TAO/Handbook/Methods for cooperation and seminars

< TAO‎ | Handbook
Result from a brainstorming

Introduction edit

This chapter focuses questions of continuing education especially on older adults and gives an overview and an introduction of corresponding pedagogical methods for cooperation, collaboration and seminars. For older adults it is a challenge and a need to learn, they have to enable themselves for an active and successful ageing. Learning of older people has to consider their life experience and knowledge. The overall learning goal is to learn the "mediation of the ability to coping with problems". Often older people can manage there own learning activity ("self-managed learning") that is understood as a process "in which the learner steers in essence his/her own learning" (Dohmen, 1997). He/she decides to a great extend if, what and when, how and with which target he/she learns. In contrast to formal learning older people prefer "situation-related experience learning" which means on one hand informal learning in everyday life situations and on the other hand non-formal learning as learning in different social environments e.g. in organisations or online communities. Self-managed learning includes application of experience learning and informal learning, it is a constructivist approach.

Management of Own Learning as a Challenge edit

Following skills have to be either newly learned or further developed:

  • joy of learning
  • self-initiation of learning processes
  • choosing own learning materials and finding learning advice
  • classification of own learning processes into contexts of higher priority
  • critical attitude to learning contents and learning materials
  • self-reflection as well as reflection about social contexts, etc.

Qualification as Requirement and Motivation edit

Against the background of cultural and social changes, economic and ecological crisis, globalization, the fast development of the new media and the demographic change lifelong learning is a must to be able to cope with new demands, also on the part of older adults. Therefore in the terms of Lifelong Learning the qualification of seniors is a necessity. It can also motivate them for their activities.

Active Learning through Social Commitment edit

Active learning through social commitment is a good example for qualification of seniors with practical orientation. Stadelhofer (1999)[1] sees "the ability to place the learn process in social contexts as a basic prerequisite for an active participation in forming our world".

Learn processes in social contexts including active learnig should be related to everyday life situations, it should be as well experience learning. Therefore social commitment is an excellent approach.

Examples for informal learning possibilities by social commitment:

  • Reconsideration of the own concept of living by getting to know other persons or groups with other concepts of living, in different life situations for example as a leisure time companion of care requiring people
  • Getting to know a different view at institutions for example a hospital or a nursing home by volunteering as nursing auxiliary
  • Improvement of craftmanship skills like baking or bicycle repair for example by volunteering in integration projects with a bakery or a bicycle repair shop
  • Getting to know new skills for example gardening in a municipal garden project supplying foodbanks with fresh fruit and vegetable
  • Getting to know the feeling of esteem by helping people who show their gratitude
  • Getting to know new approaches to problems through assistance
  • Exchange of experiences and knowledge in exchange projects
  • Discovery of undetected talents, abilities and skills for example by taking responsibility in a board of an association or by taking part in a sponsorship programme

Also non-formal learning possibilities are given such as introductory courses for example for the introduction of volunteers for the hospice service.

Different Learning Types and Pedagogical Methods edit

On a meta level a distinction can be made between different active participation learning types. They require different approaches.

In practice of seminars and workshops concrete pedagogical methods for the learning process and its stages are needed.

Below there is a description of exemplary methods for cooperation and collaboration. On a third level some general instructions and hints for learning situations especially with new media are given.

Different Active Participation Learning Types edit

  • Learning through research
  • Action learning (learning by doing)
  • Intergenerational learning
  • Intercultural learning

Learning through Research edit

"Learning through research"[2] is an example of self-managed learning in which the learner determines, tests and reflects own learning goals in a self-responsible way. "Learning trough research" is realised through

  • individual work
  • work in autonomous learning groups
  • co-operation in research projects

The Method of "Learning through Research" enables,

  • that older people select and work on forgotten or unexploited research subjects or draw attention to not yet researched facts
  • that older students' attitudes and their professional and life experiences are considered in the design of research projects
  • to learn about ageing and about social issues and at the same time about the way how ageing and social issues are researched

There is no teacher needed but a moderator, who consist in the initiation of project groups and their accompaniment from search for a subject through to documentation of results. The new information and communication technologies can strengthen self-determination as well as the independent research work of the learners.

Action Learning (Learning by doing) edit

"The potential of older people represents an important social resource. Without appropriate opportunities and space for application, these competences remain however unused, and: qualified engagement demands appropriate qualifications." (Stadelhofer 2007) Therefore action learning means to create these appropriate opportunities and spaces for application, to give grounds. According to the idea of linking to everyday life situations learning goals should be defined - best by the learners themselves - which promise a benefit, an improvement compared to their previous life situation. This also prevents from a too strong feeling that action learning means to be thrown into the deep end.

