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TeaConc 2007 – Invited Talk. Constructive Alignment for Teaching Model-Based Design for Concurrency. Claus Brabrand ((( brabrand@daimi.au.dk ))) DAIMI, Dept. of Computer Science STENO, Dept. of Studies of Science & Science Education UPNET, University Teaching/Learning Network

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constructive alignment for teaching model based design for concurrency

TeaConc 2007 – Invited Talk

Constructive Alignment for Teaching Model-Based Design for Concurrency

Claus Brabrand

((( brabrand@daimi.au.dk )))

DAIMI, Dept. of Computer Science

STENO, Dept. of Studies of Science & Science Education

UPNET, University Teaching/Learning Network

University of Aarhus

outline
Outline

Introduction:

  • Background, Motivation, and Expectations

The Theory of Constructive Alignment:

  • FILM: "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding"

"From Theory to Practice":

  • 'From content to competence'

Implementing Alignment:

  • Constructive Alignment for Teaching Concurrency

Open discussion:

  • Debate...

1

2

3

4

5

background this talk
Background (~ this talk)
  • Concurrency 2004+2005:
      • "Pre-alignment"
  • Learned about teaching/learning theories
      • In particular: Constructive Alignment,The SOLO Taxonomy, Constructivism, ...
  • Concurrency 2006+2007:
      • "Post-alignment"
post it exercise

T

'Post-It' exercise
  • But first: Post-It exercise:
  • Write down answer to:
  • "what is good teaching?"
  • 2)

Swap Post-Its...

outline5
Outline

Introduction:

  • Background, Motivation, and Expectations

The Theory of Constructive Alignment:

  • FILM: "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding"

"From Theory to Practice":

  • 'From content to competence'

Implementing Alignment:

  • Constructive Alignment for Teaching Concurrency

Open discussion:

  • Debate...

1

2

3

4

5

let s watch the short film
Let's watch the short-film...

Teaching Teaching

&

Understanding Understanding

)))

(((

Inspired by: "Teaching for Quality Learning at University", John Biggs

Available on DVD through Aarhus University Press:

((( http://www.daimi.au.dk/~brabrand/short-film/ )))

Features Epilogue by John Biggs, DVD menu, and subtitles inEnglish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Danish

outline7
Outline

Introduction:

  • Background, Motivation, and Expectations

The Theory of Constructive Alignment:

  • FILM: "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding"

"From Theory to Practice":

  • 'From content to competence'

Implementing Alignment:

  • Constructive Alignment for Teaching Concurrency

Open discussion:

  • Debate...

1

2

3

4

5

from content to competence
From Content to Competence
  • (Concurrency 2004+2005) course aims:
      • Given in terms of a 'content description':
          • Essentially:
  • The goal is...:
  • To understand:
  • deadlock
  • interference
  • synchronization
  • ...

This is a bad idea

for 2 reasons...!

problem with content as aim
Problem with 'content' as aim
  • What is the problem with 'content'as learning objectives ?!?

analyze ...

theorize ...

analyze systems

explain causes

explain ...

circa-describe ...

  • Objective:
  • To understand:
  • deadlock
  • interference
  • synchronization
  • ...

Stud. C

agreement

tacit knowledge

from research-based tradition

(not known by stud.)

name solutions

recite conditons

Teacher

analyze systems

explain causes

Stud. B

BUT, even if it were

possible to agree,

we know that the

exam will dictate the

learning anyways.

Stud. A

Censor

problem with understanding
Problem with 'understanding'
  • Why not use 'understanding'as learning objectives ?!?
  • Objective:
  • To understand:
  • deadlock
  • interference
  • synchronization
  • ...

concept of deadlock ?!

The answer is simple:

It cannot be measured (!)

competence as objectives

[ Competence := knowledge + capacity to act upon it ]

'Competence' as objectives !
  • 'Competence' as learning objectives !
      • Evaluation =

Have the student do something,

and then measure product and/or process

  • Objective !
  • To learn to:
  • analyze systems for...
  • explain cause/effects...
  • prove properties of...
  • compare methods of...
  • ...

