April 20, 2005

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)
  • * …and Visuals (A picture paints a thousand words…)

    Areas that students frequently find more problematic

    • 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

    Learning Design Pattern/Example of its use

    Annotation
    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.

    Animation
    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.

    Lecture Voting
    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.

    Fieldwork simulation
    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.

    Comment zone
    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

    Newspaper/Journal deadline
    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.

    Mind mapping
    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.
    Ind.

    Sequencing
    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

    Design Challenge
    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.

    Key:
    Ind – Individual task
    GW – Group work setting
    LL – Led by the lecturer
    F2F – Face to face
    Asst – Assessment
    Cfmn – Confirmation
    PP – Practical planning


- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Robert O'Toole

    Lots of good examples. I wonder how many are actually in use at Warwick?

    25 Apr 2005, 07:26

  2. That's a good question. There must be literally hundreds of different permutations – I mean these were the 'top of my head' list from my last job. I wonder how we could categorise them, or organise them to make them more easily accessible? I wonder how we could collect and collate, or even re-distribute them?

    25 Apr 2005, 08:40


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