Deep Learning through Transformative Pedagogy

I always find it difficult to get back into a study routine after a long break. In the past, I’ve taken short courses on LinkedIn and Udemy to keep up the pace and I thought I’d give EdX a shot this time. I’ve been obsessed recently with wanting to learn more about the brain and how we learn and I’ve been trying to find a course that links the two – it’s been difficult and I haven’t really been able to find what I’ve been looking for. I found a course on EdX which has been the closest free, MOOC-style course and thought I’d share my experience. 

Deep Learning through Transformative Pedagogy is a course offered at EdX by the University of Queensland, in partnership with Microsoft. It took me a few weeks to complete and can be found here.

I was attracted to this course from the course description:

This education course has been developed for educators and education leaders. It explores deep learning by bringing together the most up-to-date research from cognitive psychology, contemporary educational theories, and neuro-scientific perspectives.
Deep learning encourages students to become creative, connected, and collaborative problem solvers; to gain knowledge and skills for lifelong learning; and to use a range of contemporary digital technologies to enhance their learning.

I was originally going to take the course as a “free” course, but I received a discount code to top-up to the certificate. In order to gain the certificate, there were a series of assessments to complete and a short piece of coursework at the end (500-word essay).

I found the course interesting, it explored some aspects of neuroscience and learning which was good, but I think I was looking for something a bit more in-depth. The course focused a lot more on the education of children (although I guess the word pedagogy should have given it away…) and teaching in a classroom, so I found a lot of the content was irrelevant to me.

It was great to learn more about how to foster deep learning over surface learning and there were definitely areas that cross over into e-learning and instructional design. Fostering learning through constructivism and social learning was a prominent topic. Ironically, I feel as though I only touched the surface in regards to learning about learning and the brain, but it gave me a good overview.

The EdX isn’t my favourite – I found it a bit difficult to navigate between the content and I often found that I had somehow skipped content without knowing it (until I’d reached the end). I didn’t have as much trouble using the iPad app and it was good to be able to download all the content to access it offline.

Overall I feel as though the course was worth my time, but I don’t think I would have paid the full price to top-up to the full certificate (if I hadn’t received a discount code). Perhaps if the course was something I knew was going to meet my topic expectations 100%. I’d say that if you work with children and are interested in fostering deep learning in the classroom, then this is for you!

After completing the course I was awarded a certificate from the University of Queensland and a couple of badges from Microsoft (Certified Microsoft Innovative Educator award). I love a badge!

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