Greer, Jim and Órla, Slattery. (2010) MULTI-DISCIPINARY GRADUATE EDUCATION AT TYNDALL. [Conference Proceedings]


his paper uses insights from the literature on threshold concepts to develop a structure for understanding teaching and learning in the area of managing product development. The paper defines the threshold concept, outlines pedagogic principles and describes learning activities that seek to enact these principles. The paper is based upon experience of an established final-year university undergraduate course. It links subject theory to teaching principles and to learning activities with a view to provoking reflection on curriculum and the art of our teaching in this area.A threshold concept has been described as a gateway or portal through which the learner must pass to arrive at thinking in a new or different way about something. Learning how to ‘think’ in a particular discipline, or how to perceive or experience particular phenomena within that discipline can represent a transformed internal view of the subject matter, subject landscape, or even a world view without which the learner can not progress. University graduates need to be able to deal with non-linearity, emergence and self organization as new product development management practice continues to move toward a multi-functional and cross-disciplinary focus. The ability to practice with the benefit of an embedded threshold concept of product development as a complex adaptive system integrates a way of thinking and operates at a high level of abstraction. From a pedagogical perspective, a threshold concept has potential to encourage students towards deep rather than surface learning and is best introduced when students have acquired sufficient subject knowledge to develop and to practise an integrated understanding. Embedding the concept requires that it becomes visible through engaging in a facilitated way of practising and of thinking where students accept that, at each stage in their learning, their understanding is provisional.

[thumbnail of NAIRTL Third Annual Conference ED539248.pdf]
NAIRTL Third Annual Conference ED539248.pdf

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