# Planning

## Design and development team

• Primary author:
• Editorial and learning design review:
• Open peer review from OERu partner institutions.

## Course description

Course metrics:

• Notional learning hours: 40 hours
• Duration: 4 weeks, 10 hours per week including assessment
• Assessment: 10 hours
• Formal credit option: Yes
• Course: One micro course from the Learning and Teaching in Practice
• Credential: Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education
• Level: 3rd year Bachelor Degree

What will I learn?:

What's involved?:

What prerequisites should I have, if any?:

## Design blueprint

Intended target audience

Prerequisite knowledge

Course aims

Outcomes

Development and delivery approach

Assessment strategy

Interaction strategies

# Course materials

Learning outcome: At the successful complete of this course, students will be able to:

adopt sound pedagogical practices that reflect a comprehensive understanding of adult learning approaches needed to engage learners.

1
Orientation generic to all micro courses(about doing a micro course)
2
Traditional theories of learning Explore all 4, choose 1 to consider examples of application to own practice.

Possible questions: Does your preferred way of teaching match any of these theoretical approaches? Write down some of the activities you do when teaching that ‘fit’ with this theory.

Does your teaching generally combine different theories – sometimes behaviourist, sometimes cognitive, etc.? If so, what are the reasons or contexts for taking one specific approach rather than another?

How useful are these theories in terms of teaching practice?

4 traditional theories include: behaviourist, humanistic, constructivist, cognitivism
3
Current approaches specific focus on experiential learning and example of one other approach, and consider examples of application to own practice adult learning theories, experiential learning, deep & surface, situated, work-based learning
4
Engaging Learners explore the use of theories in practice in their context; what methods of teaching are most relevant in a digital age; which theory/theories have most connection or relevance to you and how do they influence your way of teaching; how does your teaching perspective relate to the theories of learning? methods of teaching on-campus and online

Assessment

Demonstrate, using examples from practice, how you:

• adopt sound pedagogical practices that reflect a comprehensive understanding of adult learning approaches needed to engage learners

In compiling your evidence to demonstrate the learning outcome identified above include a narrative that:

• explores what you have learned and the relevance of this to your work
• includes discussion of how your new learning has impacted on your practice and influenced future actions you may take
• is supported with educational literature and other forms of information
• is supported with your choice of evidence, that is authentic, current, sufficient and relevant

Evidence must include:

• outcomes of all the e-activities
• micro-blog and discussion forum contributions - to be confirmed

Example of marking schedule

## Opening Page blurb

Name of course Adult Learning Approaches

Summary Sentence Learn about theories and models of adult learning and apply these to teaching practice.

What’s it about? Alternative learning theories, principles, and models provide insights into how people learn and suggestions for teaching methods and approaches. Developing an understanding of this knowledge base provides a teacher with a useful foundation to help them become more effective in their approach to teaching and responsive to the diverse needs of learners. This course encourages you to consider how learning theories, principles and practices impact, influence or underlie your own teaching or facilitation practice.

What will I learn?

This course is designed for educators who ....

What’s involved?

You will participate in an open international online course for 4 weeks. You will need to allocate up to 10 hours per week for the duration of the course including time spent on assessment activities. The course is divided into 4 sessions inclusive of suggested learning activities:

   suggestion 1

   suggestion 2

   suggestion 3

   suggestion 4

   suggestion 5


Self directed study to complete the assessments for this course is included in the time allowance identified above for learners aiming for the Certificate of Achievement and/or credit towards the GDTE Teaching and Learning in Practice Course.

Prerequisites?

Anyone is free to participate in this course. An internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to create a blog and microblog account (instructions and self-study tutorials provided.)

Learners aiming to submit assessments for formal academic credit will need to meet the normal university admission requirements of the conferring institution (eg language proficiency and school leaving certificates).

# Session 1: Orientation

Generic to all micro courses(about doing a micro course)

# Important!

(Need to replace the above template for consistent style)

focus of e-activity: Explore all 4, choose 1 to consider examples of application to own practice.

Possible questions: Does your preferred way of teaching match any of these theoretical approaches? Write down some of the activities you do when teaching that ‘fit’ with this theory.

