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Debra Bath Griffith Institute for Higher Education Griffith University Introductions to the profession: A technological approach to increasing engagement.

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Presentation on theme: "Debra Bath Griffith Institute for Higher Education Griffith University Introductions to the profession: A technological approach to increasing engagement."— Presentation transcript:

1 Debra Bath Griffith Institute for Higher Education Griffith University Introductions to the profession: A technological approach to increasing engagement with the profession

2 Overview Context Development The tools Evaluation Acknowledgements

3 Context Common first-year issues: – Many students are ill-prepared for the university experience Time management Misconceptions (of the discipline, difficult concepts) Academic writing Learning and study skills Alienation (to university, each other, the discipline) First-year Psychology – All of the above, and very large classes of often mixed cohorts

4 Context Course (subject/unit) convenor for 2 very large first-year core courses T&L grant - build a virtual learning community site – Create a sense of community and caring for the students, with a range of tools and resources to support their transition to university study, and to the discipline of psychology. – Aims to: 1.scaffold time management skills 2.facilitate student, peer and teacher collaboration in dealing with misconceptions and threshold concepts 3.scaffold the development of discipline-specific academic literacy skills 4.facilitate self-reflection and development of effective approaches to learning

5 Factors which contribute to a successful transition to university Lizzio & Wilson 2011 Sense of StudentIdentity Connectedness Capability Purpose Resourcefulness Do I know where I want to go? Have I got what it takes? Do I have a sense of belonging here? Am I able to understand and navigate my environment?

6 Development Online resources for skill development: – reach greater number of students than is typical with face-to-face instruction – 24 hour access at the learner ’ s convenience – Can often complete tasks more than once, return to review (multiple learning/practice opportunities) Designing online resources – research shows good designs: – organise info/activity into small ’ chunks ’ which can be processed at the learner ’ s own pace having individual control over the pace and sequence is valued learners do not wish to commit large amounts of time, but want succinct information – provide intermittent feedback and/or ‘ testing ’ via interactive elements interactivity is also very motivating Passive vs. active learning principle – Embedded within the discipline

7 Within Blackboard – the University ’ s learning management system –“ Organisation ” site (not course/subject/unit), called PsychMe! With a “ Psychology ” theme throughout – All core psychology first-year courses are enrolled in the site – Not formally used in courses, but used by First-Year Advisor as ancillary support

8 Time management resources

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10

11 “Learning Couch” Development Zeegers and Martin (2001) argue that in order for first-year students to progress to becoming independent learners, it is important for them to: 1. become aware of their own learning approaches, 2. be cognisant of alternative learning strategies, 3. to be directed in how to reflect on their learning and in developing skills as self-regulated learners. Key drivers for for developing the “ The Learning Couch ” D esign structure: Test (1 – leads to awareness) Diagnosis (2 – identify strengths and weaknesses, consider alternative) Treatment (3 – reflect on learning, target areas for development, access resources for support) Follow-up (4 – reflect on change and development)

12 The Learning Couch Chunking of information, activity and time

13 “ Test ” (Effective Learning) Framework Approaches to learning - Biggs (1987) Study Process Questionnaire - commonly used framework for examining academic success – Deep – seek meaning, intrinsically motivated – Surface – focus on facts, “ need to know ” to pass, rote learning, extrinsically motivated – Achieving – often both surface and deep strategies depending on what is required, focus on high grades, well-organised and strategic Research shows – in relation to academic achievement: – Surface approach often negatively correlated – Deep approach sometimes positively correlated (sometimes no relationship) – Achieving approach often positively correlated

14 “ Test ” (Effective Learning) Framework Time Perspective (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999) – Also related to academic success –“ How individuals divide the flow of human experiences into time frames ” or “ the relative dominance of past, present, future in a person ’ s thought ” Past-oriented – focus on past experiences (and so can be positive or negative – e.g., success or failure on past exams) Present-oriented – the here and now (hedonistic / fatalistic) – pleasure- seekers often achieve well in courses they like/interested in but drop out or fail ones they don ’ t, fatalists don ’ t see they have control over what happens Future-oriented – consider consequences, responsible, often very high achievers (organised, task-focused, put off pleasure until completed) – Future-orientated students typically high achievers at university

15 (1) Test 38 questions Results are automatically pulled through into the other phases of the Learning Couch

16 (1) Test results

17 (2) Diagnosis - What to do with the results? Quick guide to interpretation of scores, with worked example of “ Geoff ”

18 (2) Diagnosis – different learner profiles Tried not to be value-laden, or too “ academic ” in tone Strengths as well as weaknesses for all profiles (feedback from road-testing)

19 (2) Diagnosis – which profiles are best good for university?

20 (2) Diagnosis - Exploring My learning profile

21 (3) Treatment – developing a personal plan

22 Resources

23 (3) Treatment plan cont.

24 (4) Follow-up same as “ test ” screen

25 (4) Follow-up – reflecting on change same as “ test ” screen

26 Safety net Considering the “ ethics ” of online learning – like participation in a research project

27 Implementation Road-test – with current first-year students (at the end of their 2 nd semester of study – Teaching staff (first-year advisor, senior tutors, course convenors) – Food, thank-you gifts – Excellent feedback – fed into development of tool Launched in O-week (Semester 1) – Short presentation during orientation session and 1 st lecture – reminders and announcements throughout semester – Incentives (prize draw - “ in 25 words or less ” - book voucher) – I was no longer involved in first-year > major impact Evaluation – Learning Couch data pre- and post-test (anonymous, opt-out option) – Online survey (mid-late semester 2)

28 Evaluation and Feedback 2009 – first use About 50% of students completed the first test phase (n = 184, of over 300) About 25% students completed the treatment plan phase, but only 15 completed the follow-up test – currently doing follow-up N = 262 first test phase 12% treatment plan (Max score for SPQ – 30; Time perspective – 25)

29 “ I think Psychme should have been recommended more by our lectures and tutors as I was not aware of how helpful it could be until late in the semester. ” “ I think it needs to be more interlinked with our courses to encourage us to use the site since there are many people who did not go onto it once during the whole year. ”

30 Conclusions The degree of student engagement with the resource was not unlike other supplementary tutorials/resources (e.g., Zeegers & Martin, 2001; Krause, 2006) Useful, but needs team ownership and a driver Value of some f2f contact (and embeddedness) to support motivation and engagement Not just technology (we are continually being driven to adopt technology- infused solutions) Needs personalising, relationships, and “teacher presence” (Garrison & Vaughan, 2007) Integration within the formal curriculum Teaching team cohesion and a team approach to first-year support in general – everyone needs to be on board

31 21 July, 2010 Debra Bath, GIHE Social Presence The ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves socially and emotionally as ‘real’ people (i.e., their full personality), through the medium of communication being used. Cognitive Presence The extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse in a critical community of inquiry. Teaching Presence The design, facilitation and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes. Purposeful activities The Community of Inquiry (COI) model (Garrison & Vaughn, 2007) Ideal educational transaction is a collaborative constructivist process that has inquiry at its core. Social interaction and collaboration shapes and tests meaning, enriching understanding and knowledge sharing. Ideal educational transaction is a collaborative constructivist process that has inquiry at its core. Social interaction and collaboration shapes and tests meaning, enriching understanding and knowledge sharing. Recommendations - A blended learning approach

32 Community of Inquiry Indicators The consensus is that teaching presence is a significant determinate of student satisfaction, perceived learning, and sense of community (Garrison & Vaughn, 2007) 21 July, 2010 Debra Bath, GIHE


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