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Situational Learning as a Collaborative Teaching and Learning Design

Situational Learning as a Collaborative Teaching and Learning Design

Author: Trisha Fyfe

In this lesson, you will understand how collaborative learning support networked learning theory and situational learning theory.
You will understand the situational learning theory guidelines.
In this lesson, you will understand how to apply situational learning to lesson design.

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Source: Image of light bulb, Public Domain, http://tinyurl.com/p4pfjr7; Image of social interaction, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/social-media-personal-552411/; Hands and group, Public Domain, http://pixabay.com/en/hands-protect-protection-father-598145/

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Welcome, I'm Tricia Fyfe. And in today's lesson we will be discussing situational learning as a collaborative teaching and learning design. Throughout this tutorial we will have two main learning objectives. And we will answer the following questions. How does collaborative learning support situational learning theory and network learning theory? As well as, how can we design lessons using situational learning?

Let's start by talking about collaborative learning. In collaborative learning environments, students need to have opportunities to build relationships. Relationships are key in networked learning theory and situational learning theory. So collaborative learning and collaborative teaching is extremely important. In collaborative learning environments, students need to also have opportunities to connect that prior knowledge to learning in these authentic situations, and with these authentic problems. In collaborative learning it's also important for students to be able to problem solve together, and think critically, as well as build skills and transfer learning to new situations.

So let's look at a comparison between situated learning and networked learning, and how they are connected together. Situated learning is when you acquire knowledge through social interaction in real world application. Networked learning is when you acquire knowledge by developing and maintaining communications. So you can see that they're very connected together. Relationships are key in both the these. The social interactions in situated learning, as well as those communications that are developed in networked learning.

So when looking situated learning you can look at some guidelines. And these guidelines are adapted from Stein in 1998. One of these guidelines is that learning comes from students everyday actions and situations. This includes things like students experiences, and relationships that are formed on the day to day basis. Students also learn situationally and transfer knowledge to similar situations.

So this learning is acquired through experiences that students are having on the day to day basis. And students can generalize their knowledge to different situations. Problem solving, communication, and collaboration are all ways in which we learn. And social interaction plays a key part in this. Knowledge, experiences, and social interactions all affect our learning. Learning connects to and occurs by knowledge, and the experiences, and the social interactions that we.

When thinking about situational learning it's important to think about your design and your instructional strategies. And here are a few things to think about as you go through this process. These are adapted from the critical characteristics of situated learning. It's important for you as a teacher to provide an authentic context for your students, with authentic activities that reflect the way that knowledge will be used in real life for your students. Providing access to expert performances and modeling processes is essential. As well as making sure that you're promoting articulation of knowledge to be made explicit.

It's important for you to provide different roles and varied perspectives for your students. And to support collaboration so that your students can construct knowledge together. It's also important to provide coaching and scaffolding opportunities along the way. And to make sure that these are at the critical times in your lessons and units for your students. Reflection is the essential. And making sure that you have reflection opportunities throughout the lessons to enable abstractions from specific situations. Making sure that you have assessment integrated within your tasks is also an extremely important strategy to consider.

So let's talk about what we learned today. We discussed the questions how does collaborative learning support situational learning theory and network learning theory, and how can we design lessons using situational learning theory? We talked about collaborative learning, and how essential that was. And also what that look like in relationship to situational learning theory. We discussed how essential relationships are in both networked learning theory and situational learning theory. And how it's important for students have opportunities to build relationships and connect knowledge in authentic situations.

We also discussed guidelines, such as making sure that their learning is connected to students experiences and relationships. And that learning occurs through social interactions, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. We talked about some instructional strategies. For example, providing an authentic context. And making sure that you have modeling opportunities, and different roles and perspectives are discussed. It's also important to build in reflection and make sure the coaching and scaffolding come at critical times in your units.

So now that you've learned a bit more about situated learning theory, let's talk about how you can apply these ideas by reflecting. What might the challenges be in implementing situational learning theory into your instruction? Which instructional strategies will you use in your teaching? Which come naturally for you?

To dive a little deeper and learn how to apply this information be sure to check out the additional resources section associated with this video. This is where you'll find links targeted toward helping you discover more ways to apply this course material.

Notes on “Situational Learning as a Collaborative Teaching and Learning Design”


(00:00- 00:27) Introduction/Objectives

(00:28- 01:09) Collaborative Learning Connected to Situational Learning Theory

(01:10- 01:44) Situational Learning Theory and Networked Learning Theory  

(01:45- 02:41) Guidelines for Situational Learning Theory

(02:42- 04:02) Instructional Strategies

(04:03- 05:16) Recap

(05:17- 05:48) Reflection


Additional Resources

Critical Characteristics of Situated Learning: Implications for the Instructional Design of Multimedia

This article provides strategies for incorporating situational learning into lesson design. The article also includes specific examples of the application in classrooms.

Instructional Design: Situated Learning

This site provides a brief overview of situational learning. In addition, the page includes examples and links for teachers.

Games Based Situated Learning: games-ED Whole Class Games and Learning Outcomes

This paper provides a comprehensive look at situated learning in a game based learning environment. See page 12 for the pedagogical implications for your classroom.