Note:'understanding' is (of course)pre-requisitional (!)

Note': inherently operational (~ verbs)

'SOLO' = Structure of the ObservedLearning Outcome

neighbour discussion

T

Neighbour Discussion

Discuss with neighbour:

"does this make sense ?!?"

(content  competence)

advantages of solo

SOLO 5

 to generalize

 to hypothesize

to theorize

 ...

"extended abstract"

to relate

 to compare

 to analyze

 ...

SOLO 4

"relational"

to classify

 to combine

 to enumerate

 ...

SOLO 3

"multi-structural"

to identify

 to do procedure

 to recite

 ...

SOLO 2

"uni-structural"

no understanding

 irrelevant information

misses point

 ...

SOLO 1

"pre-structural"

Advantages of 'SOLO'
  • Advantages of 'SOLO':
      • Constructed for research-based (university) teaching
      • Converges on research (at SOLO 5)

depth

(qualitative

levels)

surface

(quantitative

levels)

solo elaborated

Graphic Illustration Legend

immediately relevant aspects – given!

related or hypothetical – not given!

irrellevant or inappropriate

student response

x

R

x

R'

x

R

R''

x

x

R

R1

R2

R

R3

R

X

R

SOLO (elaborated)
  • to theorize
  • to generalize
  • to hypothesize
  • to predict
  • to analyze
  • to relate
  • to compare
  • to explain causes
  • to describe
  • to combine
  • to classify
  • to perform algorithm
  • to do simple procedure
  • to define
  • to identify
  • to recite

extended

abstract

SOLO 5

relational

SOLO 4

multi structural

SOLO 3

uni structural

SOLO 2

solo more verbs

Note: the list is non-exhaustive

SOLO (more verbs)

SOLO 5

  • to theorize
  • to hypothesize
  • to generalize
  • to critize
  • to predict
  • to applytheory (to 'distant' problems)
  • to put-into-perspective
  • to reflect
  • to judge
  • to discuss

"extended abstract"

SOLO 4

  • to apply theory (to 'near' problems)
  • to reason about (reach conclusion)
  • to explain (cause-effect)
  • to explain (similarities-differences)
  • to explain (strengths-weaknesses)
  • to analyze
  • to argue
  • to relate
  • to compare
  • to integrate

"relational"

SOLO 2+3

  • to enumerate
  • to paraphrase
  • to do simple procedure
  • to define
  • to identify / name
  • to recite
  • to describe
  • to structure
  • at collate
  • to combine
  • to classify
  • to perform algorithm

"multi structural"

&

"uni structural"

concrete example and concrete recommendations 4x
Concrete Example andConcrete Recommendations (4x)

1) Use 'standard formulation':

put learning focus on student

(Note: competence formulation "to be able to")

Intended Learning Outcomes [Genetics 101]

After the course, the students are expected to be able to:

locate genes on chromosomes

do simple calculations : (e.g., recombination frequencies, in-breeding coefficients, Hardy-Weinberg, evolutionary equilibria).

describe and perform connexion-analysis

describe fundamental genetic concepts: (e.g., mutation variation, in-breeding, natural selection).

describe and analyze simple inheritancies

analyze inheritance of multiple genes simultaneously

4)Avoid 'understanding-goals':

"To understand X",

"Be familiar with Y",

"Have a notion of Z", ...!

V

N

N

V

N

V

V

V

N

V

V

N

V

3) Use 'Verb + Noun' formulation:

What the student is expected to

dowith a given matter .

2) List sub-goals as 'bullets':

Clearer than text

N

V

post it exercise17

T

Post-It exercise

Write down 1-2 key

competences (i.e., verbs)

(for your concurrency course)

5

4

2+3

outline18
Outline

Introduction:

  • Background, Motivation, and Expectations

The Theory of Constructive Alignment:

  • FILM: "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding"

"From Theory to Practice":

  • 'From content to competence'

Implementing Alignment:

  • Constructive Alignment for Teaching Concurrency

Open discussion:

  • Debate...

