Activity 14 Evaluating an innovative pedagogy

Reviewing Innovative Pedagogy 2015





Innovative pedagogies are ‘Theories and practices of teaching, learning and assessment for the modern, technology-enabled world’.

There are 6 overarching themes

  1. Scale – Rhizomatic learning, MOOCs, Crowd Learning, Citizen Inquiry, Badges to accredit learning and Massive Open Social Learning
  2. Connectivity – Seamless Learning, Flipped Classroom, BYOD and Cross-over learning.
  3. Reflection – Assessment for learning, Learning Analytics, Learning to Learn, Learning Design informed by Analytics.
  4. Extension – Geo-learning, Learning from  Gaming, Event-based Learning, Learning through Storytelling, Threshold Concepts, Computational Thinking, Context-based Learning, Incidental Learning and Learning by doing Real Science.
  5. Embodiment- Maker Culture, Bricolage and Embodied Learning.
  6. Personalisation- Personal Inquiry Learning, Dynamic Assessment, Adaptive Teaching, Analytics of Emotions and Stealth Assessment.
Crossover Learning (Connectivity) Connecting formal and informal learning.
“Finding space to bring informal learning into formal education has the potential to enrich knowledge with experience”.
Adding direction to informal activities can enhance motivation and increase the impact of informal experiences on school learning and in the workplace. The challenge is to find a design that integrates the fun and freedom of the informal with  formal of the established curriculum.
Cognitivism – scaffolded learning – Bruner’s discovery learning
This theory also builds on knowledge that the learner already has and connects this with new information and involves the learner in the learning process.
Learning through argumentation (Reflection) Developing skills of scientific argumentation
Students will need teacher guided support to learn the specialist skills that will help them build deeper understanding.  Teachers will take several years to become proficient in leading this.  Online learning can be incorporated within rich learning activities supported by teachers and technology can be used to maintain records of student progress/learning.
Constructivism – scaffolding through the ZPD (Vygotsky) – allows for problems to be set by teacher and for the problem to be solved by the learner who works in collaboration with others.
Cognitivism – teacher is needed to support specific new skills but this can tend to be from an educational base rather than the social and cultural factors.
Incidental Learning (Extension) Harnessing unplanned or unintentional learning
“Schools are recognising that children can learn through play and discovery, making time for unstructured exploration”.
Incidental learning can enrich formal learning.  But as it is often unplanned it is often not recorded.  Needs time to provide learners with time to reflect on their new learning and how this effects their future learning needs and wants.  Learners need to value their own learning and resist attempts by others to over formalise and validate the learning.
Within my context working with a primary 1/2 class, the learners connect informal and informal learning through play activities where they tinker, investigate and create their learning experiences while working and learning from others. These are key skills which allow young children to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills through engagement in creative and innovative contextual learning environments.
This links in well with current prioritising of Learning through play initiative currently being developed within WDC and with the Scottish Government document Building the Ambition.
Constructivism – socioculturalism.
Context-based Learning (Extension) How shapes and is shaped by the process of learning.
Contextual learning includes geo-learning, seamless learning, event-based learning, crowd learning and citizen inquiry.  Contextual learning involves helping students learn from the world around them.
Constructivism – finding meaning in the experience of the individual.  Knowledge is not found it is constructed.
Computational thinking (Extension) Solving problems using techniques from computing
Elements: decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithm design, debugging and presenting a solution.
Problem based learning is likely to involve working together.
Computational thinking differs as it arises from a need to solve immediate practical problems.  Breaks it down to smaller elements then relates to ones that have been solved in the past and provides learners with a way to break down problems and work to solve them across every area of life.
Socioculturalism – (constructivism) – example
Primary 1-3 children are learning to code socioculturalismand this has encouraged them to work with others (peers and parent/grandparents) to decompose the problem, look for patterns, design the algorithm (code), fix it if it doesn’t work and then present the solution to programme to check if correct.  This also crosses over and develops cognitive ability as these children grow in age and knowledge.
Learning by doing science with remote labs (Extension) Guided experiments on authentic scientific equipment.
Doing real, practical scientific experiments no longer restricted to science labs in schools or universities as internet access means that students can work in remote lab situations/simulations.  Students and teachers can focus on learning goals and the pedagogy of scientific learning, rather than just practical handling of the apparatus.
