Patterns For Active Learning Submission To The PPP Pattern

Patterns For Active Learning Submission To The PPP Pattern

DESCARGAR PDF

Patterns for Active Learning
Submission to the PPP pattern language project
Copyright © the respective pattern authors. Permission is granted for
the purpose of PLoP 2002
Version 1.8
Editors:
Jutta Eckstein
[email protected]
Joseph Bergin
[email protected]
Helen Sharp
[email protected]
Introduction
============
This pattern language in progress proposes some successful techniques
to assist with teaching and learning. For professional educators,
these patterns may seem obvious, even trivial, because they have used
them so often. For those newer to teaching, they offer a way for
experienced teachers to pass on their experiences. But even
experienced professionals will benefit a lot by learning from one
another. Because Nobody is Perfect [VF] and furthermore everybody has
developed her own little secrets that she can share.
The pedagogical patterns project [PPP] is working on collecting many
types of patterns that can help teachers teach and students learn.
This collection focuses on empowering the student through active
learning.
The patterns were revised and rewritten in Alexandrian form in order
to support the integration into a pattern language. Further patterns
will be submitted to future conferences of the PLoP series.
The Pedagogical Patterns Project
================================
Most educators and trainers are not taught how to teach. Rather, they
often find themselves teaching by accident. Typically, a person with a
skill that is in demand, such as a particular programming language,
will be asked to teach it. People assume that if the person is good in
this programming language, she will be good at teaching it. But
knowing the subject matter is very different from knowing how to teach
it.
Effectively communicating complex technologies is often a struggle for
information technology instructors. They may try various teaching
strategies, but this trial and error process can be time-consuming and
fraught with error. Advice is often sought from other “expert”
instructors, but these individuals are not always readily available.
This creates the need to find other ways to facilitate the sharing of
teaching techniques between expert and novice teachers.
This is the goal of the Pedagogical Patterns Project (PPP, [PPP]).
Pedagogy is a term that refers to the “systematized learning or
instruction concerning principles and methods of teaching” [Web59].
Patterns provide a method for capturing and communicating knowledge
such as pedagogy. As an example, imagine that you are looking for an
effective way to teach message passing to experienced programmers in a
weeklong industry course. A friend who is teaching a semester-long
object technology course to traditional age university students has
found an effective technique. He shares it with you without dictating
the specific implementation details. This allows you to use your own
creativity to implement the technique in a way that is most
comfortable for you and most useful for your industry students. This
is the essence of patterns – to offer a format and a process for
sharing successful practices in a way that allows each practice to be
used by a variety of people in many different ways.
A collection of patterns could form a repository of techniques for
teaching a specific subject such as object technology (OT). Ideally,
many of the patterns would have an even broader scope than OT, but all
of them would be useful in many different training or learning
environments because they are proven teaching techniques.
But even this is not the end of the story. Related patterns can be
combined in either a pattern catalog [Bus96] or in a system of
patterns [Fow97]. A third possibility is to relate several patterns
within a common problem space, the result of which is a language of
patterns that provides a resource for solving complex problems. The
goal of the project described in this paper is to form pedagogical
pattern languages for teaching. This will provide instructors with the
ability to share their effective teaching techniques in a common
format, to document relationships between the techniques and to form
powerful tools known as pattern languages.
The Pattern Language
====================
This pattern language under construction contains patterns from the
Pedagogical Patterns effort [PPP], which were revised and rewritten in
Alexandrian form in order to support the integration into a pattern
language. The currently available patterns focus on a classroom
situation at beginners to advanced level, but their usability is not
limited to that. Further patterns will be submitted to future
conferences of the PLoP series.
The patterns in this pattern language use a form similar to the one
used by Alexander in his book A Pattern Language [CA]. All patterns
are written in the you-form, thus directly talking to you, the
teacher. In addition to the pattern name, each pattern is divided into
several sections. The sections are separated by . It starts by
setting the context, which is followed by the forces and the problem
in bold font. The next section outlines the solution in bold font
including the consequences, limitations and disadvantages. The last
section complements the discussion of the solution and it additionally
provides examples in italic font as well as further information.
References to patterns inside this pattern language are in Capital
Letters, references to patterns published elsewhere are in normal
font, but followed with the [pointer] to the reference section.
In addition, each pattern is marked with one or two asterisks (*), as
in Alexander’s patterns. They show how fundamental we believe the
pattern is.
Two asterisks denote patterns that state invariants. We believe that
it is not possible to solve the stated problem properly, without
referring to the solution that we have given. One asterisk means that
we think that we are on the right track, but we believe it will be
possible to improve the solution.
Quick Access Table
------------------
The following table lists some problems, which often occur in a
teaching environment, and the respective patterns of this language,
which address those problems.
Maximize learning by engaging.
Active Student, Write over Read, Honor Questions, Invisible teacher
Take different skill levels and interests into account.
Different Exercise Levels, Let Them Decide, Teacher selects Teams
Bridge the gap between the educational world and real
(production/industrial) world.
Adopt-an-Artifact, Real World Experience
Enforce teamwork.
Groups Work, Study Groups
Active Student **
This pattern was originated by Joseph Bergin as Active Student and by
Astrid Fricke and Markus Voelter as Work Forms [VF].
You want to maximize student learning.