1

2

3

4

5

10 break

10' Break

Please put the Post-Its on the wall

"What is good teaching?"

Key competences

(in your course)

outline20
Outline

Introduction:

  • Background, Motivation, and Expectations

The Theory of Constructive Alignment:

  • FILM: "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding"

"From Theory to Practice":

  • 'From content to competence'

Implementing Alignment:

  • Constructive Alignment for Teaching Concurrency

Open discussion:

  • Debate...

1

2

3

4

5

disclaimer
Disclaimer

The point of this part is:

  • not to exhibit aperfectly aligned course;
  • but to show how the principles of alignment can be put to use (in particular, how it may serve as guidelines for the exam and TLA).

[ TLA :=Teaching/Learning Activities ]

implementation process
Implementation Process
  • Process(course specific):

1) Think carefully about:

overall goal of course

(what are the stud. to learn?)

2)Operationalize these goals:

and express them as

intended learning outcomes

alignment

3)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of examination

(~ intended learning outcomes)

4)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of teaching

(~ intended learning outcomes)

starting point
Starting Point
  • Content description (Concurrency '04+'05):

What is the overall goal of the course...?

(what are the students to learn)

overall course philosophy
Overall Course Philosophy
  • Model-Based Designfor Concurrency:
slide25

Thoroughly Motivate

(what can they do, if they 'bother' learning this?)

implementation process26
Implementation Process
  • Process(course specific):

1) Think carefully about:

overall goal of course

(what are the stud. to learn?)

2)Operationalize these goals:

and express them as

intended learning outcomes

alignment

3)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of examination

(~ intended learning outcomes)

4)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of teaching

(~ intended learning outcomes)

intended learning outcomes

#2

#1

.

#3

.

S

M

.

I

Model-based design

for Concurrency

T

Intended Learning Outcomes
  • Intended Learning Outcomes(based on The SOLO Taxonomy):

Note:explicitly

included

as a non-goal

#1

#2

#3

implementation process28
Implementation Process
  • Process(course specific):

1) Think carefully about:

overall goal of course

(what are the stud. to learn?)

2)Operationalize these goals:

and express them as

intended learning outcomes

alignment

3)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of examination

(~ intended learning outcomes)

4)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of teaching

(~ intended learning outcomes)

on aligning the exam ilos
On Aligning the Exam (~ ILOs)
  • Pre-alignment (Concurrency 2004+2005):
      • Group Project (50%)
      • Individual Multiple-Choice Test (50%)
  • Post-alignment (Concurrency 2006+2007):
      • Group Project (50%)
      • Individual Multiple-Choice Test (50%)

'Inherited' from pre-2004:

Because it seemed like a

good idea to do a project

Added in 2005:

Politically motivated: exam

must have individual part!

However;

BIG differences...!

Coincidentally:

Carefully designed (~ILOs):

Project good for evaluating

model-based design process

Carefully designed (~ILOs):

MC-test good for evaluating

analytical skills (~problem):

to analyze/compare models

project pre vs post alignment
Project (pre- vs. post-alignment)
  • 2004 Project: "The Beer Factory":
  • 2006 Project:"The Banana Republic":
  • No explicit learning objectives (only 'list of contents')
  • No explicit project grading criteria

result

  • Some student projects with no appearantmodel  impl. relationship (at least, to me)!

the banana republic
The Banana Republic

Project designed(~ ILO's):

  • (a) Construct unsafe model (w/o controller);
  • (b) Test model - observe that collisions with 'El Presidente' can occur;
  • (c) Define safety property NO_CRASH;
  • (d) Verify that collisions can occur;
  • (e) Construct a controller (such that collisions can no longer occur);
  • (f) Verify that collisions can no longer occur;
  • (g) Define liveness property ('El Presidente' can eventually leave);
  • (h) Implement model in Java.
  • Grading (of the report):
  • constructmodels...
  • apply common solutions...
  • relate specmodel...
  • test model...
  • define properties...
  • verify model wrt. properties...
  • implement model...
  • relate modelimpl...
  • All ILO's except:
  • analyze models
  • comparemodels

