a PBL approach to the effective design of study skills workshops

The background to this is, we (Learning Services at UCS) will be running a design sprint for those involved in the provision of our workshops. This is for a number of reasons; exposure to a PBL model (a problem stimulated approach) as some of the team are completing their PGCERTs (PGACP) and this might create a few thoughts from experiencing a PBL delivery, we need to explore the theme – gamification of education within our context, and we could do with a team development activity.

The problem

Learning Services at UCS provide a range of generic workshops where the intended learning outcomes are around developing knowledge and awareness, and developing hands-on skills to complete certain tasks. Within this are a number of challenges based on the learner characteristics for the generic sessions, these include; a large range in cohort sizes, large variation in existing skills, knowledge and backgrounds, cross discipline, and cross academic level (undergrads, postgrads and staff).

The range in learner characteristics for our workshops has resulted in many session facilitators being “safe” within their learning designs, they question the effectiveness of sessions as change agents, and wonder about student participation and engagement.

Give this background, recently a member of the team suggested we need to explore the concept of gamification within our workshop designs to re-invigorate our sessions and make them more engaging and effective. Interest in this has gained momentum / buy-in from the Learning Services Management Team.

The task (the product)

  1. To present to the Learning Services Management Team, your findings on why and how we can use Gamification to enhance the learning experience within our workshop designs. This should include, two worked up, core topic workshop designs. The presentation should be 15 minutes, with 10 minutes for questions. All group members should be involved in the presentation.
  2. A short report (less than 1000 words), including recommendations and an implementation plan needs to accompany this presentation.
  3. A short reflection (less than 500 words) on a potential of this approach as a workshop and staff development tool

Guided Questions

  1. What are the elements of gamification?
  2. How have others implemented it within a similar context to us? What worked, what didn’t?
  3. What would a gamified workshop learning design look like?
  4. Why might this be better at motivating participation?
  5. What could be the issues around implementing this within our context?

Required Resources

For the kick off meeting we’ll need to supply:

  1. Rationale (as above)
  2. Key resources around Gamification of Education (text and multimedia)
  3. Handout on PBL: How it will work within this learning context
  4. Handout on PBL from the learners perspective
  5. Handout on Technologies to enhance PBL (Google Communities & Drive)

PBL Activity Timtable

The activity will be over two days, with the presentation on the third day.

The role of the PBL facilitator

  1. They will introduce the task, outline the intended learning objectives, provide background information, discuss different ways the groups can approach the challenge and answer and questions. A particular aim is to, discuss why this is important to Learning Services, and the participants.
  2. They will walk through the group working / collaboration software, and support people on its use.
  3. They will arrange a timetable for group catch ups / progress reports, and support the group with additional resources (if required), challenge ideas, and apply relevant theories.
  4. They will manage the presentation session, read and comment back on reports and personal reflections.
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