Posters That Teach – Blended Learning and Total Engagement

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Authors:
Adina Stan, UNSW Global Foundation Studies, Australia
Mahnaz Armat, UNSW Global Foundation Studies, Australia
Elyssebeth Leigh, Aalto University, Finland & University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Elizabeth Rosser, UNSW Global Foundation Studies, Australia
Nikki Hayes, UNSW Global Foundation Studies, Australia
E-mail: A.Stan@unswglobal.edu.au
Published: August 16, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.si.04

Citation: Stan, A., Armat, M., Leigh, E., Rosser, E., & Hayes, H. (2017). Posters That Teach – Blended Learning and Total Engagement. IAFOR Journal of Education, 5(SI). https://doi.org/10.22492/ije.5.si.04


Abstract

Electronically mediated technologies are prohibited from use in a major assessment component of a blended learning subject. This subject employs a multidisciplinary problem-based approach to explore international issues and perspectives using a rich blend of face-to-face, electronically mediated, individual and team-based activities. The assessment is a role-play which occurs during the second half of a year-long pathway to university program. Belief in the importance of helping students integrate knowledge with an understanding of learning strategies informs the design of this particular assessment task. To complete the task, small teams develop and display a hand-drawn poster summarising their understanding of a real life 'wicked problem' explored in depth during the semester. Composing and preparing their poster ensures that students create visual evidence of their learning about the context of a complex contemporary international issue, which varies from year to year. It also introduces students to higher order thinking and develops critical and creative thinking skills.

This paper aims to introduce and describe the learning principles informing the design of the assessment strategy. The task compels students to question information, seeking deeper engagement with data and generating first-hand engagement with the issue. The learning design also facilitates students’ crucial skills of knowledge generation and learning management, and helps them apply this knowledge to other aspects of their future learning. This task bridges the gap between the technical and non-technical skills essential for success in the 21st century.

Keywords

role-play, visual literacy, blended learning, wicked problem