Better

evaluated

on MC-test

mc test pre vs post alignment
MC-test (pre- vs. post-alignment)
  • 2004 MC-test:
  • 2006 Project:

(a bunch of seemingly reasonable questions):

Bad Alignment

Carefully designed (~ ILO's):

  • analyze models (and programs) wrt. behavior
  • compare models (and program) wrt. behavior
implementation process35
Implementation Process
  • Process(course specific):

1) Think carefully about:

overall goal of course

(what are the stud. to learn?)

2)Operationalize these goals:

and express them as

intended learning outcomes

alignment

3)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of examination

(~ intended learning outcomes)

4)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of teaching

(~ intended learning outcomes)

on aligning the tla ilos
On Aligning the TLA (~ ILOs)
  • Pre-alignment (Concurrency 2004+2005):
      • Lectures (2-3 hrs/week)
      • 'Theoretical Exercise Classes' (2 hrs/week)
      • 'Programming Lab' (2 hrs/week)
  • Post-alignment (Concurrency 2006+2007):
      • Lectures (2-3 hrs/week) with activation exercises
      • 'Theoretical Exercise Classes' (2h/w) apply common solutions
      • 'Programming Lab' (2 hrs/week) hands-on training for project
      • Weekly hand-ins (every week) train for project (w/ feedback!)
      • MC-test sample questions (given early) train for MC-test

essentially teacher-centric "monologues"

[ Idea due to colleague Thomas Hildebrandt at ITU ]

student-centric

tla s post alignment
TLA's (post-alignment)

Student-centric:

  • 'Theoretical Exercise Classes' (2h/w) apply common solutions
  • 'Programming Lab' (2 hrs/week) hands-on training for project
  • Weekly hand-ins (every week) train for project (w/ feedback!)
  • MC-test sample questions (given early) train for MC-test

Teacher-centric:

  • Lectures (2-3 hrs/week) with activation exercises

{ apply common solutions }

{ construct, implement, test, verify, define, apply }

{ construct, implement, relate }

{ analyze, compare }

introduce fundamental concepts/problems/solutions (in terms of models & impl)

implementation process38
Implementation Process
  • Process(course specific):

?

1) Think carefully about:

overall goal of course

(what are the stud. to learn?)

2)Operationalize these goals:

and express them as

intended learning outcomes

alignment

3)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of examination

(~ intended learning outcomes)

4)Choosecarefully the

form(s) of teaching

(~ intended learning outcomes)

conclusions pre vs post
Conclusions (pre vs. post)
  • Subjectively:
      • Constructive Alignment (!!!):
          • To the point that I bothered making a film about it :)
      • Own behavior changed:
          • From 'intuition' to conscious choices;awareness of alternatives and of consequences of choices (~ student learning)
      • My students' behavior (from my perspective):
          • More focusses on learning the objectives (esp. 'to relate')
  • Disclaimer:
      • (many factors involved that vary from-year-to-year)
  • Student background and prerequisites;
  • The "Susan/Robert ratio";
  • Teacher's experience gain;

... ...and many more

objectively i iii questionnaire at end 7 step scale
Objectively (I/III):(Questionnaire at end, 7-step scale)

self-reported

  • Student satisfaction:
  • "slightly more satisfied"..or
  • "constructive alignment doesn't compromize student satisfaction"
  • Student proficiency:
  • More useful figures (~learning)!
  • However: I only havepost-alignment data :(
  • Thus: "inconclusive" :(

Pre ('04-'05)

Pre ('04+'05)

Post ('06-'07)

Post ('06+'07)

objectively ii iii competences explicitly tested trained
Objectively (II/III):(Competences explicitly tested & trained)
  • Competences explicitly tested and trained for:
  • Conclusion:
      • "Substantial SOLO-level increase" (~ good teaching)!
      • Much better projects (esp. 'modelimpl' relationship)!
objectively iii iii qualitative data from 2006 eval
Objectively (III/III):(Qualitative data from 2006 eval)
  • Anonymous student in 2006 evaluation:

Overall:

“This course has been awesome! It took me a while to be able to think in models, but I saw the light along the way.”

