"Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional 'teaching by subject' in favour of 'teaching by topic'.
'This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,' said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. ...
Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call 'phenomenon' teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take 'cafeteria services' lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.
More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union - which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.
There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. ...
Finnish schools are obliged to introduce a period of 'phenomenon-based teaching' at least once a year. These projects can last several weeks. In Helsinki, they are pushing the reforms at a faster pace with schools encouraged to set aside two periods during the year for adopting the new approach. Ms Kyllonen’s blueprint, to be published later this month, envisages the reforms will be in place across all Finnish schools by 2020."
(Richard Garner, Friday 20 March 2015, independent.co.uk)
"The modified pool of marks technique will not, however, overcome a fundamental weakness of the procedure, namely that the students have to allocate a fixed pool of marks or points. This can be difficult to do using whole numbers. For example, if eight marks are to be allocated between four people and one is given four of them it is not possible to give all the rest the same mark. An alternative technique is to allow the students to allocate marks freely and then calculate an individual weighting factor based on the ratio between the individual score and the average score for all members of the group. This has the advantage of avoiding putting students in the situation where for every additional mark they give to one individual they have to take a mark off another individual. Indeed this is confirmed where a scale of marks is used and students are unconstrained in the marks that they can allocate. In this situation they show a reluctance to make much use of the lower end of the scale and consequently the mean score is well above the middle (average) point of the scale (Conway et al, 1993). Next year, in addition to using the modified pool of marks technique, a variant on the technique used by Conway et al (1993) will also be employed (Appendix 3). This technique awards the group mark to a student who makes an average contribution. Those who make greater (or lesser) contributions receive more (or less) than the original group mark. The method of calculation is described in Appendix 4."
(Mick Healey, 1993, p.4)
Mick Healey "Developing Student Capability Using Peer and Self Assessment: A Preliminary Evaluation of The Distribution of a Pool of Marks Technique for Assessing The Contribution of Individuals to a Group Project", Using Assessment to Develop Capability conference, 1993.
"The project has given me a close insight to working with new people and having a responsibility within a crew. I feel as though my knowledge has excelled in the moving image area. I discovered that so much hard work and effort goes into a short five minute production."
(Zoe Stroud, 2012)
Fig.1 This short film called "Last Chance" (2012) was created as part of the coursework for the 1st year Design Practice 2 module in the BA (Hons) Multimedia programme at Nottingham Trent University (UK).
"CSCL is focused on how collaborative learning supported by technology can enhance peer interaction and work in groups, and how collaboration and technology facilitate sharing and distributing of knowledge and expertise among community members."
(Lasse Lipponen, 2002)
2). Lipponen, L. (2002). "Exploring foundations for computer–supported collaborative learning". Proceedings of the Conference on Computer Support for Collaborative Learning: Foundations for a CSCL Community. Boulder, Colorado, International Society of the Learning Sciences: 72–81.