Cognitivism, constructivism and behaviourism to an extent as I feel that the science lab experience may be controlled to react in specific ways and rewards will come through success.  This concept allows for learning to take place in a safe virtual environment which could be considered as using more  financially  viable resources. Learners and teachers can reflect and give feedback through formative assessment strategies.
Embodied Learning (Embodiment) Making mind and body work together to support learning.
Embodied learning suggests that learning occurs not only in the mind, but also through
existing and new practices engaged by our physical bodies. Provides deeper longer lasting memory and knowledge retention.
Constructivism – takes the learner through ZPD
Adaptive teaching (Personalisation) Adapting computer based teaching to the learner’s knowledge and action.
Adaptive learning can include learning analytics, dynamic assessment and learning from gaming.  Costs can be high if trying to match resource to learning needs of students.  May need multiple levels of pedagogical approaches to provide learners challenge and support.
Behaviourism, constructivism and cognitivism – Code Club example above – Given the age of our learners we have had to be adaptive in our teaching approach.  We have reflected on our sessions and adapted the learning to include concrete materials to support the knowledge and skills needed for the learners to use the code resource effectively.  Although we are not formally or informally assessing learning analytically at this stage, there will be opportunities for this to be considered at a later stage of development where this would be used to match next steps in learning and provide further challenge.  I have found that Scratch provides challenge and support on line and can come through facilitators.
Phonological development is essential for children to read and I am currently using elearning resources to support learners developmental needs.  The programme being used keeps learning analytics which can be used as an assessment.  The programme is controlled by learners progress but can be changed at any time to provide more challenge if needed.
Analytics of emotions (Personalisation) Responding to the emotional states of students.
Emotions, attention and engagement are key drivers for learning.
Track learning materials which engage the reader.
“Analytics of emotions can work alongside adaptive teaching to offer a more personalised learning experience”.
Emotional literacy is important for all learners and has a huge impact on readiness for learning. This impinges into the learners mental construction of reality at the time.
Behaviourism – a controlling environment (social reality and educational) effects emotions.  Responding to the emotional state of learners encourages sharing of realities and allows for teacher to adapt learning to meet the emotional state of the learner at the time.  This could have impact on policy, practice and cognitive development of learner.
Stealth Assessment (Personalisation) Unobtrusive assessment of learning processes.
Stealth assessment techniques can give learners immediate feedback on their actions and provide teachers with information on learners skills with inquiry, critical thinking, decision making and creativity.
Teachers and games designers want to find ways to monitor learner’s actions and to infer their motivations, competences and limitations.
Stealth assessment offers engaging ways to teach competencies by incorporating dynamic assessment and feeds back to game.
Behaviourism – This approach almost takes away the need for a teacher as it can all be carried out through the game/experience.  This may become the new way of learning where there are multiple pathways which develop new skills and inquiry.  Cognitive learning will take place where existing knowledge connects with new. This approach allows the breakdown of complex information into meaningful chunks which are easier to assimilate. Social aspect of learning is removed?
Learning theories have been supporting education for many years and cross over into all aspects of learning whether its in an educational establishment or within a social context.  Our society has evolved and learning is no longer something that the individual does on their own.  We need to keep on top of new learning tools available in our digital era and look for ways to engage our learners in using these new tools as learning resources  and adapt learning environments to make the best use of the tools. Connectivism, (Seimen 2005,) a new theory which takes existing learning theories such as behaviourism, constructivism and cognitivism, and integrates them into our digital world and our new approaches to learning is a starting point for educational enquiry into learning within our digital era.connectivism
Sharples, M., Adams, A., Alozie, N., Ferguson, R., Fitzgerald, E., Gaved, M., McAndrew, P., Means, B., Remold, J., Rienties, B., Roschelle, J, Vogt, K., Whitelock, D. and Yarnall, L. (2015) Innovating Pedagogy 2015: Open University Innovation Report No.  4, Milton Keynes, The Open University. (last accessed on 11 March 2015).
Seimens, G. (2005) ‘Connectivism: a learning theory for the digital age’, The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning [online], vol 2,  (last accessed 4 November 2105).



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