The importance of explicit facilitation for joyful learning.
I believe that one of the most important things a teacher can do is to facilitate explicit with direct instructions, without being too dominant . If the students feel safe and secure collaborate it will help the students into learning precence , this in turn will helt the students to collaborate , further they will get motivated and in the end get a positive learning experience. In other words – feel the joy of learning.
As a ICT-educater at MSB college, my assignment and challenge is to support the teachers/instructors to develop the blended learning design. Not all the teachers have a pedagogical education. They are experts in different areas. Some are engeneers and Ph.D:s and some are former rescuepeople (some of them is parttime still active). There is a lack of theoretical teories about learning. But so far they do a fantastic work by ambition, experience, intuition and by learning from collegues.
Many of our students has choosed this education becuse they want a profession that has a more practical alignment. Some of our students has been away from studies for a while and it can be hard to be a student again. Meanwhile the profession as a fireman demands more theoretical knowledge and the education has became more academic. This requires that the training must be designed to support and motivate the students. The teachers feel this is a challenge. As time goes, we will get students with another expericence from education, when the primary and secondary education are more advanced in their educational development.
- We have to balance the lecturing format and one-way-communication to activate students into the theoretical parts of the education.
- We have to balance the studying for a final test with formative assessments to create learningprocesses and learning presence.
- We have to give balanced direct instructions about how to collaborate.
- We have to balance individual learning – in groups, with collaborative learning in positive social interdependence.
I think it is important to emphasize that ”social presence, is not just a “feel good” issue. Social presence sets the environmental conditions for higher learning. Research has shown social presence to be an essential mediating variable between teaching presence and cognitive presence” (Garrison, Cleveland-Innes, & Fung, 2010; Shea & Bidjerano, 2009). Social presence is connected to perceived learning and persistence (Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Boston et al., 2009). Vaughan et. al. (2013).
Direct instruction is a crusial and developmental component of teaching precence in a Community of inquiry. IT has been shown that students expect structure and leadership. (Garrisson & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Direct instruction is specifically tasked with ensuring systematic and disciplined inquiry and to ensure that participants move through the inquiry phases in a timely manner. Direct instructions also play an important role in enhancing metacognitive awarness and action. Vaughan et. al. (2013).
To achieve the intended learninggoals we need to have an constructive alignment to the intended outcome. As a teacher I have to align teaching and assessment to those outcomes. The outcome statements contain a learning activity, a verb, that students need to perform to best achieve the outcome, (John Biggs). Vaughan & Cleveland-Inneset say that rubrics kan be useful for claryfing assignment and assessment expectations only when students ar actively involved in their co-contruction. Rubrics is an explicit set of criteria used for assessing a particular type of work or performance.
According to Yeh, (2009) there is an international call for a greater focus on assessment for learning, rather than on assessment for just measurement and accountability of students performance. Vaughan & Cleveland-Innes (2013). Like many others Vaughan & Cleveland-Inneset says that assessment very much shapes the quality of learning and the quality of teaching. In short, students do what is rewarded. … Quantitative formative assessment online has an efficiency advantage.
I belive that Vaughan & Clevelands guidelines can be a good help for me and my collegues to create and sustain a community of inqiury ín a blended learning enviroment.
Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in blended learning environments: Creating and sustaining communities of inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press.
John Biggs – constructive alignment [Homepage] http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/academic/constructive-alignment/