.
Products and Outcomes
While it initially proved difficult to wean the writing team off their familiar copyrighted texts, the BCA team felt afterwards that there is a role for OER in the production of university texts.
• Time to search for and developed OER • Bandwidth at the college inadequate • Lack of senior management buy in • Lack of funding
SUCCESS DUE TO:
• Champion for ICT in Dr Emmanuel Fabiano
• Willingness to experiment and build on lessons learned
• Project funders OSISA, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Ford Foundation.
The Use of Open Education Resources at the University of Malawi (UNIMA) 2009
Author/researcher: Andrew Moore & Donna Preston.
Editor: Neil Butcher & Lindsay Barnes
In the context of the superfluous legalese we are meant to read and agree to before buying something online.
Half an hour ago the FT journalist who was interviewed mixed the words 'script' and 'crede' to produce a new word: 'screde'
Something that is a corporate, rather that a religious beleif system i.e. a 'crede' that runs to several pages (six or more) i.e. script.
Result = Screde.
This kind of inventive, communicative English I applaud. The kind of language I've been reading recently on e-learning I decry.
'Elision can thus be viewed as an affordance of the tool, as well as a matter of individual approach. This affordance becomes more apparent as we move into the sphere of ‘dedicated’ e-learning tools, where LAA can continue even during LAR or LAR can be ‘rehearsed’ as part of LAA (as in LAMS’ Preview feature). The VLE project suggests that, as both design and delivery medium, VLEs invite this elision.'
This the verbatim response, I assume, to a questionnaire submited by a tutor in Business Studies and quoted in chapter four of 'Rethinking Pedagogy for E-learning' Rhona Sharpe.
I tried this having looked up these acronyms or 'initialisms'.
Does this make any more sense?
'Where Learning Activity Authoring can continue during Learning Activity Realization or Learning Activity Realization can be ‘rehearsed’ as part of Learning Activity Authoring (as in Learning Activity Management Systems’ Preview feature). The Virtual Learning Environment project suggests that, as both design and delivery medium, Virtual Learning Environments invite this elision.'
If something is not communicated clearly I suspect the person talking doesn't know what they are talking about.
I'm reading 'Re-thinking Pedagogy for a Digital Age' (2007) Rhona Sharpe. I came across this expression in relation to how e-learning will develop coming after hundreds of years of paper-based learning.
'When our education system is making sophisticated use of e-learning it will pervade everything we do, just as paper technology does'. Diana Laurillard.
Sounds like origami or a pop-up book.
Have I missed something?
I guess she's saying e-learning will be as universal as paper and print by which time we'll have dropped the 'e', it'll all just be learning.
Far from saving me time, owning a kindle is obliging me to spend more time with the text.
There are no page numbers at all, they've been deleted, instead, it is done by line or word ... so (Location 870) might be how a highlighted piece of text is referenced. How I deal with this should I quote an author I don't yet know.
If it takes me as long to work through my notes and highlights as it took me to read the chapter in the first place ... then I simply accept that I have still got a heck of a lot to learn and that in good time, these points, squirreled away will bounce back into my life with a click of my fingers.
A book, for example.
Ask, a literary agent has asked.
Am I Kindled out? My contact lenses are stuck to my eyeballs and the skin under the pads of my thumb are chafed from scooting back and forth over a keyboard.
Am I learning anything though?
That a great deal of nonsence is written. That authors must be pillored if they use strings of abbreviations and terms that are not common place. Courtesy of Kindle and an e-book I was able to see, for example, how often LOM was used in the body of a book. Four times it turned out, and in three it had been written out in full and in the fourth as LOMS it meant something else.
This I my bugbear about the use of the highly technical descriptors: more, very, truly and actually.
Kindle will drive some people crazy at is potential. I see a way into the minds of many authors. My son dismissed it. One of his friends, I can't get away from it.
There's a way to write for a Kindle. Ditch many diagrams and tables. Think in terms of graphics that would work on TV (in black and white). Write short sentences (these are good discipline).
Meanwhile I have generated 11 pages of quotes and notes (4,000 words) having so far only regurgitated my thoughts on the introduction and chapter one to Rhona Sharpe's 'Rethinking Pedagogy for the Digital Age' (2007). It's that kind of book.
(Even if I keep disagreeing with the authors)
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