Orr, Doug

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    Threshold concepts in the development of problem-solving skills
    (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2015) Wismath, Shelly; Orr, Doug; MacKay, Bruce
    Problem- solving skills are of ten identified as a key component of 21st century education. This study collected data from students enrolled in a university- level Liberal Education science course called Problems and Puzzles, which introduced students to the theory and practice of problem solving via puzzles. Based on classroom observation and other qualitative data collected over three semesters, we have identified three significant changes in student behaviour at specific points in the course. These changes can be posited to reveal three underlying threshold concepts in the evolution and establishment of students’ problem- solving skills.
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    Classroom re-design to facilitate student learning: a case-study of changes to a university classroom.
    (Indiana University. Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching, 2016) Perks, Tom; Orr, Doug; Alomari, Elham
    This case study examines the physical aspects of a particular university classroom, and what affect specific changes to the classroom had on the perceptions of students, instructors and observers regarding the room as an effective learning space. We compare survey and focus group data collected from students taking courses in the classroom prior to changes to the physical environment with comparable data from students taking courses in the same classroom after specific changes had been made. Immediately following changes to the classroom, notable increases were observed in reported perceptions of student satisfaction with the physical environment, including perceptions of the classroom as a more effective and engaging learning space. Similar perceptions of improvement as a teaching-learning space were reported by instructors and observers. However, subsequent follow-up data collection and analyses suggested little if any sustained increase in perceptions of efficacy of the room as a learning space; indeed, most reported variables returned to baseline levels. The implications of these findings and their relevance to classroom design nevertheless may provide insight regarding the manner in which physical space might support or even enhance teaching and learning.
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    The “Level of Use” Index as a Tool to Assess Professional Development
    (2008-06-11T23:12:24Z) Orr, Douglas Robert; Mrazek, Rick
    The “Level of Use of an Innovation" (LoU) and “Stages of Concern” (SoC) assessments are key components of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM). These tools can provide a clear articulation and characterization of the level of adoption of an organizational innovation in educational technology. An adaptation of the LoU was used to assess changes in understanding of and competence with educational technologies by participants in a graduate level course focused on the use of emergent technologies in professional development. The instrument reflected the criteria framework of the original LoU assessment tool, but was adapted to utilize a specifically structured self-reporting scale of the “level of use” index to promote collaborative self-reflection. Growth in knowledge of, and confidence with, specific emergent technologies is clearly indicated by the results, thus supporting the use of collaborative reflection and assessment of the professional development process to foster professional growth.