Hands on and Learning in Groups

Instructional Strategies – ADLT 603 – Post 10

Hands on Learning

The team presentations for this week were ‘Hands on Learning’ and our team’s presentation of ‘Effective Learning in Groups’. The hands on learning was interesting to look at from a learning strategy perspective. It seems clear that for certain types of learning, there is no substitute for just doing it. I can learn a certain amount about something without engaging in some direct or active way, but until I actually put it into practice somehow it’s all some kind of theory in the clouds – remaining an abstract concept. However, when I do something practically, I find I have a whole new level of understanding about and some kind of intimacy with the topic.

I’ve never had to use a Heimlich Maneuver on anyone, nor been in a situation where someone needed it. However, actually doing the maneuver and participating and observing others in my group do it, definitely brought up a sense within me that I could do this, if it were needed. It also helped to listen to my group tell about situations where they performed the Heimlich and for one team member they had it done on them when they were a child choking.

One thing I think could have helped to deepen the learning would have been to have a small group and then large group discussion about what we learned after practicing. As it was we practiced the maneuver and had an evaluation of our maneuver and also participated in observing and evaluating others, but then we just stopped.  I think there was some discussion as a whole group, but it seemed more cursory. But, perhaps that’s my bias or interest in meaningful learning which requires building connections with prior learning and reflecting, discussing and integrating new learning…

Effective Learning in Groups

It seemed like our team’s presentation went smoothly. After all the discussion, dialogue, sorting, and planning it mostly went off OK. I noticed that when I presented the slides about the different types of learning in groups, the roles of teachers, and aspects of meaningful learning, the class was mostly quite. I can’t say they weren’t engaged. They did seem quite attentive. However, it was just such a shift from the very engaged civilized ruckus that was occurred when the class shared in groups their prior experiences of learning in groups.

It was also a really good approach that the groups had to come up with one response for the whole group on the 2nd group activity. I know there were differing views on this subject and quite lively discussion took place and through that different perspectives were aired. And although each group picked one response, I’m not sure that this was the result of a changed perspective or viewpoint. I think in some cases it was simply a compromise that one or more members of the group made. However, I can see that the need for the group to pick one response did stimulate intense, genuine discussion as far as I could see. Maybe the new or alternate viewpoints on the subject will percolate for a while and result in a perspective transformation over time…


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