Issuu on Google+

Learners Communicating for

Helping Students Become Self-Regulated Learners Visonary Status Applying for Learning Communities Hot 5 Did You Know? Book Review

Helping Students Become Self-Regulated Learners

Meet a self-regulated learner. She is someone who approaches every class with a strong belief in her ability to learn. She sets learning goals for herself, uses a number of different learning strategies to achieve those goals, is self-aware enough to change her environment if it isn’t working for her, plans her study time and sticks to her plans, is willing to ask for help, and is able to self-assess with a good degree of accuracy. Just the sort of student every instructor delights in working with. Paul Pintrich wrote the seminal article on self-regulated learners in 1995, at about the same time as Barr and Tagg’s game-changing article on the learner-centered paradigm was published. While learner-centered pedagogy focuses on the learner, it does not look at the extent to which the learner exercises control over the entire learning situation. The selfregulation movement is part of learner-centered pedagogy, but it puts control and responsibility for learning squarely in the hands of learners. Self-regulation includes behaviors, motivational aspects, cognitive aspects, and contextual aspects. The behavioral aspect of self-regulation includes such skills as the ability to observe one’s own behavior (“I’m procrastinating”). The motivational aspect would include skills such as establishing reasonable goals (“I want to study two hours a night for this course”). The cognitive aspect would include such abilities as drawing on prior knowledge (“How does this relate to the course I had last semester?”). And the contextual aspect includes such skills as clear awareness of demands (“This course is going to take a lot of time”). So if some of your students are constantly complaining that they don’t have time to finish assignments, if they approach learning passively, have beliefs about themselves that they are just not good at whatever subject you teach, are constantly surprised at their grades on tests, what is to be done? Are self-regulated learners born that way? Or are there things educators can do to encourage self-regulation in their students? The answer to that question is a qualified “yes.” Students can be taught to be self-regulated learners, but many may resist the instruction. The kinds of things that students need to do to improve their self-regulation may prove too onerous for some. They must set learning goals, they

must be aware of their own learning, they must know when to ask for help, they must stick to their study plans, they must think about their own thinking. Pintrich created an instrument (the Motivational Strategies Questionnaire) to evaluate students’ self-regulation, and the feedback form contains lengthy directions to help students improve their self-regulation. To improve on the metacognitive strategy of “self effort,” for example, the guide suggests that students “Keep a list of the topics that you find yourself procrastinating instead of studying for. Try to analyze why you postpone studying these topics by discussing them with other students. Talking with them may lead you to consider an approach that may help you act more quickly instead of delaying studying the material.” One might wonder how many students are willing to put in that level of effort. Still, the research is clear: there are many things that educators can do to increase students’ self-regulation. One of the most important ideas to teach students is that the ability to learn is malleable. Stanford University psychology professor, Carol Dweck, has done significant research on what she calls “mindset.” She finds that people tend to have either a fixed or growth mindset. Those with a fixed mindset believe that their ability to learn is fixed as birth and that there is little they can do about it. “I can’t do math. Never have been able, never will.” Those with a growth mindset, on the other hand, are convinced that they can learn and that their ability to learn can increase over time. And, not surprisingly, according to Dweck, those with a growth mindset tend to be more successful overall. To help students develop a growth mindset, Dweck suggests, emphasize the possibility of change, praise students for their effort, not their “intelligence” (a fixed trait), and share stories of people who have accomplished what they thought they could never do. Educators can also teach self-monitoring strategies through the use of wrappers. A wrapper is an activity that surrounds an existing assignment or activity and encourages students to 2012 think about their own

