Planning and enabling learning

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The purpose of this assignment Planning and Enabling Learning is to develop skills, knowledge and understanding so as to provide quality teaching to learners in the lifelong learning sector.

Teaching strategies

Cognitivist or constructivist teaching strategies include: guided discovery, group work, projects and assignments, design and invention, demonstration, discussion, explanation, games, independent Experts meantion two categories of learning strategies: "Metacognitive" and "Task-Based." The Metacognitive Strategies can be used for almost any task and are based on reflecting on one's own thinking while the Task-Based Learning Strategies are more determined by the specific nature of the task and the resources of the student.

Teaching strategies are ways or methods of presenting instructional materials or conducting instructional activities. Constructivist tasks requires the student to create and improve their understanding rather than, say remember by rote. Teaching a learning strategy, is concerned with thinking and the Learner-Centered Classroom, in this strategy there is shared responsibility for the students learning. 'When you explicitly teach learning strategies, you share responsibility for the students' learning with the students themselves. The students take on greater responsibility for their own learning and gain greater independence. This is known as the learner-centered approach to instruction. It is characterized by (1) a focus on how students learn, (2) explicit instruction in learning strategies, (3) explicit goal setting by students for themselves, and (4) student self-evaluation'.

It is important to distinguish between teaching strategies and learning strategies. Think about yourself in two different roles - as a teacher and as a student. Look at Table below for examples of strategies you might use as a teacher and those you might use as a student.

Teacher Learner

Activate your students' prior knowledge in Think about what you already know about order to build new material on what they a topic to help you learn more about it. already know.

Through discussion, link new material to your Link new material to your personal students' experiences and feelings using guiding experiences and feelings questions or other activities.

Have your students read a text, then summarize After you read a text, stop a moment and it to aid comprehension. summarize the meaning to help your comprehension

Create a meaningful context for your students by Associate new information with a mental or accompanying new information with figures, printed image to help you learn it.

illustrations, and photographs.

Two teaching and learning strategies used and suited to Graphic Design are Presentation and

Group Discussion.

It is quite usual for students at university to give presentations, (individually or in a group) its purpose is to offer different points of view on a topic, it acts as a good practice for preparation of job interviews and work, presenting well developes structure and clear presentation. It can aid discussion and alter self esteem. Presentation assists students with planning, preparation and presentation, mindmapping, and overcoming nerves. They are often short, between 5 and 20 minuites, this helps students with time management and concision.

Group Discussion (

Students are required to discuss material and peer check this needs higher order thinking. Students are arranged into small groups to participate in a range of activities to develop thinking or to complete practical tasks. Some groups do not value open discussion of ideas and issues.

The purpose of group discussion is to encourage participation in a non threatening environment, to maximise success, to develop shared practices, to access shared understanding, shared knowledge and to allow for focussed learning.

Experts suggest grouping arranged according to the purpose - friendship groups, skill groups, interest groups, outcome groups. Furniture should be organized to facilitate movement and interaction.

Roles should be assigned within the groups: this can be done as numbered heads, roles (recorder, reporter, discussion monitor etc) . The group work should be purposeful and with clear outcomes for each of the participants, sharing findings or results with the whole group at the end. Group work is very adaptable and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Scheme of Work Justification

Group Discussion can be used to evaluate students' learning, by observing groups at work and involving students in self and peer assessment, you can gain information about students: social skills, ability to contribute ideas, explanations of opinions and information and speaking and listening skills.

Experts suggest that for discussion to be effective, teachers must understand how to allow students to take control of the discussion, but must also direct and instruct for meaningful dicussion.

In reference to the teacher's role in the class, townsend states according to Dillion (1979) that students have a propensity to elaborate more fully in response to their peers' comments or questions than to those of the teacher. This seems logical, since students are more likely to debate and discuss various subjects and materials with an individual on their intellectual level rather than with an individual who they feel is on a higher, more advanced intellectual level, such as their teacher. Some drawbacks to this method are that some students dominate the discussion, some are not prepared, it can take longer than a lecture and run over time students also tend to stray from the topic.

Assessing student learning is said to be potentionally difficult and ways of resolving this include giving students a grade based on the quality of their comments, questions can be asked about the topic as a test or giving a follow-up written assignment.

Learning strategies take different forms, students derive meaning from context, these are mental processes that are difficult to observe and measure. Other strategies like Graphic Organizers/Take Notes can be easily observed and measured.

Students Judging for themselves how well they learned material or performed on a task helps students identify their strengths and weaknesses so they can do even better the next time. Assessing how well a strategy works for them helps students decide which strategies they prefer to use on particular tasks.

Barber in suggests Context: Evaluate can help students after completing a task.

Example: A student who finds writing in the target language difficult thinks about what makes it hard for her. She knows she is good at communication but makes a lot of mistakes in grammar. She decides to pay more attention to grammar in the future. In art class, a student uses Use Selective Attention to listen closely to directions while the teacher explains how to make a paper boat. She tries to do it herself but does not succeed. She decides to look at the teacher's book which has illustrations of the process. She tells her teacher that Access Information Sources worked better for her on this task than Use Selective Attention.

In Jeff Petty's book Teaching Today data collected from a questionaire was submitted to students 11-18 years old (provided by M. Hebditch, Gillingham School, Dorset 1990).

