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Student learning, . Metalearning. And threshold concepts. E rik M eyer. Helping our students. The challenge. Persuading academics to engage with – and progress beyond – generic student learning theory …. (a limiting view of ‘displaying a scholarly approach to university teaching’).

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Student learning,

Metalearning

And threshold concepts

ErikMeyer

slide4

The challenge

Persuading academics to engage with –and progress beyond – generic student learning theory…

(a limiting view of ‘displaying a scholarly approach to university teaching’)

slide5

The dynamics of the interface:

*ownership of theory

*reflexive practice

*disciplinary focus

*externalising approaches to variation instudent learning

slide6

Evidence-informed practice: A model of engagement with ‘variation’ (Meyer, 2005)

Interpretation

Description

Aversion

Evaluative and actionable

slide7

‘Theories are never more convincing …than when previously abstract ideas manifest themselves as immediate and concrete evidence... [the assignment] provided compelling, and at times alarming, evidence of what had been up to then, for this learner-teacher at least, the largely theoretical notion of variation in student learning’

slide8

Metalearning

Awareness of self as learner in context…

Control over learning engagement

slide9

Models of student learning:

Generic

c. 1976

Subject or discipline

3 frameworks

Topic or concept x

variation

throughline

slide10

Architecture of opportunity

Generic

Subject or discipline

3 design criteria

Scale – web based

Topic or concept x

Seamless experience

Reflective component

slide12

How am I learning?

The ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of learning

An interpretive guide given to

students to help them reflect on their learning profile

slide13

I had always believed that all of the learning I have done up until now was just fact based and just needed to be remembered and reproduced when required. However, from my learning profile it clearly shows that this is not true. [C32 essay one, exhibits level 1 metalearning capacity: awareness.]

slide14

[The metalearning experience] has helped me recognise my own learning preferences. It has helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses and areas to develop. It has helped me to redirect my approaches from … ineffective learning to … effective learning.[S284 essay two, exhibits level 2 metalearning capacity: control.]

slide15

By changing my learning methods after the [metalearning experience] through reflection, my approach to learning has been positively changed. I am able to better understand the content and learning outcomes, which not only helps to boost confidence, but also makes learning more enjoyable and productive. Less time is spent in undertaking ineffective tasks such as memorising before understanding.[S278 essay two.]

slide16

Threshold concepts

Janus, Roman god of gates and doors, symbolising change and transitions; liminality

slide17

It is always interesting to observe …how every so often …one particular idea will

emerge that…seems to fire the imagination of teachers…this quality…action poetry… seems to arise from conceptual ideas…simple and memorable…also highly generative…Liz Beaty writing in the forward to Meyer and Land (2006)

slide18

The basic idea

In many disciplines…

slide19

There are…

conceptual ‘gateways’

‘portals’

slide20

…that lead to a new way of understanding, interpreting or viewing something, a transformed

internal view of subject matter, subject landscape, or even world view…

without which the learner cannot progress

slide23

… the world of equal temperament in music

The significance of alternative tuning systems in the development of other musical genres

slide24

… the world of opportunity cost in economics

The cost of the next best, but rejected, alternative

slide25

…a view that for some may be inherently troublesome

…the world of particle -wave duality in quantum mechanics

slide26

…a lens through which to identify and examine the acquistion

of discipline-specific ways of

transformative thinking

and shifts in

ontological position

slide27

…a lens through which to identify and examine the acquistion

of discipline-specific ways of

transformative thinking

and shifts in

ontological position

slide28

Int. 2: Do you think you can think like an economist?

D8: Erm…I didn’t six months ago but now find myself talking to people and I think I talk like an economist…I don’t tend to think exclusively like an economist

Int. 2: And are you conscious of that?

D8: Yeah, yeah, I think so. I’ll talk in economic language [to parents, gives examples] and suddenly I thought I sound like a responsible adult

slide29

Threshold concepts provide us with a new analytical lens to focus on critical, and perhaps previously neglected, aspects of

variation in student learning

slide30

precedent

equal temperament

parliamentary sovereignty

spin

signification

meiosis

deconstruction

reactive power

proof

modularity

otherness

opportunity cost

Liminal variation: variation in the threshold state

slide31

The metalearning engagement of thresholdconcept x

Liminal

Three modes of

Preliminal

cognitive and

ontological

shift

Sublminal

variation

throughline

slide36

1 analysis

A threshold concepts analysis can identify transformative waypoints in students’ learning journeys. These waypoints need to be charted carefully.

slide37

2 ontology

Internalising a threshold concept is not just about cognitive shift, it may also involve an ontological shift; change in sense of self and identity.Some attention has to be paid to the discomforts of transformative and troublesome knowledge.

slide38

3 variation

Teaching for understanding requires a knowledge of variation in students’engagement with threshold concepts. Variation in the ‘episteme’, apprehension, provisional understanding, transformation, and sense of self.

slide39

4 subversion

Simplistic ‘learning outcomes’ models usingsentences like 'by the end of the course students will be able to...’ undermine the complexities of transformtive learning experiences.Threshold concepts are subversive; they ‘rattle the cage’ of a linear, outcomes-based approach to learning.

slide40

5 research

Threshold concepts open up new research agendas for learning and teaching. They create challenges for established ‘best practices’ in pedagogy and assessment, and they invite engagement with emerging new powerful ideas such as variation theory and the declarative approach.