10/22/08  (susheyer)  [0 Comments]

Determining high quality arrangements for learning

Within our new project iCOPER, we are investigating the concepts of "good teaching practice" and "best teaching practice". The idea to distinguish these two terms may be that good practice takes place whenever a group of people reuse a certain teaching method. This could, for instance, be the case when a certain teaching method has been traditionally used at an institution. The lecture is a teaching method, which has been commonly used at universities. It is an established method and may thus be regarded as good practice.

Best practice on the other hand, should fulfill criteria for high quality learning designs next to the repeated use of the teaching method. Criteria that could be used to judge this could be taken from Boud & Prosser:

  • Engage learners:
    Considering learners’ prior knowledge and their desires and building on their expectations.
  • Acknowledge the learning context:
    Considering how the implementation of the learning design (be it a one class session, over the period of a few weeks, or the entire subject) is positioned within the broader program of study for the learner.
  • Challenge learners:
    Seeking the active participation of learners, encouraging learners to be self-critical and supporting learners’ ampliative skills.
  • Provide practice:
    Encouraging learners to articulate and demonstrate to themselves and their peers what they are learning.

 Thus, the use of a certain teaching method could be judged as best practice, when it fulfills the above criteria and is being used among a group of people.