Passive students don't learn much. If students listen to explanations,
without themselves becoming engaged, what is learned is unlikely to go
into long-term memory. The deep consequences of a theory are unlikely
to be obvious to one who reads about, or hears about the theory. The
unexpected difficulties inherent in using the theory or applying the
ideas are not likely to be apparent until you actually do use the
theory. However you might have grown up with the passive style of
teaching only and really don’t know anything else. But, readings,
lectures, and multi-media demonstrations, unless interactive, leave
students passive.

Therefore: keep the students active. They should be active in class,
either with questions or with exercises. They should be active out of
class. Reading alone is often insufficiently active. Short readings
should be followed by activities that reinforce what has been learned
in the reading. The same is true of information given verbally or even
visually through multi-media visualizations. If the students don't
actively engage the material, they won't retain it. They need to write
and they need to "do."
Choose (or write) textbooks and other materials that have a lot of
activities at different levels of scale and difficulty. Consider to
use Different Approaches [BEMW] for taking different sensory
modalities into account when engaging students. Students can write as
well as read (Write Over Read), they can answer questions in writing
or orally. Make them work together, using Groups Work, or Study Groups
both in class and out of class. Make them answer their own questions,
like in Test Tube [BEMW]. Allow them to learn a concept by exploring
or trying it for themselves (Explore for Yourself [BEMW], Try it
Yourself, or Explain it Yourself. Both in: [EBS]). You should ideally
try to alternate between the different teaching and learning styles.
The most important aspect of course planning is in knowing what the
students will be doing throughout the course. Remember that your job
is not to give the students information. It isn't really even showing
them ways to find information. Your real job is to show them ways to
build new information structures for the problems of their days. This
is an inherently active process.

Law schools use moot court and Law Review and a number of other
devices to keep the students active. Business schools use case studies
requiring extensive write-ups for the same purpose.
Medical students have a path pot where they are given a set of organs
from a deceased patient and must explain the reason for the patient’s
death.
Joe Bergin often phrased the underlying idea of this pattern as: "It
doesn't matter what I do. It only matters what my students do."
A corollary to this idea is that of the Active Lecture, in which the
students are active during "lecture" time. See Student Design Sprint
[EMWM], for example.
A special case of this is Christoph Steindl's Self Test Pattern [EBS].
A self-test is a pseudo exam that the students may take informally to
prepare themselves for an upcoming exam. Make these available, but
don't require them. Provide answers and feedback for those who ask for
it.
While taking this pattern into account is most often more efficient
and fun for the students, it means much more effort for you in terms
of preparation and attention during the session than a traditional
lecture style session.
Lecture-style teaching should only be used, if you intend to pass a
lot of information in a short time frame. The emphasis is on passing
information and not on understanding information.
Different Exercise Levels *
This pattern was originated by Markus Voelter and Astrid Fricke as
part of the Seminars pattern language [VF].
You want students to practice a newly acquired skill through some
exercises. This pattern focuses on the exercises given to students
rather than the resulting feedback.

