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Shared Thinking Academy

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on November 23, 2010 at 8:40:39 am


Shared Thinking Academy : Facilitating Group Learning

Nick Bowskill, University of Glasgow 

Thursday November 4th 13.00-16.30 SCEPTrE University of Surrey



This Academy utilises the Shared Thinking techniques developed at the University of Glasgow1 to explore in a collaborative way, how teachers and tutors facilitate group learning in the classroom, in lecture theatres, in co-curriculum activities or while they are on work placement.  The approach transforms the notion of learning through personal experience into a social and productive practice worthy of higher education.


10 minute video presentation given at Edinburgh available at:


Work- and other experience-based learning has often been understood as an individual issue. But a group of students or professionals engaged in learning through work or other experiences, creates a wealth of distributed knowledge which, if shared and discussed by the members of the group, can raise the level of conversation and awareness beyond the particulars of a given case to a much higher level of understanding.  The perspectives of others, in similar situations, can significantly enhance the learning of an individual.


Participants in this workshop will use voting technology to help create a collaborative space for thinking together about the nature and the personal significance of diverse experiences in their own working contexts. Insights gained through this collaborative process provide the resource for creating new strategies for engaging students in collaborative learning using the same techniques.


The session will show how ‘Shared Thinking’ leads to the co-construction of a reflective dialogue that incorporates quantitative and qualitative data that can be used to support further development work. This process and product supports the investigation of experience at the collective level - informing learning, teaching and research.


Who is the workshop for?

The session will be of interest to teachers and others involved in helping students or professional learners make more sense of their experiences  who have an interest in facilitating collaborative learning. The Shared Thinking techniques have been used successfully with small and large groups (several hundred students). A background paper and podcast can be found at:

Shared Thinking Academy Process Film


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Further information is available at the web site http://www.sharedthinking.info

1 Research and development undertaken with S Brindley, V Lally, Q Cutts, Q. & S Draper at the University of Glasgow, Scotland 





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