Archiv für den Monat: Dezember 2015

A trip to the land of metacognition

Unbenannt

 

On Wednesday 16.12.2015, I went to Bern to join the workshop ‘A Trip to the Land of Metacognition’ organized by the Swiss Faculty Development Network (SFDN), given by Denis Berthiaume. In this Blog, I will report on the main components we learned about.

Metacognition

 

 

 

 

 

To reach the targets students want to reach, they need to use their metacognitive knowledge, skills and strategies. The metacognitive knowledge stands for the knowledge students have (or do not have) to figure out what to learn (what is important). In my interpretation, the knowledge about ‘how to learn’ (for example that using previous knowledge helps you to learn) also fits in here. The ability to implement this knowledge, however, is what is meant with the metacognitive skills. Both come together when we focus on metacognitive strategies: when and why to use which knowledge and skills.

After the introduction where the model above was explained, we discussed the following question: ‘how can we teach in order to foster the development of students’ metacognition?’ We discussed for example the following methods: modeling (think-aloud protocols), guided practice (coaching, scaffholding and fading), cooperative and collaborative learning and autonomous learning (with learning journal/helpful tools could be Mahara & PeddlePad).

Now the (difficult) question for us as faculty developers is: ‘how do we get teachers’ attention for metacognition?’ ‘How can we help them to integrate fostering metacognition in their lectures and seminars?’ One of the inspiring ideas I learned about in the workshop was ‘scenario writing’, whereby teachers are asked to write out their lectures from A to Z. By making their plans visible, it’s easier to find space / time to implement these methods.

This last question is not easy, and I would appreciate your thoughts on how you try to reach and convince lecturers.

Tagung „Studieren zum Glück“

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Am 16. Und 17. November 2015 fand an der Universität St.Gallen (HSG) die AGAB-Fachtagung 2015 der Schweizerischen Vereinigung der Fachleute für Beratung und Information im Mittel- und Hochschulbereich unter dem Titel „Studieren – zum Glück?!“ statt.

An dieser Tagung habe ich am 16. November teilgenommen und konnte spannende Eindrücke sammeln.

Nach einer Begrüssung des AGAB Vorstandes und der Prorektorin für Internationales und Regionales der HSG, Frau Prof. Dr. Ulrike Landfester, gab es von Mark Riklin (Journalist, Dozent und Gründer der Meldestelle für Glücksmomente) einen philosophischen Exkurs beziehungsweise ein Plädoyer für Tagträume. In seiner Präsentation machte er deutlich, dass man gerade heutzutage in Schule, Studium oder auch im Arbeitsbereich tagtäglich mit sehr vielen Informationen konfrontiert wird. Umso wichtiger sei es demnach, sich bewusst „Zeit zum Verdauen“ zu nehmen, um die Informationen für sich ordnen zu können. Mark Riklin machte deutlich, dass hierbei Tagträume eine besonders wichtige Rolle spielen.

Im Anschluss an diesen philosophischen Exkurs, der mich gedanklich sehr in den Bann gezogen hat, folgte eine Podiums-Interview-Runde mit Studierenden der HSG und Dr. Markus Diem, Leiter der Studienberatung Basel, als Moderator. Die Studierenden wurden zu ihrer Studienwahl und allgemeinen Thematiken, die mit ihrem Studium in Zusammenhang stehen, befragt. Diese Interview-Runde bot einen Einblick in die studentische Wahrnehmung des Studiums an der HSG in Verbindung mit Glück, welcher nicht nur für Tagungsteilnehmende anderer Universitäten oder Institutionen interessant war, sondern auch für die Teilnehmenden aus Reihen der HSG. Einen anderen Blickwinkel auf das Studium an der Universität St.Gallen zeigte Dr. Pascal Iten, Leiter Studium der Universität St.Gallen, durch seine Präsentation mit Informationen zur Geschichte, der aktuelle Situation und Zukunftsaussichten der Universität, auf.

Aus den angebotenen Workshops wie „Kontextstudium: Was hat französische Literatur mit Börsenkursen zu tun?“ (Dr. Sophie Rudolph; wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin, Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationsmanagement) oder „Vom Glück der Unterschiede“ (Prof. Dr. Gudrun Sander, Prof. Dr. Nils Jent, Dr. Regula Dietsche; DirektorInnen des Competence Center for Diversity and Inclusion – CCDI-FIM), habe ich den Workshop „happiness is expensive – Leistungskultur und Glück an den Hochschulen“ (Dr. Florian Schulz, Leiter Service Center Beratung & Studierenden-Unterstützung HSG) besucht.

Im Zentrum des Workshops haben wir in kleinen Gruppen Bilder gezeichnet – „Welches Bild von Studium und Arbeit vermitteln wir an unserer Hochschule?“. Eine sehr gute Frage, schnell verstanden wir in unserer Gruppe, dass wir und unsere Universitäten oder Fachhochschulen sehr unterschiedliche Bilder vertreten.

