Presentation on theme: ""I really get this module!" Using online discussion boards to enhance students understanding of global climate change Wendy Woodland and Jennifer Hill."— Presentation transcript:
"I really get this module!" Using online discussion boards to enhance students understanding of global climate change Wendy Woodland and Jennifer Hill Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom.
1. Context – BSc Geography & Environmental Management, UWE, Bristol What do students find most challenging on a level 3 undergraduate climate change module? uncertainties; complexity (Gautier and Rebich, 2005); non-linearity (Alley et al., 2003) breadth of climate change (amount of background reading required)
2. This study Can asynchronous discussion boards enhance the student learning experience in terms of: promoting deep learning (Marton and Säljö, 1976; e.g. conceptual understanding, evaluation, reflection, discursive interaction)? improving motivation and shaping attitudes and values with respect to global climate change? Our pedagogic challenge to help students apply their palaeoenvironmental knowledge to predictions of future climate change and climate change policy passive transmissive learning transformatory learning can we advance students along the cognitive, affective, interpersonal hierarchies?
3. Module coursework contributes 50% of the module grade The brief use Younger Dryas stadial (12.8 – 11.6ka BP) as an analogue for abrupt climate change application to climate change modelling & policy development Element 1: online discussion board (Blackboard VLE) small groups (n=4) for 4 weeks two 200-word posts per student / week (equivalent to 1600 words) shared archive of material Element 2: individual report 1500 words utilise shared archive reflect on contested nature of Quaternary science & consequences for climate change policy development
4. Outcomes discussion boards = engagement with new technology: only 12% of the students had used discussion boards before Cognitive hierarchy moderate / strong positive influence on understanding complexity and uncertainty The use of the discussion board allowed me to reflect on some of the more difficult concepts 'in the spotlight' and subject to refute. It placed pressure upon the real understanding and not simply regurgitation of the science.
Affective hierarchy confidence: receiving and responding within the affective domain moderate / strong positive impact on motivation The discussion board lasted 4 weeks, 4 weeks which realistically I wouldn't have done as much reading. I read very widely around the subject to try and get a valid point to put in. I wouldn't say spending more time on it is a bad thing. This was my favourite coursework... if there is such a thing? :) engagement in online environment vs in-class (Dengler, 2008; Dreyfus, 2001) a risk-free online environment (Dreyfus, 2001; Land, 2004)?
Inter-personal hierarchy I have never…spoken to other people on my course academically in that way. but, only 29% reflected on tutor feedback in isolation
5. Lessons learned describe the rationale for the project ; use of case study (Younger Dryas) clarify expectations for the online environment ask clear and engaging, but nevertheless challenging, questions that promote critical thinking, reflection and negotiation mediate the work to create an enabling environment for learning allow adequate time for student reflection and discussion allow sufficient time to develop, deliver and manage new ICT materials integrate the technology into the learning environment, supporting and enhancing existing structures and practices with the aim of offering a structured autonomy to students