Group discussion was ranked at the top of the peferred teaching method, 80% of students favored this method. Combining discussion with other methods of teaching strategies is useful for teachers and students alike. Discussion, as a teaching strategy, is active it provides the opportunity for creative and interesting ways of learning, but has its drawbacks.

Teachers, often focus more on how they teach instead of how students learn. Learning strategies instruction focuses on not just what is taught effectively, but what students do to facilitate their own learning. 'OFSTED officers are trained to assess what students learn not what teachers teach'

Teaching Today A Practical Guide Jeff Petty P.14. states, 'When we think about curriculum, lesson design, or even how we respond to student questions, learning strategies instruction helps us focus on the how of learning rather than the what'.

Graphic Design is a specialist module, that can be chosen as one of the units on the level zero (pre degree) Design and Communication programme. The students having already been screened and through the initial assessment, consisting of an three A levels above C, an interview plus examples of their work in a design portfolio, preferably with an emphasis on graphic design, embarks on the programme of study. During their program students are expected to show: synthesis of a range of concepts, knowledge and skills relating to graphic design, application of complex theories to practical, realistic work situations in the graphic design sector, ability to engage with complex and/ or unpredictable situations in graphic design contexts, research and investigative skills and ability to innovate and work in a creative way.

An important goal in education is to aid students in creative thinking (to generate ideas), and critical thinking (to evaluate ideas). overall the key to being a good graphic designer is the ability to understand how to solve visual problems.

The Level 0 foundation stage student should aim to achieve 4 main objectives within the module.Research and evaluate the historical origins of the book/book jacket design and investigate it's evolution.

Explore and produce creative and imaginative visual images to communicate the books message.

Identify and communicate the core values of the book through creative thought and evaluate the book jacket.

The scheme of work incorporates these but also takes into consideration, common practices that students will experience in the workplace. I feel the more preparation we can give the student the better. Through every objective due to the nature of design, the course will challenge every kind of learner, be it the activist who wants things to do, the reflector (all students will have to reflect and evaluate, through group and self assessment), the theorist or the pragmatist.

According to cognitive theorist Peter Honey and Alan Mumford there are four combinations of perceiving and processing, that makes up a learning cycle. These processes are a necessity for learning to occur, and individually we all more dominent in a particular learning style.

Learning styles: Activist, Reflector, Theorist, and Pragmatist Activist enjoy new situations are open minded and optimistic to new situations they enjoy different activities and generally anything new. Some of their weaknesses are that they are easily bored and seek out new experiences constantly they also have a tendency to do too much, and take a obvious course of action without weighing up the possibilities. They are risk takers and are often unprepared.

Training approach- Problem solving, small group discussion, peer feedback, and homework all helpful; trainer should be a model of a professional, leaving the learner to determine her own criteria for relevance of materials.

Reflectors are careful thorough and methodical, they are usuall good at listening and assimilating information, are thoughtful and analytical. Some of their weaknesses are they hold back from direct participation and are slow at coming up with a conclusion they tend to be too cautious and do not take enough risks.

Training approach - Lectures are helpful; trainer should provide expert interpretation (taskmaster/ guide); judge performance by external criteria.

Theorist are logical, rational and objective and have a disciplined approach, they tend to ask probing questions. Some of their weaknesses are that they have low tolerance for disorder and uncertainty, and anything subjective and intuititive.

Training approach - Case studies, theory readings and thinking alone helps; almost everything else, including talking with experts, is not helpful.


They are practical and realistic down to earth and business-like; gets straight to the point they are technique oriented. They like experimenting with new ideas and looks for practical application, they are problem solvers. Some of their weaknesses are they are not interested in basic principles theory and waffle, they tend to reject anything without an obvious application.

Training approach - Peer feedback is helpful; activities should apply skills; trainer is coach/helper for a self-directed autonomous learner. VAK Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic is another learning style. In Klob's cycle of learning he states

3 main ways in which we learn.

Visual thinkers learn by seeing something/ looking at, they learn from visuals such as diagrams,charts, pictures and coloured highlighter pens.

Auditory thinkers learn by hearing/being told something they learn from stressing key words and auditory processes such as stories, anecdotes, jokes and puns and music rhyme.

kinaesthetic thinkers learn by physically doing/ experiencing, they learn by doing a hands on approach is best for kinaesthetic learners. They enjoy activities which allow them to move about.

Individual learners are thought to be more dominent in one of these learning styles, although all three may be used. These 'learning styles' VAK are thought of as a necessity for trainee teachers and teachers to grasp in order, to assess students learning style, so as to adapt methods and rescources used in the classroom to suit the students learning style and aid learning.

The visual and verbal information process of book and jacket design can be a fun and thought provoking. Students designing a jacket that represents the message of the author and satisfies the publisher, and has to be of interest to the potential reader enough to make them pick it up. "Book design is quite simply the decent setting of type and the intelligent layout of text and pictures based on a rigorous study of content." Derek Birdsall (2004) General learning strategies metacognitive learning strategies aid learners/students to reflect on their own thinking and learning. When students begin the process of their own learning, they will have the ability to notice how they learn, how others learn, and ways in which they can adjust how they learn more efficiently. In essence they orgnize, plan, manage, monitor and evaluate their own learning.

These strategies follow the process a learner generally goes through in accomplishing any task. "Task based learning strategies" focus on how students can use their own resources to learn most effectively, by the kinds of resources students already have, or can get, to help them complete specific tasks. By focusing students' attention on their resources, we emphase is placed on their ability to take responsibility for their own learning.