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©Collins NCGE September 20061 Injecting Surprise into a Course or Module: Using Synergistic Learning Methods and the Art of Participatory Learning Dr.

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Presentation on theme: "©Collins NCGE September 20061 Injecting Surprise into a Course or Module: Using Synergistic Learning Methods and the Art of Participatory Learning Dr."— Presentation transcript:

1 ©Collins NCGE September Injecting Surprise into a Course or Module: Using Synergistic Learning Methods and the Art of Participatory Learning Dr. Lorna Collins National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship

2 ©Collins NCGE September session outline Background What are synergistic learning methods? Experiential session –Where will these methods be of use? –What is the value of them? –What are challenges? Discussion Linkage to Entrepreneurial Outcomes Template

3 ©Collins NCGE September health warning this is an experiment methods described have not been used in a short session like this before meant to be illustrative – to give a feel for what they are like more detail available afterwards, readings, hard copy examples of exercises, materials

4 ©Collins NCGE September highlight linkage with Entrepreneurial Outcomes Template Main links with –Creating empathy with the entrepreneurial life world –Managing relationships

5 B. Students ‘feel’ the life-world of the entrepreneur A. Key entrepreneurial behaviours, skills and attitudes developed C. Key entrepreneurial values inculcated and Emotional response calculated D. Motivation towards an entrepreneurial lifestyle and occupation has been built G. Students grasp key how to’s of developing holistically managed sustainable entrepreneurial organisations E. Students grasp the key generic entrepreneurship competencies in practice H. Students understand the relationships they need to develop with key stakeholders F. Students understand the process (stages) of setting up an organisation TEMPLATETEMPLATE

6 ©Collins NCGE September Creating empathy with the entrepreneurial life world Students need to clearly empathise with, understand and ‘feel’ the life-world of the entrepreneur –living with uncertainty and complexity –having to do everything under pressure –coping with loneliness –trust relationships –learning by doing, copying, making things up, problem solving –managing interdependencies –working flexibly

7 ©Collins NCGE September Managing relationships Understanding the nature of the relationships they need to develop with key stakeholders and are familiar with them identify all key stakeholders impacting upon any venture understand the needs of all key stakeholders at the start –up and survival stage know how to educate stakeholders know how to learn from them know how best to build and manage the relationship.

8 ©Collins NCGE September motivation to develop this approach Based on work with colleagues We believe –different learning methods could be used to instil entrepreneurial ethos in students –taking a tripartite approach - existing entrepreneurs, nascent entrepreneurs and educators beneficial to all learners –entrepreneurship education is valuable to all students – not just business and management

9 ©Collins NCGE September what we did – underlying assumptions Entrepreneurs have knowledge and experience to share with others Students have knowledge and experience - may be different but valuable to all Collaborative and co-learning environments are the perfect medium for encouraging this exchange of information Involving all parties in development, design, and delivery is likely to lead to effective learning of entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and behaviour Creating mutuality and reciprocity between students, entrepreneurs and academics is beneficial – challenging but beneficial

10 ©Collins NCGE September what we did - experiment 15 students were self-selecting – different disciplines 5 entrepreneurs were local – all industries Academic ‘pool’ from several East Midlands universities 3 member development team from two different universities; also members of academic pool

11 ©Collins NCGE September what we did - programme Ran over ten weeks 10 sessions in total Each session was four hours in length Held at different venues Including a project that ran over the 10 weeks

12 ©Collins NCGE September what we did – approach used Action research and learning approach to developing programme and methods Delivered whole in entrepreneurial, experiential and participatory manner – encompassing qualities in delivery that were trying to be instilled in participants Developed ground rules - specific and designed to create a safe environment for all participants – who all agreed to the experiment

13 ©Collins NCGE September Synergistic (participatory) learning results from the interaction between people having different experiences and perspectives where the potential for mutual learning is increased

14 ©Collins NCGE September Used where? social and community enterprise contexts (environmental sector) Grounded in a constructivist learning theory –learner is actively involved in the joint enterprise of learning with the educator and together they create new meanings –Social construction of knowledge –synergistic learning involves everyone in the learning process

15 ©Collins NCGE September Participatory methods: allow for articulation and interaction between different perceptions, interpretations and arguments between people when problem solving and developing new ideas

16 ©Collins NCGE September Cooperation –students work with entrepreneurs and academics to determine priorities; responsibility to direct process lies with entrepreneurs and academics Co-learning –students, entrepreneurs and academics share knowledge and create new understandings - work together to form plans of action Consultation –student’s opinions are sought - entrepreneurs and academics analyze and decide course of action to take Collective action –students set own agendas and act to carry out the action without the help of entrepreneurs and academics

17 ©Collins NCGE September Ground rules – modified from the full set of rules Everyone is responsible for what takes place; Mutual respect for other participants; A non-judgemental approach with shared and open communication between all participants; Co-operation and collaboration; Agree to commit to try anything and be open- minded (to try to say ‘maybe’ instead of ‘no’).

