Introducing ‘The Matrix Classroom’ university course design that facilitates active and situated learning though creating two temporary communities of practice.

Emma Roberts, Karen Sayer

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Abstract

This paper illustrates a radical course design structured to create active and situated learning in which students participate in communities of practice within the classroom, replicating real-life work situations. This paper illustrates the approach through a People Management module but the approach is also used across a range of disciplines such as History and Psychology. The Matrix Classroom is a two-stage format which organises students, firstly, into specialism groups developing expertise in a specific aspect of knowledge, and secondly, into applied task groups in which they apply their knowledge to a particular case, industry, time-period or event. The design creates two temporary communities of practice which allow students to participate by both taking leadership roles and acting from the periphery, thereby gradually increasing their exposure and confidence in authentic work situations. This structure creates a peer support network of elected student leaders from whom they can gain ‘specialist’ support. The active nature of the student-led activities are designed to re-contextualise abstract concepts into specific, problem situations preparing students for graduate life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-299
JournalInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
Volume29
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Situated learning
  • communities of practice
  • active learning
  • pedagogy

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