22 SES 10 C, Teaching, Learning and Assesment in Higher Education
Evolving out of an earlier project (Madrazo, 2007), the goal of the EU funded OIKODOMOS project was to create a virtual campus to promote the study of housing at a European scale, integrating on-line and on-site activities. The project blended pedagogic design with technological development to provide environments which would support the required modes of learning. Initial questions centred on what were the dominant pedagogic process within architecture, how could these be supported within online environments, and what were the main design blocks required for an online environment. Placing these in a broader pedagogic context, this paper will also present the development of the approach to Learning and Teaching (L&T) and the results of evaluating the effectiveness of the overall blended learning process.
Initial discussion revealed that the underpinning model of learning within Architecture is constructivist, theoretical concepts being explored and understood by placing them in a practical context. The “Design Studios” of architectural education are project based explorations of individual’s ability to apply theoretical knowledge, to synthesise newly learned and tacit knowledge, to demonstrate the synthesis of these elements and to demonstrate their ability to link between their world of vision and practical reality. The design studio is the medium by which fundamental practical ability and creativity are fused into more solid forms, in some cases literally.
The plans and designs etc of buildings used in the study of architecture are, in the words of van House (van House, 2003), “information artifacts” that “shape and reflect practice and are instrumental in creating and re-creating knowledge”. Many architect educators see much of the work that they and their students produce as part of a knowledge generation process, each cohort benefiting from the past and contributing to the bank of knowledge available for future students and architects.
Discussion showed that partner schools were generally similar in their overall conceptual approach to the L&T processes used in their discipline. In common with outcomes from the work of TUNING (Tuning, 2003), aims and competences were used as a basis for defining their students leaning, but there were significant variations in the way these were articulated. Taking the lead from the Bologna process (Bologna,2003), the partners agreed to adopt the use of learning outcomes as a basis for defining what students would learn in Joint (face-to-face and collaborative) Workshops. Kolb’s (Kolb, 1984) learning cycle was used as a model to begin reflection on the learning processes within partner schools and to guide the linking of tasks set within institutions and Joint Workshops. Bloom’s (Bloom, 1956) taxonomy was used for reflecting on the level of students learning activities and selection of the appropriate verbs used for writing the learning outcomes. To support the educational requirements two virtual workspaces were developed, their designs reflecting the major needs of the L&T processes. The “workspaces” environment facilitated online and face-to-face interaction used around and during Joint Workshops. The “case repository” housed a collection of housing artifacts with tools to facilitate addition, reflection on and comparison of the cases.
Bloom, B. S (ed.) (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, the classification of educational goals – Handbook I: Cognitive Domain, McKay, New York. Bologna (2003). Realising the European Higher Education Area, Communiqué of the Conference of Ministers responsible for Higher Education, http://www.bologna-bergen2005.no/Docs/00-Main_doc/030919Berlin_Communique.PDF (checked 22/01/2010), p4 Cupitt, S, and Ellis, J (2007). Your Project and it’s Outcomes, Charities Evaluation Service, London. Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1994). Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. Kolb, D. A (1984). Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall . Madrazo, Leandro, Riddy, Paul and Bottari, Luca (2007). Housing@21.eu: Integrating Learning Spaces and Housing Repositories, in Browsing Architecture: Metadata and Beyond, EAAE Transactions on Architectural Education no.40, MACE. Tuning (2003). Tuning Educational Structures in Europe, Final Report Phase One, Edited by Julia González, Robert Wagenaar, Universidad de Deusto Apartado 1 - 48080 Bilbao, ISBN: 84-7485-869-0. p24 Van House, N. A (2003). Digital Libraries and Collaborative Knowledge Construction, in A. P. Bishop, N. A. Van House, and B. P. Buttenfield (eds), Digital Library Use, The MIT Press, Cambridge and London, pp. 271-295.
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