22 SES 00 PS, General Poster Exhibition - NW 22
Posters can be viewed in the General Poster Exhibition throughout the ECER week.
Higher education institutions play a fundamental role in the modern knowledge society for collective and individual prosperity. The current complex world and challenges coming in the future require higher education to prepare students for a world of rapid change, unpredictability and instability (Barnett 2004; Beck 1992; Stehr 2001; Rosa 2013). This fact has led numerous researchers and education policymakers to emphasize the importance of so-called 21st Century Skills, Generic Skills or Generic Graduate Attributes (Barrie 2007;Barrie & Prosser 2004; Braun et al. 2018b; Pellegrino & Hilton 2012; Trilling & Faden 2009), which are seen as essential skills to function and participate in the modern world. Preparing 21st century students with discipline-specific knowledge is not sufficient to cope with future challenges since the future is unpredictable. The rapid social transformations in variousspheres of life lead to the question, how the higher education should be to prepare students for the “unknown future” (Barnett 2004)? Furthermore, the fact that the world of work and expert knowledge are changing at a rapid pace as well as the unpredictable dynamics in community relations lead to the obvious assumption that a number of skills such as problem-solving ability, critical and analytical thinking, creativity, communication skills appear to be the essential and future-oriented competencies. An undisputed assumption is that an active citizen who is able to contribute to social, cultural and economic progress and cope with unpredictable challenges is equipped with these skills, especially with communicative skills since communication is a key instrument for coordinating social action and community relations. Educational policymakers and numerous researchers emphasise the role of communication skills as an important learning outcome and educational objective (Griffin et al. 2012; European Commission 2019: 11 ff.). Higher education system is responsible for facilitating a set of generic and person-centered skills. From the holistic understanding of education (“Bildung”), education means much more than quantitative accumulation of factual and discipline-specific knowledge. In higher education, students need to be prepared for the unpredictable future and job requirements and be able to act in complex situations.
The following research question arises: Which learning formats are suitable for facilitating holistic education? The intention of our poster presentation is to illustrate our ongoing research on role-playing as an educational technique and its implementation in higher education to promote communicative competence and problem-oriented thinking. This method had its first implementation in 11 different German higher education institutions. We will present our continuing research project with an overview of its theoretical and methodological framework.
In regard to communication skills, we face the following research question: What learning approaches and methods in higher education are appropriate for preparing students for complex, unpredictable communicative demands and challenges in professional and social life? In our research project, we investigate the method of role-playing with regard to its potential to initiate autonomous and problem-oriented thinking, to make situational decisions and to apply communicative skills in the context of specific job requirements. Using the role-playing method previously implemented and tested in 11 different German higher education institutions (6 universities, 4 universities of applied sciences, 1 private college), we are focusing on investigating the quality of learning processes in the context of transformative learning theory (Taylor & Cranton 2012). The method we are using can be considered as a learner-centered approach in the light of the so-called “shift from teaching to learning” (Barr & Tagg 1995). Role-playing simulates specific types of job-related and real-life situations in which students perform a defined role and interact in fictional environment (Braun et al. 2018). By using various role-play scenarios, this performance-based learning technique aims to encourage students to act in unknown situations and transform knowledge into appropriate decisions under given realistic conditions. Numerous researchers across different disciplines in higher education describe the role-playing method as an effective learning technique (Chernikova et al. 2020), although various aspects related to the quality of learning processes remain unexplored.
Our research project aims to investigate the effectiveness and holistic nature of the learning process by participating in role-plays. The study focuses on the question, to what extent can experiential and simulation-based learning initiate holistic and person-centered learning processes in the context of communicative skills, problem-oriented thinking and action competence. The aim of our contribution is to present our current research project by giving an insight into the research design with its theoretical and methodological framework. Our research design is framed with qualitative approach as we focus on in-depth exploration of the quality of learning processes and implicit cognitive patterns initiated through role-playing. The study will be conducted during the summer semester 2021. The students of the teacher education program will be used as participants of the study. The role-plays will be conducted via online learning environment. We consider our poster presentation as a relevant opportunity to share the current state of our research with the scientific community.
Barrie S. (2007). A conceptual framework for the teaching and learning of generic graduate attributes. Studies in Higher Education 32(4), pp. 439-458. Barrie, S. C., & Prosser, M. (2004). Editorial. Generic graduate attributes: citizens for an uncertain future. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(3), pp. 243-246. Barnett, R. (2004). Learning for an unknown future. Higher Education Research & Development, 23(3), pp. 247-260. Barr, R.B. & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning – A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change, 27(6), pp. 13-25. Beck, N. (1992). Risk Society. London: Sage. Braun, E.; Schwabe, U. & Klein, D. (2018). Performance-Based Tests: Using Role Plays to Assess Communication Skills. In McGrath, S. et al. (Eds.), Handbook of Vocational Education and Training: Developments in the Changing World of Work. Chernikova, O.; Heitzmann, N.; Stadler, M.; Holzberger, D.; Seidel, T. & Fischer, F. (2020). Simulation-Based Learning in Higher Education: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 90(4), pp. 499-541. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654320933544 European Commission (2019). Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Griffin, P.; McGaw, B. & Care, E. (2012). Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills. Heidelberg/London/New York: Springer. Pellegrino, J. W. & Hilton, M. L. (Eds.) (2012). Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century. Committee of Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills, Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. National Research Council. Rosa, H.  (2013). Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity. New York: Columbia University Press. Stehr, N. (2001). The Fragility of Modern Societies: Knowledge and Risk in the Information Age. London: Sage. Taylor, E. W.; Cranton, P. and Associates (2012). The Handbook of Transformative Learning: Theory, Research, and Practice. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons. Trilling, B. & Faden, C. (2009). 21st Century Skills. Learning for Life in our Times. San Francisco, CA: Wiley.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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