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Dissertation Defense

Dissertation Defense

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Dissertation Defense

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  1. Dissertation Defense Susan J. Wolff September 7, 2001 Dr. George H. Copa, Major Professor

  2. Dissertation Title: Sustaining Systems of Relationships: The Essence of the Physical Learning Environment that Supports and Enhances Collaborative, Project-based Learning at the Community College Level

  3. Table of Contents • Chapter 1 ….. Focus and Significance of the Study • Chapter 2 ….. Review of Related Literature • Chapter 3 ….. Design of the Study • Chapter 4 ….. Findings and Analysis of Phase I

  4. Table of Contents • Chapter 5 ….. Findings and Analysis of Phase II • Chapter 6 ….. Findings and Analysis of Phase III • Chapter 7 ….. Understandings and Future Research • Bibliography • Appendices

  5. Significance of the Study • Roles and responsibilities of work, family, community, and personal life are changing in response to: • Globalization • Transition from the industrial age to a knowledge age

  6. Significance of the Study • Diverse and multi-cultural living and work environments • Fast-paced, fragmented, and changing societal norms and structures

  7. Significance of the Study • Need for continual learning of new skills and abilities to keep pace with the accelerated rate of change

  8. Sample of Learning Expectations • That address changing roles and responsibilities: • Gathering, analyzing, and using information • Anticipating and handling change

  9. Sample of Learning Expectations • Working in high-performance teams • Thinking in terms of systemic outcomes • Using effective communication skills

  10. Sample of Learning Expectations • Taking action to improve communities • Managing resources • Providing leadership

  11. Sample of Learning Expectations • Respecting others and valuing diversity • Taking responsibility for one’s own learning

  12. Collaborative Learning Process • Provides Learning of: • Content • Critical thinking • Problem solving • Teamwork

  13. Collaborative Learning Process • Negotiating • Reaching consensus • Social and academic development • Sense of community

  14. Project-Based Learning • Provides relevancy, value, and meaning • Provides learning of: • Value of relationships and partnerships • Communication skills

  15. Project-Based Learning • Higher order thinking skills such as critical thinking and solving problems • Use of technology and tools • Importance of lifelong learning

  16. Focus of the Study • Identify and describe the design features of the physical learning environment that support and enhance collaborative, project-based learning at the community college level

  17. Focus of the Study • Gain an understanding of the rationale for the selection of the desired features of the physical learning environment of community colleges

  18. Why Look at Physical Environments ? • Majority of community college facilities were built in the 1960’s • Billions of dollars are being spent for renovations and replacements

  19. Why Look at Physical Environments ? • Availability of research regarding how design of college facilities supports desired learning expectations and processes is minimal and most of what is available addresses K-12 facilities

  20. Methodology • Phenomenology – to gain an understanding of recommended the design features and the purpose and rationale of the features.

  21. Design of the Study

  22. Phase I of the Study • Sources of data: • Site visits • Internship • Data gathering strategies: • Observation • Participation • Note taking • Reflection

  23. Phase I of the Study • Analysis process: • Text analysis

  24. Findings of Phase I • 28 design features and their descriptions and purposes of the physical learning environment were identified

  25. Findings of Phase I • 4 preliminary categories of these design features were determined: • Learning group sizes • Learning activities • Adjacencies among the spaces • Furnishings for the spaces

  26. Transition - Phase I to Phase II • Phase I was introductory and exploratory • Findings from Phase I indicated need for: • Gaining greater understanding of the two foci of the study

  27. Transition - Phase I to Phase II • Narrowing the focus to collaborative, project-based learning • Concentrating the study at the community college level • Increasing the pool of participants

  28. Phase II of the Study • Sources of data: • National and International Conferences • Data gathering strategies: • Observation • Participation • Note taking

  29. Phase II of the Study • Data gathering strategies: • Audio and electronic mail interviews • Reflection • Analysis process: • Text and audio analysis

  30. Findings of Phase II • 5 additional design features were identified • 1 additional category of design feature was identified • psychological and physiological support

  31. Findings of Phase II • Renamed “Learning Activities” to “Learning Activities/Learning Spaces” • Added depth and breadth to findings • Data more specific to community colleges

  32. Transition - Phase II to Phase III • Phase II began to concentrate on collaborative, project-based learning at the community college level; however, the data collected continued to have some Pre-K-12 influence

  33. Transition - Phase II to Phase III • The addition of personal interviews as a means of collecting data provided new perspectives to the foci of the study and the data

  34. Transition - Phase II to Phase III • Phase III gave full attention to physical learning environments that support and enhance collaborative, project-based learning specifically at the community college level

  35. Transition - Phase II to Phase III • Phase III added three additional methods for collecting data • Phase III modeled collaborative, project-based learning

  36. Phase III of the Study • Source of data: • Two-day design studio • Data gathering strategies: • Observation • Note taking • Audio and electronic mail interviews

  37. Phase III of the Study • Data gathering strategies: • Participant journals • Participant materials and designs • Reflection • Analysis process: • Text, audio, and video analysis

  38. Findings from Phase III • 11 additional design features were identified resulting in a total of 44 features being identified from the study that support and enhance collaborative, project-based learning

  39. Findings from Phase III • 1 more category of design feature was added: • Structural aspects

  40. Level One Analysis of the Findings • Involved looking for commonalities of function and design across all 44 features, resulting in the number of features being reduced to 32

  41. Level One Analysis of the Findings • Further analyzed the six preliminary categories of features for appropriateness, resulting in the renaming of one category: • learning activities/learning spaces became functional spaces for learning activities

  42. Level Two Analysis of the Findings: • The design features were clustered into the following six categories: • Group size • Functional spaces for learning activities • Adjacencies

  43. Level Two Analysis of the Findings: • Furnishings • Psychological and physiological support • Structural aspects

  44. Level Three Analysis of the Findings • Areas of further research: • What are the systems of relationships among people and spaces that support and enhance collaborative, project-based learning?

  45. Level Three Analysis of the Findings • Areas of further research: • What are the core or “fixed” elements of the design of the physical learning environment?

  46. Level Three Analysis of the Findings • Areas of further research: • How can we prepare community colleges to adopt collaborative, project-based learning approaches and assist in the design of physical learning environments that support this learning process?

  47. Alexander, C. (1979). The Timeless Way of Building • “Evidently, then, a large part of the structure of a building consists of patterns of relationships …the fact is the elements themselves are patterns of relationships …that actually repeats itself and givesstructure to a building”.