The most important aspect of exercises is to allow the participants to
improve their newly acquired skills by working on a topic on their
own. If everyone is given the same exercise, then some participants
will find it overly simple, and do not learn anything, while others
consider the exercise too difficult, are frustrated because they can't
do it, and do not learn anything. To improve his skills, the exercise
must be located at the upper limit of the participant’s current skill
level, but this will be different for each participant.

Therefore, provide exercises of different difficulty levels, Different
Approaches [BEMW], different topics etc. You might also consider
inviting your students to suggest exercises on their own, so you want
to Let them Decide. Doing this means that everyone has the opportunity
to be successful and motivation is kept high.
You might allow participants to choose from these exercises themselves
and to solve those that he thinks will be most beneficial.
Alternatively you might give some guidance about which exercises would
be most suitable. For example, you could mark each exercise with a
"skill level" and use these as a further guidance for Study Groups.

Although we generally expect participants to be willing to learn, it
has to be mentioned that this pattern only works if the participants
really want to improve their skill and not just try to survive the
course with as little effort as possible, which is another learning
strategy. In order to make both learning strategies possible, and if
you have to grade the students’ effort, you should consider Key Ideas
Dominate Grading [EBS].
A problem with this pattern arises if people overrate themselves and
try exercises that are too difficult for them. Especially in a group,
a participant may be tempted to try a more difficult exercise because
his neighbor or friend has also tried a more difficult one. A
participant will sometimes have to admit that he must take a step
back. On the other hand also the opposite can happen, meaning that
some participants will choose to take the easy way out. In both cases
you are requested to be especially diplomatic when suggesting the more
appropriate exercise for the participant.
Let them Decide *
This pattern was originated by Astrid Fricke and Markus Voelter [VF].
The course provides some flexibility regarding its structure beyond
the interests of higher authorities. You want to consider the
students’ interests and needs in your course and want to learn
something about the students’ expectations in the course.

You want to take the participants specific interests into account, but
you are not completely sure about how to do this regarding the
contents, the schedule, or the methodology. Sometimes it is
impossible, to make these decisions in advance, because the exact
skills or interests of the participants are not known.

Therefore, involve the participants in the planning of the course, or
suggest some alternatives at the beginning of the course. This allows
the participants to shape the course. Involving the participants in
these important decisions makes the course more relevant to them.

For example, you could ask them about the scheduling of the breaks,
the most interesting examples or exercises, which they can select from
a set of possible alternatives or which topics they would like to see
covered in more detail.
In order of being more flexible with the content of the course, you
should develop it in terms of modules. Those modules should be shaped
around basic and more advanced topics. This will allow you to assemble
the course on the fly.
The down side is that providing a grade range of possibilities and
then only discussing a selected amount of them, might give the
participants the feeling that important things have been omitted. And
furthermore you don’t want to spend too much time for the discussion
among the participants for coming up with a consensus. You have to be
very sensitive if there are disagreements among the participants. You
should decide on the final strategy without giving the students the
feeling of being outvoted.
Write Over Read
This pattern was originated by Joseph Bergin.
You are trying to implement Active Student and are designing student
activities. You want that your students be Gaining Different
Perspectives [BEMW].

Reading is more passive than writing. Professionals in computer
science create things. They write. They write programs and more than
programs. Students, on the other hand, seldom like to write, though
they may like to program. Students need to practice writing, both
because it is a useful skill and because it forces them to be engaged
with the ideas.

Therefore prefer writing exercises over reading exercises. Make your
students write (and rewrite) programs, specifications, documentation,
proofs, explanations, etc.
It is best if the students publish what they write for example in a
Student Online Portfolio [EBS]. Work published online invites comments
and comments invite rewrites.
Use writing to engage students with their readings. Ask for summaries
of important material. Remember that Groups Work for this as well.
Published summaries of important topics encourage students to help
each other learn.

You should furthermore encourage your students to rewrite their
programs. Good advice is to ask students to rewrite any program that
they write at least once before they show it to anyone, including the
instructor. See, for example, the Elementary Coding Patterns [JB1].
Write Over Read is only one way of using Different Approaches. If you
want to take the different sensory modalities of your students more
into account, you should also consider to use e.g. Physical Analogy,
Role Playing or Reflection all in [BEMW]
Honor Questions **
This pattern was originated by Astrid Fricke and Markus Voelter [VF].
The course provides some flexibility regarding time. You want to
consider the students’ interests and problems with specific topics in
your course.

