This morning, the report on student centred approaches in higher education was launched at a breakfast seminar.
The report presents results from 8 course level case studies that employ various student centered approaches.
Monika Nerland (IPED/UiO) and Tine Prøitz (NIFU) presented the key results in the report. This was followed by a panel discussion with Oddrun Samdal (UiB), Ida Austgulen (NSO), Stein Erik Lid (NOKUT) og Gunn Engelsrud (NIH).
The case studies examine aspects that matter for the quality of educational practices in course designs that employ student-centered approaches. Whilst ways of engaging students more actively in their learning processes are high on the political agenda and a variety of pedagogical approaches are developed for these purposes, less is known about how such approaches are
enacted in practice and the challenges teachers and students face in this regard. The cases presented here illustrate different pedagogical designs and approaches and how they play out in different domains and program contexts. Each case study addresses three research questions:
What characterizes the teaching approaches and ways of engaging students in the course?
What challenges do students and teachers face with the given pedagogical approaches and learning activities?
What can we learn from this case about issues that matter for quality of educational practices?
The case studies used a common methodological approach combining participant observation, interviews with teachers and students, document analysis of course documents, and a questionnaire to the students targeting their course participation and experiences.
PhD research fellow in the project, Rachelle Esterhazy (IPED, University of Oslo), has together with Crina Damsa published an article on Studies of Higher Education where she examines how students make sense of feebdack processes. They describe the key focus as:
“This qualitative study proposes a feedback conceptualization informed by sociocultural notions, in which students co-construct meaning from the teacher’s feedback comments through interaction over time, with each other, the teacher, and relevant resources. Based on an in-depth analysis of undergraduate biology students’ discussions of feedback comments, we found that the feedback process takes the form of a meaning-making trajectory students move along by orienting towards and elaborating on both task-specific and general-knowledge content.”
Rachelle has also written a blog post about her recent work on the blog of Centre ofor Research in Assessment and Digital Learning (CRADLE) at University of Deakin in Australia. You can find the blog post here.
Researchers from the project will be presenting some of the results at upcoming CHER and EARLI conferences.
From part B – researchers are presenting at the CHER conference in Jyväskylä at the end of August. The panel is titled “Quality work in higher education” and includes contributions from project researchers ithat focus on internal systems and practices for quality work, disciplinary differences as well as quality management in study programmes.
Researchers from the project part C will also be presenting results from the project during the EARLI conference in Tampere, Finland, at the end of August. Paper presentations in invited and organized symposiums will disseminate mainly findings from Part C of the project, on pedagogical approaches that generate quality in higher education teaching and learning.
The invited symposium of the Special Interest Group ‘Higher Education’ will contain the paper Innovating pedagogical designs for student-centered learning: teachers’ approaches and challenges, written in collaboration by colleagues from Oslo and Helsinki. Another paper, Interactional meaning-making of assessment feedback in undergraduate education, will present material from one of the Norwegian cases analyzed in Part C.
Last week, on 14th of June, the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre organized a Nordic conference, titled: Student-centred approach and the quality of degree education. The conference brought together over 200 participants from various Nordic countries.
Professor Bjørn Stensaker held one of the keynote speeches, where he focused on the relationship between learning outcomes and quality assurance, and pointed some of the issues of bringing quality assurance practice closer to the primary processes of higher education.
The keynote speech by Bjørn Stensaker was also recorded and is avilable on youtube, embedded in the video below. Bjørn Stensakers presentation starts at about 55 minutes, after the introductory speeches from Anita Lehikoinen (Ministry and Education and Culture in Finland), Anders Geertsen (Nordic Council of Ministers) and Professor Riitta Pyykkö (University of Turku).