END-GAME: GOOD BEGINNINGS ARE NOT THE ONLY MEASURE OF SUCCESS

Ryan, Tony and Higgs, Bettie and Kilcommins, Shane (2010) END-GAME: GOOD BEGINNINGS ARE NOT THE ONLY MEASURE OF SUCCESS. In: Making Connections: Intentional Teaching for Integrative Learning. .

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Making Connections Intentional Teaching for Integrative Learning.pdf

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Abstract

The Irish Integrative Learning Project (IILP) was developed as a NAIRTL-funded, multi-institutional,  multi-disciplinary research project to promote small-scale initiatives that foster integrative learning  in higher education institutions in Ireland. One of the aims of the project was the development of  a learning community of integrative teachers who would investigate and document examples of  integrative learning in higher education, and produce clear and practical resources for all teachers.  The specific objectives of the IILP were to identify whether integrative learning was taking place in our campuses and to document examples of programmes/courses/activities that are designed intentionally to build students' capacity to be integrative thinkers and learners. In addition, as project leaders, we wanted to further develop curricular and pedagogic resources to help other  teachers bring the theory and practice of integrative learning into their classrooms and communities.  We wanted to grow the integrative learning educational capacity, nationally and internationally, through high quality, research-focused teaching initiatives that could act as stimuli for further  understandings of integrative learning. Finally, we were conscious from the outset, of the need for systematic, reliable and relevant data collection that would allow us to describe, share, discuss and  disseminate during the design, planning, implementation, evaluation and reporting stages of the project. In this concluding chapter, we ask whether we have achieved our aims.    The Outcomes Logic Model (OLM) was developed by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (2001) to serve as a  platform for systematic ways of presenting a planned programme with its underlying assumptions and  theoretical framework. In this era of scientific education, research funding bodies are demanding  evermore transparency and accountability, in addition to evidence of effectiveness and efficiency and  good educational practices. For these reasons, we used the OLM to provide a structured, systematic approach to developing, implementing and evaluating the IILP.    At our inaugural meeting, we used the OLM framework to clarify our objectives, and guide  participants through the structure and purpose of the project. At subsequent meetings, it was used to document to what extent proposed outcomes had been achieved. Our OLM table consisted of five  columns (Table 1), derived from three broad themes: Antecedents (the Context, Stakeholders and  Resources of the project); Process (the Activities needed to implement the project) and Evaluation (the Outputs, Outcomes and Impacts of the project).    In the first column of the OLM table we explored and deliberated on our understandings and shared  meanings of the concepts of integrative learning. We decided what the project was intended to  deliver and what impact, in the long term, it is intended to create. We were aware of the importance  of having a priori measurable research outcomes for the IILP. We revisited the OLM framework  regularly, to ensure we were on target. Time and again we reminded ourselves of the need to collect data and to distinguish between outputs, outcomes and impact.    The OLM encouraged us to frequently clarify the objectives of the project: what exactly we were  trying to achieve and how we could measure the impact. We used our collaborators' workshops to build a shared meaning of integrative learning as a theoretical concept, to list the key attributes  of an integrative learner, and to explore the implications and potential practical frameworks for  curriculum design. This allowed us to discuss and collate the proposed disciplinary research projects, to identify meaningful and measurable outcomes and to establish timelines.  We noted that integrative learning involves a curriculum design and delivery approach that  is intended to have participants fully engaged in practical and breakthrough learning that  sticks, and engages the body, mind, heart, and spirit of the learners. It comes in many varieties: connecting skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences; applying  theory to practice in various settings; uti

Item Type: Book Section
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 18:10
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2015 07:46
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3648

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