Some students are afraid of asking questions in front of the whole
group, because the question might make their problem with the topic
obvious, which might in turn be interpreted as weakness. However
questions show that the participant is interested in a topic or that
he needs a different explanation in order to fully understand the
topic.

Therefore, motivate the participants to ask questions, by ensuring
that there are no stupid question, but maybe stupid answers.
Make sure everybody understands that neither the teacher nor the
students can know everything, because Nobody is Perfect [VF]. Instead
each participant is full of valuable questions and answers. Always
honor questions more than bright answers and take every question
serious.

Craig Larman uses buzz groups to elicit questions. He gets the
students into small groups and gives them a very short time, e.g. 5
minutes, to come up with questions about the material that was
covered. A spokesperson asks the questions for the group. According to
his experience, this works even well when the culture discourages
questions.
A good way to motivate the participants to ask questions is to admit
your own missing skills. Although Nobody is Perfect [VF], it wouldn’t
be a good idea, if you would have severe deciciencies in the core of
the course’s subject. A less dangerous possibility is to reuse
questions from earlier courses and ask them yourself to get the ball
rolling. Or, Linda Rising’s perhaps more threatening strategy is by
saying if there were no questions—it must be time for a quiz.
Linda Rising and Joe Bergin often give prizes for questions, see also
Gold Star [EBS].
Invisible Teacher will further emphasize to Honor Questions.
You have to take into account, that posing questions might be
extremely difficult for introverted people. You might consider to pose
questions anonymously in written form. You might also want to take a
look at Introvert – Extrovert [JB2].
Groups Work **
This pattern was originated by Joseph Bergin.
You want to maximize student learning, Active Students, and encourage
the students to be responsible for each other's learning.

You are only one resource for the students. Given the number and
difficulty of student questions and concerns you are actually a rather
small resource. Your students need frequent feedback on what they do
and how they do it.

Therefore emphasize group work in your courses. Use both large and
small groups. Use both long lived (weeks) and short lived (minutes)
groups.
Groups can come together for a few minutes in a class to consider a
question posed by the teacher. They can work for an hour or two
together in or outside the classroom or lab. They can work in teams
for days and weeks on larger projects.

By assigning smaller and more intimate groups, it is more likely that
also shy people will have the courage to actively participate in
discussions, see Introvert-Extrovert [JB2]. Working in teams changes
the focus of the students and makes an Invisible Teacher possible.
See Student Design Sprint [EMWM] and Study Groups for different usages
in which teams are volatile and increase in size over the course of an
hour or so.
However, there is an important contraindication to the use of this
pattern. If many instructors use it for long-lived team projects, the
students may find themselves on many teams simultaneously. This can be
a heavy burden, due to the required team meetings implied by the use
of this pattern. The wise instructor will coordinate with other
instructors to avoid such conflicts.
Ref: Louise Moses (Mount Union College), Sally Fincher (University of
Kent at Canterbury) and James Caristi (Valpariso University). The name
of this pattern is due to them. "Teams Work" was the title of a panel
they presented at SIGCSE 2000.
Invisible Teacher **
This pattern was originated by Astrid Fricke and Markus Voelter [VF]
as Invisible Teacher and by Jutta Eckstein as Ask your Neighbor [JE].
The focus of the course is on learning and understanding not on
passing as much information on as possible. Therefore you decided to
emphasize Active Student.

Usually, the teacher is the central point of a training environment.
Often the students only trust the teacher and (maybe) themselves,
therefore, when students struggle, the obvious step is to ask the
teacher for help. However, in the work environment the teacher will
not be around.

Therefore, make the participants the focal point of the course. If a
problem occurs direct them to their peers, to ask them for help.
This re-direction could result in plainly asking their neighbors, or
in a tour through other teams. The students have to figure out what
the other teams are doing and discuss their problems with them, or ask
the other team how they dealt with this particular problem. This way
the experiences of all the participants are used as a rich resource
for learning.
You can establish this peer counseling also on a regular or/and
official basis, where you invite everybody to look at the work of her
peers. If the students do Groups Work, make sure that at least one
member - the presenter - of the team stays at the team's location. All
the other members of each team - the agents - wander around and ask
the other presenters to explain their team's solution. The agents are
allowed to ask any question, they can even bring up their problems, as
perhaps the other team has also had a discussion about this problem.

