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Situated Learning and Assessment

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1 Situated Learning and Assessment
UCD College of Life Sciences Teaching and Learning Symposium 2010 18 Feb 2010 Dr. Anne Drummond UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Population Science

2 Situated Learning Learning in which the learning environment is ‘situated’ in a particular context Apprenticeship (cognitive) Adult learning Learning should be always be regarded as situated in a local and social context, contrary to traditional theory of education where knowledge is considered free from any contextual influence Knowledge and skills are learned in contexts that reflect how knowledge is obtained and applied in everyday situations Creating meaning from the activities of daily living

3 Situated Learning Theory
Emerged in late 1980s-1990s Brown, Collins and Duguid (1989) Lave and Wenger (1991) Builds on other theories Bandura’s social learning theory (modelling) Vygotsky’s constructivism (scaffolding and fading) Dewey, Knowles, Kolb Has characteristics of Principles of adult education (andragogy) Problem-based learning Experiential learning

4 Situated Learning apparently…
Emphasises higher order thinking rather than the acquisition of facts Encourages reflection on learning Focuses on application rather than retention Places learners ‘in the experience’ Enhances employability of graduates Learning occurs through dialogue with others in a community of practice

5 Terminology Communities of practice
Legitimate peripheral participation Legitimate: member of the community of practice Peripheral: learners start at the edge and can move inwards Participation: learning through doing

6 Situated learning applications
Schools Mathematics, language, science Social settings Community committees, sports, leisure Vocational and educational settings Apprenticeship, mentoring, coaching Master-apprentice relationships Work and professional settings New position Professional bodies Core characteristic: active participation of students in a real-world or near-real world context for the purpose of learning

7 JPF, Practitioner and Student
Just Plain Folk (JPF) Students Practitioners Reasoning with Causal stories Laws Causal models Acting on Situations Symbols Conceptual situations Resolving Emergent problems and dilemmas Well-defined problems Ill-defined problems Producing Negotiable meaning and socially constructed understanding Fixed meaning and immutable concepts (Brown, Collins and Duguid, 1989, p. 35)

8 Situated learning in the literature: Experience of different disciplines
Educational (higher education) literature on situated learning tends to Be descriptive or discursive Focus on professional education domains Samples Management education (instructional design project for corporate clients) Medicine (PGME / CPD situated in the workplace) Nursing (situated in practice placements) Engineering (situating a communications course within the curriculum) OSH (situating SH&E training within the workplace) More recently: instructional design; computers providing an alternative to the real-life setting; SL as a basis for web-based e-learning

9 Instructional design in SL: 9 critical characteristics
“Provide authentic context that reflects the way the knowledge will be used in real-life; Provide authentic activities; Provide access to expert performances and the modelling of processes; Provide multiple roles and perspectives; Support collaborative construction of knowledge; Provide coaching and scaffolding at critical times; Promote reflection to enable abstractions to be formed; Promote articulation to enable tacit knowledge to be made explicit; Provide for integrated assessment of learning within the tasks.” (Herrington and Oliver, 2000)

10 Our experience of Situated Learning in OSH
Challenges Adult professional CPE programmes Actual work situation V placement or internship No work-based instruction No work-based supervision or mentoring Recognising experiential learning (+ need to capture) Modularisation provided opportunity to review Cert, HDip and BSc programmes Decided to gain/assess evidence of ‘experiential’ learning through assessment Realised that situated learning was taking place

11 Examples of work-based assessments in OSH
Level 1: Report for manager (versus an essay) OR Article for Chamber of Commerce newsletter Level 1: Basic risk assessment of own workplace Level 3: Risk assessments / management reports in a variety of domains and contexts provide a scaffold and ultimately lead students, with reducing support, to their: Level 3: Safety Statement project Level 2: Professional portfolios Level 3: Ergonomic assessment Level 3: SWOT analyses Level 3: Proposing a model for practice

12 Student feedback on work-based assessment Level 1
Very Helpful to my Learning % Helpful to my learning Neither helpful nor Unhelpful Very Unhelpful Module and Year 62 19.4 62.9 16.1 1.6 SHWW 10010 169 32.9 61.1 5.4 0.6 SHWW 10020 2008-9 101 51 43 4 2 CertSHW programme 2007-8 In terms of helpfulness to learning, please indicate the extent to which you found the following components helpful or unhelpful: Preparing assignments