Teaching:

“Lectures have been great, the theoretical exercise classes have been rewarding and the feedback has been immense and insightful”

Exercises:

“I did not have a lot of time to do the exercises, but they seemed relevant from week to week.”

Project:

“The mini project was a good and solid exercise in analyzing a problem, making a model and implementing it. A very good exercise!”

outline43
Outline

Introduction:

  • Background, Motivation, and Expectations

The Theory of Constructive Alignment:

  • FILM: "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding"

"From Theory to Practice":

  • 'From content to competence'

Implementing Alignment:

  • Constructive Alignment for Teaching Concurrency

Open discussion:

  • Debate...

1

2

3

4

5

open discussion

x

R

x

R’

R’’

.

.

.

Open Discussion...

My research

and teaching

Cognition & structures

Intended learning outcomes (ILO)

Association

new ~ old

"understanding"

content  competence

The SOLO Taxonomy

'TLA'

Teaching/Learning Activities

Teacher models

levels 1 - 2 - 3

Student models

Susan & Robert

M

S

The Short-Film

I

'The Book'

Model-based design

for Concurrency

Experiences

Pre vs. Post

Student activation

Satisfaction

analyze

explain

Students at Uni

?

"What is good teaching?"

Exam

Tips'n'Tricks ???

Constructive Alignment

John Biggs

tips n tricks activation
Tips'n'Tricks (activation)
  • Neighbour discussions:
  • Post-It exercise:
  • Form variation:
  • focus: zoom in
  • anonymous (!)
  • swap'able
  • everyone will engage
  • empathetic control
  • shared knowledge pool
  • more questions(students dare ask them)
  • better questions(students had a chance to discuss)

[Phil Race]

1-2 min timeout

  • Frequent breaks:

pulse reader measurements:

lecturing blended with in-class activation exercises

tips n tricks cont d

NEW

OLD

Tips'n'Tricks (cont'd)
  • Use many examples:(build on student pre-knowledge)
  • Explicit structure:
  • Student 'recap' at end:

1. xxxxxxxxxx

2. yyyyyyyyyy

3. zzzzzzzzzz

4. wwwwwww

1. xxxxxxxxxx

2. yyyyyyyyyy

3. zzzzzzzzzz

4. wwwwwww

1. xxxxxxxxxx

2. yyyyyyyyyy

3. zzzzzzzzzz

4. wwwwwww

1. xxxxxxxxxx

2. yyyyyyyyyy

3. zzzzzzzzzz

4. wwwwwww

  • self evident to you [ teacher ]
  • not to a learner [ student ]

(esp. during learning process)

  • "Less-is-more":
  • analyze
  • compare
  • relate

common deadlock, uncommon deadlock, A-synchronization, B-synchronization, hand-shake, multi-party synchronization, multi-party hand-shake, binary semaphores, generalized semaphores, blocking semaphores, recursive locks, ...

vs.

now

after 1 day

after 1 week

after 2 weeks

after 3 weeks

Emphasize depth over breadth (coverage)

now please 3 minute recap
Now, please: "3-minute recap"
  • Please spend 3' on thinking about and writing down the most important points from the talk – now!:

Immediately

After 1 day

After 1 week

After 2 weeks

After 3 weeks

thank you

Thank You!

Film's homepage:

((( http://www.daimi.au.dk/~brabrand/short-film/ )))

the role of the exam
The Role of the Exam
  • Alignment:
      • A theory of planning (over the course of a course)
      • A theory of motivation (and incentive)
  • The exam as a...:

"The exam does not come after, but before the course!"

