Selling the benefit

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To respond to the question “What can I take away from this area and apply in my teaching-related work?” after reading “An incurable disease” and Donald Clark Plan B, “7 compelling arguments for peer learning”. And reflecting on my time blogging, answering and taking part in OCTEL, I feel that peer based learning has lots of benefits along with a few negatives.

Similar to Donald, I have found that scalability, higher rates of attainment, and delivering theory which is underpinned by expertise, expertise, which is universally available and may not normally be accessible to a learner, unless taking part in a MOOC style course online or similar are beneficial to learners.

For me, I will take away knowledge and experience gained as a learner that peer related activities do work, but that you must have an active participant group that engages in the process to help drive and deliver collaborative learning.

As a learning technologist, I am forever “selling the benefit” of TEL after all it helps keep me in a job.

Through this OCTEL course I have gained further experience and more confidence in my choice and reasons for choosing learning tools and activities.

There are serious cost savings to be made through the implementation of learning technologies, and the experience gained here will allow me to cite cases whereby these have been proven.

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Activity 2.3 Theories of active learning: Collaboration

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I have chosen the collaborative learning theory, collaborative learning is learning based around a cohort of at least two students, or greater. This cohort work together sharing information, practice and ideas on solving one or multiple problems that have been tasked to them with a nod to Knowles guidance on “making things happen by releasing the energy of others

I have worked with students cohorts collaboratively both as trainer and in support roles. I find this “style” of learning fosters greater cohort cohesion and can offer a supportive style of learning experience that cannot be found in a traditional face to face learning environment. Participants work differently based around cohort prior experience and the need to achieve a set goal. In my experience I find participants are less likely to be afraid to ask questions, provided that they are made to feel included and part of the group from the outset.

To design collaborative learning, I would aim to set each participant of a cohort at least one individual task that tests their “intention to understand”, one task that “relates and reflects on their prior knowledge” and have this information fit into the collaborative jigsaw, with the cohort finding the answer collectively to one or more larger overall group activities. Almost like a treasure hunt of information that is to be found out, investigated then pieced together, using online and offline media (library based) and prior experience. Such an activity would take time to plan, but once correctly planned and tested this framework could be re-used with adaptions as required.

The process would be supportive of participant needs, through the use of webinar sessions with course leader and the rest of cohort. Prior questioning of users skills and expectations through use of the “Am I ready” questionnaires would help aid this process.

Whilst planning and implementing the “learning design” I would make use ADDIE model.

Web links:

Addie Model:
http://www.learning-theories.com/addie-model.html

Collaborative learning:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_learning