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Developing A Problem-based Learning Module Practical Group Work Session. Rob Boast, Staffordshire University Rosemary Tomkinson, University of Manchester. The Brief – the V-C again . . .

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developing a problem based learning module practical group work session

Developing A Problem-based Learning ModulePractical Group Work Session

Rob Boast, Staffordshire University

Rosemary Tomkinson, University of Manchester

the brief the v c again
The Brief – the V-C again . . .
  • Your vice-chancellor, after reviewing the Green League tables, has determined that one, of a number of responses that they would like to see implemented, is for all academic departments to incorporate a sustainability themed module into one ‘champion’ on-campus degree programme.
  • The v-c sees this module as being essentially a problem-based, student-centred module with students working in small teams developing a whole raft of graduate attributes / transferable skills along the way.
the brief continued
The Brief Continued . . .
  • Your v-c understands that ‘one-size-does-NOT-fit-all’ and so there are a number of design scenarios . . . but they ideally use technology supported learning.
  • Your team has volunteered / been encouraged to be a pbl-sustainability / skills champion!
  • Choose one of the scenarios (next slide) and map out a workable 12 week module meeting the key design criteria (see later).
  • Your v-c requires a 5 min ‘pitch’ of your champion module.
  • 30 mins – go, good luck!
the scenarios
The Scenarios . . .
  • Scenario 1: Rivers of Flowers / Pollen Patch – students bring their subject discipline to this x-University project. Provide an exemplar module ‘shell’ for a specific level.
  • Scenario 2: Greening the University – ‘Core Curriculum’ – students bring their subject discipline to this x-University project. Provide an exemplar module ‘shell’ for a specific level.
  • Scenario 3: Campus Sustainability Challenge – interdisciplinary / inter-level module(s) that is focused on transforming the sustainability of the campus.
  • Scenario 4: Curriculum Development Design for Sustainability – a module for final year students reflecting on and redesigning the curricula focusing on employability and working with alumni.
  • Scenario 5: Green Apprentice – sustainability consultancy module for transforming the university estate / curricula.
the design criteria
The Design Criteria . . .
  • What would be the key ‘problem’ theme of the module?
  • What are the key needs / skills / attributes would the module try to develop?
  • What would be the key delivery challenges?
  • How might you ensure successful group working?
    • How might you use technology to support the learning?
  • What might be an appropriate assessment package for the module?

Outline any key opportunities / challenges

views from the south bank university 15 7 13
Views from the South Bank University (15/7/13) . . .
  • Opportunities
    • ‘Learning’
      • Really mutli-disciplinary would be nice but interdisciplinary might be better
      • Proactive / engaged students researching / generating knowledge for themselves
      • Student-centred driven curricular – students designing the curricular
      • Linking cohorts - this year’s student learners next year’s mentors – passing the project / them onto the next cohort – that sort of sustainability of the project (rivers of flowers cascading across years)
  • ‘Skills delivery’
    • It delivers graduate attributes
    • Business experience
    • Group-working skills
  • ‘e-literacy’
    • Social media facilitation
  • ‘Assessment’
    • Truly related to the brief / the process - convergent
views from the south bank university 15 7 131
Views from the South Bank University (15/7/13) . . .
  • Opportunities
    • ‘Real project approach’
      • Interdisciplinary working for all subjects in the University
      • Strengthen discipline identity as they put their take / angle on a theme
      • Authentic briefs – link curricular with the University life and non-University communities

NEXT practice in learning – refreshing curricula for staff

views from the south bank university 15 7 132
Views from the South Bank University (15/7/13) . . .
  • Challenges
    • ‘University management’
      • Longer time perspectives need to be taken to grow (not just trees / an orchard) but a big overarching theme.
      • Collaborating and buy in to a broad theme and then subject disciplines hanging their PBL variant module from the thee
      • Are we brave enough not to even have facilitators ?
      • Might we need incentivisation of early adopting students (& staff – workloads and champions)?
      • Who has responsibility of driving this? – does a Faculty lead or is it a committee or do you have an EPVC of Sustainability?
  • ‘Students - getting it’
    • How do we sell modules to students bunkered in their own discipline?
    • Concept of the module buy in from students – ideological aims of the module
  • ‘Different Learning’
    • Respect for different disciplinary backgrounds
    • Working with others outside the university – risk assessments and working with vulnerable groups
views from the keele workshop 30 11 12
Views from the Keele Workshop (30/11/12) . . .
  • Opportunities
    • ‘Learning’
      • Proactive / engaged students
      • Journey in own learning
      • DEEP LEARNING
      • Master classes
      • Linking cohorts - this year’s student learners next year’s facilitators
      • Next learning for the trained facilitators
    • ‘Change’
      • Transformative – into SD issues
      • Reflection & change
      • Change perceptions
  • ‘Skills delivery’
    • Teamwork / team skills
    • Creativity
    • Critical thinking
    • Self-awareness
    • Leadership skills
  • ‘e-literacy’
    • Technology and use of techniques
    • Blogs – on-line monitoring
    • Develop e-skills
    • Online collaborative tools
views from the keele workshop 30 11 121
Views from the Keele Workshop (30/11/12) . . .
  • Opportunities
    • ‘Real project approach’
      • Looking to the future – one world multidisciplinary
      • Interdisciplinary working / disciplinary culture awareness
      • Authentic briefs – students doing a real project with others
      • Students design for schools envsus – taster days
      • Collaborate with schools
      • Outreach opportunities
      • Citizenship
      • Engagement creating the meaningful
      • Change agents – what can be applied – action research
  • ‘Assessment’
    • Negotiated assessment – empowerment
    • Assessment design awareness
    • Deliver assessment feedback dialogue
    • Peer review and reflective responding
  • ‘Sustainable development agenda’
    • Enhancing SD in the curricula
    • Personal - Local – regional – global nested issues
    • Multiple player – people, communities, business
    • Green journey
views from the keele workshop 30 11 122
Views from the Keele Workshop (30/11/12) . . .
  • Challenges
    • ‘University management’
      • Buy in from University / feasibility of module ideas
      • Staff time
      • Timetabling
      • Recruitment / training / rewarding of final year facilitators
      • Logistics of online learning - training students to use tools
  • ‘Students - getting it’
    • Name of module – selling to students
    • Concept of the module buy in from students – ideological aims of the module
    • Contested terms – ‘sustainability’, ‘community
  • ‘Students – group working’
    • Students not knowing each other
    • Passenger students
    • Peer assessment can cause conflicts
views from the keele workshop 30 11 123
Views from the Keele Workshop (30/11/12) . . .
  • Challenges
    • ‘Different Learning’
      • Respect for different disciplinary backgrounds
      • Learning styles – disciplinary styles
      • International / cultural differences between students
      • Agreeing on assessments – flexibility of assessments
      • Different level students working together – different learning outcomes / assessments / motivations