Keynote speaker: Ian Pirie (University of Edinburgh)
Location: EC5 1111
Near instant access to information and the ability to interact and communicate remotely with each other online from virtually anywhere in the world provides enormous opportunities for educators and their students. At the same time, heightened student expectations of fast response times from their instructors, especially around assessment and feedback, can pose significant challenges for educators. When coupled with the prevailing trend across the sector of treating students as ‘customers' or ‘consumers' of education, this can lead to an unbalanced view of where the responsibilities between teachers and learners should lie. Deep and meaningful learning cannot be achieved where students are merely passive recipients, and education design must ensure that students share the responsibility for, and take ownership of, their learning.
This keynote explores some of the opportunities provided by digital technologies in the context of formally developing shared responsibilities between students and their instructors to address some of these challenges. It further explores how this can lead to a genuine partnership of co-created learning with greater engagement, increased creativity and autonomy in the experience of education, with students designing some of their own courses of study and self-assessing aspects of their own learning.
The journey begins in 2007 with an initiative to develop assessment literacy in students and to formalise their responsibilities around the use of feedback, and culminates in the development and rollout of Student-Led Individually Created Courses (SLICCs). The SLICCs model enables students to design, manage and formatively self-assess aspects of their own learning for credit and simply would not be logistically possible without the use of a networked online platform. PebblePad was selected as the personal learning platform for managing the SLICCs initiative and for the past four years has remotely supported students’ independently-led projects both on-campus and around the world. The SLICCs model goes well beyond a typical learner-centred approach and requires students to design, lead, manage, critically reflect upon and assess their own learning. Instructors comment enthusiastically on the levels of engagement, volume of output and quality of the material produced by students undertaking a SLICC and of the heightened self-critical reflection and accuracy of self-assessment. Students comment on the self-discovery, enjoyment and transformative experience, and on how it changes their perspective on and approach to the rest of their education.
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