Summer Issue


2 thinking. Educators can create lecture wrappers, homework wrappers, and exam wrappers. A lecture wrapper would ask students to listen actively to a lecture and then identify the key points. In a discussion following the lecture, the educator asks students for their thinking and provides formative feedback on their answers. Over time, students should become more and more successful at identifying the key points in a lecture. A homework wrapper might include a brief set of selfassessment questions on the skills students should be developing as a result of the assignment. These questions are answered after the homework is completed and are turned in along with the homework. An exam wrapper might ask students to reflect on a graded exam, to think about why they made the mistakes they did, the extent to which their study strategies

worked or did not work, and how they might change their strategies for the next exam. Another crucial strategy for helping students become self-regulated learners is establishing an environment in the classroom that encourages, even teaches, students to ask for help. It is not enough simply to offer help, researchers say; educators must also be consistent in their message that learning is more important than grades. Further Reading Pintrich, P. “A Conceptual Framwork for Assessing Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning in College Students,” Educational Psychology Review, 2004, 16 (4), 385-407. Svinicki, Marilla D. “Student Learning: From TeacherDirected to Self-Regulation,” Ch. 8 in New Directions for Teaching and Learning, n. 123, Fall 2010, 73-82.

Visionary Status Dr. Marcia Baxter Magolda Dr. Baxter Magolda is a Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership at Miami University of Ohio. As a professor of Student Affairs and Higher Education, her research focuses on the evolution of learning and development in college and young adult life as well as on pedagogy to promote self-authorship. Baxter Magolda defines self-authorship as “the internal capacity to define one’s beliefs, identity and social relations” (Evans et al., 2010, p. 178). Baxter Magolda is most famous for her 25-year study of development and young adult learning from ages 18 to 43. In higher education there is still a demand for research that allows for better comprehension of how cognitive, relational, and identity dimensions affect one’s ability to learn and develop as an individual. Thanks to Baxter Magolda’s longitudinal study, educators have a greater understanding of how learners view their world and how they relate to it, affecting what they believe and who they become; how they understand knowledge, allowing them to develop critical thinking skills; and how they experience social relations for intercultural maturity, leadership, and citizenship.

In her research Baxter Magolda found these three questions to be predominant: Intellectual/Epistemological: How do I know? ( The nature, limits, and certainty of knowledge) Intrapersonal: Who am I? (Individuals’ ideas of who they are and what they believe) Interpersonal: How do I want to construct relationships with others? (Perceptions and construction of relationships) (Davidson, 2011) Baxter Magolda also identified three elements of selfauthorship: Trusting The Internal Voice: Gaining control over thoughts and responses, which leads to greater confidence in the internal voice Building An Internal Foundation: Developing a personal philosophy as a foundation for actions Securing Internal Commitments: Living life authentically such that internal voice and foundation are integrated with the external world (Davidson, 2011). Consideration of these questions and concepts can inform teaching practices, as they allow 2012

Summer Issue


3

educators to recognize what students are thinking and how they might be processing information. Baxter Magolda’s Model for Epistemological Reflection, also known as the Learning Partnerships Model, includes the concepts of absolute knowing, transitional knowing, independent knowing, and contextual knowing. This model can be compared to Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning domains in that the movement is from low-order thinking skills to high-order thinking skills facilitated through teaching methodology. Baxter Magolda’s model takes this movement and processing of information and recognizes the individual differences in intellectual processing of information. This emphasis regarding individualization frames the process of how one comes to know information through a basic to more complex structure. The Learning Partnerships Model includes three simple yet strikingly important principles to better support teaching: To validate each learner’s capacity to know, educators should - Be approachable and acknowledge student voices - Promote active sharing of ideas To situate learning in a learner’s experience, educators should - Recognize and draw from each student’s prior experiences - Provide opportunities for self-reflection - Connect material to things in each student’s daily life To define learning as mutually constructing meaning, educators should - Frame learning as a mutually inclusive group task - Allow students to share authority and expertise (Baxter Magolda & King, 2004) This model is also reminiscent of Barr and Tagg’s (1995) learning-centered paradigm, in which the focus shifts from educators as authority figures toward educators as facilitators focusing on students and their learning process. The teaching-centered paradigm is not conducive to what Baxter Magolda’s research calls for: the promotion of complex learning and development through a blending of challenge and support using diverse pedagogical methods. Baxter Magolda’s books include Authoring Your Life: Developing an Internal Voice to Meet Life’s Challenges (Stylus, 2009), Development and Assessment of Self-authorship: Exploring the Concept across Cultures (co-edited with E. Creamer & P. Meszaros; Stylus, 2010) Learning Partnerships: Theory and Models of Practice to Educate for Self-Authorship

