Wednesday, 19 March 2008

ELI SFS: Authentic Learning in History and Social Sciences: How "Real" Can We Make the Classroom Experience?

Scot French (U of Virginia)

Digital History project - the "old fashioned" way of presenting the student research projects was for students to develop websites (combination of digitised primary sources and student essays)
+ves - intro to rich archival holdings, collaboration, peer review, student work "published" for use by others - frequently used by others and for local researchers
-ves - access and preservation, little (or nil) interaction with professional historians

New version - partnership with cultural institutions, think like their real world partners who are "doing history" and learn new tools - strong point (as yesterday) of how the partners value the students' contributions. "Thinking like teachers" - as expected, we need to get more of this "thinking like..." into our SHU terminology (alongside learning per sq ft)

Useful resource link from the chat stream

Sample student video

Sample resource built re Jefferson's visit to UK in 1786 - collaboration between tutors, real world experts and student projects artefacts - check out Jefferson's mail (one student's project) - run the time line - click on an envelope - go on, you know you want to...

+ves: more sustained engagement with real world partners, high expectations, positive feedback from prospective partners
-ves: mixed results from students (some students didn't use their imagination, less reflection), partners reluctant to use sgc on their official sites (what a shame), no formal participation by partners in the assessment

Really good session - only small class size (approx 10) but could be transferable if group projects

Carie Windham post to chat "A good discussion about student motivation -- as a student, I think I fell into that, "Just give me the facts" mentality but really loved those courses that forced me to engage. Might have been stressful at the time but, in retrospect, that's when I really felt "alive" "


gs said...

obviously (so obviously) i spent a while clicking on the flying envelopes :)

sounds interesting - though am a little terrified by the fact that students building websites could be classed as the "old fashioned" way of doing anything. back in my day...

sounds like an excellent project. is there any sense that the reluctance of partners to use sgc on their official sites is because it's a new initiative - and that maybe they just need a bit more confidence/time to embed it, or be convinced about the benefits? i know there's some unease amongst some academics here about the often intensive time input from partner organisations and their involvement with student projects, so the fact that they're willing to engage but not wanting to use the tangible outputs officially is interesting.

gs said...

ps - bonus point to you for getting the learning per sq foot reference into a blog post so quickly and seamlessly. your purple reward awaits you...

Louise said...

What was interesting was that the partners were using the outputs professionally - with trainee teachers and in museum presentations which is why it is such a shame that they wouldn't "adopt" the resources and publish them on their official sites. They seemed reluctant to put their organisation's name as the source of the info - I think you might be right, as it gets less new, I'm sure they'll start adopting some.

Louise said...

aarrgghh - cross blog - thanks for the award - also managed a comment in ning.

btw - when I say "I'm sure they'll start...." that is just my wish list.