Sunday, April 29, 2007

Column 1-4 reflection (2)

1. The learning activities I intend to use to enable my students to achieve the learning outcomes specified in the Needs Analysis Document will actively engage them in problem-solving, and reflect the way that the learning outcomes will be applied in real world settings.

The problems that students will be required to work on will be real case scenarios. As Chickering (1) noted that, if curriculum should be related to everyday life in a broad sense then “…it is necessary to forge links between life and actual curricular components.” The pharmacy management module incorporates practical scenario based exercises which can be related to real life experiences, both experiences that the students have already come across eg interviews, contract and scenarios that students may have heard about or are likely to come across eg pharmacy ownership and financial management.

Engagement is idiosyncratic, cognitive, and context dependent (Featherstone, 2001). This has been a learning for me as I have always associated engagement to be driven by challenging and interesting tools of interactivity. According to a constructivist view of learning, it is a learner’s cognitive actions that affect their learning and this can depend on the interaction with content (Featherstone, 2001). There will be a mix on filling in forms, watching video, completing self assessment quizzes, short answer queries, fill in the box, submit responses to pharmacy problems and working collaboratively with other students online.

2. The learning activities I intend to use will require my students to articulate and justify their understandings, by encouraging reflection. Schon outline two forms of reflection; reflection in action and reflection on action (Kaufman, 2003). After engaging in the resources and completing basic exercises students will be required to post two key learning’s from the readings. Once they have completed each of the modules they will be required to submit ‘reflection on actions’ into a general discussion thread. Through reflection practitioners can reshape their approaches and develop wisdom or artistry in their practice. Although, I anticipate apprehension from students initially, Kaufmans comments that observing other people similar to us performing successfully can strengthen our beliefs that we can perform similar tasks, especially when tasks are unfamiliar. Verbal persuasion can help. (Kaufman, 2003)

Good practice develops reciprocity and cooperation among Students is also one of Chickerings principles which will be incorporated into the modules in the form on small group discussion thread for students to collaborate and the general discussion thread which will be moderated by the tutor. The students will be encouraged to collaborate to create meaningful responses to the problem that their pharmacy faces. This stems from the Chickering(1) principles that good practice uses active learning techniques and that Good Practice Encourages Contacts Between Students and Faculty. E-learning strategies should offer both formative and summative assessment to enhance student learning engagement, another principle of Chickering and Erhmann's (1996). On completion of the initial individual activities (online quizzes, short answer, multi-choice self assessment test) students will be sent an automated response with the model answer. On completion of each of the modules students will be sent an email acknowledging receipts with some general comments.

The delivery of the Pharmacy Management module will be largely dependent incorporating social learning theory concepts suggested by Whetten and Cameron which proposes five components in their model for developing managerial skills. The components are:
Skill assessment to assess current level of skill and competence and thus creating the readiness to change
Skill learning - which aims to teach correct principles with rationale
Skill analysis -which provides examples of appropriate and inappropriate behaviour
Skill practice -which allows students to practice behavioural guidelines, adapt to personal style and receive feedback and assistance
Skill application - which is the transfer of teaching to real-life situations and foster ongoing personal development

Each of the modules will be delivered using the 5 components mentioned above.

3. The resources I intend to offer my students to help them complete the learning activities represent a variety of perspectives and use a medium that is engaging and well-suited to their message.
References – no more than three pertinent references will be posted on the library through Cecil
Students will be encouraged to find any additional resources and evaluate its use in the problems that they are given to solve. This will allow them to engage and build self sufficiency in searching for knowledge and finding the resources to answer their own queries. This is based on two of the principles of Andragogy; involve learners in disagnosing their own needs, and encourage learners to identify resources and devise strategies for using the resources to achieve their objectives (Kaufman, 2003). This is allows student to develop the skill of being able to evaluate the quality of sources. (Featherstone, 2001)
Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback (Chickering, 2006) and therefore feedback will be given as promptly as possible. Also, students will have the opportunity to post questions in a forum for guest lecturers to come and answer, to ensure that there is presence on the website at all times. This helps to ensure that the sense of the online community is established and nurtured throughout the learning program and also encourages students to use other resources as well as the teacher.
There will be set times that the tutor will be online which allows students capitalise on getting feedback immediately4. The technologies I intend to use to facilitate my students' learning activities are appropriate when considered in light of the Bates & Poole (2003) SECTIONS model and the technology principles I helped to formulate during Module 3.
Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning (Chickering, 2006). This is one principle which I have struggled on as while I initially had a fanciful idea my understanding of technology and how to develop and whether it will be successful is very limited. I would like to use lots of fanciful techniques however, have had to reluctantly appreciate that this is just not going to be possible. I have included an interactive contract formation document. Strategies for e-learning have shown that adding graphics to words can enhance learning (Multimedia principle) Mayer 2001, in Fahey, 2004 Practical examples include images such as concept maps, and I hope to use the mind map that Dylan has posted. I would like to incorporate simulation activity for at least the financial management however this might be a longer term goal.

5. The strategy underlying the learning activities I have chosen reflects the view of teaching and learning evidenced by my Teaching Perspectives Inventory results, but also reflects new insights I have gained into learning theory and e-learning.
Apprenticeship model was my most dominant perspective and most of the online learning activities are based around this, however, I know also appreciate how the web can be used to bring about social change using the constuctivist theory of teaching whereby the individual nature of knowledge is emphasised.

Kaufman D., ABC of Learning and teaching in medicine; Applying educational theory in practice; BMJ Volume 326 (2003) 213-216
Cameron, K.S. and Whetten, D.A. (1983) “A model for teaching management skills”, Organisational Behaviour Teaching Journal 8, 21-27
Chickering, A. and S. Ehrmann. (1996, September 6, 2006). "Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever."
Fahy, P.J. (2004). Media characteristics and online learning technology. In Anderson, T., & Falloumi, F. (Eds.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 137-171).
Fetherston, T. (2001). Pedagogical challenges for the world wide web [Electronic version]. Educational Technology Review (AACE), 9(1), 25-35
Anderson, T. (2004). Toward a theory of online learning. In Anderson, T., & Falloumi, F. (Eds.), Theory and practice of online learning (pp. 33-60).

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