Diese interessante Tagung hat mich zum „Tagträumen“ angeregt und mich zu folgenden Gedanken geleitet: Wenn man den Titel „Studieren – zum Glück?!“ betrachtet, könnte man daraus schliessen, dass man durch das Studieren Glück erreicht oder zumindest erreichen kann. Aber übersehen wir durch diese Zielfokussierung nicht etwas Wesentliches? Das Studium, als Möglichkeit sich mit den eigenen Interessen auseinandersetzen zu können, würde ich bereits als „Glück“ bezeichnen. Sollte es daher nicht eher heissen „Studieren = Glück“? Und wenn dem so ist, welche Aufgabe kommt dabei den Lehrenden und Programmverantwortlichen zu?

Ich freue mich sehr auf Kommentare und Ansichten hierzu.

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Innovative Teaching and Learning Methods for ESD

On December 9, 2015 my colleague Nina Scheffler and I participated in a workshop on Innovative teaching and learning methods for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The workshop was organized as a synergy event for the sd-universities. (We reported on our projects regarding sustainable development earlier). About 30 people from across Switzerland participated in the workshop.

In the beginning, the participants warmed up with a short discussion about the sustainability goals that we would like to reach with university education. Manifold objectives were identified, e.g. understand what sustainability is about; empower students to implement sustainability – as Change agents in professional fields, understand complex relations, go beyond your own discipline, critical thinking. Next to students who are usually the target groups, it was also discussed that faculty and organizations need to change in order to integrate sustainability into our universities.

Ruth Förster and Sandra Wilhelm (from the saguf-network on Bildung für Nachhaltige Entwicklung) gave an input on both ‚Constructive Alignment‘ and ‚The Tree of Science’ which can both be used to design courses or study programmes. The Tree of Science (Berlinger et al., 2006; Biggs & Tang, 2011) consists of several levels:

  • Meta-theory: proposed view on the world (systemic, constructivist)
  • Basic theory: competence orientation
  • Educational goals: Who should be empowered to do what? Based on Wiek et al. (2011), change agents, problem solvers, transition managers… could be distinguished
  • Models: competence models
  • Praxeology: didactical principles, learning activities, methods

Eight presentation from six Swiss universities on innovative teaching methods which are used at different Swiss universities formed the main part of the day. For this blog post, I will present only one method in detail in order to do the presentation justice. For the other presentations, I refer to the websites below.

Martin Schlaepfer of the University of Geneva introduced an example of the flipped-classroom approach. Instead of merely discussing an interesting journal article in class (which often leads to insubstantial discussions because students are not prepared), he used the flipped classroom concept where students participate in lectures at home (e.g. through videos or readings), aiming at deeper learning via activities in class. In his design, he assigned students to read a paper in preparation of the next class then they took a quiz before the next class which was graded by their peers. To facilitate the grading process, students received a rubric (consisting of an example of an excellent answer – resulting in 3points, and typical misunderstandings (resulting in -1pt). The peer-review is automatically distributed in the Moodle Learning Management System. In the classroom, the article was discussed with essentially two questions:

  • What did you leave puzzled about the grading rubric?
  • If you were the teacher, what would you ask the class to make sure that they had understood the text.

The presented identified the need for highly-structured in-class activities with quizzes, debates, peer review, discussions as well good incentives to complete out-of-class work as levers for successful flipped classrooms. This leads to an increase of preparation time for the lecturer, however, it might also lead to more equality in the classroom as it has been shown that females, minorities, first generation students are benefiting from flipped classrooms.

As mentioned above, seven other methods were introduced in the workshop and cannot be comprehensively discussed here. They are mentioned with links to further information:

  • Clemens Mader (A3-30, University of Zürich): Blended learning approach – the ELTT case
  • Piet van Eeuwijk (A1-25, University of Basel): Video Interviews as Course Work
  • Markus Ulrich (A1-21, Università della Svizzera italiana, UCS Ulrich Creative Simulations GmbH): Simulation games (without computers) as learning tools for sustainability
  • Kristina Lanz (A1-20, University of Bern): role play SDG negotiations
  • Christian Schubarth (A1-11, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Geneva): Coping with a virtual order; student – stakeholder interaction in case studies
  • Melanie Paschke (A1-19, University of Zürich): open inquiry to strengthen sd-competencies
  • Marlyne Sahakian (A1-26, University of Lausanne): using social practice theory to imagine

The workshop provided good and interesting inputs. What remains, of course, is the question of transferability. I intend to try out some of the methods introduced and we will also incorporate the examples in our consulting activities within the Faculty Development at our university (Hochschuldidaktische Beratung).