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Achieving Harmony: Tuning into Practice
Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.11 - 'You learn no matter what happens': Approaches to harmonizing assessment of situated learning with discipline practice and situational realities

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In situated learning scenarios student learning opportunities arise in unexpected ways. In such cases, learning objectives, assessment, evaluation, course organization and teaching strategies do not follow traditional models. The challenge for educators is to identify and capitalize on these opportunities while harmonizing assessment and evaluation with learning objectives and a changing context. Our curriculum includes industry-sponsored project courses in Information Technology that give students the opportunity to solve real-life problems in a discipline-specific manner. These courses are offered to large classes of 100+ students organized in teams of four with each team assigned an industry client who outlines a project, and a faculty supervisor who provides assessment, evaluation and practical guidance. Several theories apply: situated learning theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991; McLellan, 1995), experiential learning theory (Kolb, 1984), and elements of problem- and project-based learning. Course learning objectives are the same for all students and must be assessed and evaluated fairly despite changing situational realities as we deal with a significant degree of variability in many aspects including the level of technical difficulty, project-specific requirements and supervision. Students and participants in course delivery (i.e., instructor, supervisors and clients) play discipline-specific roles. Besides innovation in course organization and teaching strategies, we developed a high-level formative assessment marking schema with components that supervisors adapt as required. Participants will learn about our innovative solution and how this model could be adapted and applied to their specific discipline. This roundtable would be most interesting to instructors of courses with practical components and curriculum developers.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Kolb, D. A. (1984) Experiential Learning, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

McLellan, H. (1995). Situated learning perspectives. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.



Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm
Bayshore Salon ABC

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