Peer counseling as described above is a technique used regularly at
the DesignFestTM at OOPSLA (www.oopsla.org). Where different teams
work on different and/or similar design problems.
Use the people who are grasping the topics faster as coaches for the
ones who need more time and have more difficulties.
This pattern is one of the core practices of Extreme Programming,
where the developers always implement in pairs.
Invisible Teacher may lead to a big group discussion. Be careful that
not all the time is spent discussing all the different opinions and
possibilities.
It is much harder to implement this pattern in countries where the
culture does not allow people to admit that they need help or where
the students are regarded as impolite if they admit that they do not
know the answer.
Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising developed Ask for Help in their
pattern language about Introducing New Ideas into Organizations [MR],
which suggests to look for people and resources to help your efforts,
because the task of introducing a new idea into an organization is a
big job.
A variant of Invisible Teacher is Peer Feedback [EBS].
Study Groups *
This pattern was originated by Joseph Bergin.
Your students have different study skills. You want to maximize
student learning, Active Students, and encourage the students to be
responsible for each other's learning.

Your best students may often be bored while the poorest struggle
constantly. You want to foster teamwork and have each member of the
team benefit from the experience.

Therefore form your students into study groups through Teacher Selects
Teams and guide them if necessary to find a strategy for accomplishing
the task. Make sure each study group member has tasks upon which the
other members depend. The task can be outlining topics and doing
outside research on a topic for presentation to the group. Team
members can build web pages with links to relevant resources on a
topic.

In some fields and at some universities study groups are the norm and
you may not have to do anything to have the students use them. Other
places you will need to form them and guide them. Written instructions
about how to proceed may help. So may in class activities.
In Medicine, groups of students form "journal clubs" in which they
each keep a journal of what they learn and share these with other
members of the group. (Thanks to Ron Frank of Pace University for this
reference).
If you have to grade the work of the Study Groups make sure to use
Fair Team Grading [EBS].
There is a complete Pattern Language for Study Groups developed by
Joshua Kerievsky [JK]. Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising developed the
Study Group pattern in their pattern language about Introducing New
Ideas into Organizations [MR] for forming a small group of colleagues,
who are interested in a specific topic to learn about it or for those
already familiar with it, to continue learning.
Teacher selects Teams *
This pattern was originated by Jeanine Meyer as Assigning and Grading
(short) Team Projects [JM].
You want to set a short team project, for example one that lasts
between one class session and three weeks. You want the teams to
reflect the diversity of its members.

When left to choose teams themselves, students will tend to stick
always with the same people. The are people, who are either the ones
they like and know, or the ones, who are similar to them, in terms of
gender, age, ethnic background, skill level etc. But sticking with the
same people slows down the learning ratio, because there is neither a
lot of controversy discussion going on, nor does this environment
allow new ideas to come up. It is more advantageous and more realistic
to have a mixture of people in one team.

Therefore, you choose the teams.
For class work sessions the group assignments must be done on the
spot, and counting off numbers or pulling names from a hat will work.
For example, you can use a random number generator approach to assign
students to teams, e.g. if you want four teams, then go around the
room counting 1, 2, 3, 4, pointing to students as you go. All students
assigned the number 1 will be in one team, those with number two in
another and so on. For longer projects you may want to ensure a
balance of skills, so make sure that students at the extreme ends of
the scale are assigned to teams evenly. For this non-random situation
you need to work on assignments before the class.

This pattern has been used for a group project to produce web pages as
part of an introductory computer information systems class, a group
programming project and a group database design project.
You have to be aware that when you are choosing the team, some people
might not be happy with your choice. One of the reasons could be that
those people just would prefer to be with their friends, or that they
don’t like the team mates you have chosen. You should use Fair Team
Grading [EBS] to eliminate the fear of some people, who might believe
that they have to compensate for the lack of abilities of their
(poorer) teammates. Although all of these reasons reflect reality, you
should carefully choose the teams.
Adopt-An-Artifact *
This pattern was originated by Fernando Brieto e Abreu’s Peer Review
and Corrective Maintenance [FBA] pattern.
Feedback for some artifacts is available. It was received for example
via Peer Feedback [EBS] or otherwise.

