EC-TEL 2009 Workshop:
Factors Influencing the Adaptation of Generic Teaching Methods
This workshop was cancelled! Please attend our other EC-TEL workshop.
The workshop takes a closer look at the factors that influence the successful adaptation of (generic) teaching methods to create specific learning arrangements. The "context" created by the specific learning situation is seen as the defining influence of teaching method selection and adaptation. Workshop participants will use generically described teaching methods for (supposed) application to a specific learning/teaching situation. The workshop will look at the triangle built by the three concepts teaching method, unit of learning, and context with the goal to determine the relevant elements that influence the (successful) adaptation of teaching methods to a specific context in order to create a unit of learning that is targeted towards a specific implementation. The workshop’s goal is to work out a practitioner-oriented set of elements that make up the context of teaching methods as well as the barriers and uncertainties that arise when using generic teaching methods.
The workshop will incorporate small group work and is moderated.
Workshop Topic Background
Teaching method is defined as a learning outcome oriented set of activities to be performed by learners and learning supporters. Teaching methods are related to learning patterns, learning designs, and pedagogical scenarios, which represent similar concepts that other projects are working on, e.g. the Pattern Language Network , or the AUTC Learning Designs project . Within teaching methods, proven approaches to teaching are captured so that other educators may (re)use these successful approaches in their own teaching. A unit of learning is defined as a contextualized, complete, self-contained unit of education or training that consists of a teaching method and associated content.
We define the context of a teaching method as the set of elements that are external to and give meaning to a teaching method. For instance, subject domain or target groups are elements of the teaching method context. The figure below shows how the three concepts (teaching method, unit of learning, and context) relate to one another.
The workshop explicitly focuses on the context because the successful implementation of generically described teaching methods in units of learning heavily depends on the context. Studies have shown that the implementation context of teaching methods has high priority for instructors, who read (generic) teaching methods, as they asked for an example of how the method was used in a specific teaching situation along with the generic description. Furthermore, studies by the AUTC group have shown that when implementing generically described teaching methods, instructors needed example implementations and implementation guidance that inspired them in how to use the method in a specific context.
The workshop will mainly incorporate interactive elements. To kick-off the workshop, the organisers will shortly outline the strengths and weaknesses of generic teaching method descriptions, and show the importance of providing context information to facilitate real implementation. After the introduction, the participants will split up into groups and take an example generic teaching method, which they will exemplarily adapt to a supposed teaching context. While going through this process, the participants will identify and record context elements that they find relevant as well as questions that arise. Each group will agree among the group members what context elements represent the core when adapting teaching methods.
A representative of each group will then be asked to present the findings. Following all groups’ presentations, workshop participants discuss the findings, conceivably adding or eliminating elements. The result of this first phase will be an unordered set of context elements accumulated from all workshop groups as well as questions that remain unresolved.
In a second cycle, the participants are requested to elaborate a meaningful ordering scheme for the thus far collected context elements. This is achieved by illustrating an example for each context element that is derived from teaching practice. The groups then prioritize the context elements, assigning, for instance, first and second priorities based on teaching requirements. The groups will also each choose one of the unresolved questions, which they will discuss in further detail. This discussion serves to either provide a solution to the question, or to provide a more detailed description of what makes up the problem. Outcomes of this group work are again presented to the workshop auditorium. Comparative discussion will take place to arrive at a final result for the context elements of teaching methods.
The round-up of the workshop will be a reflective discussion with all workshop participants, where the experience of using teaching methods is put into personal perspective, e.g. what value participants see in the use of teaching methods, or what elements regarding the context cause uncertainties with participants.
The target audience for this workshop includes instructors and instructional designers interested in the application of proven teaching methods, learning patterns, or pedagogical scenarios. The target group benefits from this workshop by gaining experience in exemplarily transferring a generic teaching method to a unit of learning, and by identifying what relevant context elements reinforce this process. The participants’ awareness of needed elements is thus sharpened and ability to use generic teaching methods in future applications is enhanced. Furthermore, participants will support the scientific understanding of the context of teaching methods through the contribution of their own teaching and learning design experience. Participants are expected to contribute actively to the workshop. Participants do not have to write an article for this workshop (no publication in proceedings planned). It is expected that workshop participants contribute actively to the workshop's discussions and tasks.
Dates & Schedule
The workshop is planned for a half day. The date and times will be announced.
Participants will take away from the workshop a set of structured teaching methods for use in their own teaching, as well as the ability to adapt a teaching method to their teaching context. This includes a refined understanding and awareness of the elements that play a defining role when performing this task.
From a scientific point of view, the workshop will provide a set of practitioner-defined context elements for generic teaching methods that are prioritized and illustrated in examples. Last but not least, problems of generic teaching method use are collected. These inputs will be used to further refine the research on optimizing the provision and use of teaching methods.
No publication in proceedings is planned.
How to Join the Workshop
Please use the EC-TEL 2009 official registration form to register for this workshop. The form can be obtained from http://events.it-sudparis.eu/ectel/reg.pdf. Follow the instructions provided in the form.