A Framework for Writing Learning Agreements
Clear, T; Parsjö, E; Cajander, Å; Daniels, M; Lagerqvist, N; McDermott, R
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Abstract: Active learning is a popular concept for motivating learning. Learning agreements are one strategy towards this goal. They can be used to aid the students to take ownership of their learning and in becoming more active in a course. Learning Agreements are especially useful tools for scaffolding learning in courses with a focus on developing the professional competencies of students, such as in Open Ended Group Projects, Work Integrated Learning or other authentic learning contexts. Such educational contexts are complex and we have found it necessary to scaffold student learning using agreements based on professional competencies. This has led to a pedagogical framework, which has found successful application in a number of contexts. This framework has been built based on discussions with students, and has involved the development of a supporting wiki which contains descriptions of the different professional competencies involved in the learning agreement. The IT based framework has been iteratively developed together with the students taking the course in the fall of 2015. The development and assessment of this framework is contrasted in the context of two courses using learning agreements, one (in Sweden) with a focus on development of professional competencies and the other (in New Zealand) addressing a mix of professional competencies and subject knowledge in a work integrated learning setting.