David Kennedy:Creating learning environments that are both teacher and student centred, simultaneously: Opportunities and issues

David Kennedy invited speaker ALT-C 2009

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Rebecca Galley
14 September 2009

The presentation examined an outcomes based approach to learning design

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David Kennedy began by introducing the University of Hong Kong. He described the University's culture as being highly didactic, with successful students having come through a extremely competitive selection process. Students come to the university with only face to face learning experiences. He described the cultural empasis as being on:

  • Critical thinking
  • Real problem solving
  • Whole person development
  • Communication - local and global
  • Language (particularly in Hong-Kong where the government push is towards tri-linguality)
  • Transforming information into knowledge
  • Being self-organised, engaged and passionate.

The Biggs model of curriculum design is primarily used:

  • outcomes based approach
  • aligned outcomes, activities and assessment
  • articulated criteria for success

It was noted that learning trechnologies provide opportunities but are highly disparate. Things to consider are:

  • Learning tasks (active authentic learning)
  • Learning resources
  • Learning support

David Kennedy outlined a survey he had conducted where the technological activity of 2007/08 Hong Kong students was compared to the activity of a group of Melbourne students. It was discovered that the Hong Kong students used technology a great deal in comparison to the Austrailian students but did not find it useful in their learning.

When developing his VLE Kennedy looked at Moodle which he defined as teacher centred and controlled, and Mahara  which is student centred and controlled and chose to combine the two (with a single sign-in) This allowed for both teacher control and student ownership.

Primary issue identified as the student transition from social blogging to academic blogging. We need to provide frameworks and skills instruction to support this transition. Moving from social context to learning context is a challenging shift to make but is very important.

Rebecca Galley
08:25 on 15 September 2009

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Gráinne Conole
6:11am 15 September 2009


I know David, he is doing a range of really interesing projects include work on mobile learning and exploration of students use of technology using the survey that Gregor Kennedy and colleagues in Melbourne produced. Interesting evidence cutlural differences between Hong Kong students and those in Oz.

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