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The Development and Implementation of a Method of Collaborative Learning for First Year Philosophy Tutorials Sarah Honeychurch University of Glasgow

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Presentation on theme: "The Development and Implementation of a Method of Collaborative Learning for First Year Philosophy Tutorials Sarah Honeychurch University of Glasgow"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Development and Implementation of a Method of Collaborative Learning for First Year Philosophy Tutorials Sarah Honeychurch University of Glasgow

2 Background Learning and Teaching Conference, University of Glasgow, April nnualuniversityofglasgowlearningteachingconference/ Steve Draper: Making students, not the lecturer, the subject matter experts.

3 The Jigsaw Technique The jigsaw classroom is a cooperative learning technique with a three-decade track record of... increasing positive educational outcomes. Just as in a jigsaw puzzle, each piece - each student's part - is essential for the completion and full understanding of the final product. If each student's part is essential, then each student is essential; and that is precisely what makes this strategy so effective.

4 The Jigsaw Technique Here is how it works: The students in a history class, for example, are divided into small groups of five or six students each. Suppose their task is to learn about World War II. In one jigsaw group, Sara is responsible for researching Hitler's rise to power in pre-war Germany. Another member of the group, Steven, is assigned to cover concentration camps; Pedro is assigned Britain's role in the war; Melody is to research the contribution of the Soviet Union; Tyrone will handle Japan's entry into the war; Clara will read about the development of the atom bomb.

5 The Pilot: Level 1 Philosophy Tutorial group selection by students via the Moodle VLE All course materials and information delivered via the VLE 64 students (from a cohort of ~400) Five tutorial groups 1-5 (four groups of about 15, one group of 6 students) Each tutorial group had a dedicated forum on the VLE 3 sub groups within each group (A, B, C) Random allocation prior to first meeting to each sub group Sub groups A, B and C each had a dedicated wiki on the VLE shared between all of the 5 tutorial groups

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7 The Pilot Tutorial timetable posted to tutorial group forums prior to the beginning of the course Tutorial topic posted each week to the tutorial group forums Sub-topic and questions posted each week to the Jigsaw wikis Students encouraged to write comments and answers to the wiki Scaffolded EBL (see handout)

8 The Pilot Weekly face to face tutorials Handouts based on the wiki provided for all students Students worked in sub groups for about 20 minutes Nominated spokesperson from each sub group presented in turn Other sub groups took individual notes and asked questions Class ended with a summary of the whole topic

9 The Pilot Most students accessed the forum and read the wiki Some students posted to the wiki Some students copied the content of the wiki to a text document and annotated it with their answers, but did not post to the wiki Why? Was this a bad thing?

10 Feedback Questionnaire A good thing about these tutorials was... Sessions were well structured Input from others in the group was useful Learning from each other Wiki tasks made useful notes for learning and revision

11 Informal Feedback and Peer Critiquing Removing insecurities Comfortably informal Feedback from peers and tutor was always helpful and constructive

12 Wiki-shyness Many users may be left feeling anxious about using wiki pages because of their fluidity in structure, information and navigation... Simply due to its hyper-interactivity, the wiki may serve as a stressor to certain people who will have to use such systems if they become integral to the learning process. This... suggests that anxiety can be expected in some people towards wiki interaction. Cowen, Vigentini and Jack (2008) Exploring the relationship between anxiety and usability evaluation – an online study of internet and wiki anxiety.

13 A Suggestion... one thing is certain, if IT on campus is to be inclusive and accessible to all then usability remains integral to reaching that goal. Recommendation: an integrated Moodle interface

14 Some thoughts... Time on task: Students talk more, tutor talks less! Students write more Enthusiastic students Learning community Drop out rates Pass/fail ratios

15 What next? Adopted by other tutors in Philosophy Offer to other subjects at the University of Glasgow Talking to academics from other institutions

16 Taking Forward the Jigsaw Classroom: the Development and Implementation of a Method of Collaborative Learning for First Year Philosophy Tutorials Sarah Honeychurch University of Glasgow


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