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Responding to learners


Certainly lots in the media ... processing using databases analysis tools assistive tech social software immersive ... by tutors. It is only at the top ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Responding to learners

Theme 1 Keynote Responding to learners
Helen Beetham, Rhona Sharpe
21/11/09 slide 1
Joint Information Systems Committee
Supporting education and research
Responding to Learners
Presenters Helen Beetham, Rhona Sharpe
Facilitator Greg Benfield
Helen Beetham is a Consultant to JISC, in which
role she supports the Curriculum Design and Open
Educational Resources programmes. Rethinking
Pedagogy for the Digital Age, edited with Rhona
Sharpe, is becoming a standard textbook in the
discipline, and a second volume, Rethinking
Learning for the Digital Age, is forthcoming from
Dr. Rhona Sharpe is principal lecturer in the
Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development
(OCSLD) at Oxford Brookes University UK. She has
managed learners' experiences of e- learning
projects funded by the JISC and Higher Education
Academy. She is a founder member of ELESIG,
co-editor of ALT-J, Research in Learning
Technology and is Fellow of the Staff and
Educational Development Association.
Greg Benfield is a senior lecturer/educational
developer at Oxford Brookes University in OCSLD.
He has been involved in a number of JISC and HEA
projects, including the JISC Learner Experiences
of e-Learning Programme. His particular area of
interest technology-mediated group work, and
Joint Information Systems Committee
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Responding to learners
Helen Beetham
Rhona Sharpe
a consumer revolution for students Higher
Ambitions the future of universities in a
knowledge economy
problems with the consumer model...
  • at an individual level, not developmental, not
  • at a societal level, rhetorically allows next
    years cohort of students and this years top
    graduate employers to define purposes of FE/HE
    in practice sidelines the debate

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The consumer or client replaces the learner...
and as the language of performance and
management has advanced, so we have lost a
language of education which recognises the
intrinsic value of pursuing certain sorts of
needs and expectations...
  • how are they framed?
  • are they the same thing?
  • can needs be met by having expectations
  • how can we avoid charges of patronage,
    normalisation, elitism, being supply-side

we need to debunk a couple of myths
  • learners are digital natives
  • have high expectations of technology-supported

What are learners expectations of technology
enhanced learning? And, how should we respond?
Familiarity with technology in students social
and leisure lives has created high expectations
for technology enhanced learning Do you agree?
(No Transcript)
Distinguishing between myths and reality
  • Research approaches that are fit for purpose
  • Sound, ethical methods
  • Contextualised data
  • Understanding of individual differences
  • Conceptual accounts

Familiarity with technology?
  • 91 of students use social networking and 73 use
    SN sites to discuss coursework
  • 54 regularly or sometimes use wikis, blogs or
    online networks
  • 28 maintaining their own wiki or blog
  • (JISC Great Expectations study, 2008)

Holistic, participatory methods
"the online resources that are available are
good. WebCT is really good. I didn't come to
university with any expectations about what would
be available, coming here and finding that there
are quite good resources is quite good. ..
The resources Ive used have been recommended by
tutors. .. This is different from when I was at
school, we never got recommended books, just
Googled everything "
I knew what blogging was, from online newspapers,
but it wasn't something I'd ever done..
Understanding of individual differences
  • Equivocal findings related to age, although prior
    educational experience clearly important.
  • Technology is largely used in ways suggested by
    course and tutor, with some notable creative,
  • Technology use to enable a specific, individual
    learning requirement e.g. international students,
    learners with disabilities.

High expectations?
  • Learners value ubiquitous access, flexibility,
    convenience, rapid response
  • Learners make extensive use of technology
    mediated peer support networks
  • Learners value access to academic digital
    content, consistency in use and a blend with face
    to face teaching

A developmental model
Creative appropriation
Creative appropriation
  •  Driven by contextual or individual need, not
    provided by tutors, e.g.
  • Had a phone tutorial with my supervisor
    referring to a support document he emailed to me
    I digitally recorded the tutorial and saved it
    as a digital file on my laptop. This has then
    been playing while I make the adjustments to the
    document (Clarke 2009 12)
  • One of the group members was not able to make
    it today so what we did we were connected by
    using MSN Messenger so we were discussing notes.
    We were feeding back to the other person.
    (Jefferies et al. 2009 16)

Creative appropriation
  • Blending social and academic
  • Chun-Tao also blended the academic side of her
    life with social technology by using Facebook to
    find out about software and sites that would be
    useful for her work, like Zotero and ClickUni,
    which looks something like iGoogle but it has
    things like Facebook and College News.
    (Thema Case Study)

Enablers towards creative appropriation which of
these enablers do you think you provide most well?
  1. Access that meets personal needs, in multiple
    formats and locations
  2. Opportunities to develop generic technical,
    information, communication and learning skills.
  3. To practise making decisions about which
    technology to use for which purpose
  4. Perceived value and/or relevance of technology
  5. Confidence (risk taking?) to move beyond
    established, conservative views of study, to
    explore , to find and use new tools in
    appropriate ways.

we need to debunk a couple of myths
  • learners are digital natives
  • have high expectations of technology-supported

Young people who have been immersed in digital
technologies ('digital natives') have more
advanced learning practices and capabilities than
earlier generations. Do you agree? YES / NO
we need to debunk a couple of myths
  • what practices and capabilities do learners need
    for a digital age?
  • how do we enable learners to develop them?

