Seen evidence of differences

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Fokt 6 years, 2 months ago.

  • Author
  • #18474

    Moira Maley

    In my experience as a teacher facilitating a blend of online and f2f learning in groups of dispersed learners on long term placements – I have noted differences in uptake and willingness to engage in purpose built online resources amongst students.

    Early in their placement when there are many other f2f distractions and skills to acquire, about 1 third of students relish the online activities, 1 third are ambivalent and 1 third engage only at a surface level.

    As they become accustomed to their new physical learning environment they better perceive the relevance of the asynchronous online activities and this leads to better adoption and performance as the year progresses.

    In this circumstance, rather than “let the learners choose their approach” (title of another forum) it is “give the learners time to adjust their learning approach for the new learning environment”, which is quite different from their previous years of study in the same course.

    The early adopter students “see” the benefits of the resources and return to them as needed, re-engaging for a greater return;  the f2f peer interaction relating to this catalyses other students’ usage.

    The blended aspect of the learning in this setting is unique in that it closely mimics the pedagogy of their aspired professional setting.  This match is probably better than is achievable in courses in many other disciplines. Careful up-skilling and support for their professional role models /mentors locally has been a key strategy also.

    By year end, “needs” have shifted the balance to 5 ninths strategic and 4 ninths deep learners as measured by my thumb guage at this point in time. Surface learners cannot achieve the more rigorous outcomes that evolve alongside their high visibility in this learning environment.  I have now seen 6 cycles of this effective experiential learning.





  • #18815

    Good point about the adjustment time that is needed by the learner switching to a different learning environment. Interesting to see a cycle of engagement with deeper and surface learning as learners progress through their course. I wonder if others in other disciplines or subjects have encountered a similar pattern?

  • #24066

    Simon Fokt

    I find that at the university level the types of learning are very different depending on the year. In Scotland, undergraduate courses are typically 4 year long, with years 3& 4 contributing to the degree classification. This means that:

    – level 1 students generally try to engage in deep learning, especially in the first semester, because they just came from school and it’s all new and different.

    – level 2 students are the worst – here the majority engages in surface learning. It seems like year 2 is party year, because it’s not new and scary anymore, social life is richer than in the first year, and since the grades don’t count for the final degree classification, a bare pass that ensures entry to honours level is all many students aim for.

    – Levels 3 and especially 4 tend to drift towards more strategic learning, aimed at getting a good degree. Some students go as far as choosing modules they perceive as easier, sometimes going back to lower level modules, just so that they can get better grades. Sadly, our whole system promotes this sort of approach.

The topic ‘Seen evidence of differences’ is closed to new replies.