22 SES 10 D, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
Parallel Paper Session
Present day university students will be employed in knowledge work, which requires problem-solving skills, competencies for producing new knowledge products and innovations collaboratively, and abilities to apply digital technologies in work, as well as competencies to work in multi-professional teams. In collaborative efforts aiming at producing new solutions and innovations, it is not enough, however, to share knowledge or participate in social interaction. It is essential to develop competencies and working practices that center on elaborating the common objects and knowledge, simultaneously developing the practices themselves. The trialogical approach on learning (Paavola & Hakkarainen, 2009) focuses on these challenges. In the approach, the deliberate engagement in advancing shared workable knowledge artefacts and practices, is considered as an essential element, in addition to individual ('monological') learning efforts and ('dialogical') processes of participation. We will present design principles, which guide the design of educational settings supporting trialogical learning and teaching (Paavola et al., 2011).
In all domains, universities have a challenge to develop pedagogical methods that support students in achieving necessary academic expertise and competencies. This is a challenge in the university context, where teachers’ approach to teaching has traditionally been content-centered (Postareff & Lindblom-Ylänne, 2008; Kember & Kwan, 2000; Trigwell et al., 1994). Academic expertise is more and more understood as the ability of communities and networks – rather than individuals – to solve problems and create innovations (Sawyer, 2007). University teaching should make the engagement in practices calling for collaborative epistemic agency possible (Damsa et al., 2010; Muukkonen, 2011; Scardamalia, 2002). Still, it appears challenging for teachers to implement pedagogical or technical innovations even if they value the background ideas (Hakkarainen, 2009). The long-lasting shift towards learning-centered and trialogical pedagogy sets demands for teachers (Postareff & Lindblom-Ylänne, 2008). These challenges and examples of developed courses are discussed in the presentation.
In our study, we are interested in the principles and practices of teaching as well as uses of technology that enhance trialogical pedagogy to support students' working life competencies. This first phase of the study aims at answering two specific research questions:
1) What kind of pedagogical challenges do university teachers report regarding their current courses in relation to the requirements for promoting working life competencies and trialogical knowledge practices?,
2) What kind of new pedagogical solutions do the university teachers aim to develop for better promoting students' working life competencies?, and
3) How do they justify and reflect on their solutions?
Damsa, C., Kirschner, P., Andriessen, J., Erkens, G. & Sins, P. (2010). Shared epistemic agency: An empirical study of an emergent construct. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 19(2), 143-186. Hakkarainen, K. (2009). A knowledge-practice perspective on technology-mediated learning. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 4(2), 213–231. Kember, D. & Kwan, K. (2000). Lecturers’ approaches to teaching and their relationship to conceptions of good teaching. Instructional Science, 28, 469-490. Lakkala, M., Paavola, S., Kosonen, K., Muukkonen, H., Bauters, M., & Markkanen, H. (2009). Main functionalities of the Knowledge Practices Environment (KPE) affording knowledge creation practices in education. In C. O'Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann, & A. Dimitracopoulou (Eds.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices: CSCL2009 Conference Proceedings (pp. 297-306). Rhodes, Creek: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). Muukkonen, H. (2011). Perspectives on knowledge creating inquiry in higher education. Studies in Psychology. Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki. Paavola, S. & Hakkarainen, K. (2009). From meaning making to joint construction of knowledge practices and artefacts – A trialogical approach to CSCL. In C. O'Malley, D. Suthers, P. Reimann, & A. Dimitracopoulou (Eds.), Computer Supported Collaborative Learning Practices: CSCL2009 Conference Proceedings. (pp. 83-92). Rhodes, Creek: International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS). Postareff, L. & Lindblom-Ylänne, S. (2008). Variation in teachers’ descriptions of teaching: Broadening the understanding of teaching in higher education. Learning and Instruction, 18(2), 109-120. Sawyer, R.K. (2007). Group genius: The creative power of collaboration. New York: Basic Books. Scardamalia, M. (2002). Collective cognitive responsibility for the advancement of knowledge. In: B. Smith (Ed.), Liberal education in a knowledge society (pp. 67–98). Chicago: Open Court. Trigwell, K., Prosser, M. & Taylor, P. (1994). Qualitative differences in approaches to teaching first year university science. Higher Education, 27, 75-84.
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