Outside the training environment people seldom have the chance to
develop something from scratch. More often it is required that they
maintain either their own artifacts or artifacts produced by other
people. However the training environment rarely takes this into
account.
Students typically develop an artifact by themselves. This requires a
complete understanding of the artifact’s domain. However, because the
students are human, they try to solve all problems in a similar way,
using their individual thinking or problem solving process. But a lot
can be learned by understanding an artifact produced by somebody else.

Therefore ask the students to improve and extend artifacts from their
peers. In order to do so, they have to comprehend the way in which
their assigned peers have approached their task.
Instead of incorporating the feedback in her own artifact, the student
has to make these corrections and extensions to the artifact of her
peer.
If the artifact was produced by a group of students, the whole team
will now work on an artifact of a different team. If the artifact is
rather complex you might consider that an agent from the producer team
will support the maintenance team. The agent can provide valuable
insights to the complex artifact.

The students will learn by understanding the artifact of their peers.
They will have to gain a deep insight in order to be able to improve
the artifact.
If the feedback was obtained via Peer Feedback [EBS] you could either
ask the review team to incorporate their feedback by themselves, or
you can hand the artifact as well as the feedback over to a completely
different team.
For example this pattern language in progress is developed this way.
Most of the patterns are written by authors who have moved on to other
areas of interest. The whole pedagogical patterns community provides
feedback to the patterns, which are then in turn incorporated by the
reviser.
A variation of Adopt-an-Artifact, is maintaining your own artifact.
Because a lot can also be learned by understanding an artifact
produced by yourself a while ago. (Thanks to Linda Rising for this
reference.)
If you can’t find an artifact, which is produced during your current
course, you should consider using an artifact, which has been produced
in another course.
Mission Impossible [EMWM] could be used to further help the students
change their accustomed problem solving process.
You can use Real World Experience as the basis for Adopt-an-Artifact
to give the students the real feel for the work place.
Real World Experience *
This pattern was originated by Ghinwa Jalloul as the Academic to
Industrial Project Link [GJ] pattern.
You are teaching a course, which concepts can directly be applied
outside the training environment.

A lot of concepts are too abstract for students to conceive their
value. And even worse students often doubt the viability of these
concepts. Assigned problems or lab projects help to make those
abstract concepts more concrete. However restricting students to lab
environments deprive them of exercising the issues in their rightful
habitation – namely the work place.

Therefore involve the students in real world situations, by inviting
them to accomplish a project in a real world environment.
Involving a domain interest allows the students to experience the real
project life, from the time pressure of a deadline to the pride of
demonstrating the result.