18 ©Collins NCGE September Roles Three observers/adjudicator – one for each group, provide objective feedback on what goes on in the group and adjudicate Three exercise groups – 5 people in each group Three different roles needed in each group –3-5 Students – ratio matches our programme –1 Educator –1 Entrepreneur

19 ©Collins NCGE September Students, educators and entrepreneurs - take 4 minutes now to get into role Students – focus on deciding how you will be marked, what the lecturer wants from you at the end of this exercise, or where you are going to go out tonight! Educators – focus on learning outcomes Entrepreneurs – focus on taking short cuts and breaking the rules and winning the exercise – being entrepreneurs you can break this rule!

20 ©Collins NCGE September Using cooperation method – Exercise 1 Students work together with entrepreneur and academic to determine priorities required to achieve the task – build the tower Entrepreneur and educator direct the process – in this case, the process of getting the tower built to specification

21 ©Collins NCGE September Task – Exercise 1 You are required to use 3 sheets of A4 paper and make a tower to the following specification: –able to stand constructed for a minimum of 30 seconds –over 10 cm high You cannot use any other items to build or support the tower – only 3 sheets of A4 paper Total time to complete task 10 minutes

22 ©Collins NCGE September Observers – Exercise 1 There is a 10 minute time limit The group with the highest tower wins Breaking the rules results in disqualification Adjudicate that the tower meets spec

23 ©Collins NCGE September Adjudication – Exercise 1 Take note of the following: –Did the tower meet the spec? –Did everyone stay in role? –Did anyone break the rules?

24 ©Collins NCGE September Co-learning students, entrepreneurs and educators all share their knowledge and work together to form the plan of action for completing the task – to build a tower to spec there is a 10 minute limit on the task

25 ©Collins NCGE September Task - Exercise 2 – 10 minutes You are required to use 3 sheets of A4 paper and make a tower that meets the following specification: –able to stay constructed for a minimum of 30 seconds –over 20 cm high –able to withstand windy conditions You cannot use any other items to build or support the tower – only 3 sheets of A4 paper Total time to complete task - 10 minutes

26 ©Collins NCGE September Observers – Exercise 2 There is a 10 minute limit The group with the highest tower wins but it must be able to withstand a outward breath from someone about 3 metres away Breaking the rules results in disqualification

27 ©Collins NCGE September Adjudication – Exercise 2 Take note of the following: –Did the tower meet the spec? –Did everyone stay in role? –Did anyone break the rules? –What did you observe?

28 ©Collins NCGE September Feedback within groups – students, entrepreneurs, educators and observers For each method, how did it feel for the students, the entrepreneurs, the educators? Focus on the method not the exercise itself 8 minutes in groups to discuss and record thoughts Observer to serve as reporter/feedback ensemble

29 ©Collins NCGE September discussion - 1 What would be the impact of using these methods? –Students –Entrepreneurs –Educators What do you think would be the challenges of using these methods in a course/module?

30 ©Collins NCGE September feedback - impact on staff and students For educators - time consuming?; knowledge levels variable; difficult to manage? Not sure of outcomes – ambiguity? For students – find it difficult; willingness to take risks?; work together with others; do something that is open ended – may be unwilling to do this given desire to achieve high marks – buy-in? ability to operate comfortably?

31 ©Collins NCGE September challenges Flexibility Accredited units require consistency, replicability Resource intense – finding entrepreneurs Experience and knowledge set maybe different from expected standard Risky

32 ©Collins NCGE September what else might be needed to make these methods work well from students perspective? Preparation, before, during, after Consider: –Attitudes –Skills –Knowledge

33 ©Collins NCGE September Attitudes - accepted –Willingness to try something new and to be wrong, and to make mistakes –Helping others – collaboration is vital Skills – which need to be introduced beforehand and are enhanced through using these methods –Reflection – an understanding and the ability to engage in the reflective process –Observation – being practiced at watching what is going on around them; able to interpret and translate

34 ©Collins NCGE September Reflective learning is the key element in learning from experience – it is the core difference between whether a person repeats the same experience several times…or learns from experience in such a way that he or she is cognitively (thinking) changed or affectively (emotion/feelings) changed’ (Boyd and Fales, 1983)

35 ©Collins NCGE September student’s knowledge levels How they learn best? What is their preferred personal method? Language – do they need to know the basics of business, and be able to speak with entrepreneurs – and visa versa?

36 ©Collins NCGE September discussion - 2 is there any added value in using these methods? where? for whom?

37 ©Collins NCGE September where is the added value? Wider range of learning outcomes achieve - ?’able Unpredictable, open-ended learning that takes place can be surprising and stimulating Personal interaction, team teaching = dynamic, complex, emotional – for entrepreneurs the stimulation and challenge was a ‘buzz’ Taking people outside their experience zone has unexpected outcomes for all – good and bad Risks can be taken – ground rules offer mutual protection

38 ©Collins NCGE September added value for students Students have a chance to feel ‘real’ world through relationship and interaction with entrepreneur They can observe how the entrepreneur: –Learns –Solves problems –Thinks about things –Gets things done

39 ©Collins NCGE September summary Discussed participatory methods Experienced them first hand Discussed how they might be used More information available

40 ©Collins NCGE September thank you any questions?


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