Agile Instructional Inquiry

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Bernhard Riecke, School of Interactive Arts and Technology

Project team: Patrick Pennefather, Digital Media Program, Barb Berry, Teaching and Learning Centre, Ivan Aguilar and Denise Quesnel, research assistants

Timeframe: October 2018 to September 2019

Funding: $6000

Program addressed: Semester in Alternate Realities

Description: This project aims to investigate and improve our understanding of the affordance of media-rich project-based immersive learning environments (like the “semester in alternate realities” we’ll teach in Spring 2019) and how to adapt an agile process and regular feedback to enhance student learning and development during the course offering. We draw from Schon’s concept of reflection-in-action (1983), that involves a process of reflecting on the learning activities in-the-moment while we can still change them in order to benefit learners immediately rather than a post-reflection of our teaching activities.

We will engage regularly in reflection-in-action as we facilitate a project-based learning environment that challenges learners to identify social causes that resonate with them, and over the course of the semester co-construct Virtual Reality (VR) projects as a direct response. Learning outcomes will include the development of self-regulatory behaviours as they will be challenged to manage what they need to learn in order to co-construct digital artifacts together. These can be skills associated with learning to plan, manage, and collaborate on projects together, in addition to the development of hard skills like programming, video capture, animation, increased familiarity with software development environments, etc. We hypothesize that challenging students to identify and work on a socially meaningful project might enhance their intrinsic motivation and thus benefit their overall engagement and learning process, which should benefit their learning of new skills to complete the project.

Questions addressed:

  • What is the relationship between student attributes, such as grit and perseverance, to student success in this course?
  • To what extent and in what ways does engaging students in a socially meaningful project motivate them to learn the course material and successfully complete their projects? How does it change them?
  • To what extent does the open lab environment enable students to learn from each other?
  • Are the activities conducted in the morning seminars that include a range of different techniques supporting student learning? Are there specific aspects that work particularly well?

Knowledge sharing: Insights and findings will be shared using a variety of means and media, including a final public course project showcase, a presentation in the SIAT faculty meeting (“teaching corner”), documentation of the process using an online course blog and occasional video or even immersive 360 video/Virtual Reality experiences.

View Patrick Pennefeather's ISTLD-funded projects:

Exploring the Virtual Studio in Education (G0114) - with Larry Bafia

Agile Instructional Inquiry (G0280) - with Bernhard Riecke