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TEACHING LEARNING STRATEGIES

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING
(See also experiential learning)
Learning activities focusing on individual growth and team building: in small groups that are
designed to illustrate a variety of theoretical concepts by using specially designed outdoor
experiences; that can be applied to real world contexts. Adventure-based learning is a form of
experiential learning.

BRAINSTORMING
Students are invited to quickly and freely generate ideas/ associations/ responses to a question or
problem or topic. This may be done in a variety of ways - individually by students on paper and
then responses are summarized on OHTs or the whiteboard by the teacher or in small groups with
one student writing down the responses for later feedback to the whole class. The teacher or scribe
accepts all responses without judgment or comment in order to encourage divergent or lateral
thinking.

BUZZ GROUPS
Large or small classes are broken into small groups of students to discuss a particular
issue/problem/topic for 5 to 10 minutes. One student acts as reporter and/or scribe. Depending on
the size of the group, all or some groups are called upon to report on their discussion. Group
generated points can be summarized by students or teacher on an OHT or whiteboard or the
teacher can provide his or her own solution or summary of important points. Buzz groups can assist
in engaging students in more active learning and can give them opportunities for practice in
problem solving and critical thinking.

CASE STUDIES/CASE METHOD


(See also Simulations and games)
The presentation of 'cases' or scenarios, based on actual practice; which students can discuss to
explore possibilities, probabilities and/or solutions. Case studies are used to develop student ability
to solve problems using new and existing knowledge, skills and concepts. McLennan (1974)
identifies four phases to case studies:
1. scenario, objectives and procedures of case study established
2. students read, absorb and make notes on the case study in groups of three to six students
share their views, knowledge and skills and generate shared solutions
3. Plenary session to discuss 'best' solutions and teacher draws out underlying principles and
problems.

COLLABORATIVE/COOPERATIVE LEARNING
Learning strategies that involve "joint intellectual effort by students, or students and teachers
together" should lead to students "mutually searching for understanding, solutions, or meanings or
creating a product"

COMPUTER ASSISTED LEARNING


The use of computers for instruction, described by a range of terms, including the following: CAI -
computer assisted instruction; CBT - computer-based training; CMI - computer-managed
instruction or, for more interactive learning; CAL - computer assisted learning; IMM - interactive
multimedia which involves the use of multiple types of media (audio, video, graphics, animations,
text) within a single desktop computer program.

COMPUTER MEDIATED COMMUNICATION (CMC)


Computer technologies used to communicate in a range of contexts, including educational settings.
These technologies include the following:

Asynchronous Communication
Discussion boards - allow users to post messages via the Internet in a threaded discussion.
Communication is usually facilitated by a lecturer.
Email groups/lists - electronic mailing groups organized around themes, common interests,
professional associations, course enrolments etc.

Synchronous (real-time) Communication


IRC (Internet relay chat) - located on the Internet, users can engage in direct textual
communication in real-time, accessing particular interest group chat lines.
MUVE (multi-user virtual environment) - a more sophisticated version of IRC’s, attempting to
integrate elements of nonverbal communication into dialogue.

CONCEPT MAPPING
A technique to allow students: to visually represent and inter-relate connections and/or
relationships between concepts, ideas or information, drawing on existing and newly introduced
knowledge. Candy (1991) argues that "when students are asked to draw a concept map linking
graphically the relationships between concepts in a particular field, they externalize their
understanding and put it in a form that can be read and interpreted by their teacher and peers".

CRITICAL INCIDENTS
Critical incidents from students' own routine practice are used as a focus point for critical reflection
and discussion. Any incident can become 'critical' when the student no longer takes it for granted,
attempts to position it within a broader context and systematically analyses it.

DEBATE
The division of a class or individuals into groups: to represent particular points of view (most
commonly 'for and against') on a controversial topic. Each group works to develop an argument to
support its allocated point of view. Students could be invited to argue a view they don't endorse,
engage in the debate in character or through role plays.

DEMONSTRATIONS
A practical presentation of a process or procedure or skills; which is designed to illustrate
theoretical principles. Demonstrations require careful sequencing, oral and visual explanations,
appropriate illustrations and opportunities for students to pose questions and clarify problems. The
demonstration may take place within a lecture or as a supplementary class activity after a lecture.

EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING/EXPERIENCE-BASED LEARNING


(See also: Adventure-based learning; Problem-based learning; Project-based learning)
An approach to teaching and learning that is based on the presumption that every experience has
the potential to be an opportunity for learning. Students are placed in contexts or environments
where they can assimilate information and develop skills from being personally involved.
Experiential learning strategies include role plays, games and simulations, case studies, problem-
based learning, fieldwork and work-based education.

FLEXIBLE DELIVERY
Flexible delivery is the term used to describe means by which facilitation of effective, student-
centered learning may be implemented (such as methods to deliver course content in new and
novel ways). Flexible delivery includes the provision of resources and the application of
technologies to create, store and distribute course content and enrich communications to enable
more effective learning to occur.

FLEXIBLE LEARNING
Flexible learning is an overarching approach which emphasizes an education where learning
opportunities and options are increased and where students have more control over the learning
process. It focuses on improving learning outcomes and maximizing student engagement in
learning by using the most effective, varied and appropriate teaching and learning modes.

JIGSAW METHOD
A teaching strategy: where each student works on one part of a learning task and then works
collaboratively with a group of other students to combine the various parts and complete the
activity. The learning task/problem is broken into parts and students are asked to work on a
response to that part-task individually. Then students working on the same part work in a group
together to come up with a response and check their understandings against those of other
students. Students then form into different groups in which each of the different parts of the task is
represented, and each student explains to the others their response to their part of the problem.

JOURNALS
A formal repository for personal student writing that can be used to promote critical reflection,
engagement with and synthesis of course concepts, and learning generally. The process of writing
can be more or less 'structured' or 'free', depending upon the learning objectives. There are
numerous approaches to journal writing in tertiary contexts, including the use of double-entry
journals, dialogue journals, intensive journals, evaluative journals and traditional journals.

KELLER PLAN/PERSONALIZED SYSTEM OF INSTRUCTION (PSI)


This system of individualized instruction was devised by Fred Keller from the University of Brasilia
in the late sixties. Work in PSI courses is divided into between 10 to 20 topics or units and for each
unit the student receives a printed study guide. Each unit is to be completed at the student's own
pace within a specified time, supplemented by individual help during specified class hours,
occasional lectures and tests administered by 'student proctors' (usually students who have
successfully studied the course previously). Progression to the next unit is always dependent upon
successful 'mastery' of earlier units.

LEARNING CIRCLES/LEARNING CELLS


A small group of students who participate in 'free' discussion and exploration of ideas, readings,
issues, practice, where all views are valid. A typical learning circle is a group of 5 to 15 people who
meet with a facilitator who assists in focusing the discussion. Most commonly used with students
who are already practitioners or who bring considerable experience and motivation to the learning
context.
'Learning cells' were developed by Marcel Goldschmidt (1971) and are a highly structured variation
on learning circles. The learning cell is a pair of students who alternate asking and answering
questions in relation to commonly read materials. The teacher moves from pair to pair throughout
the class, giving feedback and stimulating questions and answers.

LEARNING CONTRACTS
A structured agreement between student and teacher in which certain expectations, behaviors and
outcomes are mutually negotiated to be achieved during a course of study. The student and
teacher decide on the: what (content), how (strategies and resources), when (timeframe) and
evaluation (assessment and criteria) of teaching and student learning.

LECTURES
The term 'lecture' is derived from the Medieval Latin “ lectare,” meaning to read aloud. In a tertiary
context, a lecture has come to be understood as a public presentation by a teacher to a large group
of students. In its most common form, where a teacher speaks without any changes of activity for
the whole allotted time, the lecture offers limited opportunities for active learning. A lecture can,
however, be a very effective way of teaching and learning if a lecturer includes strategies that
facilitate active rather than passive learning.

LIFELONG LEARNING
Lifelong learning has been defined very broadly as "all formal, non-formal and informal learning -
whether

METAPHOR ANALYSIS
Students are asked to think of metaphors for a particular activity or topic, as a way of accessing
their values, assumptions and theories of practice. Such metaphors can be explored and critically
analyzed in terms of their experiences. Changes in metaphors over a course of study can signal
changes in self-understanding and opportunities for personal and professional development.

MICRO-TEACHING
A method that has been used primarily in teacher training but can be adapted to a range of
teaching contexts, in which students give a lesson, speech, presentation, or interview and it is
videotaped for later review and discussion by a group of students and the teacher. The micro-
presentation usually focuses on one skill, for example, asking questions, vocal production, and use
of body language. Micro-teaching is a form of role playing.