13 Student feedback on work-based assessment Level 3
Strongly agree % Agree % Neither agree nor Disagree % Disagree Strongly Disagree Module and Year 10 25 75 SHWW 30070 18 44 50 5.6 SHWW 30170 2008-9 15 40 33.3 6.7 20 SHWW 30180 6 66.7 33 SHWW 30050 52.6 31.6 10.5 5.3 SHWW 30060 13 53.8 38.5 7.7 2007-8 27.8 44.4 11.1 SHWW 30160 ‘The continuous assessment helped me to apply learning in the context of the workplace’

14 Feedback on work-based assessment BSc Graduate Evaluation (2002-2009)
60% response N = Very helpful to my learning % Helpful to my learning Neither helpful nor unhelpful Unhelpful Very unhelpful Work-based assignments associated with modules 51 35 53 10 2 Work-based research project 55 39 6 Helpfulness to Learning: work-based assignments associated with modules Helpfulness to Learning: work-based research project 61% of employers encouraged graduates to apply learning at work, while doing BSc; 36% of employers were neutral, but did not discourage.

15 Student feedback on work-based assessment
Assignments - putting learning into work setting What was good about this module? The use of real life experiences (workplaces) was a plus Practical Assignments Continuous assessment is strongest teaching feature of module I found the assignments very helpful, I learnt a lot

16 PROs … of the OSH experience
Theoretical Promotes deep learning Social and professional acceptance Perceived value to learners In practice Increased student engagement Reduction in ‘regurgitated’ content Positive student evaluations Designs out plagiarism

17 …and CONs of the OSH experience
Theoretical [Such] socialisation may not embody best practice Hard to implement in the classroom May not always be a ‘master’ involved Debate over transferability In practice More work for graders (but probably more interesting) Difficult to attribute, i.e. to separate impact of situated learning from effects of modularisation or introduction of continuous assessment

18 Opportunities Situated Learning ….
IS NOT … an educational form, pedagogical strategy or teaching technique IS …a way of understanding learning Should not be ignored by educationalists Provides an opportunity to pay attention to different learning climates In some domains it is important to recognise the social and professional acceptance in communities of practice as part of the learning experience Important to look at LEARNING (not teaching) as the contextualised or situated experience

19 References Anderson, J.R., Reder, L.M. and Simon, H.A. (1996). Situated Learning and Education. Educational Researcher. 25 (4) pp. 5 – 11. Boud, D. and Falchikov, N. (2006). Aligning assessment with long-term learning. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 31 (4) pp Brown, J.S., Collins, A. and Duguid, P. (1989). Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher. 18 (1) pp. 32 – 42. Choi. J. and Hannafin, M. (1995). Situated cognition and learning environments: roles, structures, and implications for design. Journal of Educational Technology Research and Development. 43 (2) pp. 53 – 69. Herrington, J. and Herrington, A. (1998). Authentic assessment and multimedia: how university students respond to a model of authentic assessment. Higher Education Research and Development. 17 (3) pp. 305 – 322. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning; legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. Merriam, S.B. and Caffarella, R.S. (1999). (2nd Ed). Learning in Adulthood: a comprehensive guide. Jossey-Bass Publishers: San Francisco. Romer, T.A. (2002). Situated learning and assessment. Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education. 27 (3) pp 233 – 241. Stein, D. (1998). Situated learning in adult education. ERIC Digest no

20 References Computer Science: Ben-Ari, M. (2004). Situated learning in computer science education. Computer Science Education. 14 (2) pp 85 – 100. Engineering: Artemeva, N., Logie, S. and St-Martin, J. (1999). From Page to Stage: How theories of genre and situated learning help introduce engineering students to discipline-specific communication. Technical Communication Quarterly. 8 (3) pp. 301 – 316. Medicine: Swanick, T. (2005). Informal learning in postgraduate medical education: from cognitivism to ‘culturism’. Medical Education. 39 (8) pp Nursing: Cope, P., Cuthbertson, P. and Stoddart, B. (2000). Situated learning in the practice placement. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 31 (4) pp. 850 – 856. OSH: Machles, D. (2003). Situated learning; new approach to SH&E training focuses on learning. Professional Safety. Sep pp. 22 – 28. Physiotherapy: Richardson, B. (1999). Professional Development: 2. Professional knowledge and situated learning in the workplace. Physiotherapy. 85 (9) pp 467 – 474. Teaching: Korthagen, F. (2010). Situated learning theory and the pedagogy of teacher education: Towards an integrative view of teacher behavior and teacher learning. Teaching and Teacher Education. 26 (1) pp. 98–106. Designing web-based E-learning: Hung, D. and Chen, D.T. (2001). Situated cognition, Vygotskian thought and learning from the communities of practice perspective: Implications for the design of Web-based E-learning. Educational Media International. 38 (1) pp 3 – 12.

21 Thank you for listening


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