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Technology, Situated Learning, and the Power of God-Given Learning Communities for Spiritual Formation May 14, 2009Stephen Kemp All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "Technology, Situated Learning, and the Power of God-Given Learning Communities for Spiritual Formation May 14, 2009Stephen Kemp All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technology, Situated Learning, and the Power of God-Given Learning Communities for Spiritual Formation May 14, 2009Stephen Kemp All rights reserved.

2 Framework for Presentation Learning Community (traditional definition) Experiential Learning –Service Learning –Situated Learning Learning Community (alternative definition) My Dissertation Research Implications for Spiritual Formation in Distance Education

3 Learning Community Traditional definition?

4 Learning Community Traditional definition: “Students and faculty interacting through an institutional context for the purpose of learning.”

5 Learning Community Distance Education adds technology to the traditional definition: “Students and faculty interacting through a technologically mediated institutional context for the purpose of learning.”

6 Learning Community Distance Education adds technology to the traditional definition: “Students and faculty interacting through a technologically mediated institutional context for the purpose of learning.” Finding the holy grail of “interactivity!”

7 Experiential Learning Heavily influenced by Kolb. “Experiential learning is a type of education characterized by active learning experiences, usually outside the traditional classroom.” “Not a series of techniques to be applied in current practice but a program for profoundly re-creating our personal lives and social systems.” “Any educational program, course design, or classroom session can be viewed as having degrees of orientation toward each of the four learning modes in the experiential learning model.” Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

8 Experiential Learning Kolb’s work on learning styles hijacked his contribution and career that could have stayed focused on experiential learning.

9 Experiential Learning Dewey’s own retrospective about what he meant by experiential education as guided learning. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Collier-Macmillan.

10 Experiential Learning The Lewinian Experiential Learning Model (Kolb, 1984, p. 21).

11 Experiential Learning Kolb ’ s Model of Experiential Learning (Kolb, 1984, p. 42).

12 Experiential Learning Kolb ’ s Experiential Learning Theory of Growth and Development (Kolb, 1984, p. 141).

13 Service Learning

14 Academic outcomes (not “Christian service”) Mutual benefit to student and those being served. Priority of reflection

15 Service Learning Jacoby, B. (Ed.). (1996). Service-learning in higher education: Concepts and practices. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Devine, R., Favazza, J. A., & McLain, F. M. (Eds.). (2002). From cloister to commons: Concepts and models for service-learning in religious studies. Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education. In series called “Service Learning in the Disciplines.” Heffner, G. G., & Beversluis, C. D. (2002). Commitment and connection: Service- learning and Christian higher education. New York: University Press of America.

16 Situated Learning

17 A constructivist approach to education that considers social context as foundational for learning. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press.

18 Situated Learning Not “student-centered learning” or even “context-based learning” that focuses on who the student is or what the student brings to the traditional classroom/campus, as if those things are static once a student enrolls. Baxter-Magolda, M. B. (1999). Creating contexts for learning and self-authorship: Constructive development pedagogy. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press. Evans, N. (1994). Experiential learning for all. London: Cassell.

19 Situated Learning “Communities of practice” (Brown, Collins, & Duguid) “Legitimate peripheral participation” (Lave & Wenger) “Zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky)

20 Situated Learning Education in which the context naturally matches the content.

21 Situated Learning Education in which the context naturally matches the content. Experiential learning turbocharges education and situated learning turbocharges experiential learning!

22 Learning Community Alternative definition?

23 Learning Community Alternative definition: “Primary social relationships as real-life (God-given) contexts for development.”

24 Learning Community “Service learning is the ultimate learning community” as the conclusion to chapter on optimal college student learning communities (p. 85, quoting Patricia Cross). Lenning, O. T., & Ebbers, L. H. (1999). The powerful potential of learning communities: Improving education for the future. Washington, DC: The George Washington University.

25 Learning Community “All we know from research on teaching and learning comes together in one metaprinciple: students who are actively engaged are likely to learn more.” Cross, P. K. (1998). “From Taking Teaching Seriously to Taking Learning Seriously.” 1998 National Conference of the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE), Atlanta.

26 Learning Community Family and friends are the most important source of external support, greater than tutors, other students, employers, and the institution. “It appears that the most important single form of support for Open University students is outside institutional control and may be largely ignored by institutions” (1999, p. 121). Simpson, O. (2003). Student retention in online, open and distance learning. London: Kogan Page. Simpson, O. (1999). Supporting students in online, open and distance learning. London: Kogan Page.

27 Learning Community Unique overlap of missions between theological education institutions and the primary social contexts of distance education students, particularly churches, homes, and other ministry workplaces.

28 Learning Community “The overriding strength of the philosophy of experiential education is that it counters the distancing of the learner from the subject of instruction by placing knowledge in context with real life nuances” (p ). McElhaney, K. A. (1998). Student outcomes of community service learning: A comparative analysis of curriculum-based and non-curriculum-based alternative spring break programs. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan.