Does your teaching generally combine different theories – sometimes behaviourist, sometimes cognitive, etc.? If so, what are the reasons or contexts for taking one specific approach rather than another?

How useful are these theories in terms of teaching practice? .

# Objectives

Objectives
 During this learning session we will: explore the key principles of four traditional learning theories explore ways in which these theories relate to your own teaching context

# Introduction

Lecture in Germany. © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

In this session we will examine four traditional theories of learning and how they are reflected in and inform the learning approaches we incorporate into our teaching practice. Before we start this exploration, it's helpful to look briefly at the context in which these theories have been developed and adopted:

1. The theories are 'traditional' in that they arose in the time before the global spread and adoption of modern information technologies.
2. Ideas about learning and how it takes place have been around for many centuries prior to the development of more formal theories of learning such as the four we deal with here.
3. Approaches to teaching and learning are often based on implicit theories - that is, assumptions about learning rather than a conscious and critical understanding of theories made explicit in the literature.

For example, a 'traditional' lecture (such as that shown in the photo) can be seen as founded on the assumption that learning involves a one-way transmission of information, both spoken and written. The traditional lecture is sometimes characterised as 'the sage on the stage'.

More formal and explicit theories such as the four we explore here are often seen as a way of avoiding the limitations of approaches such as the information-transmission model.

Activity
 Question: from your own experience, what do you see as the limitations of the traditional lecture? Further reading: Check out Tony Bates' section on Transmissive lectures.

# Behaviourism

Skinner's teaching machine

In a broad sense, behaviourism is concerned with the observable behaviour of the individual rather than with any internal mental factors. Behaviourism has roots in psychological studies of animal as well as human behaviour.

In an educational context, behaviourism developed as a highly systematic approach incorporating self-paced instructional materials. One key figure in the development of behaviourism was BF Skinner, who developed early 'teaching machines'.

BF Skinner's teaching machine
 Watch this short video of Skinner's teaching machines in action: . We suggest you jot down a few notes as you go, focussing on the key characteristics of Skinner's behaviourist approach.

Behaviourist approaches are these days more commonly implemented as self-paced printed materials or as computer software. Typically, these involve presentation of content in small, carefully-sequenced 'chunks' each followed by a short self-test.

 Read Bate's chapter 2.3 which provides a useful overview of behaviourism in education. If you haven't downloaded the PDF, you can access the article . Check out Behaviour and The behaviourist orientation to learning which provide insights into some key concepts of behaviourism, including: Conditioning Stimulus - Response Reinforcement

Check your understanding: Key characteristics of behaviourism
• Instructional materials incorporating behaviourist approaches tend to involve:
• Learners working together in social groups
• Incorrect. Each learner typically interacts with the instructional material but not with other learners.
• Self-paced learning
• Correct. Each learner works though the instructional materials at his or her own pace.
• Self-directed learning
• Incorrect. Although they work at their own pace, learners typically have little choice over the learning material's sequence or the types of activity.
• Very little feedback to learners
• Incorrect. Whether print-based or computer-based, the instructional materials incorporate prompt and regular built-in feedback so the learner can compare their own performance with the desired (correct) behaviour.

# Question

 Skinner's teaching machines pre-dated the personal computer. To what extent do you think a personal computer could replace a teaching machine?

# Humanism

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

The humanistic viewpoint sees the development of the whole person as essential. Humanists have criticised behaviourism as being 'inhuman' in its lack of concern for the emotional well-being of learners and for its lack of learner autonomy.

Where behaviourism focuses on instruction based on highly-structured and systematic self-paced materials, humanism focuses on the need for learners to develop as happy, personally fulfilled and independent learners.

Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow are key figures in the development of humanistic theories in education. Maslow's hierarchy of needs highlights that each learner needs to be seen as a whole person, and that learning cannot take place if fundamental needs are not met.