Inviting the students to work in teams elucidates issues related to
teamwork and provides them the possibility to reach a complete
product.
The originator of the pattern, Ghinwa Jalloul lets the students choose
a project from any domain of interest. Furthermore is it the teams’
responsibility to find a person, who is willing to act as the domain
expert. In her experience the best domain expert is the person, who is
interested in reaching a complete software product. Because only then
will he be willing to invest the necessary time and provide the
feedback.
If you need to grade this effort, you might want to consider using
Fair Team Grading [EBS].
Finding a domain expert, who is willing to offer his time, is as
difficult as finding a project of the right size and the appropriate
focus.
Acknowledgement
===============
We thank all those who have contributed to the Pedagogical Patterns
project, especially the authors of the patterns we have revised and
incorporated into this paper. We also thank especially our PLoP 2002
shepherd, Linda Rising, for providing us new insights, which helped a
lot to further improve the paper.
Thumbnails
==========
The following patterns are not part of this language, but they are
referred to by one or more patterns above.
Different Approaches [BEMW]
Every person obtains information differently, using different sensory
modalities.  Some people, the visuals, learn most effective by
watching; the auditories, by listening; and the kinesthetics, through
action.
Therefore, provide different approaches to the same topic. Accept
different learning styles by addressing various sensory modalities.
Explain it Yourself [EBS]
Because topics are complex, the students may be able to repeat
definitions and other material verbatim without real understanding.
They might also not be able to extract the key ideas from the
supporting material.
Therefore, invite the students to express the key ideas using their
own words. If a student uses her own words you will be better able to
judge the level of real understanding.
Explore for Yourself [BEMW]
A person’s success is based mainly on her ability to learn new
concepts efficiently and to act as a team player by sharing knowledge
and insights. You want to give your students the ability to learn in
the future and to communicate their wisdom, but students are often
afraid of taking responsibility for their own learning.
Therefore, assign topics to the students that they have to learn on
their own and ask them to present the topic afterwards. It is helpful
to provide hints for resources related to the topic.
Fair Team Grading [EBS]
The grade of the individual depends on the work of the team. Different
people contribute differently to the work of the team. You need to
make the grading fair to the whole team and to each individual.
Therefore, base part of the grade on the team product, but part of it
on individual contributions.
Introvert-EXTROVERT [JB2]
You may consider yourself to be shy and introverted. You would rather
work at your desk or in your cubicle than attend meetings and give
presentations. But, the requirements of a technical position often
require you to communicate in groups. You have ideas that you know
should be implemented, but you dread having to speak up forcefully and
to demonstrate why your own ideas are superior to other ideas on the
table.
Therefore, teach yourself to play a role in which an observer thinks
you are extroverted, bold, and outgoing. Teach yourself to recognize
the situations in which this role is appropriate and to then gather
your resources and turn the role on.
Key Ideas Dominate GRADING [EBS]
If your grading scheme weights material according to its difficulty,
or gives equal weight to all topics, you may be giving students the
wrong impression about which topics are key.
Therefore, the key ideas, not necessarily the hardest material, should
be worth the most points in your grading.
Mission Impossible [EMWM]
Often new learners arrive at an abstraction not via generalization
from a deeper understanding but from a simplification of something
they do not yet understand. Such simplistic truths are dangerous,
because they lead learners to construct simplistic solutions that do
not really solve problems. Worse, the learners‘ lack of experience
prevents them from recognizing the shortcomings in their thinking.
Therefore, present the learner with a problem that seems
straightforward to solve but whose complete solution requires a much
deeper understanding than the basic concepts afford.
Peer Feedback [EBS]
Typically people assume that learning involves receiving feedback, but
this approach is a rather reactive way of learning and ignores the
fact that students are knowledgeable too. However, the students are
often not confident about the relevance of their experience and
furthermore unsure about the value of their own knowledge.
Therefore, invite the students to evaluate the artifacts of their
peers. The students will provide feedback to their peers by drawing on
their own experience.
Physical Analogy [BEMW]
You are trying to help learners understand the dynamic qualities in a
rather abstract concept. You have provided an overview of the concept,
and now would like to help students visualize how it works. While it
is rather easy for learners to comprehend concepts that are concrete
because they are easy to visualize, it is not as easy to do this with
abstract concepts.
Therefore, illustrate the dynamic properties of the abstract concept
in a concrete way. Create a physical analogy with the use of visual
things such as inanimate objects or people and/or memorable things
such as colorful scenarios.
Reflection [BEMW]
Sometimes, learners believe that the trainer has to deliver all the
knowledge, but the students would learn much more if they would
explore problems by themselves. Furthermore, students often anticipate
that an instructor will solve each and every problem for them, but the
