Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Recipe for Creating Significant Deep Learning Experiences

I was thinking that it would be fun to work with some great teachers and share some ideas on how the framework for create significant deep learning experiences could be applied.  We would use a recipe metaphor and model after cooking shows.  Here are some very preliminary thoughts. Once we worked out the details we would share the demonstration during a TLT Group FridayLive Session.  Let me know what you think?

With every recipe there are ingredients.  I think we would create a scenario and provide the following information:

Name of the recipe or is this case the outcome:________________

The ingredients:
  • The course
  • The competency
  • The topic
  • The audience
  • The setting
  • Other ingredients:__________________
The directions:
Demonstrate how the outcome is achieved using the following framework:
  • A coherent knowledge structure.
  • Assessment strategies where learners are presenters and performers of their learning.
  • Active learning tasks that also involve long term engagement.
  • A positive and challenging environment.  It is all about the learner and their learning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Play and learning

I have been mulling over comments made about games and learning at a recent meeting.  Games were laughed at as being a waste of time, not professional and certainly not connected with learning. This has left me scratching my head because it flies in the face of what I know about the brain and learning.  In the monograph I wrote on creating deep learning experiences, I contrasted surface and deep learning.  One of the contrasts was this. Deep learners "are mindful; play and create with new ideas, relate theory to everyday life. Learners enjoy learning, the process flows "  Surface learners "take a mindless approach; entrapped in old ideas, the content is devoid of significance. Learners find learning to be unpleasant."

I plan to do more thinking and research on this perspective.  Maybe it is merely a semantic issue. I have recently listened to some great presentations from TEDD on this topic.
  1. Tim Brown on Creativity and Play
    At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play -- with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn't).
  2. Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond TEDxBG in Sofia, Steve Keil fights the "serious meme" that has infected his home of Bulgaria -- and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.
  3. Stuart Brown says play is more than fun pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults -- and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Accelements - Elements of Accelerative Learning and Teaching

I just completed a great webinar series with Paul Scheele from Learning Strategies Corporation, Accelements - Elements of Accelerative Learning and Teaching." Not only did I learn some cool things about accelerated learning but I came away with some cool ideas to improve my WebEx design and delivery. Here is what I have so far:

How to use WebEx Polling Questions to Promote Deep Learning

I am on a quest to find ways to utilize web conferencing software to create deep learning experiences. The Winter 2011 POD Network News contained a great article by Derek Bruff, “Multiple-Choice Questions You Wouldn’t Put on a Test: Promoting Deep Learning Using Clickers,”  The polling feature in WebEx and clickers will create similar results.  This is how it works: participants respond anonymously which makes it safer to share their perspectives and to take risks; their results are displayed which in turn generates greater interest in discussion as multiple perspectives are revealed.
Bruff (2009-2001) suggests four question types:
1.      One-Best-Answer Question. In this situation, there is more than one defensible answer. Participants are asked to commit to one answer, the results are displayed and a discussion takes place as to why various answers were chosen.
Example: present a short scenario and then pose a question to the group, such as, “select the best option to explain the characters motivation.
2.      Student Perspective Question. Participants are asked to share opinions and personal experiences. These types of questions can help participants personally connect to the content.  When viewing the results they also begin to understand each other a little better and possibly appreciate multiple perspectives.
Example: could ask student views on a current event or to share what type of personal experience they may have had related to the topic.
3.      Misconception Question. A question is chosen that will surface common misconceptions. After the results are displayed, Bruff suggests that participants be given time to discuss in small groups.  The WebEx breakout group feature could be used for this.  After small group discussions, the question is posed again and then a large group discussion takes place around the reasons for and against the various answers.
4.      Peer Assessment Question. Participants are given an opportunity to provide feedback on a fellow participant’s presentation. Anonymous feedback tends to be more honest and constructive and can lead to good discussion regarding discipline standards.
“Based on various definitions for deep learning and what we know about the brain and learning, deep learning involves five traits: (a) focusing on the big picture, the overall meaning, pattern, or principle; (b) connecting new ideas to previous knowledge and personal experience and ultimately fitting these into a coherent whole; (c) linking with internal learning goals; (d) processing actively by being open, creative, and curious; and (e) embracing change, new situations, and multiple perspectives” (Dailey, 2011, p.9). By utilizing questions in this fashion, experiences are created where participants connect new ideas to personal experience and link their learning goals as they think independently in answering the questions.  By seeing the results of the poll, participants are more likely to actively process through discussion and become aware of and appreciate multiple perspectives.
Bruff, D. (2009-2010). Multiple-Choice Questions You Wouldn’t Put on a Test: Promoting Deep Learning Using Clickers. POD Essays on Teaching Excellence.  Accessed May 3, 2011,%20N3%20Bruff.pdf. 
Dailey, B. (2011). Creating Significant Deep Learning Experiences. The Cross Papers Number 14. League for innovations in the Community College.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Creating Significant Deep Learning Experiences

February 27th is the end of the journey.  I will be sharing some ideas from the work I have been doing on creating significant deep learning experiences as a part of the Cross Paper Fellowship.  Cross Paper, Number 14 is complete.

Thank you all for supporting me along the way. I have learned so much throughout this project. Now to put all I have learned into practice. I recently viewed a Ted talk that inspired me. It is titled "Lewis Pugh's mind-shifting Everest swim." He ends his talk with this question related to the environment.  I think you can apply the question to our work as teachers.  He asks us to think of one radical tactile shift that we think we can make and then commit 100% to doing it. The journey continues. I hope you enjoy