Educational Designs Supporting Student Engagement through Problem-oriented Project Learning supplemented by processes within Practices of Networked Learning: The Roskilde Model as inspired by the pragmatist tradition

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Internationally, new pedagogical approaches emphasizing collaboration or learning in networks have been developed following the introduction of new technologies, especially the spread of social media. It is interesting to see such pedagogical developments in relation to similar approaches, developed from the traditions of organizing university studies through student-driven project work and problem-driven learning approaches, which have been developed at the Danish universities of Roskilde and Aalborg as early as from the beginning of the 1970s.

Specific educational designs integrating digital media are discussed, especially focusing on student engagement and the implications of organizing the pedagogical practice as networked project work. The discussions are based on the author’s experiences at Roskilde University organizing and supervising student’s active processes of problem based learning during 42 years and of 19 years of teaching and supervising at the Danish Master’s Program of ICT and Learning (MIL), where students conduct blended learning study in groups within a networked learning structure.

In problem-oriented learning and teaching, teachers act as well as teachers and as supervisors of students’ projects. This challenges the traditional teacher role, and it is crucial for a teacher to establish a balance of being as well an expert, a facilitator, and a mediator. The development of students’ information literacy is seen as central and information literacy does not only cover the technical skills of how to search and find information, but also the more general ability to reflect on your knowledge and recognize what you need to know. The students within this environment engage themselves in innovative ways of applying new technologies, and they are challenged to act as both independent and interconnected learners.
As inspiration for this way of organizing learning processes I draw on the pragmatic tradition going back to Dewey and Mead. I am also inspired by Habermas’ work focusing on open, respectful and democratic oriented communicative practices.

Thus in relation to the way of conducting meaningful learning processes focus is on democracy and education through communication. Important works underlying the relation of democracy and education is Dewey’s The Public and its Problems (originally 1927) and Democracy and Education (1916). It is in this perspective, too, that Dewey emphasizes the communicative aspects of education and the idea of education as a place for reflection upon common experiences. Thus the underlying idea and practice of Roskilde University’s problem-oriented project learning model is the idea of the students’ ‘continuous reconstruction of experience’. Also as a guideline at Roskilde University we recognize that reflective thinking and the perception of relationships arise in problematical situations. What Dewey and Mead emphasized was not only, as in the sociocultural perspective, the question of learning, but more the question of meaning and knowledge-formation through intersubjective meaning-creating processes.
Publikationsdato25 maj 2019
StatusUdgivet - 25 maj 2019
BegivenhedConference Critical Edge Alliance 2019: Boundary Crossings in Culture, Power, and Experience: Re-imagining Higher Education - The New School , New York, USA
Varighed: 6 jun. 20198 jun. 2019


KonferenceConference Critical Edge Alliance 2019
LokationThe New School
ByNew York
AndetThe purpose of the conference is to explore contemporary issues around boundary crossing, as they relate to universities and learning, broadly conceived.<br/><br/>​This conference is dedicated to the memory of our colleague Professor L.H.M. “Lily” Ling, a founding member of the Critical Edge Alliance, who tragically passed away last year. The conference is designed in the spirit of Ling’s Silk Road Research Initiative, a research collective that pursued the re-imagination of world politics.<br/><br/>As part of that work, students and faculty from The New School (New York, NY) organized in 2013 around a shared vision: to transform the foundation that underpins today’s international system by thinking creatively about world politics.

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