Agency for Learning: Inquiry, Technology and the Pedagogy of Choice

Dr. Jillianne Code,  Assistant Professor, EDCP, UBC
Friday, December 15, 2017
12:30 – 2:00 pm
Scarfe 310

* Light refreshments will be served at 12:00 pm.
* Lecture will commence at 12:30 p.m.

On the axiom that ‘learners are agents’ it follows that an understanding of human agency is necessary in order to fully appreciate learning. Agency is an emergent capability that is manifested in a students’ ability to interact with personal, behavioural, environmental, and social factors in the learning context. Agency enables students as being able to influence and make decisions about what and how something is learned in order to expand their capabilities. Put simply, learner agency is the capacity of students to act and engage with factors in the learning environment, ultimately enabling student voice in the learning process. The purpose of this talk is to examine the relationship between student voice, engagement, and agency, present a re-conceptualization of student voice research in the context of a social cognitive theory of Agency for Learning that provides both theoretical and conceptual clarity to this body of work. Further, this talk will present two current disparate research projects examining how distributed and immersive virtual technologies can be designed to empower students to enact their agency through the utilization of inquiry based learning pedagogies. Preliminary results suggest that elements of agency mediate goal orientations, student perceptions of the learning environment, social identification, the learning strategies they use, and overall academic performance. Providing students greater choice and voice in the curriculum through the use of technologies designed to enable inquiry learning, improves engagement in the learning experience empowering students to become agents in their own learning.

Jillianne Code is an Assistant Professor in the field of educational technology and learning sciences in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Dr. Code’s area of research is focused on the role of agency within and across learning contexts, the design of immersive virtual environments for education and assessment, and measurement methods using learning analytics in educational research. Before coming to the University of British Columbia, Jillianne was Assistant Professor in educational technology and psychology in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria, and a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in assessment and learning technologies. Dr. Code’s most recent research project, Assessment for Learning in Immersive Virtual Environments (ALIVE), supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, explores how immersive virtual environments can be designed to assess and support middle school students’ STEM inquiry learning through formative feedback. Dr. Code is the author of numerous peer reviewed articles, chapters and proceedings and has been recognized with outstanding paper awards at the World Conference on Educational Media and Technology and the American Educational Research Association.

View EDCP  2017 12 15 seminar poster