(co-edited with P. King; Stylus, 2004), Making Their Own Way: Narratives for Transforming Higher Education to Promote Self-Development (Stylus, 2001), Creating Contexts for Learning and Self-Authorship: ConstructiveDevelopmental Pedagogy (Vanderbilt University Press, 1999), and Knowing and Reasoning in College ( Jossey-Bass, 1992). She received the Association for the Study of Higher Education Research Achievement Award, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Robert H. Shaffer Award for Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member, American College Personnel Association’s Contribution to Knowledge Award, and Miami University’s Benjamin Harrison Medallion. Her curriculum vitae can be found at http://www.units.muohio.edu/eap/edl/faculty/ baxter_magolda.html A video of Dr. Baxter Magolda discussing her book, Authoring Your Life: Developing an Internal Voice to Navigate Life’s Challenges, can be found at http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=axvL6rZArww. References and resources: Barr, R. B., & Tagg, J. (1995). From teaching to learning: A new paradigm for undergraduate education. Change, 27(6), 12-25. Baxter Magolda, M. (1992) Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender-related patterns in students’ intellectual development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Baxter Magolda, M. B. (2008). Three elements of self- authorship. Journal of College Student Development, 49(4), 269-284. Baxter Magolda, M. B., & King P. M. (2004). Learning partnerships: Theory and models of practice to educate for self-authorship. Sterling, VA: Stylus. Carney, K. C. (2002). Baxter Magolda’s Epistemological Reflection Model. http://www.uiowa.edu/~epls/faculty/ pascarel/papers/carney.pdf Davidson, D. L. (2011). Teaching Tip #2: Self-Authorship & the learning partnerships model. Teaching Tips. http://orgs.bloomu.edu/tale/documents/TT_2_ SelfAuthorship.pdf Evans, N., Forney, D., Guido, F., Patton, L., & Renn, K. (2010). Student Development in college: Theory, research, and practice (2nd. Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-­ ‐Bass Publishers.

2012 Summer Issue


4 Apply for Learning Communities at the Center for Teaching and Learning The Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce a great slate of Learning Communities (LC) for the academic year 2012-2013. Applications are available at http://www.bgsu.edu/ctl/page96821.html. Faculty, staff, and graduate students are all eligible to apply. Questions about the communities or the application process should be directed to Karen Meyers (meyersk@bgsu.edu or 372-7874). Application deadline is August 31.

Critical Thinking Pedagogy This learning community will promote a style of pedagogy that engages the student in analysis and evaluation of knowledge and information. In addition, the pedagogy will involve active techniques in which the students understand what they are learning and why they are learning it, and begin to take control and responsibility for their own learning.

Active Learning and the Transition to Digital The Active Learning and the Transition to Digital Learning Community focuses on integrating technology and pedagogy to foster active learning environments that challenge students to think critically and solve problems in creative ways. During meetings the community will actively investigate methods for employing technology in engaging and authentic ways to promote student learning; we will reassess instructional delivery styles and question how we teach with a goal of shifting pedagogy from traditional, instructor-focused methods to student-centered community building and learning; and we will work to transform our pedagogical styles by sharing knowledge, resources, ideas, tools, and solutions.

Engaging in Research to Examine and Improve Student Learning The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a branch of research that focuses on student learning. It is both similar to and different from the discipline-specific research that most faculty members were trained to do. This learning community will examine the features of the SoTL literature and develop new studies for the members to implement.

Alcohol, Drugs, and Higher Education This LC will explore issues in higher education raised by the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs on college campuses. Topics include the widespread use and abuse of alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco and prescription drugs, their impact on student health, implications for teaching and learning and university efforts to address drug and alcohol problems. (Offered in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs.) Applying Principles of Video Game Design to Improve Student Learning Video games captivate players’ attention, present complex challenges, and motivate new learning in ways that are unseen in other media. If only we could get students to do the same for their courses. This learning community is interested in doing just that: exploring the design principles that make video games so compelling and directly applying them to our courses.

