Intended learning outcome

 

This summer I participate in a course about “Academic Teaching” where I am expected to learn how to support the learning of others. The course is given by Malmö university and is an educational part of my personal development plan. The main learning outcome is to describe and justify the academic teaching on a scientific basis and proven experience.
In the assessment I will make a presentation of a design and a plan for teaching. I am expected to describe and justify my choices concerning learning outcomes, assessment and teaching and learning activities in relation to relevant research and proven experience.
The intended learning outcomes for the course are:
  • use teaching and learning activities that are tailored to course content and learning outcomes
  • describe and justify the academic teaching on a scientific basis and proven experience
  • develop different strategies for equal treatment in the meeting with students / participants in heterogeneous groups
  • compile a curriculum that relate to the concept of “constructive alignment”
  • relate their own teaching to national policy documents and the internationalization of higher education

According to my teachers, Mikael and Kristina, I am free to do my presentation just the way I want as long as I can demonstrate and show that I´ve achieved the intended learning outcomes. So, here´s an idea – I will do several blog posts on the different topics.

I think it´s scary to do this – so that is why I do it!

I’m keeping the fearsome spider in the cage and while I am floating away in some kind of weightlessness with only the intended learning outcomes as my navigator I will try to master this task.

References
Malmö university (2016) Academic teaching. Malmö >http://edu.mah.se/sv/Course/HP601A< 2016-08-22.

Photo: Somewhere in a dream by stu mayhew (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Us vs. Them

It seems like I have a mission to complete. I promised to return with feedback from a meeting – and here it is. Earlier, in April, I wrote a blog post where I used the analogue of the three musketeers. I  contacted a colleges at another institution who is teaching the same topic as I am. My colleague agreed to meet me and to talk about collaboration.

The meeting started out with me explaining why I have made contact, what my purpose of the meeting was. I found myself arguing for not having any hidden agenda, just wanting to collaborate without any demands and expectations. A very strange way of making a case. I really do, have to improve myself in these situations in the future!

Anyway, my colleague is a clever guy, and he was able to filter my bad description of the intention to collaborate. We decided to 1) establish our initiative with our leaders, to 2) invite other colleagues to a physical meeting in some weeks and to 3) set up a group on Yammer, for digital everyday connection if needed, where we can share and collaborate.

Even though we are located on different floors, Us on 4th floor and Them on 5th floor, we do think, oddly enough, that we can collaborate and be the best colleagues ever. Although, we have an entire canal (1 floor/roof) dividing us in two, I prefer to see it as we share a whole canal (1 floor/roof) and that the “scaffolding” ought to make us stronger. May the force be with us!

Photo: http://www.pixabay.com

 

Two-edged sword

This week I´ve decided to write about my own experiences of flexible learning. Since I´m new at work as a lecture at Malmö University most of my preferences are from the students point of view. I guess I am a typical non-traditional student (Jones & Walters, 2015). I work full-time, I´m a daughter, a wife and a mother (even a guinea-pig owner).
I´ve passed 40 and the only option for me to study is if the course is being held “flexible”. In other words it has to be web-based without required lectures on campus (at least not daytime). Full-time studies is often too hard to follow so the course pace have to be more slowly. I took my nursing degree for over 20 years ago and meanwhile my life has been going on I´ve been taking my master degree in nursing care and science. Sometimes it has been a struggle and many time it has been pure joy. Without flexibility I had not been able to finally cross the finish line. The more I learn about flexible learning (in topic 4 at ONL161) I realize that flexible is so much more than – Pace, Place and Mode – but I think that my own experiences is giving me the answer to why I would enable element of flexibility into my learning.

Nisar (2004) concludes that one alternative to reach those large groups (of students) in a flexible, cost and time saving way is through learning in a digital environment. The educational material is easily accessible for those whose participation is limited due to their location, which reduces both cost and time (Nisar, 2004). This thing with flexibility is often described as a two-edged sword. For instant it´s great to have access to course content 24/7 but it requires self-control due to the lack of fixed classes and the need of self-discipline to achieve learning (Atack, 2003). Perceived disadvantages with learning in digital environment is the absence of face-to-face interaction compared to traditional learning in classrooms (Atack, 2003; Nisar, 2004). The references are a bit old so this must have been B.S. (Before Skype).

The majority of students that I meet is 20 years old and a traditional “old school student” BUT not all of them are. I wonder if the spectra of student have been different if we offered a more flexible ways to study. At Malmö University´s site  you can read this:

“Malmö University strives to be a university open to all: a university that is structured to cope with our ever-changing job market through a multidisciplinary approach that crosses traditional faculty boundaries.”

Thinking about it – a more flexible approach could be a strategy to reach the goals and to be a university open for everyone. In my own teaching I will from now on try to be even more flexible when I design the learning activities and assessments.

References
Atack L, (2003) Becoming a web-based learner: registered nurses´ experiences. J Adv Nurs, 44(3), 289-297.

Jones, B., & Walters, S. (2015). Flexible learning and teaching: looking beyond the binary of full-time/part-time provision in South African higher education. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning, 3(1), 61-84.

Malmö University (2016) http://www.mah.se/english/About-Malmo-University/

Nisar T, (2004) E-learning in public organizations. Publ Pers Manag, 33, 79-88.

Photo: Christ of the Apocalypse by Nick Thompson (CC BY-NC 2.0)