 Read Mark Smith's short article on Humanistic orientations to learning

Check your understanding: Key characteristics of Humanism
• Humanistic approaches tend to involve:
• Learners working together in social groups
• Correct. The development of healthy social relationships is one aspect of humanistic education.
• Knowledge rather than behaviour
• Incorrect. Rogers in particular stressed that humanistic approaches lead to profound changes in behaviour.
• Self-directed learning
• Correct. Humanism stresses the need for learners to develop autonomy and take responsibility for their own learning.
• The teacher as a 'sage on the stage'
• Incorrect. In a humanistic approach, the teacher becomes a facilitator who supports the self-actualisation of learners.

# Cognitivism

Humanmind

Behaviourism received much criticism, especially from psychologists, because of its overriding focus on observable behaviour and lack of concern for the mental processes within the mind of the learner. By treating the mind as a 'black box', behaviourism could not explain many aspects of how we learn.

Cognitivists drew on the developing science of the mind to explore learning approaches which reflected mental processes - that is, what went on inside the 'black box'. For example:

• Piaget identified stages of cognitive development which shape what and how we learn.
• Bloom developed a taxonomy of 'levels' of learning. This taxonomy has been particularly influential in course design - eg when writing learning outcomes and objectives and designing assessments.

 Read chapter 2.4 of Bates' textbook - if you haven't downloaded the PDF, you can access the article . Read Mark Smiths's short and helpful article on the cognitive orientation.

Check your understanding: Key characteristics of cognitivism
• Cognitivist approaches tend to involve:
• Little focus on instructional design
• Incorrect. Designing effective and well-structured learning materials is just as important as it is with behaviourism - although a cognitivist approach goes beyond self-paced instructional materials.
• Self-paced learning
• Possibly. This is just one approach which might be adopted if appropriate to the topic and the learners.
• Social learning
• Possibly. Again, this is another approach which might be adopted as appropriate.
• Very little feedback to learners
• Incorrect. In the cognitivist model, feedback is important to learners - but it is likely to be more holistic than just a 'correct/incorrect' response as might be expected in a behaviourist model.

# Question

 Why is prior knowledge important according to a cognitivist model of learning?

# Constructivism

Students in Thailand exploring their environment

In a sense, constructivism has foundations in cognitivism in that it is concerned with how the mind constructs knowledge. However, it also emphasises the inherent subjectivity of knowledge: each learner must construct their own meaning from the world around them, and each learner has a unique set of characteristics and prior learning.

In a constructivist learning approach, learners typically work in small groups and gain direct experience of their environment through hands-on learning. For example, Seymour Papert, an influential figure in constructivism, developed a simple computer environment which allowed learners to learn mathematical concepts through controlling a small robot.

 Read chapter 2.5 of Bates' textbook - if you haven't downloaded the PDF, you can access the article online

Check your understanding: Key characteristics of Constructivism
• Constructivist approaches tend to involve:
• Learners working together in social groups
• Correct. Constructivist approaches emphasise the importance of social learning.
• Self-paced learning
• Possibly. As well as working within a social group, the learner needs some individual time to think, read and reflect.
• Self-directed learning
• Correct. To construct knowledge, the learner needs to take some responsibility for his / her own learning .
• Very little feedback to learners
• Incorrect. Feedback comes from the teacher and from other learners within the social learning group.

# E-Activity

This activity is part of the summative assessment for the course.

Blog activity
 Please include the hash tag #ALA1 for this assessment. Choose a subject or topic (ie longer than just one session) that you teach. Describe how each of the four 'traditional' theories of learning is reflected in the learning process .

# Summary

In session 2, we have:

• Explored the key characteristics and concepts of four 'traditional' theories of learning:
• Behaviourism
• Humanism
• Cognitivism
• Constructivism

Before you go on to session 3, it's essential that you have:

• Developed a sound understanding of these four theories and how they are reflected in learning activities. If in doubt, go back and review any areas you are unsure of.
• Completed the assessment activity which involves exploring how these theories are reflected in terms of your current practice.

# Objectives

Objectives
 During this learning session we will: explore the key principles of current learning theories explore ways in which these theories relate to your own teaching context

# Introduction

In the previous session, we explored the key characteristics and concepts of four 'traditional' theories of learning.