Intergenerational Learning edit

Regarding the perspective of single persons everybody is involved in different generational contexts. But also the society as a whole is built on them. On one hand values, norms, cultural traditions need to be transfered to the next generation. On the other hand societies also need new ideas, new technologies and new solutions. (cf. Höpflinger 2011) This is the general basis for intergenerational learning. Learning projects that are based on the collaboration between old and young can lead to a win-win-situation for both generations by a direct insight into the life world of the other generation and by the common work on interesting subjects and by testing different roles. Online collaboration combined with face-to-face meetings were successfully tested by ZAWiW, e.g. KOJALA[3]. [cf. Marquard, Schabacker-Bock, Stadelhofer 2011]

Intercultural Learning edit

In the time of globalization and cultural diversity interculturality plays a more and more important role because the number of contacts with other cultures increases. According to Hansen (2000)[4] there are two concepts of interculturality, one regarding the interaction of persons from different cultures, one regarding the interculture that develops itself in exchange processes of these persons. Intercultural learning targets the successful management of the interactions and the processes. There are parallels to the intergenerational learning: it also can lead to a win-win-situation and to new experiences by an insight, e.g. by European Grundtvig learning projects that combine virtual learning and face-to-face meetings such as ODE[5] or thematic projects a EWA[6] or by face-to-face projects such as mentor programmes at universities[7][8] which of course are also challenging examples for intergenerational learning.

Pedagogical Methods edit

Methods can be distinguished regarding their function (cf. Macke, Hanke, Viehmann 2012).

  • Introductory methods
  • Methods for the phase of work
  • Methods to draw to a conclusion

Introductory methods edit

Introductory methods target to get in the right frame for a learning event regarding the subject and the participants, the preparation for the common work of a subject.

Some examples of methods are:

  • "Wanted" poster (a prepared poster with blank spaces is prepared, copies will be given to all participants who will fill in the spaces to introduce themselves about personal data, hobbies, expectations, ...)
  • Meta plan (a general task is given, every participant writes on one or more cards his keywords which will be structured and discussed later)
  • Partner interview (general questions are given, always two participants are an group, after the phase of mutual interviews one participant introduces his interlocutor to the other participants)

Methods for the phase of work edit

Methods for the phase of work target different aspects e.g. like start of a collaborative process, working on subjects, transfer, valuation.

Some examples are:

Methods to draw to a conclusion edit

The final part of a learning event serves to review the results and the learning process, to get a feedback for and from the participants.

Some examples are:

  • Flashlight (every participant only says one or two statements which may be commented on later)
  • All participants stand in a room. One end of the room symbolises 100% approval and the other end 0%. Participants are asked several questions and they go to the position in the room which represents their opinion best. If everybody stands some comprehensive questions may be asked why they decided to stand there.
  • Muddiest point (the participants will be enabled to critically tell about the weakest parts of a learning event, its materials, methods, ... - they may write their arguments on cards which will be collected, then feedback is given at the next occasion)

Methods for online learning edit

A lot of methods can also be modified for virtual learning and online collaboration. It should be payed attention to the independency of time and place in virtual cooperation and learning. It is an advantage because participants may take part in activities whereever they are (if the Internet is accessible) and whenever they like. However the use of some tools requires syncronous activities e.g. online discussions using a chat or Skype.

Mailing lists, discussion forums, chats, blogs, wikis, file hosting services, Skype, video conference tools etc. should be used for the collaboration and its different purposes. Of course also special online tools like virtual classrooms, e-learning environments (such as Moodle) or collaborative tools (like [[w:BSCW|BSCW) should be taken into account. Technology offers a lot of options like audio and video files, electronical quizes etc. that can enrich learning.

Often moderation is a plus with clear agreements of goals, about time-tables and the possibility to ask in case of any questions (project related, technical). He could initiative and monitor learning processes.

Some examples of methods for online learning are:

  • Introduction (the participants send their personal introduction to a moderator of a learning project who puts them on the internal part of the project's website which only can be accessed by the participants. Or in case of an interactive site the participants may do that on their own. Introductions in virtual cooperation are very important because often senior learners want to know that there are real persons whom they are talking with.)
  • Growing Document (a document is sent to participants or is safed in a commonly used file hosting service, it contains a task and the participants write in a fixed period their results and opinions in the document, they also react on meanwhile written contributions of other participants, it could be used for example for a virtual brainstorming)
  • E-Expert (an expert is invited to join an online discussion to deepen knowledge, the questions could be prepared before by participants)

A wide range of e-learning methods is presented in the book "101 e-Le@arning-Seminarmethoden" (Häfele, Maier-Häfele 2008), it is available in German.

Qualification for the Use of New Media edit

Active learning also refers to the use of new media. Their use - up to the active participation in Web 2.0 tools and in online communities especially by seniors - cannot be taken for granted: "A broad use of the various application possibilities of the Internet presupposes [...] certain user abilities and also the preparedness to use the Internet. This however, in the case of a great part of the older population, has to be first achieved through a differentiation according to 'user types' and the development of situation-related strategies for Internet accessing and use."[9].

Therefore it is recommended to qualify seniors by closing up to the new media step by step, to give opportunities to exercise, to link to everyday life situations and to subjects of their interest, according to different user types. The seniors should feel the relevance of the new media for their lifes to motivate them for an active use.

