Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Creating Courses to Enhance Learning - Assignment Two

Design overview
Participate in the setting-up of a collaborative website (a wiki) on design theory and design models appropriate to your course. Technical assistance will be provided

Marking criteria:
Your contribution will include one theoretical perspective which you have researched and referenced; and is appropriate to your course and learners
Your planning will link learning outcomes to learning activities and teaching strategies, content and assessment.
Your contribution will show learners, disciplines, as well as industry/professional body expectations and requirements.

Hi there everyone
some thinking and linking around my design overview is looking at educational theory perspective of Constructivism. Some easy read resources about this approach are linked here Contructivism a Paradigm for teaching and learning and also thats "Concept to Classroom".
Essentially constructivism is a theory based on observation and scientific study and it is about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. For us as educators it usually means encouraging students to use active techniques (experiments, real-world problem solving) to create more knowledge and then to reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. The teacher makes sure she understands the students' preexisting conceptions, and guides the activity to address them and then build on them.

My own design overview is focused on revamping the level 6 Bachelor of Nursing course which i co ordinate " Contemporary issues in Maori health"

From my perspective as the educator I would like to make the course more learner focused whilst also trying to incorporate more flexible ways of learning such as use of electronic media. this is based around the course delivery which is 10 weeks of timetable classes over a full year. This poses challenges for both the student and the educator in how to engage the student for this long timeframe in meaningful learning.

How and what i revamp is still not clear however, some of the contextual issues which I need to consider are our school curriculum philosophy which is based on Habermas' Critical Social Theory. ie: that there are three primary generic cognitive areas in which human interest generates knowledge. These areas determine categories relevant to what we interpret as knowledge. That is, they are termed 'knowledge constitutive' -- they determine the mode of discovering knowledge and whether knowledge claims can be warranted. These areas define cognitive interests or learning domains, and are grounded in different aspects of social existence -- work, interaction and power.
It is also essential that whatever, changes are made in whatever form they must align with the curriculum philsophy. Another contextual issue is that of the Nursing Council of New Zealand Competencies for Registered Nurses in particular competencies which relate to the registered nurses competence in the area of providing culturally safe care to a diverse range of Maori. The course outcomes for Contemporary Issues in Maori health identify critical thinking and reflection as being core learning outcomes.

It's with these two wider contexts in mind that I have begun to explore the potential to develop a range learner centred resources which will enable students to explore core course knowledge in a medium that best suits their learning style. Potential resources will be explored more fully as my thinking clarrifies however at this stage the use of case studys and /reflection exercises in an online site such as Moodle is a possiblity. Feeback from the current student group also indciate a desire for online medium such as short quizzes and potential mutiple choice exam questions to be made availalble. Further exploration of these will made in Assignment 3.

No comments: