Providing our students with the expertise to critically sort through the enormous amount of information that is available to them is one of the most important skills we, as educators, can help them develop. With the rapid developments we have seen in technology over the past two decades, our students have the opportunity to engage in the curriculum and interact with environments that otherwise would have been very difficult to do. Driver et. al. (1994) reiterate a commonly accepted principle that knowledge must be constructed by the learner and not simply transmitted; what we define as constructivism. In this module we are introduced to the concept of knowledge diffusion and how students can work together to collectively create learning experiences and construct knowledge.
Veletsianos & Kleanthous (2009) explore the idea of adventure learning and define it as “an approach to the design of online and hybrid education that provides students with opportunities to explore real-world issues through authentic learning experiences within collaborative learning environments” (para. 7). The authors found that in order to fully understand such complex learning environments, more research is required in empirically grounding both the process of learning and the means to support that process. Although this is a math and science based class, as a business education teacher, I see enormous potential with this technology. In order to bring authenticity to my lessons, I attempt to discuss business cases of companies that students are interested in and may think they know a lot about; exploring these same companies using the foundations of business education theory helps them construct knowledge in deeper ways. Using technologies such as Google Expeditions to virtually tour an Amazon distribution centre or to be able to experience different corporate office environments to understand how business is done differently in other countries can be invaluable experiences to my students (last I checked, Google Expeditions doesn’t offer corporate tours).
In my Financial Accounting 12 class I tasked my students with creating a lesson that would serve as a study tool to others in the course. There are no business prerequisites for this course and so students arrive with a varied level of understanding and previous knowledge. The purpose of the assignment was to help those with no experience with accounting to understand a basic level so as to have as many students on the same page as possible. Those students who had taken Accounting 11 were tasked with more complex issues while those who had no accounting experience were given more basic principles to explain. In hindsight, I wish I had created an online database of these lessons so future students could access and learn as well.
Do you think this contribution of knowledge is similar to the data collection and collaboration we saw in tools such as Globe?
Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., & Mortimer, E. (10/01/1994). Educational researcher: Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom American Educational Research Association. doi:10.2307/1176933
Veletsianos, G., & Kleanthous, I. (2009). A review of adventure learning.International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(6) Retrieved from http://ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/1634480210?accountid=14656
Yoon, S. A., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Steinmeier, C., & Tucker, S. (2012). Using augmented reality and knowledge-building scaffolds to improve learning in a science museum. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(4), 519-541
It was great to read your post from the perspective of a business education stand point. What I like about your post is that you mention the need to ensure students also learn to sort through the vast amount of information available on the web. Hsi’s article reiterates this point that in order to construct understanding, students need to be able to ” critique the quality and reliability of evidence from digital sources, make informed opinions, and synthesize new knowledge.” I wonder how your business students take this into account when creating their own lesson plans for students?
Thanks for your comment and your question. One of the key aspects in my business classes to keep it relevant to students is to look at current business news (Apple releases a new product, or examining the success brands such as Supreme have had with limiting supply). As we spend time researching, we find that students need to distinguish between what is opinion, and further what is uninformed opinion from fact. I have found this can be a difficult task because most of the topics we look at are those that many people have opinions on! As we progress through the course and students are more familiar with the business concepts they begin to develop a balance between informed opinion and the realities of what is going on in our world.
I hope this answers your question!