In this session we will examine five more recent theories of learning which complement and extend the traditional theories we explored in session 2. These current theories are:

• Experiential learning
• Deep & surface learning
• Situated learning
• Work-based learning

We will look at some of the key characteristics of these theories and how they are reflected in and inform the learning approaches we incorporate into our teaching practice.

A number of theorists have claimed that differences between school-age learners and adult learners mean that different approaches are required. Malcolm Knowles, a key figure in the development of adult learning theory, stated that one clear difference can be seen in the different sorts of skills, experience and knowledge that adult learners bring to the learning situation:

 Within the small group of learners shown in the photo: There are formal qualifications in science, psychology, business administration and art. Two people studied at a university, one by distance, and two people went to a polytechnic where one person underwent Assessment of Prior Learning (APL). One person has some experience as a builder and no formal qualifications. Most of the group have been employed full time or worked for themselves. One person supported her study with part-time work. These rich life experiences mean adults come to education with a range of existing skills and knowledge.

In addition to these diverse levels of prior knowledge and skills, Knowles identified other key characteristics of adult learners, including a greater level of independence and motivation. Knowles adopted the term andragogy for this theory to differentiate it from the term pedagogy which implies the education of children. Andragogy involves learning strategies focused on adults.

Video: Andragogy
 For a quick overview, view this short video:

• Adult learning approaches tend to involve:
• Learners working together in social groups
• Correct. This allows adult learners to learn from each other's existing skills and experience.
• Rote learning
• Incorrect. Adult learners benefit from problem-solving and applied learning approaches.
• Self-directed learning
• Correct. Adult learners benefit through taking increasing responsibility for their own learning .

# Experiential learning

As the name suggests, experiential learning involves learning from direct experience, rather than learning by rote. However, experience is not enough - true learning arises from our reflection on the experience.

Kolb, a key theorist of experiential learning, defined four stages in experiential learning:

 The key reading for this topic is chapter 3.6 of Bates' textbook. If you haven't downloaded the PDF, you can access the article .

• Experiential learning approaches tend to involve:
• A total emphasis on hands-on learning
• Incorrect. Although direct experience is an important stage in the experiential learning process, conceptualising the experience through reflection is equally important.
• Learners working together in social groups
• Possibly. Both the direct experience and the later reflection can take place individually or in groups.
• Little input from the teacher
• Incorrect. Although experiential learning approaches (such as problem-based learning) mean the teacher is not the provider of content, the teacher does have a significant role in facilitating and guiding the learning.

# Deep and surface learning

How are they different?

## Surface Learning

• Learning to specifically meet course requirements
• Studying unrelated bits of knowledge
• Memorising facts and figures to repeat
• No linking or connection of learning

The surface approach to learning tends to include rote learning content or memorisation of information rather than an analysis of the information. Understanding tends to be fragmentary: information is retained but without strong links to underlying concepts.

## Deep Learning

• Learning that seeks to understand and connect the concepts
• Relates ideas to previous knowledge and experience
• Explores links between evidence and conclusions
• Critiques arguments and examines rationale

The deep approach to learning tends to include analysis rather than 'regurgitation' of memorised information. Understanding tends to be more holistic ('big picture') and integrated.

 The key reading for this section is Approaches to Study “Deep” and “Surface”

Check your understanding: Deep and surface learning
• Whether learning is deep or surface depends on:
• Teaching and learning approaches
• Correct. Information-transfer models tend to foster surface learning, while experiential learning tends to foster deeper learning.
• Assessment methods
• Correct. Even when experiential learning activities are used, if assessment procedures are not well aligned then learners will tend toward surface learning. For example, deep learning arising through problem-based learning activities during the course will be undermined if the assessment focuses on rote learning.

# Situated learning

While other theories (such as constructivism) have emphasised the importance of social interaction as one factor in learning, situated learning stresses that all meaningful learning takes place in a social context, and that knowledge is generated through social interaction. The social group that generates knowledge within a specific domain or area of expertise is the community of practice.

