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Pursuing authenticity in designing learning spaces to engage foundation level learners: Who are you, where are you going, and what might this look like? Presented at National Tertiary Learning & Teaching Conference 2014


Full text not available from this repository.


This presentation focuses on the principles informing the design of the ‘learning space’ for a level-2 foundation certificate. A project-based approach to learning allowed learners the freedom to design their own projects that met
generic foundation learning outcomes and afforded them the opportunity to explore their areas of interest and future goals. The design principles were that learning must be student driven, and personalised, with a vocational context
apparent. In addition 21st century skills were embedded. Examples of how student projects aligned with these principles are shared. In a recent report on at-risk New Zealand youth, Boven, Harland and Grace (2011, 27) suggest
that “the focus on learning outcomes is too narrow [the report argues] for learning plus engagement plus school-towork transition success.” Providing the opportunity to find direction and create a pathway is key to motivating and
engaging learners. When learning outcomes can be connected to this overall vision, there is potential for contextualising learning and achieving learner buy-in. Constructive alignment of outcomes, activities and assessment
should ultimately also extend to individual goals and future workplace skills. Coolbear and others (2012, p. 5) argue that “priority learners need to be able to engage in flexible programmes that are designed to fit their goals and preexisting abilities, rather than being constrained by strict provider requirements”. Allowing learners to discover their needs and seek their own solutions not only helps them connect learning outcomes to their pathway but also develops autonomy, critical thinking and lifelong learning skills. This allows the educator to focus on learners’ individual needs, as well as engage them in relationships of trust as they work at their own pace, collaborating with the educator and fellow students, to achieve personalised goals. A student-centred approach placing the “priority” learner’s interests and goals at the centre of learning promotes engagement.

The full presentation is available at the following url:

Item Type: Item presented at a conference, workshop or other event which was not published in the proceedings
Uncontrolled Keywords: Project-based learning, student centred learning
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Foundation Studies
Depositing User: Abigail Willemse
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2014 22:40
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 03:29

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