Annotated Bibliography 4

Moore A., Fowler S. and Watson C.  (2007).Active Learning and Technology: Designing Change for Faculty, Students, and Institutions. The EDUCAUSE quarterly, 42(5), 42-61.

Description: This article describes a recommended approach to designing technological change for staff, describing a process to overcome institutional resistance to Double Loop Learning.

Double Loop Learning (DLL) (C. Argyris 1978), is learning in which “an individual, organisation or entity is able, having attempted to achieve a goal on different occasions, to modify the goal in the light of experience or possibly even reject the goal”. It is possibly easier to understand in comparison to Single Loop Learning (SLL) which is defined as “the repeated attempt at the same problem, with no variation of method and without questioning the goal.”

The article further discusses the need to lower the anxiety associated with new learning for staff, and discusses six broad strategies or “best practices” to ensure program longevity and increase the likeliness that staff will “participate, learn and ultimately change” these are:

  • Manage Institutional Issues
  • Implement Adult Learning practices
  • Offer incentives to participate
  • Deliver workshops
  • Utilise Colleagues and peers
  • Provide ongoing support

The article highlights the need for the institution to have a pedagogical focus  “Pouring a solid foundation of good pedagogical design before adding on the layer of technology can become a critical factor in the success rate of technology integration.” Particular emphasis is given to the idea of “Active engagement of learners” which further reinforces the ideas of Meaningful Learning (Jonassen, 2003). It stipulates the need to transition students towards meaningful learning because “For many students, standardized testing has often worked to derail their innate intellectual curiosity and their desire to know the “whys” and “hows” of a given topic or subject area.” it suggests that Teachers have often trialled new methods without involving the learners in the “why” of this new approach, but in fact “helping students make the transition from passive to active learners means engaging them in the conversation from the beginning.”

Evaluation: This is the second article in my annotated bibliography that focuses on change in the context of higher education. The lessons inherent in the article however are not specific to this particular sector of the education spectrum.

Key take aways for my research include:

  • The six “best practice” strategies at an institutional level
  • The availability of walk in “Just in Time” professional support
  • The need for a clear pedagogical focus
  • The engagement of the learners in the “why”

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