A good colleague has given a presentation entitled Learning through play and has asked for my feedback on the recording of presentation. This also seems like a good opportunity to be reflexive on my stance on teaching and learning. So here I go. (I have been given some guiding questions to orientate my thinking—see the headings below).
The central theme is on the design of teaching and learning activities that facilitate self directed study; i.e., where direct 'control' of the curriculum is not possible. The selected approach is one of a diagnostic questionnaire, that leads to the use of MCQ as a means of revision.
- What is "fit for purpose of each individual learner"? The initial 'diagnostic' seems to be targeted a pigeonholing students in to particular 'problems'; a well know approach to professional work that comes with well know set of problems. I wonder how the problems with pigeonholing are addressed/considered.
- That said, I like the 'sense' being made of the students responses to the initial diagnostic.
- This approach feels like it is targeting students who have a fairly concrete epistemology (Perry et al., 1968). And that is probably fine in this discipline at this level.
- The main point seems to be using MCQs as a means of driving additional thinking and revision of the course material … its all about motivating them to do more revision. So, does it empower students going forward from this course?
- Is this more fun? It sounds something like the gamification of their study.
- I wonder how this fits with the notion of self regulation of learning; does this replication for students how other (better) self regulators actually do it. Can they take the 'self regulation' they do here—through the MCQs—into other areas?
- It is interesting to see how you find 'spaces' in which you can operate and seek to make a difference — despite having no control over things like content, etc.
- Where is the play?
- I wonder if any analysis has been done to see if the students in subsequent courses do better/the same/worse than one might expect given their results in this course.
- Overall, this seems feels as if it is a remedial process focusing on the bottom of the class. Does this move the whole class forward/upward or just a small minority from the bottom of the cohort (that's not a criticism, just a point of curiosity).
Perry, W. G., Sprinthall, N. A., Wideman, J. W., & Jones, F. J. (1968). Patterns of development in thought and values of students in a liberal arts college: A validation of a scheme. Retrieved from https://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED024315