PEER TEACHING/TUTORING/MENTORING/PROCTORING/SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTION


The provision of academic support for students by more experienced students who are trained and
resourced to provide effective collaborative learning experiences. The PASS (peer assisted study
sessions) program at The University of Queensland is an example of a peer teaching program. It is a
system that "offers first year students a weekly, voluntary study session run by trained second or
third year students who have performed well in the target course" (Kelly, 1997).

PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING
(See also Project-based learning)
Boud (1985) describes PBL as "the idea that a problem should be presented before learning begins,
or, on a large scale, that learning should be organized around problems which are related to the
profession rather than around the academic subjects that underpin the field".

PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
(See also Problem-based learning)
This approach's major characteristic is that by the end of course students produce a thesis,
computer program, design plans, model, portfolio, written and/or oral report, posters or some
other piece of work, either individually or in small teams. They have been able to explore a topic in
depth and develop skills and processes of an applied nature. The teacher or supervisor assists in
the formulation of the problem or task, the design and conduct of the project, the ensuing
investigations or development and the ultimate product. This approach is often adopted as a final
year culminating course activity.

REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
A systematic approach to improving professional practice: that can be facilitated by a teacher in a
university course. Reflective practice is a dialectic process in which the practitioner or student
identifies the assumptions, values and beliefs that frame her/his practice, and then critically
analyses her/his actual practice in terms of such assumptions. The practitioner or student then acts
to minimize the contradictions that may exist between espoused theories of practice and actual
theories-in-use.

RESOURCE-BASED LEARNING
An approach to learning: framed by a set of teaching and learning strategies that primarily employs
instructional resource materials. The teacher becomes a developer of instructional materials rather
than a facilitator or leader of group learning processes. The materials may be accessed by a variety
of media (print, television, video, computer aided learning, audiotape, CD-ROM, videodisc, Internet
etc). The Higher Education Council recently claimed (July 1997), that there is "widespread
agreement that the new technologies have the potential to serve a larger and a more diverse
student body and to make significant improvement in the quality of student learning".

ROLE PLAYS
Largely unstructured situations or scenarios in which students improvise responses to suit their
conceptions of the roles they have been assigned. Role plays offer students opportunities for active
learning in which they can explore motivations, emotions, develop human relations skills and an
understanding of theory in practice.

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING
Candy (1991) argues that the term self-directed learning "embraces dimensions of both process
and product, and that it refers to four distinct (but related) phenomena: 'self-direction' as a
personal attribute (personal autonomy); 'self-direction' as the willingness and capacity to conduct
one's own education (self-management); 'self-direction' as a mode of organizing instruction in
formal settings (learner-control); and 'self-direction' as the individual, non-institutional pursuit of
learning opportunities in the 'natural societal setting' (autodidaxy)."

SEMINARS
A small- group approach: in which one student presents a paper on a topic or presents an
interpretation or reading of a journal article or text. A discussion of the interpretation and the
underlying assumptions and values of the student's presentation then takes place. The seminar
works best when all students have some background knowledge of the topic (e.g. by pre-reading or
responding to preset questions) and are willing to participate in the discussion.

SIMULATIONS AND GAMES


(See also Case studies)
An attempt to model some real-life problem situation (e.g. business, international relations, clinical
or educational settings) in a teaching context is called a simulation. Where there is an element of
some sort of competition or achievement in relation to a goal, a teaching and learning activity may
be called a game. Students in both engage in the learning process as active participants rather than
passive observers.

SOCRATIC METHOD
The systematic posing of questions or dilemmas in order to direct students' thinking along
predetermined paths. Individuals or groups are asked to pool their thoughts, experiences and
responses to arrive at a solution to the question. The emphasis of the questions should be on
critical evaluation and problem solving not mere factual recall.

STORYTELLING/NARRATIVES
(See Reflective practice)
The use of students' stories about their lives and work as a focus for all students: to engage in
critical observation and analysis or reflective practice.

TUTORIALS
(See also Seminars)
A meeting of a small group of students (ideally 12-15) with a tutor, which has traditionally been a
supplementary discussion of the topic or focus covered in a formal large group lecture. Effective
tutorials will give students opportunities to engage with lecture material in a more direct and a
personal way, practice oral and critical thinking skills, and clarify content or solve problems.

WORKBOOKS/LEARNING GUIDES
Written materials for students that are designed to aid the organization and learning of materials
and promote the application of knowledge. They may include diagrammatic representations of
information and approach to content, course structure, learning objectives, assessment outlines,
readings, additional reading lists, outline of expectations of students.