19 May - CRLI Workshop: How to develop and assess students' competences for group learning and team work
Convenor: Prof. Peter Reimann, CRLI
Communication and collaboration competences are mentioned prominently amongst the graduate attributes of the University of Sydney, they are also listed as essential skills on job descriptions world-wide. However, how to systematically develop such competences remains largely unspecified, and how to assess them is a matter of wide-spread and contentious discussion.
In this workshop, instead of providing ready-made solutions that can be too generic to be directly applied to discipline-specific teaching, we aim to collectively develop a number of educational design patterns. These patterns will provide answers to two guiding questions: (i) how to develop collaboration competences, and (ii) how to assess them for formative purposes -providing students with feedback. As first suggested in architecture (Alexander, 1979), a pattern describes an effective solution to a recurrent problem embedded in a specific context. In education, where solutions take the form of learning designs, we speak of pedagogical design patterns and of assessment design patterns.
We are proposing design patterns as an appropriate means not only for documenting current teaching and assessment practices, but also as the basis for initiating and sustaining a process of continuous improvement and innovation. Patterns are descriptive and they have the potential to guide knowledgeable action. In order to achieve these aims they need to be developed in a participatory manner involving all stakeholders, so as to capture multiple areas of expertise that can lead to the development of new practices. To this end, after the workshop, we will provide an online platform where the patterns we develop will be made available for further refinement.
Teaching staff—with an interest in developing graduate attributes in the areas of collaboration, communication and leadership—will benefit from participating in this workshop.