The Open University’s annual Innovating Pedagogy report is out, this time in collaboration with the Learning In a NetworKed Society (LINKS) Israeli Center of Research Excellence (I-CORE). It’s the sixth year we’ve done one (well done to Rebecca Ferguson and Mike Sharples on pushing this through). When we started the intention was to make it distinct from the NMC New Horizon reports by focusing on pedagogy. I think, to be honest, in those early ones there was probably a technology focus still, but as it’s progressed it has really moved away from this to more pedagogy, socially focused issues.
I’d also add I’ve found it increasingly useful as a resource. I’m occasionally asked to contribute something on current developments in ed tech, and I use the IP reports as a good starting point. Basically, they allow you to sound very knowledgeable, and impress people.
The ten trends covered this year are as follows (you can guess which one I contributed). The Times Higher take is here.
Based on research into brain activity and human learning, this involves teaching in short blocks with breaks between them. This fast-paced approach has been tested, showing that 90 minutes of spaced learning could have the same outcomes as months of study.
Learners making science
Experiencing how science is made can enhance skills and develop critical thinking. Taking part in crowdsourced activities and participating in citizen science projects have the potential to change how young people think and act in relation to their surroundings.
Initially established to reduce costs (HE books can account for a quarter of a student’s expenses), Open Textbooks are a form of Open Educational Resource, providing adaptable content which students can add to and edit.
Navigating post-truth societies
New information sources diversify the information available but have created new challenges as people make daily decisions about where to get information and who to trust. Taking account of this in the curriculum helps people evaluate information, reflect on their own assumptions and seek a diversity of knowledge to cut through ‘fake news’.
Projects such as ‘Humans of New York’ show the value of constructive contact between people from various cultural backgrounds. New approaches use technology and gaming to develop empathy with people from different groups.
Fast-developing technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality offer learners opportunities to immerse themselves in situations that would be difficult, dangerous or impossible in everyday life. Learning in this way can be engaging, stimulating and memorable for learners.
Moving away from teachers and institutions using analytics to help students, this trend focuses on analytics helping learners to specify their own goals and ambitions. Particularly useful for those with limited study time, this approach puts learners in control and allows them to, for example, shift their goals and priorities or request feedback.
In today’s data-driven world, students need to learn to work and think with data from an early age so they are well prepared with the skills society needs. To do this, they need opportunities that encourage them to be active in exploring data, managing and analysing it.
Learning with internal values
People are motivated to learn when they have important questions to answer or problems to address. When learning is linked to goals that learners value, they take ownership of their work and put in the effort needed.
Humanistic knowledge-building communities
This unites two approaches to learning, encouraging students to be creative and open to experience as well as willing to work together to develop new ideas and knowledge.