What counts as an educated 19-year-old in this
day and age?
Helen Beetham Lou McGill Allison
Littlejohn Small-scale JISC study Final report
May 09
what capabilities will today's learners need in
economic uncertainty high competition for
employment in the global knowledge
economy increased alternative, contract-based and
self-employment inter-disciplinarity and
multi-role work teams a networked society and
communities multi-cultural working and living
environments digitally-enhanced environment
geo-tagging, embedded data blurring boundaries of
real/virtual, public/private, work/leisure increas
ing ubiquity, availability and reusability of
digital knowledge distribution of cognitive work
into (humannon-human) networks personal 'cloud'
of information, personal/wearable devices rapid
social and techno-social change
We are not rethinking some part or aspect of
learning, we are rethinking all of learning in
these new digital contexts
As knowledge is increasingly accepted as being
multi-modal, always potentially capable of
digital capture and sharing, then the
significance of 'the digital' as a separate space
for living, learning and working may recede
  • How will we manage multiple identities in a world
    where public and private are being redefined? How
    will we act safely and responsibility in hybrid

Creative appropriation
What would you describe as the priority for
graduates in the C21st? A high level skills for
a knowledge economy B creative production of
ideas in multiple media C critical information
and technology literacy D digital participation
and citizenship E personal and social resilience
Competence frameworks
information and media literacies
academic and prof literacies
ICT skills
web searching using CMC using TELE using digital
devices word processing using databases analysis
tools assistive tech social software immersive
envts personalisation...
searching, retrieving analysing, interpreting
critiquing evaluating managing
resources navigating info spaces content
creation editing, repurposing enriching
resources referencing sharing content
critical thinking problem solving reflection acade
mic writing note-taking concept mapping time
management analysis, synthesis evaluation creativi
ty, innovation self-directed learning collaborativ
e learning
what capabilities are being supported in UK HE
and FE today?
A developmental model
Creative appropriation
hand-out mapping capabilities to the
developmental model
hand-out mapping capabilities to the
developmental model
Strategies tend to focus on 'employability'
occasionally 'graduateness' both very poorly
conceptualised. In practice, how should the
curriculum change? How will learners benefit? How
will they be supported, challenged and progressed?
creative appropriation
what are the challenges for learners?
Learners over-estimate their information
skills Many lack general critical and inquiry
skills Most learners still strongly led by tutor
/ course practices Most learners unwilling to
explore or creatively appropriate
technologies Separate 'skills' provision poorly
engaged with Need support integrating skills at
task/practice level Problems transferring skills
from personal/social contexts to study Potential
clash of academic/personal knowledge cultures
how might institutions respond?
What do learners arriving in HE and FE need to
make the best of their learning experience? A
info/digital literacy module integrated into
all programmes in semester 1 B intensive
study skills support including ICT C student
mentors with strong digital skills D teaching
staff with strong digital skills E personal
development plan that centres on digital
Digital participation, production and
enquiry Multiple modes of knowing, multiple
media, multiple communities Self-management of
learning, career and reputation Creativity,
innovation and agility...
Rethink the capabilities graduates need Rethink
how they are taught, supported,
assessed Rethink how different capabilities
and practices are valued by the institution
Peer learning, informal learning, 360 degree
support and review Authentic contexts for
practice, including digitally-mediated
contexts Individual scaffolding and support
Making explicit community practices of knowledge
and meaning-making Anticipating and helping
learners manage conflict between practice
contexts Recognising and helping learners
integrate practices Interdisciplinarity?
Cross-contextual learning? Learner-generated
Transparency over processes and
values Recognition and reward (staff and student,
cultural and financial) Digital scholarship
learning and teaching practice, research and
innovation, content production Digital
professionalism recognised and nurtured
Learning, living and working are understood to
take place in a digital society there is no
separate space of learning which is
'digital' Learners are blending their own
learning environments There is an entitlement to
access and basic skills of learning in a digital
age, plus a recognition of diverse personal goals
and needs Literacies for learning are continually
assessed and supported the emphasis is on
producing digitally capable lifelong learners The
focus is on what formal post-compulsory education
uniquely offers in the digital age
References and resources
  • JISC Responding to Learners pack
  • Sharpe, R. et al (2009) Learners experiences of
    e-learning synthesis report Explaining learner
    differences, available from https//
  • Beetham, H., et al (2009) Thriving in the 21st
    Century report of the JISC Learning Literacies
    for a Digital Age project, available
    from http//
  • ELESIG, next event 21 January 2010, Reading
  • Rethinking Learning for a Digital Age, Routledge
    (Spring 2010)

Theme 1 Keynote Responding to learners
Helen Beetham, Rhona Sharpe
Thank you for your attendance and participation.
We hope you will join us now in the conference
discussion area http//
k/WebX/.eed229f/ where we will continue these
discussions over the next two days.
Joint Information Systems Committee