It's what students do that matters...
Last week's module on Active Learning discussed the changing role of educators from transmission to facilitation.
We explored the importance of designing activities and assessment tasks that ensure students achieve success and demonstrate their learning.
Do we engage students in active, aligned and authentic tasks that drive learning?
- Do we know our students have developed the skills they require?
- Do we provide students with iterative practice and feedback during the learning cycle so they can improve and achieve success?
- Do we value certain forms of assessment (such as essays or lab reports) because they seem more 'scholarly'?
- What are notions of quality in the 21st Century? (see this article by the Vice Chancellor, Jane den Hollander today on the topic of how to define quality in self-paced online learning)
- Would the creation of digital resources (such as videos to present research findings or promoting health, blog posts summarising research, concept maps representing complex processes or systems, online communities to engage stakeholders) provide more aligned and authentic evidence of the 21st century skills our graduates require?
Here is a terrific example of a brief, clear, introductory video by Alison Spence - many thanks for providing this Alison!
Notice Alison spoke of her passions, giving her students a sense of who she is in a professional sense.
Advantages of students' creating digital resources
(1) Learning: the creation of an authentic resource provides the opportunity for others to give feedback and suggest improvements
(2) Evidence: it provides evidence of achievement for the student or staff member to place in a Portfolio, resume or LinkedIn
(3) Impact: if the task is authentic, the resource has real value to class peers or the community
(4) Collaboration and teamwork can be fostered
(5) Equity: Students studying off-campus are not disadvantaged
Changing role of educators
Educators have traditionally spent considerable time writing lectures and creating resources to support students' learning.
This role is changing, for many reasons:
(1) There is now a wealth of information and resources available online (e.g. this video on the life of the neuron, this free online course on Nutrition for Health Promotion, this course on Exercise Physiology)
(2) People learn any where, any time.
(3) We need to provide our learners with choices in how they demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes
(4) Higher order learning: our learners will learn much more deeply by creating than by reading, listening or rewriting what they have been told.
In Bloom's revised taxonomy, Creating is the highest skill on the cognitive process dimension.
Creating is defined as "putting elements together to form a novel, coherent whole or make an original product"
To create a blog, video, concept map, blog post, an animation or flowchart, students need to use a wide range of skills including:
- research the ideas and materials
- select appropriate content, tools and expression
- apply their learning to the specific demographic, cohort or context
- work collaboratively
- customize the message for the audience (rather than academic-speak)
- problem solve issues as they arise to ensure the outcome is achieved
Here is a more detailed concept map of Bloom's digital taxonomy.
In order to foster students' active learning, we need a basic level of knowledge and skills ourselves.
And, it's fun.
So, let's make a video!
Task 1: Watch this webcam video explaining the basics of making webcam videos.
p.s. This is my first webcam video ever. Not seeking special treatment. Just saying :-)
Task 2: Prepare to shoot your webcam video.
- Plan and write up your 1-3 minute topic.
- Set up the lighting, framing and background as described in the video above.
- Launch your webcam software and test it out (contact me, Gie or Sandra for assistance).
- Practice two or three times!
- Don't hold back! Include something of yourself: your passions, your humour or your own quirkiness! (This humanness and authenticity makes the video more interesting, and helps to paint a picture of you as a person).
Task 3: Make your own webcam video. Feel free to get help from a colleague, Gie, Sandra or myself.
Task 4: Upload your video to YouTube.
- Sign in to YouTube using your Google account. Or if you don't have one, create a Google account here.
- Upload your video to YouTube here. See video below for instructions.
Here is a YouTube video explaining the upload process. (It's easy to figure it out as you go though).
Task 5: Email me the link to your video, or tweet it (if you want to make it more public), or post it in a blog comment below.