Collaboration


Students are assessed on the work they produce as individuals. What if learning outcomes are focused on how they apply their newly acquired knowledge to a problem space through collaboration.

It is difficult to quantify what learning looks like, and the current grade metrics do not necessarily capture the skills employers want; such as problem-solving, creativity or teamwork. How can higher education design a new learning curriculum that helps students display these skills which they already possess with confidence?

No knowledge sits in silo, so why should students get graded in the same manner—a new learning curriculum designed to incorporate real-world context into the learning objectives. Students should be able to identify areas within their current life, where newly completed topics within the curriculum can be applied.

Research shows that students are learning to the test, and the majority of learned information is forgotten post-exam. A possible solution space can be through collaboration, where students become accountable to external brands.

Learning Events

According to Robert Gagnè, learning occurs through a series of nine events. Each condition must be accomplished as this demonstrates learning has occurred before progressing on. Suppose emphasis is placed on collaboration and the learners' experience. Should curriculum designers adopt another approach?

  • The attention of the learner: This is vital for learning to begin.

  • Objective: Each lesson must have an objective, with the size of today's classroom, a single objective should suffice.

  • Recall - Student should be able to recall essential information. By utilising the previous topic as a launchpad to the next topic, this helps form a string of connections in their long term memory.

  • Anchor point: How does each student understand the topic and where do they think their ideas are applicable.

  • Framework: The role of a framework is to move students thinking process along in a cohesive manner.

  • Opinion: Creating an opportunity that empowers students to voice their opinion right or wrong is vital to their learning.

  • Feedback: Frequent feedback is essential as this helps with the crystallisation of learnt information.

  • Two sides: Students should have an understanding about both sides of the argument, as this helps develop critical thinking.

A crucial area for further exploration is 'anchor point', students tend to lose attention at this stage in this model. Any learning environment must support students in sharing their viewpoint, self-expression as an attribute is not captured adequately. If more collaborative work is encouraged, students will identify avenues to amplify their skillset.

ADDIE OR Double Diamond

Higher Education is a preparation of students to have an understanding of the challenges they will be facing in the real world. Employees are expected to solve problems that are beyond the scope of a single domain. Any proposed solution requires an understanding of the diverse experience of multiple stakeholder posses.

Across various domains, there will be a framework that captures best practice for solving problems. The Education sector adopts the ADDIE Model (Analyse, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) a five-step process that focuses on identifying the needs of the user. While in Design, a similar model called Double Diamond (Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver) These two processes require the user to think broadly but yet focus on a single outcome and are both iterative.

Reason for this comparison being, a solution to a problem will exist in another domain and only through cross-domain collaboration can that problem be solved. Pre COVID, the education system reacted slowly to changes happening in the real world and implementation where prolonged. At the moment, changes are happing at an alarming rate across the education sector. Different organisations cross-domains are reimagining education, and some of these frugal innovations are having huge impacts.

Placement

The only way to get students ready for work is to provide them with opportunities to apply the skills they have learnt. Students are graduating without having had the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a work environment.

A four-year degree.

  • Year One. New students are entitled to explore all the bases knowledge in that particular course, opening their mind to all the possible avenues. This discovery stage is essential as it allows students to understand how they learn, what skills they already possess and what speciality within the course is best suited to their abilities. Outcome for the year should be students who are now independent learners and rely on their judgment about the next steps to take in their learning.

  • Year Two. Students timetable shifts to part-time study. Students are given twenty-four month to collaborate with as many brands possible, gaining experience within their chosen discipline or trying other domain of interest to have a better understanding of the required skills needed to flourish. The only academic expectation is a documentation of their experience and presentation to fellows students, gaining feedback on potential areas for future focus. Students are assessed based on references by each partnering brand.

  • Final Year. Student return to full-time study. At the start of the year, every student is expected to present a problem of choice to the cohort they found during their year two placement. Student gets to vote on the projects they want to work on as a team for their final year project. Students are assessed based on how implementable their solution is in partnership with the brand.

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