Examining Wikipedia’s Place in Undergraduate Education This community will seek to answer the question of where Wikipedia belongs in scholarship and teaching. To do this we will embark on a two-part research project on Wikipedia use at BGSU. First we will focus on how BGSU undergraduate students use Wikipedia in and outside of the classroom. The second part will be discussions with BGSU educators on how they view Wikipedia in the classroom and how they use it themselves. Exploring the Cyber Campus: Adventures in Online Teaching Increasingly, university courses and programs are being delivered in a completely online format. Faculty migrating to this venue may be challenged in multiple ways. How do we engage students in dynamic learning experiences and build community in a virtual environment? This learning community will explore resources, techniques, and philosophies impacting our work in cyberspace. (Offered in collaboration with the Center for Online and Blended Learning [COBL].) 2012

Summer Issue


5 Innovative Teaching Group: Advancing Approaches and Connections with the Larger University Community This learning community will focus on members’ supporting each other as they innovate teaching strategies that significantly improve student learning and success. Members of the community will be engaged in the process of continual questioning of what they do in the classroom and improving their practice. Members will help each other learn and disseminate ideas in their next articles, webinars, blogs, workshops or other projects. In addition, members will share what we are innovating with the broader BGSU community by organizing two activities per semester, which may take the form of interactive learning sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions, as decided by the group. Pedagogy and Scholarship Using Mobile and Web Apps The emergence of powerful web applications combined with the rise of mobile devices for teaching and learning in the classroom has created a unique opportunity for educators. However, many struggle to identify, test, and integrate new technologies into their existing pedagogies or research methodologies. This LC is focused on forming a community of faculty, staff and graduate students that is invested in the discovery of new mobile and web applications for the purpose of developing effective pedagogies, utilizing new tools for research, and transforming classroom experiences. Peer Review as Active Learning This community’s goal is to enhance education by promoting academic writing and by developing and testing a rubric for assessing academic writing. To this end, this learning community works as a forum for teacher-scholars in which they take on the role of student; in each meeting, peer members submit scholarly work to be reviewed by their peers. This model allows the LC members to develop and test a rubric for the peer review of writing among peers to be used as a pedagogical tool for peer review and improvement of writing within the classroom. Service-Learning The aim of the learning community is to facilitate and aid in the creation of high quality courses using servicelearning pedagogy leading to the effective achievement of the University Learning Outcomes. Proposals should emphasize approaches that can create distinctive coherent undergraduate learning experiences that integrate curricular and co-curricular programs, connect academic programs and

research expertise to public purposes, and develop additional ways to transfer knowledge and application to the public. Members of the community will expand their understanding of service-learning pedagogy, dialogue with peers engaged in course redesign, and participate in an ongoing professional development support network during course delivery. STEM Hi Tech & Highly Engaging Learning Environments by Design! Members of this learning community will study and discover ways to design learning environments integrating cutting-edge learning technologies into their teaching practices to enhance student attitudes, motivation, engagement, and ultimately student success. Members will propose to design, test, critique, and revise high-tech and highly engaging learning environments that also foster student attitudes, motivation, and engagement. They will utilize current research on student motivation as a framework for the design process. Understanding Student Information-Seeking Behaviors to Enhance Student Learning Members of this learning community will explore ways to improve students’ abilities to contend with obstacles inherent in the research project. They will also expand their students’ awareness and use of academic information and research tools. Along the way, members will have opportunities to become more familiar with the University Libraries’ research tools and reflect on ways to enhance student learning.