Two key figures, Lave and Wenger, carried out studies with communities of practice (CoPs) within a range of professions and occupations. They described how learning within these CoPs was contextualised and situated within the everyday professional practice, not studied as a discrete theoretical subject. To the extent that education aims to prepare graduates to work within professions, it should aim to engage learners in such CoPS and ensure that learning is situated within the professional context.

 The key reading for this topic is: Jean Lave, Etienne Wenger and communities of practice.

• Situated learning approaches tend to involve:
• Learners working together in social groups
• Correct. Learners learn from their peers as well as the wider community of practice, such as professionals working in the field.
• Only practical skills
• Incorrect. The community of practice shares a body of domain-specific knowledge and expertise as well as skills.
• Conforming strictly to procedures established by a professional body
• Incorrect. Although there may be professional standards to follow, situated learning emphasises that the domain's knowledge and expertise is constantly being generated by the active participation of all members, including learners.

# Work-based learning

Work-based learning can take many forms, with the common element being that some or all of the learning occurs in the 'real-world' of the workplace rather than in an educational institution.

Work-based learning has connections to a number of theories and approaches, including:

• Experiential Learning, with its emphasis on the importance of hands-on learning.
• Adult learning, with its emphasis on learning which is directly applicable to the learner's own life situation.
• Communities of Practice, with their emphasis on applied and informal learning through membership of a professional community.

In addition, the growing interest in work-based learning can be linked to social trends such as the need for learners to change careers during their lifetimes and engage in lifelong learning.

 There are 3 key readings for this section: Work-Based Learning provides a brief overview of the topic. Types of Work-Based Learning provides details of some common approaches. Benefits of Work-Based Learning details the compelling rationale for work-based learning.

• Work-Based Learning involves:
• The learning taking place as part of the learner's paid employment
• Possibly. But not necessarily - the employment could be unpaid or self-employed. Review Types of Work-Based Learning for other types of Work-Based Learning.
• Assessment in the workplace
• Possibly. But not necessarily.
• Reduced cost for the education provider
• Possibly. The provider may not need as many physical resources such as classrooms. But they are unlikely to save money on staffing because effective work-based learning requires careful supervision and liaison.
• Development of professional skills, expertise and attitudes
• Correct. The opportunity for the learner to develop through exposure to the real-world professional context is one of the key benefits of Work-Based Learning

# E-Activity

This activity is part of the summative assessment for the course.

Blog activity
 Please include the hash tag #ALA2 for this assessment. Describe how two of these five current theories of learning are reflected in the learning process in courses you teach or are familiar with.You need to include experiential learning and one other theory - ie adult learning, deep vs surface learning, situated learning, or work-based learning.

# Summary

In this session, we have explored the key characteristics and concepts of five recent theories of learning:

• Experiential learning
• Deep & surface learning
• Situated learning
• Work-based learning

Before you go on to session 4, it's essential that you have:

• Developed a sound understanding of these four theories and how they are reflected in learning activities. If in doubt, go back and review any areas you are unsure of.
• Completed the assessment activity which involves exploring how these theories are reflected in terms of your current practice.

# Important!

focus of e-activity: explore the use of theories in practice in their context; what methods of teaching are most relevant in a digital age; which theory/theories have most connection or relevance to you and how do they influence your way of teaching; how does your teaching perspective relate to the theories of learning? .

# Objectives

Objectives
 During this learning session we will: explore a range of methods and approaches for engaging contemporary learners explore ways in which these methods and approaches relate to your own teaching context

# Introduction

A blended classroom (Flickr)

As Tony Bates points out, there is a need to question traditional teaching practice given the pace of ongoing change in society and technology:

Teaching and learning in the present day is still strongly influenced by institutional structures developed many years ago... we need to examine the extent to which our traditional campus-based models of teaching remain fit for a digital age.

Source: Teaching in a Digital Age, Chapter 3.2

Given the needs of this 'digital age', in this session we'll examine various approaches related to both:

• On-campus learning, where the teachers and students meet in a face-to-face setting.
• Online learning, including blended learning models which combine both face-to-face and online learning.

# On campus

On-campus learning, where learning is primarily face-to-face, provides an ideal opportunity for experiential learning through hands-on activities, discussion and problem-solving.

