THE POTENTIAL OF EXPERIENTIAL DESIGN MODEL AT UNIVERSITY
University of Salerno (ITALY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Designing for learning means organizing the environment and the necessary conditions to involve the student in the educational path actively, by using learner centred teaching methods. When implemented in the university context, these methodologies allow students developing and promoting motivation, reflective practices, analytical and problem solving skills, the ability to make decisions. Moreover, they allow students participating in the evaluation process. Active teaching methods, based on the combination of experience and metacognition, support meaningful learning. In an immersive and flexible learning environment, the collaborative experience, in a small group work, allows developing critical thinking and favours autonomous learning thanks to social interactions.
The objective of this work consists in describing an experiential design model, realized in two university courses related to the disciplinary sector of experimental pedagogy. The work is structured in two parts: the first part presents the theoretical framework starting from the Kolb’s experiential cycle (1976; 1981; 1984), integrated with other learning models described by Pfeiffer and Jones (1985) and Le Boterf (2000). In the second part, the focus is the didactic-organizational structure that involves the combination of frontal lesson with small workgroups, articulated into theoretical, practical, evaluative and self-assessment phases. The design model assumes a cyclical approach which, in addition to being repeated progressively, raises the level in terms of both contents and tasks. Specifically, the exercises, in line with the aims of the courses, included group workshop activities where the students faced challenging tasks. The developed product consisted in one case, in the construction of assessment rubrics while, in the other, in the elaboration of a research project. The design was interspersed with different evaluation moments: the verification tests during the courses; the exercises supported by teacher feedbacks and the final exam. The effectiveness of this design model is proven by positive, non-generalizable results achieved by the students and also by the reduction in drop-outs.
Keywords: Design for learning, experiential approach, university, formative assessment.