Collaborative Observation On-Line (COOL): Addressing under-exploitation of the potential of Technology Supported Learning (TSL)
0085 ALTC 2009 Shirley Bennett, Patrick Lynch, Sue Lee
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24 August 2009
ALT-C 2009 Session: This Cloud has been set up to aggregate live blogs, comments, discussion and links for this session.
The session was led by Shirley Bennett, Patrick Lynch (both of Hull University) and Sue Lee from the University of Staffordshire. The aims of the session were to provide an opportunity for us to discuss the processes developed by Hull University and the University of Staffordshire in supporting peer observation, especially of on-line learning and teaching. My notes of this session:
The team defined peer mentoring as:
- a 2 -way process
- a quality assurance process
- minimum of once a year
- negotiated contract
They used Gosling (2002) Models of Peer Observation in Teaching and Learning to frame their work, arguing that the Peer Review model was the most appropriate. I was particularly interested in their identification of the power distributions in each of these models:
Evaluation (or Management) Model Power one way
Development Model Expertise one way
Peer Review Model Equality/ mutuality, 2-way dialogue for learning
They referered to MaMahon, Barrett and O'Neill who argue that a key factor in 'differentiatiating systems of third-party observation is whether or not the person being observed has full control over what happens to information about the observation' (2007:505) and refered to their 7 principles or criteria for what the observee should have control over:
- Choice of observer
- Focus of observation
- Form of feedback
- Information flow
- Future action
The team used a variation of the think-pair-share activity structure. The first activity was aimed at setting the broad focus and asked us to first work alone on, and then share with one other person, the following question:
1. Define your goals in your use of the VLE to support students learning. Are they being achieved?
We were then asked to define an area of personal focus:
2. Are there aspects of the online materials and/ or site design that you would like to investigate or reflect on further?
We then worked in a small group to identify the challenges/ opportunities that Collaborative Observation On-line (COOL) presents.
We shared our small group discussions with the whole group and the team summarised these. In doing so they suggested a further model of peer observation the 'Apprenticeship' model which seemed to me to take us back to something closer to the 'Development' model identified by Gosling but with a clearer contract negotiated (around the 7 points highlighted by McMahon) to help overcome power inequalities of an expert/ inexpert collaboration.
13:55 on 14 September 2009 (Edited 10:32 on 21 September 2009)