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     Technology Enhanced Learning:

Transforming perspectives: technology to support the teaching and learning of threshold concepts (2006 - 2007)

This project has now completed. Major outputs include:


Patrick Carmichael (CARET, University of Cambridge)
Keith Johnstone (Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge)
Peter Robinson (Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge)
Naomi Irvine (CARET, University of Cambridge)


Project Summary

This project established an interdisciplinary network in order to develop strategies for technology-enhanced teaching and learning of 'threshold concepts' in higher education. Effective teaching of these transformative, irreversible, integrative and often 'troublesome' concepts demands that teachers provide students with flexible learning activities designed to support learning as a form of conceptual change. They represent a challenge to both traditional and technology-enhanced teaching and learning environments and this promising field had not previously been adequately investigated. Effective investigation of threshold concepts in technology-enhanced learning can only be achieved through interdisciplinary research involving Computer Science, Education, Cognitive Science and other disciplines.

Ultimate beneficiaries of this proposal will be teachers and learners across subject areas in Higher Education and potentially across other educational settings and phases including schools and workplace learning. This project was primarily concerned with research and development of approaches and solutions which address the personalisation of learning and the development of flexibility in provision. Threshold concepts are associated with conceptual change models of learning, and as such may offer the basis for learner-centred activities that promote reflection, self-regulation and independence. Better understanding of how to support learners developed from interdisciplinary perspectives will inform inclusion issues including widening participation in Higher Education and better alignment of university and work-based learning.



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