"Necessary evil"

application

of alignment

Motivational and learning-guiding

pedagogical tool for the teacher(!)

motivation beyond the exam
Motivation Beyond the Exam
  • Motivational problem:
      • “Why bother learn the course material?”:
      • Tell them why it is important to learn these things:
          • How could these skills benefit them in their work/life/…(focus on advantages)
      • [ Example… ]
programs and models
Programs and Models

Program world

Model world

abstraction

P

M

concretization

Abstract

Concrete

on program equivalence
On Program Equivalence

Program world

Model world

1. P ~ P’ ?

2. abstract

3. M ~ M’ ?

P

M

~

4. relate

M’

P’

5. M ~ M’ !

6. concretize

7. P ~ P’ !

Abstract

Concrete

What discerns a really good programmer from one that is not so good is the capability of moving (consciously or unconsciously) between the concrete world of programs and the abstract world of models (via abstraction and concretization).

Specifically, such a programmer is capable of (consciously or unconsciously):

- 1) abstracting programs into models

- 2) reasoning about the models

- 3) concretizing the insights back into the world of programs

on property satisfaction
On Property Satisfaction

What discerns a really good programmer from one that is not so good is the capability of moving (consciously or unconsciously) between the concrete world of programs and the abstract world of models (via abstraction and concretization).

Specifically, such a programmer is capable of (consciously or unconsciously):

- 1) abstracting programs into models

- 2) reasoning about the models

- 3) concretizing the insights back into the world of programs

notes on skill acquisition
Notes on Skill Acquisition
  • From the world of psychoanalysis:
      • Skill acquisition progresses according to the following stages of learning:
          • 1. Unconscious incompetence
          • 2. Conscious incompetence
          • 3. Conscious competence
          • 4. Unconscious competence
          • 5. Capacity for moving consciously between stages 3. and 4.:[ required by a teacher ]
impersonalization
Impersonalization
  • A taxonomy / language for teaching impersonalizes teaching
      • Emotional detachment (aka. “dissociation”)
        • The teacher is good/bad
          • identity: good/bad teacher
        • The methods are good/bad
          • behavior: good/bad method
          • knowledge: good/bad method
  • With dissociation:
      • more capable of dealing with critique  better to listen to constructive advice (…just like with our research)

“Neutological levels”

[model of the mind, “NLP”]

behavior

reactions

knowledge

experience

moral

ethics

identity

convictions

capabilities

interaction

based on john biggs theories
Based on John Biggs' Theories
  • 2nd edition
      • (3rd edition expected this fall)

"Teaching for Quality Learning at University", John Biggs

slide58

UNALIGNED COURSE

Teacher’s

intention

Student’s

activity

  • e.g.
  • explain
  • relate
  • prove
  • apply

"Dealing with the test"

Exam’s

assessment

  • e.g.
  • memorize
  • describe
  • e.g.
  • memorize
  • describe
slide59

ALIGNED COURSE

Teacher’s

intention

Student’s

activity

  • e.g.
  • explain
  • relate
  • prove
  • apply
  • e.g.
  • explain
  • relate
  • prove
  • apply
  • e.g.
  • explain
  • relate
  • prove
  • apply

Exam’s

assessment

  • e.g.
  • explain
  • relate
  • prove
  • apply
  • e.g.
  • explain
  • relate
  • prove
  • apply
definition good teaching
Definition: “Good Teaching”
  • Definition:
  • Good news:
      • We now know how to do this:
          • Alignment!!!
          • Explicitly defined course objectives(as verbs)!
          • Discourage surface-learning!
          • Encourage depth-learning!
          • “Less-is-more”:depthrather than breadth of coverage!

”Good teaching is getting most students to use the higher cognitive level processes that the more academic students use spontaneously”

-- “Teaching for Quality Learning at University”, John Biggs, 2003