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Friday, June 20 • 10:30am - 11:00am
CON11.11 – The Outer Reaches of Inner Space: Creating Transformational Learning Cultures in Business Education (Room A317)

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The demand for innovation within organizations is a world-wide concern. Education is under heavy criticism for failure to produce the workforce needed to meet the innovation challenge and the needed 21st century skill set. In a 2010 McKinsey global survey, 84 percent of executives say innovation is extremely or very important to their company's growth strategy. Successful businesses are looking for employees who can adapt to ambiguity and changing needs, think critically and creatively, and routinely make decisions on their own. Today's economy places value on broad knowledge and skills and the ability to create, analyze and transform information into insight.  The 2013 McKinsey study suggests that employers, education providers and youth have fundamentally different understandings for preparedness for entry-level positions. Students report that experiential learning is the most effective instructional technique, but fewer than half are enrolled in this type of curricula. 

The Faculty of Business at Sheridan College has set out to develop a transformational blended pedagogical model that collaboratively engages the three stakeholders: learners, instructors and employers.  This session provides our applied research findings related to our transformational learning model. 

We embarked on a longitudinal, multi-method study of this transformational model piloted in two business courses (Leadership Development and Creativity in Business), with research objectives to measure the extent of student engagement, exhibited emotions, and social interaction. We also sought to measure student feedback on the learning opportunities that this teaching model provides, as well as explore the relationships of these measures on student satisfaction as a proxy of student success.

The theoretical framework for this model and study draw from the principles of adventure learning (Doering, 2006, 2007; Doering & Veletsianos, 2008; Veletsianos & Kleanthous, 2009; Veletsianos & Doering, 2010; Koseoglu & Doering, 2011), transformational learning (Jarvis, 2006; Mezirow, 1996; Taylor, 1987); reflective practice (Cunliffe, 2009; Bourdieu, 2004; Van Manen, 2001; Brookfield, 1995; Schon, 1987), and Phronesis (Flyvbjerg, 2011, 2012).  This transformational model stresses the importance of constructionist learning experiences grounded in complex, real world issues aligned with curriculum that are student-led, and mediated by collaboration, social interaction and dialogue, emotions, critical reflexivity, and technology.  Instructors are no longer the transmitters of static information, but facilitators and mentors who support the learning process. 

A multi-method research design was used for the study, encompassing online questionnaires designed and administered to students, faculty and employers.  Semi-structured student focus groups were also held to explore experiences in more depth. The data collected and analyzed to date will be presented using statistical analysis, text and content analysis as well as visual analytics.  Time will be afforded for meaningful discussion of the model and findings with the audience offering additional insights into the efficacy of the model in responding to the demands of the new educational paradigms and opening opportunities for transforming the lives of learners and emerging leaders.

Friday June 20, 2014 10:30am - 11:00am EDT
A317 McArthur Hall

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