2012 Summer Issue


6

Hot 5 Architizer http://www.architizer.com/en_us/ Described by The New York Times as “A hybrid of Facebook, Flickr and LinkedIn for architects,” Architizer provides a design-oriented space for anyone interested in architecture, including architects, clients, manufacturers, firms, and competition organizers. Since its launch in 2009, Architizer has become a virtual meeting place, a source of news and information, and a database for architecture projects. Not just for architecture students but anyone interested in cutting-edge design. Google Public Data Explorer http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory Launched in March, 2010, this website “makes large, public-interest datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate.” The site provides access to high-quality data sets from providers such as Eurostat, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the World Bank, which can be used or explored in interactive and animated visualizations. Users can also upload, visualize, and embed their own data. TED City 2.0 http://www.thecity2.org/ In 2012, the TED prize went not to an individual but to a concept, the idea of what one author called a “global Wikipedia,” a digital space where citizens, political leaders, urban planners, and organizations can connect to conceptualize the 21st century city. The site is self-described as “a platform created to surface the myriad stories and collective actions being taken by citizens around

the world. We draw on the best of what is already being discovered by urban advocates and add grassroots movers and shakers into the mix. What’s emerging is a complex picture of the future city-a place more playful, more safe, more beautiful, and more healthy for everyone.” Grist http://grist.org/ Grist is a vast collection of articles and information on preserving and protecting the environment. It includes news and opinion, photos and videos, and it divides its content into easily searched categories such as Climate & Energy, Food, Cities, Living, and Biz & Technology. Established in 1999, Grist interprets environmental news, solicits news and commentary from readers, and connects issues like climate change with everyday life IWitness http://iwitness.usc.edu/SFI/ Sponsored by the University of California, this website contains more than 1000 video testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses. The site can be searched by name or topic. The site also boasts a treasure trove of links to glossaries, bibliographies, timelines, and other Holocaust-related materials. The video testimonies are part of an archive of nearly 52,000 testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses maintained by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute, established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg.

Did You Know? Did you know that the Center for Teaching and Learning is ready, willing, and able to develop and offer customized workshops for your area or department? Check out our workshop page at http://www.bgsu.edu/ctl/ page96846.html to get an idea of our current offerings. If you can identify several people in your department or unit who might be interested in one of these workshops, just let us know and we’ll come to you. If you don’t see what you are looking for, contact us; we’d be happy to work with you to develop and present

what you need. Call Karen Meyers at 372-7874 or email at meyersk@bgsu.edu. Did you know that all staff members at CTL are available for individual consulation about all elements of learning design? Call for an appointment at 372-6898.

2012 Summer Issue


7 Book Review Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning for Each Student, edited by Chris Dede and John Richards. Digital Teaching Platforms, edited by Chris Dede and John Richards, is a collection of papers that emerged from a conference hosted by Time to Know (T2K), a vendor of digital learning platforms. (An important disclaimer: Chapters 1, 11, and 12 of the book are written by T2K employees or consultants. Theother nine chapters are written by independent researchers.) What are Digital Teaching Platforms and why should we care? Digital teaching platforms provide instructors with a complete digital curriculum, as well as tools for curriculum planning, classroom management, and student assessment. Using the extensive assessment data available on DTPs, educators can review detailed records of students’ progress as well as trends in class performance. This is an emerging technology and one that many have described as “disruptive,” meaning that once this technology gains widespread use, the classroom may never be the same. Chris Dede, one of the editors of Digital Teaching Platforms and a professor of learning technologies at Harvard University, was recently interviewed about his newest book by Jeffrey Young of the Chronicle of Higher Education ( June 25, 2012). While Dede’s research has often focused on K-12 classrooms, he says his work has important implications for higher education as well. In the interview he echoes the

fundamental message of the book when he says that “We now have the kinds of technology that would let us develop a 21st–century education system if we have the political will to go ahead and do that.” Dede notes that the greatest benefit of new technology for institutions of higher education will be found in the large freshman and sophomore classes, which he calls the “economic engines of higher ed” and in which an inverted or “flipped” classroom model can be productively used in combination with a digital teaching platform to allow more time for individualized instruction and active engagement. Digital Teaching Platforms is divided into four parts. Part I, “Framing the Innovation,” defines DTPs and provides the context for their evolution. Part II examines curriculum content and pedagogy. Part III discusses the possibility and desirability of continuous formative assessment, and Part IV focuses on how to implement digital teaching platforms in a school or school system. As an edited collection, this book does not have a single central idea but is held together by the enthusiasm of its authors for this new learning technology.

2012 Summer Issue


Summer 2012 Newsletter