It has been some time since my last #coachlearninginsport post.
A paper by Diana Laurillard has sent me off thinking about designing learning opportunities for coaches (and other learners too). Diana discusses the use of an open online course to support teachers’ learning journeys.
Diana notes that teachers’ (like coaches’) learning opportunities are constrained by the time they have available, support and leadership. One way of overcoming these constraints is through co-learning. This approach recognises that “unless teachers are the ‘prime actors’ in their own development, it will be impossible for them to keep up with the rapid changes” in their professional environment.
Diana discusses how a design team of eight educators planned an open online course for a global audience of teachers interested in the use of information and communication technology in primary schools.
There were five pedagogic principles in the design of the course:
- To curate the most useful evidence and resources for teachers, heads and policymakers
- To orchestrate the teaching community’s co-learning that would build their knowledge of using digital technology
- To guide participants’ study planning by providing core and optional activities, and recommended timings for each one
- To engage participants in making best use of learning technologies through guided activities, issue-focused discussions and both independent and collaborative learning
- To provide the tools and activities that enable participants to build their learning on the course into their working practices.
I see the fifth point as very important in my thinking about supporting coaches’ learning. I see enormous merit in coaches spending time with other coaches, synchronously and asynchronously.
Diana provides a detailed evaluation of the online course. She notes the importance of co-learning as a foundation for personal learning. She recommends that any online course should provide opportunities to:
- Form small groups to work together online synchronously and asynchronously
- Share a collaborative space for constructing a shared output
- Link asynchronous text comments to specific parts of the output to iterate improvements
- Link the output to a forum conversation, including synchronous audio and chat, for negotiating a final version of the output
Around the world coach educators facilitate these kind of opportunities. It would be wonderful to share these outputs within sports and across sports.
Such sharing would contribute the transformation of coach education processes into a generic learning experience design approach. As Diana suggests, this is an opportune time to be considering open learning initiatives.