knowledge of the instructor is also limited. You want the students to
uncover solutions for complex problems by drawing on their own
experience rather than just letting them accept what they have learned
by listening.
Therefore, provide an environment that allows discovering and not one
which is limited to answering questions. It is the students’ debt of
delivery or of inquiry. Train students so that they are searching for
solutions by exploring the problem.
Role Playing [BEMW]
The complexity of some concepts makes them hard to understand with
only abstract explanations. Furthermore, difficulties in understanding
complex concepts may frustrate the students. You not only would like
to provide a positive learning environment, so even learning complex
topics might be fun, but you also want to take into account that
different people learn things best using different sensory modalities.
Therefore, invite your students to behave as a part of the concept
involved in a role-play. Every student plays one part of the concept
to get a deeper knowledge for its underlying structure. Students see
how the different parts of the concepts are all working together to
solve a bigger problem.
Self Test [EBS]
If your students don’t understand what you have presented, they have a
poor basis for moving forward. If you don’t understand what they
really know, you have a poor basis for designing the next part of the
lecture series.
Therefore let the students apply the theory by answering a self-test
after they have heard the theory once before revisiting the theory
another time or moving on to the next key ideas.
Student Design Sprint [EMWM]
Students need to practice design at all levels. They also need quick
feedback and peer review on early attempts. We eventually need to
teach system design, but beginners need program design as well. If we
don't teach it then students will develop their own ad-hoc techniques
that may reinforce bad habits.
Therefore, use some variation of the following highly structured
activity. This activity can take place in a seminar, classroom, or in
a lab.
Divide the students into groups of two (or three). Give them a design
problem and ask the teams to produce a design outline in 15-20
minutes. There should be a written sketch of the design in that time,
perhaps with CRC cards if it is an object design. The instructor can
look over shoulders and comment or not, but few hints should be given.
Questions should be answered freely.
Student Online Portfolio [EBS]
Your students need feedback from others as well as yourself. They can
get excellent feedback from their peers if you can make it easy to
obtain. There isn’t always an obvious way to make this happen.
Therefore provide a means for students to publish their best work,
perhaps on the web. The more public this can be, the better it is.
Test Tube [BEMW]
When students encounter holes in their knowledge, we would like for
them to seek out an answer. Unfortunately, students often resort
immediately to the “easy fix” of asking an authority for the answer.
We want students to ask questions, but sometimes they have available
to them more effective ways to gain knowledge that they never
consider.
Therefore, give the students exercises in which they are asked to
write small programs that us the computer to answer simple questions
of the form “What happens if …?”. Make these exercises frequent enough
that students develop the habit of probing the machine for what it
does, rather than asking a question or seeking out documentation.
Try it Yourself [EBS]
You often have a difficult time knowing the degree of task competency
during the presentation of a topic. Additionally students usually
believe they understood the topic, but this is often only true in
theory. As soon as they have to accomplish a task that is based on
this new topic they realize their lack of understanding.
Therefore, take a break in the presentation and ask the students to
perform an exercise that requires them to understand the new topic.
Since the exercise is inline it will provide immediate feedback to the
student as well as let you see the state of understanding of your
class.
References
==========
BEMW
Joseph Bergin, Jutta Eckstein, Mary Lynn Manns, Eugene Wallingford.
Patterns for Gaining Different Perspectives, Proceedings of PLoP 2001.
Bus96
Buschmann, F., Meunier, R., Rohnert, H., Sommerlad, P., Stal, M.
(1996). Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture: A System of Patterns.
Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
EBS
Jutta Eckstein, Joseph Bergin, Helen Sharp. Feedback Patterns.
Proceedings of EuroPLoP 2002.
EMWM
Jutta Eckstein, Mary Lynn Manns, Eugene Wallingford, Klaus Marquardt.
Patterns for Experiential Learning, Proceedings of EuroPLoP 2001.
FBA
Fernando Brieto e Abreu, Peer Review and Corrective Maintenance,
http://sol.info.unlp.edu.ar/ppp/pp14.htm
Fow97
Fowler, Martin (1997). Analysis Patterns. Reusable Object Models.
Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Longman, Inc.
GJ
Ghinwa Jalloul, Academic to Industrial Project Link,
http://sol.info.unlp.edu.ar/ppp/pp48.htm
JB1
Joseph Bergin. Elementary Coding Patterns,
http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/patterns/codingpatterns.html
JB2
Joseph Bergin, Introvert – Extrovert,
http://csis.pace.edu/~bergin/patterns/introvertExtrovert.html
JE
Jutta Eckstein, Learning to Teach – Learning to Learn. Running a
course, Proceedings of EuroPLoP 2000, UKV Konstanz, 2001.
JK
Joshua Kerievsky. Pattern Language on Study Groups,
http://industriallogic.com/papers/kh.html
JM
Jeanine Meyer, Assigning and Grading (short) Team Projects,
http://sol.info.unlp.edu.ar/ppp/pp41.htm
MR
Mary Lynn Manns, Linda Rising, Introducing New Ideas into
Organizations,
http://www.cs.unca.edu/~manns/intropatterns.html
PPP
Pedagogical Patterns Project Home: www.pedagogicalpatterns.org
VF
Markus Voelter, Astrid Fricke, SEMINARS,
http://www.voelter.de/seminars
Web59
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. (1959). G & C Merriam Co.