eLearning Africa 2016 (IV). Researching Learner Centred Methods

Notes from eLearning Africa 2016, organized by ICWE GmbH and held in El Cairo, Egypt, on 24-26 May 2016. More notes on this event: ela2016.

Researching Learner Centred Methods

If you manage to engage and encourage students to take an active role in their learning, you will find that creating education together is possible. Speakers in this session share their experiences in co-creation.

Chairperson: Francisca Oladipo, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria

Paxton Zozie, Mzuzu University, Malawi, Using Real-time Response Systems to Enhance Participative Learning in Higher Education at Mzuzu University

How to encourage active participation of each and every student, especially in large classes. And even more, how to enhance collaborative learning and active learning.

Cloud-based student response systems will be used to address the issue, based on clicker technology, like Participoll or Socrative.

Polls do make students more engaged in the lecture, and they prompt interactivity between the student and the teacher, as the teacher can see in real time whether students got something right or not, and can ask for questions, doubts, etc. but tailored depending on the return of the poll.

Challenges: need for Internet connectivity. Notwithstanding, some software can be used on a local network, with no need to be connected to the Internet but only to the computer acting as a server.

Another challenge is that sometimes less content is covered, as more time is devoted to participation.

Students would like to have more detailed feedback for student self-assessment.

Abdul-Majid Nkuutu Kibedi, Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports, Uganda, Exploration of the Linkage Between ICT Use and Implementation of Learner-centered Pedagogy

General goal: to contribute to the increase of quality and equity in access to post-primary education and training, by providing an improved teaching and practice-oriented learning environment, supported by strengthened active-teaching methods.

It is a teaching training education project, with a multi-layered approach:

  • Infrastructure: laptops, projectors, connectivity, etc.
  • Aggregation of digital tools and links to resources for teaching and assessment.
  • Teacher for self reflection and better research, conference, training tailored to integration of ICT in the teaching and learning.

Some college staff members received a short video training course on shooting and editing video, with low cost equipment. A secondary goal is to tape one-self and see how one is teaching, in part to fight the isolation from peer support where teaching often occurs.

On the other hand, videos allow the observation of alternative teaching strategies, allowing time for reflection, as one does not have to respond immediately.

Access to offline Wikipedia and digital books was used to increase the available content.

Also research from Internet through mobile phone helped the group to engage in discussions and brainstorming sessions.

With active teaching and learning methods (ATL), learners develop some of the critical 21st century skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration or creative thinking.

Teachers who often use ICTs tend to implement ATL methodologies in their teaching and, on the other hand, ICTs easily support adoption of ATL by students.

Discussion

Q: can you assess the students through response systems? Zozie: yes, you can. If you force them to log in with their users before answering, all data is stored including who answered what. Then data can be downloaded and treated for any purpose, such as assessment.

Zozie: the teaching staff needs experience in stating questions, relevant questions. Formulating questions is not easy, especially higher order questions, such as the ones that address concepts and not just the factual.

eLearning Africa (2016)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2016) “eLearning Africa 2016 (IV). Researching Learner Centred Methods” In ICTlogy, #152, May 2016. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=4442

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