Past student voices : providing authentic collaborative descriptions
Ryan, Michael (2007) Past student voices : providing authentic collaborative descriptions. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 3(3), pp. 23-34.
The use of collaboratively produced assignments for assessment is a risky undertaking
for both students and course designers, especially in higher education. Yet the
benefits, in terms of graduate capabilities, collaborative sense making and student
involvement, suggest that the effort is worthwhile. Among the critical elements for the
design of a collaborative assignment (such as a Web Inquiry Project) are clearly
expressed expectations and considerable scaffolding of the task. However, formal
descriptions and rules do little to ameliorate the perception of risk and increased
anxiety by students. This paper reports on a longitudinal design experiment that was
conducted in a large first-year university course. The study included past students who
provided informal and authentic advice for present students as they were engaged in a
collaborative assignment. Thus, through mediated communication channels (such as
video interviews, cameo appearances and online forums), the past students provided
voices that complemented the course designer's formal descriptions. Analysis of the
conversations between the past and present students reveals them to be simultaneously
rich, functional and reflective. In particular, the past students forum grew into a multi-threaded, complex set of conversations that covered a substantial set of topics and
concerns for the current students. It proved functional because it promoted
confidence, had immediate application and was clearly expressed for these students.
And because the forum remained as a persistent record, it provided the basis for
reflective thinking about the task and how it might be approached. As a technique that
is relatively easy to set up, using a simple online forum along with considerate and
able past students, the method described has immediate practical application.
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|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||collaborative learning, higher education, pedagogy|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Technology and Computing (130306)|
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education|
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2007 Michael Ryan|
|Deposited On:||26 Aug 2008|
|Last Modified:||29 Feb 2012 23:34|
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