Case Study 2: Developing reflective and analytical skills through collaborative learning
A Case Study from the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic (ITP) sector. Part of the Enhancing the Effectiveness of Tertiary Teaching and Learning through Assessment project.
The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnic Sector
Name: Andy Shanks
Organisation: Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec)
Researcher: Jane Stewart
The whole programme is less about me sitting up the front telling them what to do and more about them applying and sharing information with each other and reviewing that.
The strategy was initially motivated by frustration at students who just want to 'get through' and not really learn. Other motivating factors are being flexible, by providing options for students to explore. Andrew also wishes to maintain a stimulating teaching environment.
The purpose of the strategy is for students to develop and apply their exercise programming skills in case studies. These provide students with practical experience, which they are able to use in the future. The peer and self reviews encourage reflective and analytical skills, which are also important.
The assessment strategy is a summative assignment comprising four individual exercise programmes, designed for four different contexts. Each case study is worth 10%; together the strategy is worth 40% of the total module assessment. The case studies are presented to the class. The grade for each is totalled from 20% self review, 20% peer review and 60% teacher assessment. The peer review marks are anonymously submitted to the teacher, who averages them in order to calculate the 20% peer review grade.
Students work in a collaborative learning environment developing reflective and analytical skills as well as practical experience for future use. The presentations develop communication skills which are important in the sport and exercise industry.
Some students dislike the peer review aspect of the assessment but afterwards admit that they have enjoyed having input from different areas, learnt more from other people and are better able to defend their programme designs.