Most of education is designed with individuals in mind. From recruitment, over course advancement to assessment, dominant academic and professional procedures are centred on an individual who finds her/his way through the process. This further stimulates individualism and weakens solidarity and collaboration within learning environments which may sometimes turn into competition grounds. Methods with this keyword conceive learning processes as collective endeavours and promote collaboration and co-learning. This includes sharing of teacher/learner roles, having group tasks, group assessment and similar, as well as introducing non-hierarchical ways of knowledge-sharing.
The method is a “knowledge-sharing-speed-dating” in which the group of participants is separated into two groups - 1 moving group and 1 static group. The idea is to fix a time frame for 2 people to discuss a text/concept/ experience, to ask them to produce something from this short discussion (e.g. 2 words from the text) and then change stations. In the end these chosen words or outcomes can be used to either open up the discussion or to create a text or other material. Expected outcome of this method is to widen the discussions between participants to include all relevant perspectives that concern the proposed starting point (text, concept or other).
The method consists in interactive/collaborative reading of multiple texts on an issue/question/topic by several users. All participants first read some (or all) of the proposed texts and can choose one text part that speaks to them. Each person reads their part out loud and the others interact with 3 different options : “Repeat, Stop, Replace”. At the end of the experience participants can collectively discuss what feelings, sensations, questions or comments the process has fostered. Expected outcomes are opening up of sources for reflecting or discussing a certain issue/topic, as well as intuitive and collaborative sharing of knowledge. Also, this process can develop links between very diverse concepts.
‘Learning in the Round’ is a profoundly social process where learning is not a transaction but a transformation. All actors in the process are able to shape the content and conditions of learning. Traditional distinctions between teacher and learner are transformed. In a fully realised work-based learning process where the learner is fully engaged, experience is converted into learning. It is about learning through practice in a range of environments and contexts.
“Research and observation working groups” consists of group work around a general topic proposed by a mentor in relation with contemporary topics, and with the mentor’s academic knowledge and/or knowledge of the field. After having sought and read relevant bibliography, collected relevant empirical material (through meetings, in-place observation, discourse analysis and/or other methods), and chosen a more focused question, the group produces a written synthesis of the research and then presents it to the whole class for it to be discussed. Outcomes are: production of knowledge and horizontal sharing about a contemporary topic in relation with the master’s program; familiarisation with scientific inquiry through the practice, depending on the encountered needs; team building, self-confidence in one’s own skills, and awareness of the specifics of working together for intellectual purposes.
Role-play is an instructional method based on experiential learning theory, which posits that learning by experience and reflection are best ways for adults to learn. It is a method “in which key ideas and skills are illustrated or practised by learners assuming roles and contexts in which the ideas and skills would typically be applied” (Reigeluth and Keller, 2009, p. 37). In role play, learners act out specific roles in a real-world scenario, to experience and exercise how to act in real-life situations, to develop and test specific skills required to handle a particular situation or problem, as well as to put themselves in positions or identities other than their own.
The method engages participants in exploring and researching the topic/problem/issue, building their arguments and story line for or against a specific position. It gives inputs as well as a lot of freedom to participants in building knowledge on the topic, finding sources and debating etc. The method is excellent for dealing with issues and topics that are divisive and contested in a society or a particular professional field, as well as with trends in a professional field that are pushed with no space to be critically examined and thought through (such as audience development and citizen participation in culture). It is suited for different cultural backgrounds and age, but it requires reading skills and time to explore the topic.