29 Learning Community Perhaps rather than focusing on the separation of students, faculty, and campuses (“distance education”), we should focus on what is present through primary social relationships (“accessible education”).

30 Learning Community A rare example of maximizing what is present in distance education rather than mitigated what is absent: Mount, Marianne Evans (2008). Presence in distance: The lived experience of adult faith formation in an online learning community. Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is the Director of the Catholic Distance University, a DETC accreditation institution.

31 My Dissertation Research Experiential Learning and the Role of Primary Social Relationships as Contexts for Situated Learning in Distance Education Courses of Evangelical Theological Education Institutions. Ph.D. in Higher Education, Loyola University/Chicago.

32 My Dissertation Research Institutions – Evangelical seminaries Courses – NT Survey, Missions, Leadership Genre – Independent Studies, Online Seminars, Course Provider

33 My Dissertation Research Used a broad definition of experiential learning, namely, “any required course activity that falls outside the educational methods and techniques associated with direct content transmission (listening to lectures, reading study guides, reading books, writing rehashes of material found elsewhere, and being examined on content acquisition).” Might be better called “Active Learning.”

34 My Dissertation Research Coding: Level – course or lesson Location Experiential learning type – Concrete Experience, Reflective Observation, Abstract Conceptualization, Active Experimentation Social context – family, church, other ministry setting, work, neighborhood, friends, God/prayer, mission agency/missionary, international/cross- cultural, other, vague Graded and/or Required

35 My Dissertation Research 805 experiential learning activities in 706 assignments in 21 courses: Concrete Experience 263.2% Reflective Observation % Abstract Conceptualization % Active Experimentation 91.1%

36 My Dissertation Research 805 experiential learning activities in 706 assignments in 21 courses: Concrete Experience 263.2% Reflective Observation % Abstract Conceptualization % Active Experimentation 91.1% Active Experimentation/Hypothetical698.6%

37 My Dissertation Research 161 uses of social contexts (other than traditional learning community): CoursesUses% Prayer4106.2% Church % Family442.4% Int’l Student/Cross-Cultural342.4% Ministry other than church % Mission/Missionary242.4% Neighbor/Friends5106.2% Work110.6% Other6138.0% Vague595.5%

38 My Dissertation Research 161 uses of social contexts (other than traditional learning community): Actual48 Hypothetical/Rhetorical113

39 Dissertation Research 161 uses of social contexts (other than traditional learning community): Actual48 Hypothetical/Rhetorical uses of church: Actual 16 Hypothetical/Rhetorical 72

40 Implications for Spiritual Formation

41 1.Wasted opportunities to “study where you are!”

42 Implications for Spiritual Formation 1.Wasted opportunities to “study where you are!” 2.Redeem hypothetical and rhetorical by making them “actual.”

43 Implications for Spiritual Formation 1.Wasted opportunities to “study where you are!” 2.Redeem hypothetical and rhetorical by making them “actual.” 3.Instructional design shows intentionality, but no institutional templates indicating commitment to spiritual formation (the closest is prayer in two courses each of two institutions, including the formation of a prayer group that is never mentioned again in one course.).

44 Implications for Spiritual Formation 1.Wasted opportunities to “study where you are!” 2.Redeem hypothetical and rhetorical by making them “actual.” 3.Instructional design shows intentionality, but no institutional templates indicating commitment to spiritual formation (the closest is prayer in two courses each of two institutions, including the formation of a prayer group that is never mentioned again in one course.). 4.Discussion forums are generally directed toward content analysis, not spiritual formation (such as instructions to respond in terms of spiritual formation).

45 Implications for Spiritual Formation 1.Wasted opportunities to “study where you are!” 2.Redeem hypothetical and rhetorical by making them “actual.” 3.Instructional design shows intentionality, but no institutional templates indicating commitment to spiritual formation (the closest is prayer in two courses each of two institutions, including the formation of a prayer group that is never mentioned again in one course.). 4.Discussion forums are generally directed toward content analysis, not spiritual formation (such as instructions to respond in terms of spiritual formation). 5.Online Seminars seem enamored with online learning community (according to traditional definition), rather than driving students to primary social relationships (as sources for perspective in discussion forums).

46 Implications for Spiritual Formation 1.Wasted opportunities to “study where you are!” 2.Redeem hypothetical and rhetorical by making them “actual.” 3.Instructional design shows intentionality, but no institutional templates indicating commitment to spiritual formation (the closest is prayer in two courses each of two institutions, including the formation of a prayer group that is never mentioned again in one course.). 4.Discussion forums are generally directed toward content analysis, not spiritual formation (such as instructions to respond in terms of spiritual formation). 5.Online Seminars seem enamored with online learning community (according to traditional definition), rather than driving students to primary social relationships (as sources for perspective in discussion forums). 6.Independent Studies courses can be transformed through the use of overlay templates that call for students to engage in real-life learning contexts.

47 Technology, Situated Learning, and the Power of God-Given Learning Communities for Spiritual Formation May 14, 2009Stephen Kemp All rights reserved.


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