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Inspiring and Enquiring

Inspiring and Enquiring. Elisabeth Skinner Martin Jenkins University of Gloucestershire. Some students prefer scribing (McAlpine 2004) EBL threatens low confidence …. poor independent learning EBL builds confidence …. strengthens independent learning.

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Inspiring and Enquiring

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  1. Inspiring and Enquiring Elisabeth Skinner Martin Jenkins University of Gloucestershire

  2. Some students prefer scribing (McAlpine 2004) • EBL threatens low confidence …. poor independent learning • EBL builds confidence …. strengthens independent learning

  3. Capacity building or personal development does not occur before participation but through participation (Warburton 1998:33) • Build confidence before EBL? X • Build confidence through EBL? 

  4. The Focus of this Paper • Persuading students to take part despite low confidence • Providing support to maintain motivation • Because the rewards (growing confidence) are great

  5. The Case Study • Level One: Town and country planning • 64 students = 23 campus + 41 distance • EBL activity in groups: investigating a chosen planning application found online • Vehicle for both learning and assessment over nine weeks

  6. Inspiring • ‘Engagement’ is to “gain the full attention of students” (McAlpine 2004:126) • Ensure relevance • Create excitement • Design an activity that is “so enticing, so intriguing, and so marvelous (sic) that [students] really do not want to miss out on it” (Bender 2003:47) • Choices: groups, application, assessment

  7. Support: Information and Practice “Instructional responsibility in relation to practice is to provide a learning environment in which there is both structure and formative feedback since the two are supportive of a deep approach to learning” (McAlpine 2004:129) • Course materials (print and online) • Clear instructions with assignment checklist • F2F classes • Learning activities

  8. Support: Practice and Feedback • WebCT discussion group with teacher presence and feedback • Campus class groupwork with teacher help and feedback • Group as learning community with mutual support

  9. Evaluation • Observing attendance online and in class • Mid-point survey of campus class only • Standard end-of-module evaluation • Assessed 300 word individual reflection

  10. Support for independence • Inspired to work independently • 7/10 distance groups • 3/6 campus groups • Slow starters • 3/6 campus groups (absent students, waiting for deadline) • 3/10 distance groups (absent students, online decisions difficult)

  11. Five mid point drop outs • Pressures for all students • Groupwork • 25% de-motivating • 75% motivating

  12. Inspiring independent learning • Mid-point survey • 70% inspired, engaged • 50% fun • End-of-module evaluation 4 out of 5 median score for developing new skills, extending learning, opportunities for independent learning, enjoyment

  13. Marks • 2008 59 students • average mark 64% • 25% 70+ • 2006 48 students • Average mark 57% • 15% 70+

  14. Assessed reflection • One student critical of the EBL activity • Problems with groupwork • Sense of excitement and inspiration “I found this project both exciting and challenging. We picked a complex application …. and I learned a great deal. I enjoyed the challenge immensely and my motivation stayed high during the task.” (Distance learner)

  15. Assessed reflection “This assignment was a good way to see exactly how the planning system works; it is hard to understand when you’re just being told about it, so it was easier to understand when looking at it in terms of a specific application in a more practical set-up.” (Campus student) • Extensive learning • Explicit comments on growth of confidence through knowledge and skills

  16. “I am naturally a nosy, inquisitive person and love being given the chance to find out about anything, particularly something as important as housing and associated laws. I enjoyed the task and think that it was a successful method of getting students to do their own research into what a planning application involves.” (Campus student) • Students went the extra mile – investigations online and on the ground

  17. Tentative conclusions • Provided stimulating, relevant activity with choices • Provided support online and in class to maintain motivation • Consider role of groupwork and individuals in groups • Inspired the majority of students to engage to help students grow in confidence

  18. References • Bender, T. (2003) Discussion-based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning (Virginia, Stylus Publishing) • McAlpine L (2004) Designing learning as well as teaching: A research-based model for instruction that emphasizes learner practice, in Active Learning in Higher Education Vol 5, Issue 2 July 2004 pp119-134 • Salmon, G. (2000) E-moderating: the key to teaching and learning online (London, Kogan Page.)

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