Sunday, 04 February 2018 16:19

801 - Concept Maps - Feedback

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W2018 GDPI-PME 801-002 Collaborative Inquiry
Module 1: Collaborative Inquiry Core Concepts - Our Concepts Maps

In order to give you a broader perspective on your work, I have copied and edited all of my feedback to all students on this topic. I have grouped the comments into those focused mainly on the maps, those focused on the burning questions, and those of a more general nature. I have removed all identifying comments, and removed those that might be somewhat repetitive, or a bit vague since they are separated from the posts to which they respond.

Comments about Maps:

I like the map but I am wondering if there is more of a process to the map? For example, you have inquiry and problem solving on opposite sides. Is there a connection between the two? Is there a sequence?

I wonder if you can distinguish on your map between nodes that are titular and nodes that are explanatory?

I do like Prezi and this allows the presentation to take on a sequential feature as well as provide an overall view. I would challenge you to think about your sequence and see if you think there might be a more logical sequence, even though we are talking about open-ended systems and ill-structured domains

Also, just because the problem is ill-structured doesn't mean we can't apply some well-structured problem-solving techniques to it. This is where the idea of 'emergence' comes in (Nijs, 2015).

I like the hierarchical approach as it gives a clear idea of the two sides of the question - collaboration and inquiry / problem solving. I wonder if the logical conclusion of this is a solution at the bottom? I did think that as I was working through the map that perhaps a lot of our inquiry and problem solving is not so linear as may think and you map helps to highlight that.

I was interested to see a node on ISD versus WSD as a continuum. Do you think that? Can you elaborate on at what point a WSD becomes an ISD?

I do agree that we are continually collaborating and inquiring, but I also think that we need to produce results. At some point, we need to provide an answer to the inquiry, whether it is as a student producing a project, a teacher producing a lesson plan, or a faculty member producing a curriculum document. 


Comments about Burning Questions

Some other students have asked a very similar question. I recommend you track them down and form a group for the next section of the course.

I like your burning question as it leads to an interesting discussion I am having with my medical students. How do they manage their studies and determine when they 'know enough' and when do they need to dig deeper. In medicine, everyone outside of a family doctor / GP is a specialist.

Your burning question might be answered by the SPARK (Self and Peer Assessment Review) tool out of the University of Sydney. I saw it used to great effect when I worked at Western Sydney University.

http://sparkplus.com.au/how.php#toc--stages-of-implementation

How do we evaluate an open-ended project or a student-directed inquiry if we start with the student's project or question and not with our own question?

I like your burning question! I might wonder if it is ever too early to introduce collaborative inquiry. If you have ever watched Ken Robinson's video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY he suggests that we train students out of creativity. Perhaps if they started with ill-structured domains, and problems, they might retain more of their innate creativity.

Your questions are posed in the negative. From an appreciative inquiry POV, I challenge you to change these questions to frame what you want to see, not what you do not want to see.

I really loved your first burning question about applying these concepts from K-12 and beyond. I have found that some of the very same strategies I have used and seen used with 5 year-olds work very well with university students. The idea of making thinking visible and getting people to put their thoughts on paper is one common strategy.

For your question, I wonder if you might be able to think about the commonalities in strategies between the age levels in terms of collaborative inquiry? That would be highly practical and very useful to teachers at all levels.

With your question, my immediate response was to ask the participants. What are their goals and what are commonalities in their goals. Groups comprised of the three professions might provide an answer? In adult learning, we need to make the purpose of the learning clear, however I wonder if the participants, as adults, bring their own motivation? Is that too simplistic?

I think there is a need to draw upon some principles of adult learning in this context. Are you familiar with the general principles?

I see you have a question about motivation. Do you find yourself struggling with this issue? I wonder if students get used to working on well-structured problems and then become bored with the patterns of solving such problems?


General Comments

Don't forget that the facilitator's framework is really just one model. However, it loosely follows any good research format - Question, methods, data, answer.

I like the notion of "meeting kids where they are at". I like to temper this with "getting them where they need to be". How do you balance this with such things as student-led inquiry and, individual needs and similar approaches?

I would argue that from an appreciative inquiry perspective, collaborative inquiry doesn't necessarily fail if we do not get an answer. We would know that we need to look further afield, but is that failure? I do not agree that we cannot fail, but I do think we need to be careful about what constitutes failure. This might be a matter of semantics, but I think it is important to frame that point carefully with our students.

You state, "Teaching kids to create through process". I have commented to others the question of how do we balance process and product? In elementary levels (K-8 for example), do we need to focus much more on process?

I am a huge advocate of technology but not until we know what we need to do. Then we find the tech tools to help us do it. Of course, sometimes a great tool can open up avenues that we did not know would be possible.

One quote notes that problem solvers must believe that they can solve the problem. This is true, but perhaps not unlike Vygotsky's ZPD - we need to be 'close' to the knowledge we are learning to fit it to our schema. I would add then that the problem solvers also need to see the value in solving the problem.

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Dr. Paul Leslie

Associate of Taos Institute: http://www.taosinstitute.net/

Education is a Community Affair. 

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www.paulleslie.net