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The less obvious underlying factors in HE learning today
Title: The less obvious underlying factors in HE learning today
Date/time: Monday 3 Nov 2014. Session: 2:40-3:30pm,
(my own slot: 3pm? - 3:20pm).
Occasion: ILIaD inaugural conference
Institute of Learning Innovation and Development (ILIaD)
Perhaps building 38, Highfield campus.
How to get there:
School of Psychology,
University of Glasgow.
All references in the slides can be found in full within
A talk by me on the two channel (twitterized) classroom
2cc: The two channel (twitterized) classroom
Learning revolves around interaction whether with non-human resources,
teachers, or fellow learners (peers). New technology and economics change the
veneers for these, but not the basics. One future ("forward to the past")
might see the spread of learning from textbooks with built-in exercises and
answers in the back. Chi for one has shown that learners gain little from
books or videos (or 3D simulations) unless they have a worksheet and better
still a fellow learner as well: such resources are interactive only at the
keystroke level, not at the learning level. In a MOOC class of 2,000 and "only"
10 GTAs, there can be only neglible personal interaction between teacher and
each learner. Such courses will stand or fall by whether there is copious and
productive peer interaction. Without peer interaction, the course is no
different from a textbook. This requires creating peer interactions in huge
cohorts. One approach is along the lines of speed dating: short, focussed
conversations with a stranger. However there is an additional condition that
all learners are ready to discuss each topic at the same time. HE mostly uses
the "cohort model" of allowing enrollments only once a year or semester. A
systematic analysis must consider the alternative of a "dojo model",
traditionally used for learning martial arts and scuba diving. Here, students
join at any time, and each weekly class has students at many levels of
expertise, dealing with that week's topic. Since trying to teach is the most
powerful learning method we know of, this benefits all students. A recent
study found that a large proportion of a class relegated to a video-linked
overflow room came to prefer it to the main hall: the spare seating meant they
could always sit with their friends, the view of the screen was better, and the
GTA there from early to late meant they could always ask a teacher questions.
This illustrates how the neglect of the human interaction aspects of learning
are exposing problems equally in campus and online teaching. A study of a
highly successful MOOC showed that the same set of people studying the same
thing at the same time found it natural to use many different platforms at
once. This suggests that learning requires not just peer interaction of one
fixed type, but many types of interaction all towards the same overall aim
(each with different requirements on the software).
Hugh Davis' keynote slideshare
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