 This reading deals primarily with teacher-led whole class discussion: Leading dynamic discussions

Small group work

Small groups are ideal for discussion or problem-solving activities. While it often takes a little longer than whole-class discussion, the level of understanding and 'deep learning' tends to be much greater for the group as a whole. It is much more likely to engage all learners than a whole-class discussion.

Setting up discussion groups needs to be done in a way which does not intimidate or discourage learners. Some strategies which help include:

• Clear written instructions to focus the activity.
• Group tasks which build from simple (eg sharing experiences of what happened) to more complex (eg analysing underlying causes and why something happened they way it did).
• Allowing time for group members to get to know each other, especially early in a course.
• Use structured activity formats such as pyramid activities or Think-Pair-Share which encourage all learners to engage with the topic and contribute.
• Monitor the groups to make sure each is clear about the problem and 'on-task'.

Large lectures

Even where classes are large, there is still an opportunity and a need for creating high levels of engagement. Large lecture theatres, with their fixed seating in rows all facing the 'sage on the stage', are not ideal for discussion in small groups, However, most of the simple strategies mentioned above are available and effective in overcoming such limitations.

 This reading deals with strategies for making large lectures engaging and interactive.

The flipped classroom

The basic principle of the flipped classroom is to ensure any face-to-face learning time in the classroom is used for interactive, experiential learning activities which engage the learners. The information-transfer function of the lecture is achieved by providing learners with access to readings and other self-paced materials.

 This reading is a good starting point for implementing the flipped classroom.

# Online

The basic principle for online learning is the same as that for on-campus learning: there is a need to ensure learners are actively engaged with the topic and the learning process. But the types of digital technology involved determine how we go about ensuring learner engagement.

• Synchronous tools such as virtual classrooms and video-conferencing come closest to replicating the face-to-face classroom. However, the lack of true face-to-face interaction and the mediation of communication through the technology do have implications for teacher's planning.
• Asynchronous tools such as discussion forums also require careful planning. Because they are asynchronous and generally text-based, there have significant characteristics:
• They lack the immediacy of synchronous, spoken face-to-face discussion, so some learners (and teachers) can be less motivated to engage.
• They provide time for reflection prior to contributing, so some learners are more motivated to engage.

Learning management systems such as Moodle tend to combine synchronous and asynchronous communication tools, as well as tools for individual study such as readings and tests or quizzes for formative or summative assessment.

A blended classroom (Flickr)

## Blended learning

The term blended learning normally refers to a combination of face-to-face (offline) and online learning, and seeks to incorporate the advantages of both. While face-to-face learning can provide direct personal interaction, online learning provides greater flexibility of time and place and the opportunities of asynchronous learning.

Blended learning is a strategy with the potential to make best use of the benefits of each approach while avoiding its disadvantages. But designing learning activities to engage learners in a blended learning environment requires careful consideration of how the blended components will be integrated. If the online component is merely 'bolted on' to the face-to-face component as an extra it is unlikely to be successful.

For example, the flipped classroom model is often implemented using a blended learning approach. To be successful, it requires the out-of-class components (eg online readings and activities) to be well integrated so that learners are well prepared for the learning activities in the face-to-face sessions.

Reading: Engaging learners in a blended environment

# E-Activity

'This activity is part of the summative assessment for the course.

Blog activity
 Please include the hash tag #ALA3 for this assessment. Choose one of the three face-to-face contexts explored earlier (small groups, large lectures or flipped classroom) and describe: How it is reflected in your current teaching practice. How you might further develop it in your future practice. Choose either online learning or blended learning and describe: How it is reflected in your current teaching practice. How you might further develop it in your future practice. Ensure you refer as appropriate to learning theories and approaches and cite your sources.

# Summary

In this session, we have explored approaches for engaging learners in both on-campus (face-to-face) and online and blended environments.

As you go on to complete the summative assessment, we recommend that you review the material in the previous sessions on traditional and current theories: you will need to refer to these in your assessment submission.

We hope that you have found the course material useful and interesting, and that the assessment activities are a relevant and worthwhile component of your ongoing professional development.