The world has changed. It is clear that individuals need both knowledge and skills to succeed. The demand is for high-performance employees who can plan, collaborate, and communicate effectively. We have studied the dynamics of collaborative learning groups by tracking the communicative and tool actions of participants.
Our studies have shown the value of employing the underlying communicative acts of collaborative learning dialogues, and an intelligent tutoring system, as to promote effective collaborative learning and problem-solving.
Research has shown that classroom learning improves significantly when a learner participates in learning activities in small groups. learners learning in small groups encourage each other to ask questions, justify their opinions, and reflect upon their knowledge, thereby motivating and improving learning.
This led us to focus on instituting an environment to promote effective learning experiences – integrated video, data analysis, and communication under a paradigm called model-based communication.
Overcomes the dichotomy between knowledge and thinking, helping learners to both “know” and “do.”
Supports learners in learning and practicing skills in problem solving, communication, and self-management.
Encourages the development of habits of mind associated with lifelong learning, civic responsibility, and personal or career success.
Integrates curriculum areas, thematic instruction, and teamwork issues.
Assesses performance on content and skills using criteria similar to those in the real work world, thus encouraging accountability, goal setting, improved performance, and speedier transition into the workplace.
Creates positive communication and collaborative relationships among diverse-fields / groups of learners.
Meets the needs of learners with varying skill levels and learning curves.Engages and motivates to create a high-performing classroom focused on achievement and self-mastery.
At the Institute, we’ve shifted the emphasis toward this ‘scaffold content process’ of learning, to amplify and extend the skills and capabilities of learners. Research in neuroscience and psychology has extended cognitive and behavioral models of learning– thinking, doing, and the contexts for learning are inextricably tied to constructing solutions.
For over 100 years, educators such as John Dewey have reported on the benefits of experiential, hands-on, learner-directed learning. The roots of TALK© lie in this tradition.
Our learning model, is based on a number of criteria that reflect the learners’ inherent drive to learn, their capability to do great work, and their need to be taken seriously by putting them at the center of the learning process.
Engage learners in the methodology, concepts and principles of the learning discipline.
Highlight provocative issues or questions that lead learners to in-depth exploration of authentic and important topics of interest.
Require the use of essential tools and skills, including technology, for learning, self-management, and project management.
Specify ways that solve problems, dissolve dilemmas, and digest information generated through investigation, research, and reasoning.
Include multiple approaches that permit frequent feedback and offer consistent opportunities for learners to learn from experience.
Use performance-metrics assessments that communicate high expectations,
Present rigorous challenges, that require an escalating range of skills and knowledge.
Encourage collaboration and teamwork and pull learners through by a Driving Question or authentic problem that creates a need to know the material.
TALK© is in the evolutionary stage, to establish itself as one of the future forms of instruction, and it does provide an ideal environment for the application of skills.
More important, evidence shows that active learners’ engagement, enhances the quality of learning and leads to higher-level cognitive development.
A future wave of learning reform stems from a research study of MITRE Corporation (the Scientific Technology arm of NASA) in association with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Outside the Classroom Initiative and Predictive Networks, Inc, on the Synchronous and Asynchronous Interactive Learning Environment (SAILE) framework.
A collaborative learning and problem-solving framework that has been researched thoroughly.
A complex logic problem was posed over multiple sessions and with multiple users.
The problem to be solved presented partial information that had to be gradually integrated into a common framework, and inferences were made to fill in the gaps of missing information, and identify solution paths.
An experiment was instituted to compare performance and participation levels of synchronous and asynchronous learners working on a common problem. Eight engineers and scientists that participated in the experiment – two synchronous users, 2 asynchronous users, 3 synchronous and asynchronous users, and one solo. Data was collected on whether or not an effective solution was derived, time to complete task, and interaction form – communication between participants.
The synchronous-asynchronous blend solved the problem more efficiently.
The most important recent shift in education has been the increased emphasis on standards, clear outcomes, and accountability.
Thus, we see as our duty to incorporate the latest thinking on standards and assessment–to outline an evolving process for standards-focused problem-solving approaches that fully reflect learners’ aspirations.
And, as the world continues to change, so the definition of TALK© expands. We turn our knowledge into systematic methods that can be transferred. Our knowledge channels through methodologies, into tools and frameworks that are actionable and learnable.
We deliver through the traditional consulting channel, but also through customised executive learning blended paths.
Evolving training programmes and support are scheduled.
But whatever support may be provided by educational institutions and teachers, the individual learner is responsible for maintaining his/her Thinking Ahead Learning Curve.
This entails responsibility and in particular, the learner is responsible for the regular self assessment that is fundamental to effective TALK© use.
TALK© : Empowering employees by putting the learner in charge