Design Patterns in learning: Could these ideas be re–purposed?
Design Patterns for Learning and Personal Development Planning
Areas that lead to effective learning (Not exhaustive!)
- Practical tasks that require thinking about
- Collecting groups ideas
- Rehearsal of tasks
- ‘One to one support’ (diagnostic and prognostic)
- Deadline-driven tasks or ones that place the learner in a position of responsibility or attention (i.e. presentation, leadership)
- Re-purposing objects and ideas for one’s own understanding
- A variety of tasks, linked together or built up in a progression
- Autonomy in learning style
- Reflection on
past practice with an action plan of how to improve it
- The human voice and audio (with enthusiasm or evident interest)
- Applying concepts
- Writing extended essays/reports, especially those with technical or conceptual demands which are unfamiliar
- Remembering a vast content detail but extracting relevant selections
- Analysis of documentary material and an awareness, in the response, of multiple and differing perspectives
- Thinking through the options, possibilities and alternatives in problem-solving
- Exercising some of the ‘skills’ identified in the QAA core specifications document
* …and Visuals (A picture paints a thousand words…)
Areas that students frequently find more problematic
Learning Design Pattern/Example of its use
Text entered around an electronic image/text of a concept by students, then prioritised, leading to discussion. Ind/GW
Example: Threats to the UK? A satellite image of the UK in 2005 was surrounded by students’ text highlighting economic, terrorist, environmental and other categories of ‘threat’. Lively debate followed. Students reflect on their approach and record it.
Concept broken down into components and animated using IT. Explanations given by voice at each stage. Students had to confirm and extend the original idea. Ind/GW
Example: Political ideas
The core of the concept animated as a series of statements that linked into a wheel. Students asked to extend the diagram in their own heads and explain. The visual elements provided a handrail to understanding.
Problem solving with a databank of case studies
A problem/hypothesis set, and students introduced to a databank of case studies. Students asked to select the case studies and comment on their suitability for solving the problem. Ind and PP.
As a group, students have to cascade the arguments and prioritise their validity. GW
Students then had to develop their own approach. Ind
Discuss and record. GW and Ind
Example: Information in The First World War
Problem was assessing the effectiveness of wartime propaganda. Databank of images and newspaper extracts. Students analysed the sources and tried to assess their impact. They then tried to extend the research by examining other sources and discussed the correct methodology for this research. The task ended with an extended essay bedecked with embedded images and sources. Could add video clips. Could extend the methodology aspect. Students reflect on their approach and record it.
Collaboration and Opinion
A problem is introduced (as a text/image/concept/diagram) and groups are asked to use a message board to solve, redesign or modify the original. Then the groups convene F2F to prioritise and compare with other groups.
To stimulate participation, students are asked to vote on a range of theses in a lecture (cards issued a la Olympics). The results are calculated by an assistant and posted. Follow up in a seminar.
Students are asked to keep a digital photo diary of the progress of a project/fieldwork or experiment.
Students then design their own data response questions to accompany their work.
Students carry out peer review of the work and keep a reflective journal of the project development and their evaluation of it. Ind and GW.
Issue a thesis in text form, and ask students to append a ‘comment’ in word (or a blog comments in blogs) at prompted points. Ind.
Reflection and Plan
Ask students to reflect upon their approach to a particular research problem. Record these findings. Repeat the process in the next module and compare results in small groups. Ind and GW.
Real Life Scenario
Ask students to reflect and discuss their responses to a real life (but artificially generated) scenario. Create a plan or solution as groups or as individuals. Peer review this solution. Consider hosting this On-line
Ask students to present their findings to a problem or situation as a newspaper, journal or e-journal to a strict deadline. Groups can be stratified into a hierarchy that reflects that of a publisher.
Students reflect on their approach to the problem and their handling of the pressure at the end.
Prosecution and Defence
Students are divided into two groups which articulate and defend two opposing theses or designs. Students reflect on the approach of the opposition and offer advice on how their approach be improved. These findings are then discussed.
Students are asked to show relationships between two theses/designs using mind mapping. They are then asked to structure lines of argument.
Seeding the Seminar
Students are seeded prior to a seminar with three sets of data/resources which are contrasting and asked to express their opinion on-line, once, prior to a seminar discussion. The quality of that opinion can be assessed, peer reviewed and then written up in an on-line format. LL, Ind and GW.
Web case study
Students are presented with a thesis or problem (with clear criteria) and asked to locate a case study solution from a web search. These are then evaluated for their applicability by presentation, peer review and discussion.
Students are presented with an outline of a thesis or problem. They are asked to formulate improvements to that thesis as an individual which can be presented. The students then reconvene to compare their suggestions and, in light of the discussion, reformulate their own solution. The students then reflect on their method and record it. LL and GW
Students are set a problem and a deadline and asked to create a simulator/game/educational tool for their peers to use.
LL, Ind and GW
On-line Formative Assessment tools
Students are encouraged to engage in on-line formative assessment tools that are available 24/7. These assist students to set their own goals and targets which they share with peers and lecturer. Lecturer uses these to set research challenges appropriate to each student and in line with their development needs.
Ind – Individual task
GW – Group work setting
LL – Led by the lecturer
F2F – Face to face
Asst – Assessment
Cfmn – Confirmation
PP – Practical planning