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Supporting learners in transitions

February 14th, 2010 by Graham Attwell

I’ve been thinking about educational transitions today. this is part of the European funded G8WAY project which aims to use social software to support learners in transitions. In particular the project aims to focus on three transitions – from school to work, from school to higher education and from higher education to work. and being a well designed project, the first phase involves the elaboration of a pedagogic framework for the project.

This – I think – needs to link a number of things. Firstly we have to look at what are the issues in transitions, secondly look at different pedagogic approaches to supporting learners n those transitions and thirdly find a way of linking social software tools or rather the affordable of different social software tools to different activities which could be included in a pedagogical approach. Not so easy. I have just finished reading a two papers by Grainne Conole which have an interesting take on developing models for this kind of work although I am not sure how they can be used in practice, Mapping pedagogy and tools for effective learning design – cowritten with M. Dyke, Martin Oliver and J. Seale puts forward a model “that supports the development of pedagogically driven approaches to learning. Grainne follows this up in a more recent paper called ‘New Schemas for Mapping Pedagogies and technologies. In this paper she looks at Web 2.0 and argues that “the current complexity of the digital environment requires us to develop ‘schema’ or approaches to thinking about how we can best harness the benefits these new technologies confer.”

I will return to these models and schema in a post later this week.

in this post I want to briefly brainstorm the issues in transitions for learners – both as notes for myself and also in the hope that readers may be able to point be in the right direction or suggest things I have missed.

School to Work Transition

  • change from school based subjects to work based applied competence
  • change from school based class organisation to team or hierarchical work based organisation
  • increased responsibility for own work
  • increased responsibility for own learning
  • different forms of work based learning
  • may have to deal with customers or members of other work organisations
  • may have to follow quality processes and procedures
  • different forms of assessment of learning and /or performance
  • different ways of reporting on work and achievements
  • changes in identity (school student to worker)
  • different social groups 0 integration in work community and / or communities of practice
  • increased informal elarning

School to university transition

  • Different forms of subject organisation
  • different forms of time organisation – with increased responsibility for own time management
  • different forms of assessment
  • greatly increased responsibility for own work
  • frequently accompanied by leaving home – having to organise own life (financial management)
  • different forms of study
  • need to manage own time
  • need to select course modules (learning pathway) and consider post university career
  • new learning tools (increased use of technology)
  • new identity as student
  • different social groups integration in student community

University to work transition (largely same as school to work transition)

  • change from university based subjects to work based applied competence
  • change from university based faculty organisation to team or hierarchical work based organisation
  • increased responsibility for own work
  • increased responsibility for own learning
  • different forms of work based learning
  • may have to deal with customers or members of other work organisations
  • may have to follow quality processes and procedures
  • different forms of assessment of learning and /or performance
  • different ways of reporting on work and achievements
  • changes in identity (student to worker)
  • different social groups 0 integration in work community and / or communities of practice
  • responsibility for planning own professional development and career progression
  • increased informal learning

Can anyone add to these lists?

2 Responses to “Supporting learners in transitions”

  1. There is probably another list of FE to HE (which overlaps with School to HE)?

    In school to HE I was interested to see ‘increased use of technology’. Obviously there will be a lot of variation but my general perception was there is better use of technology at schools than most HEIs?

    Some additional transitioning to university could be:
    Scale (classes are bigger, concepts are bigger)
    Lack of personalisation
    Greater requirement to critically reflect

  2. Leia Fee says:

    I’d add an extra feature to the education–>work transition:

    Changing definition of “finished”.

    It comes as something of a culture shock to a lot of our learners that a poor piece of work gets handed back to them to do again, instead of just “getting a bad mark” but being accepted as “done” anyway.

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