Design and epistemic fluency

In this podcast “Teaching as design”, Mollie Dollinger and Jason Lodge speak with Peter about design for learning. But in the last 11 minutes of the podcast Peter describes what epistemic fluency is, its origins, and our work expanding this notion. Peter also talks about how epistemic fluency is connected to design. If you are interested just in epistemic fluency, start listening the podcast from the 31st minute.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 10.05.18 pm

Our presentations at EARLI 2017

The slides of our presentations at EARLI 2017 are now available in our slideware (click on the images below). Five-page summaries of these two papers could be downloaded from ResearchGate.

Markauskaite, L. & Goodyear P. (2017). Learning as construction of actionable concepts: A multimodal blending perspective. Paper presented at the 17th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction “Education in the Crossroads of Economy and Politics Role of Research in the Advancement of Public Good”. 27 August – 2 September 2017. Tampere, Finland.

Markauskaite, L. & Goodyear, P. (2017). Insights into the dynamics between changes in professional fields and teaching in higher education. Paper presented at the 17th Biennial EARLI Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction “Education in the Crossroads of Economy and Politics Role of Research in the Advancement of Public Good”. 27 August – 2 September 2017. Tampere, Finland.

Extensions: Approaches for making connections between academia and work

Chapter 2 includes a brief overview of the main educational approaches that are used to help students make connections between academic study and workplace performance: simulations, role plays, case-based learning, problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning, internships, reflective practice, communities of practice, etc. Our colleague George Hatsidimitris created a nice re-interpretation of the schema of these approaches also insightfully extended it with one element “communication technologies”.  Indeed, communication technologies could help create a hybrid space for linking the lecture hall and workplace. Thank you George.


Schema of approaches to professional formation. Image by George Hatsidimitris (July 2017)

‘Work ready’, ‘work knowledgeable’ and ‘work capable’: Preparing students for the workplace through designing productive assessment tasks

We will be presenting our paper that discusses various designs of tasks for assessing “workplace readiness” on the 27th of June, at the  HERDSA 2017 Conference. If you will be attending the conference and interested, check the program and come to the session. The abstract is below. We will post our slides and link to the full paper after the conference.

Preparing students for the workplace through designing productive assessment tasks: An actionable knowledge perspective

Lina Markauskaite and Peter Goodyear


Preparing students for the workplace and assessing their readiness are often major challenges for university teachers. What kinds of concrete tasks help students develop professional capacities needed for situated knowledgeable action in a broad range of possible future workplace settings?

Our research examined assessment tasks that university teachers set for students in courses that were preparing them for work placements in five professions: nursing, pharmacy, teaching, social work, and school counselling. We combined ‘actionable knowledge’ and ‘objectual practice’ perspectives and investigated what students were asked to do, what they were expected to learn and how. Specifically, we analysed the nature of the objects that teachers selected for assessment tasks and the nature of the concrete artefacts that students were asked to produce.

Our results show some fundamental differences in teachers’ choices of objects. They ranged from basic and very specific aspects of professional work to some of the hardest and most broad-ranging challenges in the profession. The tasks also required students to engage in the production of a wide range of artefacts. We classified these as ‘cultural artefacts’, ‘conceptual artefacts’ and ‘epistemic artefacts’.

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 3.46.57 pm

Our discussion draws parallels between these three kinds of artefacts and the notions of ‘work ready’, ‘work knowledgeable’ and ‘work-capable’ graduates, respectively. We argue that teachers, through task designs, shape ways in which students learn to link action (skill) with meaning (knowledge). Our findings raise some important questions about the kinds of authentic tasks that help prepare work-capable graduates for future learning.

Epistemic fluency, digital materiality and designery ways of thinking about research methods in education

MethodsEducational research is, of course, one of the most epistemically diverse and challenging research fields. Actionable knowledge and epistemic fluency are big themes in it. Some people have been asking us if we wrote anything about this. Not recently, but below there are summaries and links to some our earlier papers that should give an insight into our ways of thinking about epistemological landscape of educational research. They are written during 2010–2011, but the main messages are still very relevant. The first paper discusses connections between epistemic fluency, educational research methods and educational design (or educational research as design). The next two papers talk about emerging technology-mediated research methods and implications for educational research. (NB: these two papers have been written in the era when “learning analytics” yet to be invented, but fundamental epistemological questions about big data vs. rich data, digital materiality, digital knowledge, educational research infrastructures, etc. are still pretty “hot”). Of course, others have been writing about these topics too, e.g. see Deb Hayes and Catherine Doherty’s paper on epistemic diversity in the Australian Educational Researcher.

Continue reading