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University of Malta (Valletta Campus)

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Ilona Elefteryja Lasica, Research Associate, Department of Preschool Education Sciences and Educational Design, University of the Aegean, Dodekanisos, Greece

Team ePortfolios: Empowering Learners With High Impact Practices View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Maureen Snow Andrade  

ePortfolios involve students producing and compiling artifacts that represent their learning and are accompanied by metacognitive reflection. They help students self-assess content mastery as well as monitor and improve their learning. ePortfolios are a high impact practice (HIP). HIPs encourage deep learning and support the development of employer-valued 21st century skills such as oral and written communication, teamwork, critical thinking, problem-solving, working with those different from themselves, and real-life application of knowledge. The benefits of team ePortfolios, in which students assign roles and tasks, create artifacts, reflect on their learning, evaluate their teamwork skills, set goals, and monitor progress have not been extensively researched. This paper expands current knowledge by exploring the impact of team ePortfolios in a business management course offered across delivery modalities. It illustrates how various HIPs and their underlying elements (e.g., high performance expectations; investment of time and effort over an extended period of time; experiences with diversity; frequent, timely, and constructive feedback; reflection; real-world application; and public demonstration of competence) were designed into the course. It demonstrates how to sequence learning through teamwork, application, and reflection to help students build the knowledge and skills for a culminating community-based project. The paper also shares self-reports of student learning based on reflections. The reflections were analyzed using UNESCO’s pillars of learning—learning to know, learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together, which reflect 21st century employer-valued skills. The study demonstrates the integration of HIPs to engage students and help them acquire critical learning outcomes.

Where Universal Design for Learning, the Internet, and Adults Meet: Exploring the Intersectionality of Equitable Access to Ongoing Learning View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Wendy Kraglund Gauthier  

As technology slowly becomes ubiquitous in daily life and work, more and more learning opportunities have moved online. Rationales for organizations and institutions to shift to digital resources and learning spaces include increased access, flexible scheduling, demand, and even economies of scale. Yet, the assumption that learners have equitable access to these opportunities is often erroneous, especially if those learners have lower literacy skills, inadequate access to reliable Internet, and financial barriers impacting data usage and appropriate devices for learning. Moreover, providing equitable access to online learning spaces must also include considerations of universal design for learning (UDL) and of the unique learning characteristics of adults. Based on work and research in instructional design, accessibility, and adult learning contexts, this study is an exploration of the intersectionality that impacts adult learner success in online spaces and of the design and assessment elements that contribute to that success. Reflecting this intersectionality, this study crosses into multiple research themes.

Examining the Practicalities of Accessibility and Inclusion in Post-pandemic Hybrid Post-secondary Teaching and Learning : Emerging Best Practices for Fully Inclusive Blended Teaching and Learning View Digital Media

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session
Frederic Fovet  

The push for extensive online teaching and learning had begun well before the COVID pandemic and the online pivot, but the last three years have dramatically intensified the reflection around what Education 4.0 might look like in the post-secondary. Consensus appears to privilege hybrid and blended learning as the format which is most likely to optimally meet the needs of learners in coming decades. Lessons from the three years of pandemic disruption have been rich and nuanced in this respect. Within this phenomenal momentum of pedagogical creativity and innovation, however, the situation in relation to accessibility and full inclusion of all diverse learners has been ambivalent, and the experiences of diverse students have been contradictory. This study showcases the qualitative analysis of phenomenological data collected among accessibility and inclusion specialists within higher education – faculty and support staff - regarding the challenges and opportunities encountered during these transformative three years. The theoretical paradigm within which this data is showcased and analyzed is interpretivist, but the work also acknowledges preoccupations of critical theory/ critical pedagogy. The discussion that emerges from these findings focus on the ways these pandemic lessons on inclusive teaching and learning can now serve as an exceptional window to proactively frame smart pedagogies of the future that leave out no stakeholders. The final section examines ways to integrate these pandemic lessons to generate sustainable best practices for accessibility and inclusion in transformative blended learning spaces, that succeed in going beyond ad hoc interventions and retrofitting.

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