Separate knowers remain as objective as possible without including feelings and emotions. In a discussion with other people, they like to defend their own ideas, using logic to find holes in opponent's ideas.Connected knowers on the other hand are more sensitive to other people. They are skilled at empathy and tend to listen and ask questions until they feel they can connect and "understand things from other's point of view". They learn by trying to share the experiences that led to the knowledge they find in other people.
Flipped learning Initiative
What is flipped learning? Flipped learning is a pedagogical approach in which the conventional notion of classroom-based learning is inverted, so that students are introduced to the learning material before class, with classroom time then being used to deepen understanding through discussion with peers and problem-solving activities facilitated by teachers.
Peer learning Initiative
...learning with and from each other is a necessary and important aspect of all courses. The role it plays varies widely and the forms it takes are very diverse, but without it students gain an impoverished education. ‖(Boud, 2001)...
Education is not an affair of telling and being told, but an active and constructive process, says John Dewey in his book Democracy and Education. He claimed that knowledge is created through experience, rather than passed down from teacher to student through memorization. A similar theory by Lev Vygotsky states that ―students learn better through collaborative, meaningful problem-solving activities than through solo exercises.‖ Both persons quoted are proponents of the Constructivist theory which claims that:
Knowing and doing cannot be separated
Learning is a process that is extended over time.
Today, technology has changed the way we learn, it tends to complicate or expose the limitations of the learning theories of the past.
Computers in the classroom have the opportunity to restructure the learning environment. Students can use computers to connect to gain knowledge, create knowledge in the school and the outside world.
Why is this important? Connectivism theory proposes that the knowledge we can access by virtue of our connections with others is just as valuable as the information carried inside our minds. – (The learning proess, therefore, is not entirely under an individual‘s control—learning can happen outside ourselves, as if we are a member of a large organization where many people are continuously updating a shared database.)
Computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is an aspect of peer-learning where in learning takes place via social interaction using a computer or through the Internet. This kind of learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as the primary means of communication or as a common resource.
What is peer learning?
Peer learning essentially refers to students learning with and from each other as fellow learners without any implied authority to any individual, based on the tenet that ―Students learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in activities in which they can learn from their peers‖ (Boud, 2001). This is so because the act of teaching another individual demands that students ―clarify, elaborate on, and otherwise re-conceptualize material.
Peer-Learning is a shift in paradigm from the highly teacher-centred to learner-centred education in which students are expected to take greater initiative and responsibility to manage more of their own learning and educational/personal development.
Outside of Computer-supported collaborative learning, Peer Instruction engages students during class through activities that require each student to apply the core concepts being presented, and then to explain those concepts to their fellow students. This approach makes use of a technique that is now known as the "flipped classroom". To free up class time for 'Concept Tests‘, and to prepare students better to apply the material during class, students are required to complete the reading on the topics to be covered before class time.
The use of instructional strategies that require students to be more actively involved in the learning process is now strongly advocated for primary, secondary and tertiary education. Peer learning provides such an educational strategy.
Reliance on the traditional lecture as the main mode of student learning has been criticized as:
Molding students into passive recipients of information transmitted by the teacher and making them highly dependent on teachers for much of their learning needs;
Promoting rote-learning that involves mainly memorization, recall and regurgitation of facts; and
Acquiring abundant inert knowledge often difficult to apply in the work environment, whereas ―What matters…is not just what students know but what they can do with what they know. What’s at stake is the capacity to perform, to put what one knows into practice‖ (Meyers & Jones, 1993).
Expected beneficial outcomes of Peer Learning
The main benefits of peer teaching include, but are not limited to, the following:
Students receive more time for individualized learning.
Direct interaction between students promotes active learning.
Peer teachers reinforce their own learning by instructing others.
Students feel more comfortable and open when interacting with a peer.
Peers and students share a similar discourse, allowing for greater understanding.
Teachers receive more time to focus on the next lesson.
Team-building spirit and more supportive relationships; greater psychological well-being, social competence, communication skills and self-esteem; and higher achievement and greater productivity in terms of enhanced learning outcomes.
Yes, students learning from and teaching each other is a highly effective learning approach. This does not mean though that teachers are to relinquish their teaching jobs. No! The Theory of Zone of Proximal Development by Lev Vygotsky states the difference between what a learner can do without help, and what they can't do. Students need their teachers to guide them to learn most academic contents. Peer learning therefore is only a supplementary but highly effective learning approach.
To this end, UPSS CAM & CANP has set up this platform (UPSS.EDU), not only to deliver academic contents to students and access their understanding of the contents ahead of class time, but also to enable students to interact, to share & challenge ideas, reach conclusions, gain knowledge and learn valuable skills that will be useful in their university days and beyond. The program design is such that teachers can track and consequently enforce students‘ participation as well as moderate student activities in this forum.
Amid the obvious cons and pros to this, it is our hope that the administrators, teachers, parents and students of the UPSS CAM & CANP community will put in earnest effort to leverage on this technology in order to enhance teaching and learning.
UPSS CAM & CANP MGT.