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or resolving the problem that is at the heart of the learning situation. Consequently, a vitally important role of teaching is helping students understand and integrate the ideas of a given course with their own personal experience to create personally relevant and actionable knowledge (Pink, 2009).
This kind of role aligns very well with the instructional orientation required to effectively manage and stimulate cohort-based learning. Serving most frequently in a guiding role – and less frequently in a directing or expert-based
role – ensures that instructors are helping students directly build connections between the knowledge sets, perspectives, and values, both collaboratively and individually. Often this distinction is presented colloquially as the ‘guide on the side,’ rather than the ‘sage on the stage’.
Raelin (2006) suggests that the learning facilitator role is particularly relevant to the needs of our 21st Century supercomplex world:
Our role as a teacher thus becomes much more encompassing than merely delivering content since we are either explicitly or implicitly modeling inquiry....We would like our students to know how to construct new knowledge when faced
with problems for which there is no known solution or even for which there is no known conceptual lens. (p.7)
Nevertheless, Nelville (1999) concludes that the degree
of structure and directedness of the learning facilitation required may be higher for novice learners than for more experienced learners. Thus, RRU faculty recognize that their particular teaching approaches need to vary based on the speci c needs
of the students and the programs involved.
A unique quality of the teaching environment at RRU
is the opportunity that faculty members have to share teaching strategies, program design ideas, and instructional resources across courses, programs, and faculties. Some programs have formalized these sharing strategies by providing opportunities for faculty to teach together, for example, in team-taught
online courses or in integrated residencies. Such teams
model the concept of a high-performing group and give
students an authentic look at how professionals handle
different perspectives and epistemologies on a given topic,
while simultaneously providing faculty an opportunity to observe students and be able to provide detailed feedback on how students are doing with the behavioural learning outcomes
of the courses in the residency. In some programs, the high- feedback environment of the team teaching model, combined with the cohort-based learning community, is a fundamental element of the learning experience, and serves as a primary market attractor.
9. aCTiOn-ORiEnTED REsEaRCh as a sTUDEnT-LED PROCEss OF inqUiRy
Ackoff and Greenberg (2008, p. xvi) contend that education should be a “lifelong process of self-discovery” that is grounded in the realities that are meaningful to each individual.
One strategy to accomplish this goal of connecting students
to a professional context is through the use of applied, action- oriented research as a key component of a systematic inquiry process (Gosling and Mintzberg, 2004; Kachra & Schnietz, 2008; Dehler et al, 2006).
By focusing on solving real-world issues, concerns and problems, the university’s applied research activities provide the critical link between advancing knowledge and the learning provided to Royal Roads students. RRU’s research activity emphasizes the synergy between the university’s applied
28 Learning and Teaching Model Royal Roads University

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