A practical transfer of this recommendation is offered within different approaches such as

  • by "seniors for seniors" in local "Senior Internet Initiatives" (SII, cooperating in a network of SII) of volunteers in Baden-Wuerttemberg (Southwest Germany): in different ways they offer learning opportunities starting with the first access to computers and the Internet[10]
  • "Grandparents & Grandchildren" (G&G): the website of this intergenerational and multilingual project offers different lessons ("Internet Gym") which shall be explained to the seniors by children, according to the needs of the learners, in cooperation with local stakeholders[11]
  • "E-Seniors", a French association fighting against "e-exclusion" of seniors by the introduction to the Internet up to workshops and activities including "digital improvements in everyday's life"[12]
  • learning courses and educational projects within the association "Virtual and real learning and competence network of older adults (ViLE e.V.)"[13]

The final reports about the projects "Gemeinsam lernen übers Netz" (2000-2005, "Cooperative learning via Internet")[14] and "Senior-Online-Redaktion" (2003-2006, "Senior online editors")[15] document and reflect different approaches of virtual and blended learning in senior communities. They are available in German.

It can be seen as a challenge for social network operators to modify their supply according to the needs of seniors because "the new technical developments [...] offer totally new chances for the initiation and support of informal learning processes and, through developing subject and issue-related learning communities and social networks, for making knowledge and competences of individuals available to its participants and to civil society." (Stadelhofer 2007) Currently within the European Grundtvig project "PEER - Dare to be wise!" a selection of Web 2.0 tools are adapted for the use on social network platforms. Also guidelines for operators will be produced how to motivate seniors for peer-to-peer learning in online communities.

Distinction of different steps edit

It is recommended to follow a way of different qualification steps which are built up on each other regarding the sensible use of the new media by seniors. Their interests and individual speed of learning should be payed attention to.

  • First access to computers and other new media devices such as smartphones
  • First access to the Internet
  • Meaningful use of the new media
  • Active participation by own contributions
  • Participation in online communities

References edit

Literature edit

  • Dohmen, Günther (Hrsg.): Selbstgesteuertes lebenslanges Lernen? Ergebnisse der Fachtagung des BMBF vom 6. - 7.12.1996, Bonn 1997
  • Häfele, Hartmut; Maier-Häfele, Kornelia. 101 e-Le@rning-Seminarmethoden: Methoden und Strategien für die Online- und Blended-Learning-Seminarpraxis. 3. überarb. Auflage. Bonn: managerSeminare, 2008
  • Höpflinger, François: "Intergenerationelles Lernen - Chancen und Voraussetzungen" in: Marquard, Schabacker-Bock, Stadelhofer (Hrsg.) 2011
  • Macke, Gerd; Hanke, Ulrike; Viehmann, Pauline. Hochschuldidaktik: Lehren - vortragen - prüfen - beraten. 2. Auflage. Weinheim und Basel: Beltz, 2012
  • Marquard, Markus; Schabacker-Bock, Marlis; Stadelhofer, Carmen (Hrsg.). Intergenerationelles Lernen als Teil einer lebendigen Stadtkultur. Ulm: Klemm + Oelschläger, 2011

Online references edit

  1. Stadelhofer, Marquard 1999: Gutachten "Selbstgesteuertes Lernen und Neue Kommunikationstechnologien"
  2. "Forschendes Lernen" (Learning by research at ZAWiW of Ulm University)
  4. cf. Hansen (2000) in: Glossar zentraler Begriffe interkulturellen Lernens (Christian Wille)
  5. Open Doors for Europe (ODE)
  6. European Women in Older Age (EWA)
  7. Retirees help foreign students adjust to German life (2011)
  8. M4M - Mentorship for Molecular Medicine PhD Students
  9. Stadelhofer: "Developing learning communities and social networking through face-to-face and virtual learning", 2007
  10. Schneider: "Seniors as internet helpers: a model for active citizenship and peer-to-peer-learning by seniors to access and sensibly use the internet", 2012
  11. Colinassi: "G&G, Grandparents and Grandchildren", 2012
  12. Epstein: "E-Seniors", 2012
  13. Budde, Salverius-Krökel: "Virtual and real learning and competence network of older adults (ViLE)", 2012"
  14. Stadelhofer, Salverius-Krökel, Schneider. Schlussbericht zum Modellprojekt "Räumlich und zeitlich entkoppeltes ‚Forschendes Lernen’ als Motor einer neuen Lernkultur" (Kenntitel: "Gemeinsam lernen übers Netz" – 2000-2005) in drei Bänden, 2005
  15. Stadelhofer, Salverius-Krökel, Schneider. Schlussbericht zum Modellprojekt "Weiterqualifizierung von älteren Menschen zu freiwilligen ’Senior-Online-RedakteurInnen’ zur Herausgabe eines Lern-Magazin / eines ‚Senior-Online-Magazin’" (Kenntitel: „Senior-Online-Redaktion“ – 2003-2006), 2006